OU Launches 2014-15 “Café Conversations” With African Music Presentation

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In Africa, there is no word for traditional music in any language. The African tradition of music is ancient, rich and diverse—it's a way of life.

"In the western world, we isolate conceptually what we call music. For example, dancing, drumming, or singing. But in Africa, we bring all those categories together. We have to eat everything in the bowl to enjoy the salad," said Paschal Younge, an Ohio University professor of music education.

Younge will launch the 2014-15 Café Conversation series with "African Music, A Big Bowl of Salad: The Interdisciplinarity of the Musical Art of Ghana" at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 17 in the Ohio University Baker Center Front Room.

Younge will play drums and sing as well as discuss African tradition and how understanding different cultures is essential to knowing how to look at the arts.

"Music is a universal phenomenon, but not a universal language. The way people make music is very different according to their culture. But once you learn the culture you can better understand what you are hearing," he said.

Café Conversations are a venue for students to informally share their interests during a conversational exchange with faculty staff, and the community in a friendly setting. Free coffee is offered to the first 50 attendees, and participants who ask questions will win a free t-shirt.

The program is supported by the Ohio University Vice President for Research and Creative Activity.

For a full schedule of events this year, visit http://www.ohio.edu/sigmaxi/sciencecafe/.