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E Oru O

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This is a song from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa. I am working on doing it as an entrance/ processional song with the 3rd & 4th graders for their Spring concerts. The fourth graders play the 'gourds' (which are actually half & half creamer bottles - after all, we live in the dairy state.) and the third graders play the shakers (Which are actually plastic Easter eggs filled with seed beads and then hot glued shut - ah the travails of an elementary music teacher.) ANyway, I recorded this with myself singing it a few times, then adjusting the effects on duplicates of my voice. I think it sounds fairly decent. Not quite a choral sound, yet, but not bad. If anyone has any tips about pronunciation of Yoruban, please let me know soon, as we're busy memorizing so we can sing, play and walk at the same time.
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The translation went something like: "The great chief who lives near the market is coming. Let's greet him with songs."
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Uploaded: Jan 28, 2007 - 05:40:18 PM
Last Updated: Jan 28, 2007 - 05:45:20 PM Last Played: Jan 29, 2019 - 06:08:11 PM
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Roxylee said 4524 days ago (January 28th, 2007)
Catchy tune!
Nice sound from the gourds, er, h&h bottlles. Very inventive of you, and it sounds real to me.You have a very pretty voice. :-)I'd like to know what the song is about- any translation?
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kristyjo said 4524 days ago (January 28th, 2007)
Roxy, thanks for stopping by.
I have to let you know that THIS recording actually uses the 'gourd' sound from the African percussion kit, and a shaker sound from that same kit. I don't mind singing a few times, but the thought of playing a bottle and shakers over and over to get the sound was a little daunting. I will also be using a 'banana bell' (apitua) myself to keep the beat as we perform this at school. The translation is in the 'lyrics' box.
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
Reinholt56 said 4524 days ago (January 28th, 2007)
See the link below....

There's pronunciation and history of the dialect used in the song.

The song itself sounds really good.

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kristyjo said 4523 days ago (January 29th, 2007)
You can find anything on the 'net
Thanks for the URL! My song doesn't have any of the accent marks in it. I think I'd be much more intimidated if there was a Yoruban speaker among us, or in the crowd at the concert, but there doesn't seem to be, so I'll use what I have there, and say, "Good enough for a Midwestern music teacher." Thanks for stopping by.
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
cjhoose said 4524 days ago (January 28th, 2007)
I know nothing about African folksongs, but this is just plain gorgeous! Your voice is PERFECT - and the percussion is too!
It sounds almost Celtic, tell the truth.... strange.
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kristyjo said 4523 days ago (January 29th, 2007)
Yoruban Celtic-
What a concept. I think I hear some of those elements, too. Like the entrance of the second set of phrases being a fifth higher than anything sung up to that point - great set up there. and, of course, the emphasis on the ostinato percussion line. Thanks for listening. and commenting. I've been noticing you and I are listening to a lot of the same music.
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
perceptualvortex said 4523 days ago (January 29th, 2007)
Hey, this is really cool! I enjoy the sound of your singing in Yoruban. It would be cool to hear this filled out with more layers of voice and percussion too. Maybe not for the kids' performance, but as an extended recording of this song. Thanks for sharing.
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kristyjo said 4523 days ago (January 29th, 2007)
It was very hard for me
to avoid singing the harmony parts that I felt should be in there. This is, however, the 'practice CD' track for the students, so I left out the vocal harmonies. I may do as you suggest, and add harmonies and additional drum parts when I'm all done with the concerts. Thanks for stopping by and listening.
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
Macaudion said 4523 days ago (January 29th, 2007)
That was quite impressive, KJ - I thought that this was a string of ehtnic loops; the drumming and the vocals and such, before I read the descript. This is meant to be the highest of compliments. Everything was just that tight and very well put together.

In fact, this was one of the most impressive pieces that I've heard here, at MJS!. That just goes to show you that it dosen't matter the genre and how familiar one thinks that they might be w/ said genre, it's the quality of the production and performance.

