The last years the West-African Percussion and dance has grown in popularity. In West-Africa the music has got a tradition of ages. In all this time many rhythms have appeared and evolved. In the colonial and post-colonial time the exchange of rhythms between tribes and nations has been more intensive all the time. In a number of West-African country’s a National Ballet was formed, which again contributed to more devellopment of their music and dance.
During the last decades many master-drummers and -dancers have come to Europe and they were teachers to many students. Famoudou Konaté, Arafan Touré , Mamadou "Delmundo" Keďta, Oké Sené and Mamady Keďta are a few examples.
In these W.A.P.-pages I collected information from different sources. I am tutored by different teachers, I heard tapes en CD’s and talked with other students. The teacher I learned the most of is Martin Bernhard, a dutch student of Mamady Keďta. I had also some lessons of the mentioned masterdrummers above. Each master has his own ideas of the truth about every rhythm.
On the , where people share their knowledge about african and south-american rhythms, I also learned about different interpretations (and consensus) about many rhythms. On the rhythm-catalog of Larry Morris (also to find through the djembe-l mailing-list), I verified a lot of what I ‘ve learned. Most of the time it is hard to find out which rhythms are really traditional and which are recently composed. I don’t want to violate any copy-rights but I don’t believe just anyone who says he or she is the composer. If anyone feels I am violating his or her copy-rights, please inform me so I can mention the correct name or withdraw the rhythm if wanted.
I don’t believe in an absolute thruth about any rhythm. The music is alive and still changing. Probably every area has it’s own interpretation and varietys. People try to play as the present masters play. I try to present the most essential elements of the rhythms. Where possible I add some history or a song and the teacher or sources involved. Sometimes I add also some examples or a possible solo to play on djembe or variations and echauffements on the duns.
In spite off my efforts to present what can be said as a consensus about the rhythms, there will be people that say somethings are wrong. Please let me know so I can adjust and improve these pages. All I want to do is to give students some material to improve their knowledge about these rhythms. You can’t learn music from a book or the internet alone but they can give you a stimulus to improve and to go on.
I will keep expanding these pages, and I would like to invite everyone who wants to contribute to send material to my email addres. Comments, additions, new rhythms; anything is welcomed and if possible integrated in the WAP-pages.