ATS3818 - Drumming traditions of West Africa - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music


Dr Adrian McNeil

Not offered in 2017


Through both the study of the music and musical thought of drumming traditions of West Africa and especially Ghana, this unit explores the complex rhythmic practices of the traditional drumming ensembles in the region. Theoretical and practice based knowledge about these traditions is taught through the critical analysis of ethnomusicological literature of these traditions and through practice based instruction.


Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Comprehend and articulate the connection between culture and musical practice in West African drumming traditions.
  2. Develop and enhance individual practical skills in rhythm.
  3. Develop an appreciation and critical understanding of complex rhythmic interaction in ensemble playing transferrable to a range of musical contexts.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.