The Aka Pygmies living in the south-west region of the Central African Republic have developed a distinctive vocal musical tradition, which involves a complex type of contrapuntal polyphony based on four voices, mastered by all members of the Aka community.
Music and dance form an integral part of Aka rituals including ceremonies related to the inauguration of new encampments, hunting and funerals. Unlike polyphonic systems that are written down in notation, the vocal tradition of the Aka Pygmies allows for spontaneous expression and improvisation. During performances, each singer can change his or her voice to produce a multitude of variations, creating the impression that the music is continuously evolving.
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