Very lmpressed! Thank you! - Macca
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kristyjo said 4522 days ago (January 30th, 2007)
Thanks for listening
I know this is kind of 'tucked away' in the ethnic-folk genre, but I also know you're interested in all kinds of music, too. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and if you're ever in Wisconsin during 'Music in Our Schools' month (March), we'd be honored to have you attend one of our school concerts. Thank you for your very nice comments!
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
DWL said 4522 days ago (January 30th, 2007)
Excellent !
This sounds great, once you've got all the kids playing the sound should be incredible. Nothig like a bit of primal drumming to get the pulses racing.

I think I'd try to build up the sound so the intensity increases but I realise that may not be practical.

Thanks for sharing :)


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kristyjo said 4522 days ago (January 30th, 2007)
Thanks for stopping by
Actually, I'm hoping the intensity will naturally build as students enter the gymnasium, singing & playing, and then, as they can stand still and face the audience, the singing should get stronger, too. I think you're right about the primal beat thing - kids get so excited about playing a percussion instrument, it's bound to be reflected in their performance in a really positive way. Thanks for commenting!
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
said 4522 days ago (January 30th, 2007)
All hail the great cheif!
Really nice recording Kristyjo. I like ethnic music of various sorts. Percussion sounds good. Voices hamonize nicely. Kudos!

Be well!

ODE TO SPRING: http://www.macjams.com/song/28558
kristyjo said 4522 days ago (January 30th, 2007)
Thanks for stopping by
I enjoy ethnic (or 'World') music, and have done a bit of study of different types of music as time and interest permit. Western African music is really interesting to me right now, and I hope to arouse interest in other music and cultures for my students. Thanks for your comments.
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
Cameron said 4518 days ago (February 3rd, 2007)
great concept
This is perfect for the kids to perform; it's well within their abilities I would think. This is simple, yet complex -- a perfect combination.

If all goes well, it might be interesting to try it as a "round".

I do hope that you take your "trusty PowerBook G4 and Snowball mic" to the concert and record this!

(Your own performance and recording of this is quite good, by the way.)

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kristyjo said 4504 days ago (February 17th, 2007)
simple, yet complex-
I love presenting things like this to kids and having them think they can't do it, and then bringing them through step by step until they're successful at it. We are working on this right now, and we are sounding great on the instruments and singing, but now have to add the walking at the same time - tough stuff. We'll get there, though, I have no doubt. Thanks for listening and commenting!
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
Bowman said 4512 days ago (February 9th, 2007)
Middle ages?
I liked it but I%u2019m not sure if it%u2019s your pronunciation because it comes across a little like a chant of some kind sung in a women%u2019s monastery from the middle ages. Also a little too gentile.
I%u2019m certainly no expert on Western African music but I think it needs something else (maybe a deeper drum) to bring that ethnicity across. Still a sweet tune nicely performed.

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kristyjo said 4504 days ago (February 17th, 2007)
Definitely a deeper drum-
would add to the authenticity of the sound. I also have quite a pronounced 'Great Lakes area teacher'-sound to my voice, because the recording is meant to be a teaching tool for the students themselves. Thus the hyper-clear pronunciation. There will be an apitua joining in, and about 40 bottle drums & 45 shakers. The students do have more of a free sound to their singing than I do, and I'm hoping that I will be able to post something here from the concert so everyone can hear the final results. Thanks for listening!
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
guitapick said 4510 days ago (February 11th, 2007)
As a fellow schoolteacher...
...I must say that you show a wonderful dedication to your classes.

As a fellow musician; I can say that I really like the way you shape and perform this piece. It would be a great base for a series of either variations or improvisations in a jazz setting, too.

