Directionality in music

Gunther Schuller’s apt phrase, forward propulsive directionality, while clunky, certainly does the job. The word directionality strikes a chord (pardon the word play) with me: I have numerous examples in my record collection of groups playing music in an African tradition. The musicians are not themselves Africans and their efforts seem to lack something. Years ago, I put my finger on it: a lack of direction or end point. In African music, you get the feeling that it is trending toward something, even if it ends without definiteness, a common occurrence.
Defining this, describing this, is beyond me. Doing so musically is impossible. But I hope someone can do it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *