Yiri by Koko - Ravensbourne Performing Arts

Yiri by Koko
Yiri by Koko
Today you will…
• Recap Yiri by Koko info learnt last lesson.
• Learn about the instruments used.
• Learn about the melodies & tonality used.
Where is this music from?
• The West African country of Burkina Faso
Official Language
• French, but 90% of the population speak
tribal languages of the Sudanic family.
Cultural Context
• Yiri is a native folk music piece from
Burkina Faso.
• Much of the music here is traditional folk
• Yiri is celebration music for bringing a
person out to honour them (usually an
older person).
Introduction (1st balaphon)
Theme (1st balaphon)
12 variation verses(1st balaphon/group
singers/solo tenor)
(drums play louder/rhythmic accents/more
Structure continued
• The overall structure is strophic (AAAA).
• The piece consists of a set of variations
over an ostinato.
Instruments Used
• Talking drum – a traditional WestAfrican drum. It
was originally used to send
messages across open plains.
• Balaphon – a wooden xylophone of West Africa.
• Cowbell – this is only used right at the end of
the piece.
• Singers – they sing in unison & use the high tenor range
as doe the solo tenor singer.
Melodies & Tonality
• The music begins in Db major
• It then quickly moves to Gb melodies moving
against a pentatonic ostinato on Db.
• The tonic is Gb as the melodic phrases
consistently end on that note.
• The music is diatonic.
• Mostly mezzo forte
• Crescendos & diminuendos at the
• Coda is forte
Moderate except at the beginning where the
tempo is quite free.
The lyrics are in a native tribal
language & there is no translation
currently available.

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