Enjoy the Spring concerts. This should be fun!
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kristyjo said 4504 days ago (February 17th, 2007)
I ALWAYS enjoy the Spring Concerts!
This is the 3rd & 4th grade concert, so they are not yet self conscious about their voices, they can keep a beat and carry a tune, and are willing to 'follow' me into whatever territory I take them. (That last trait begins to fade by 6th grade in many students.) Our theme this year is 'harmony', and we're doing everything from rounds to doo-wop to tonechimes to home-made drums. It is so great to watch them learn and grow as they gain confidence in these things. Thanks for listening, fellow teacher!
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
John Stebbe said 4507 days ago (February 14th, 2007)
Very good!
What a great song for kids to sing. And with more an more non-English speakers in public schools, it's great to give them a song where everyone is on a level playing field. Those kids who speak only Spanish can learn this song with the English-speaking kids, and both will learn at the same speed. I had my kids learn a Hannuka song in Hebrew for our Holiday Program, and those Hispanic kids sang right along. I felt I had accomplished something.

Very good singing and production.

I have used my MacBook to create square-dance calls on top of tracks which the text book provides, but there are no calls on the tracks. Strange, it would have taken very little effort on the publisher's part to provide a track with the calls on it, as well as not on it. Sometimes I'll use the pinhole mic to record a class singing, with Garageband, and then play it back at different tempos, or with the Vocal Transformer in GB.

Sounds like you're also getting your money's worth out of your Mac. This is my first year with my Mac laptop in the classroom. I don't know how I got along without it for so long!

Take care, Kristy.


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kristyjo said 4503 days ago (February 18th, 2007)
John, I can tell you're enthused..
about having that laptop with you in class. i wouldn't survive without it, frankly. My most memorable classes and projects usually involve my powerbook, if only for recording purposes. I agree that a song in a language that nobody is 'good' at makes for a level playing field for all students. Good point! This song is actually from a workshop offered through Silver Lake College with Henry Leck many summers ago (H.L. is now from your area, I believe. He started out in northeastern WI and comes back to the area once in a while.) I'm taking a worldmusicdrumming.org class this summer to keep myself learning new things, and will be doing more with the African music in coming years, i'm sure. Thanks for visiting
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
Enrique Gil said 4506 days ago (February 15th, 2007)
Hey kris!
wonderful voice...wonderful music...it is amazing how colorful, how beautiful most of African music is......thank you!
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kristyjo said 4501 days ago (February 20th, 2007)
Thanks for stopping by
I enjoy many of the differing styles of African music, and I hope to learn more this summer. My own performances tend to be more fun to 'do' than to listen to at this point. But I agree that African music is beautiful in many ways, and I enjoy listening to it.
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
dreadmon said 4497 days ago (February 24th, 2007)
Not just good enough for a midwestern teacher, but for anyone attempting to capture the music of Africa! Simply arranged, yet powerful in its character. I can't wait to hear you do a version with some of those harmonies. Beautifully recorded.
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kristyjo said 4497 days ago (February 25th, 2007)
I'm glad you came to listen!
This type of music is kind of a new area for me, and I'm always happy to get some positive comments! I may have time tomorrow to do some recording of harmony vocals and the bell part, as it appears we'll be getting 10 - 16 inches of snow with 40 mph wind. A perfect excuse to stay home and do some recording. Thanks for stopping by.
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
musichead said 4489 days ago (March 4th, 2007)
just right
good production...I believe in the less is more theroy. Its always good to hear something like this and learn abit from it.
Good luck with the kids!!!!

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kristyjo said 4488 days ago (March 6th, 2007)
Thanks for the well wishes, Steve.
I am doing the concert with the first group next week, and my other school the following week. Although each part is simple, many students are having a tough time getting everything to work together, so this is really a learning experience for them.
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
Feter said 4488 days ago (March 5th, 2007)
such decent feelin ....very fresh voices
thank yu for sharing it with us here ..!

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Brian Weiland said 4451 days ago (April 11th, 2007)
I found you by trolling the children's music section, and you're students are clearly lucky to have you!

I realize your concert's probably over by now, but the West African drum that would fit this nicely is the djembe. I'm assuming you know what one is- they're in most elementary music catalogs.

Your recording here is just excellent in every way. Well recorded, well-sung, just perfect for the age group and voices you're aiming for. I don't have a clue if the Jennings' over at Music K-8 ever publish stuff that wasn't created "in house," but if they don't you should seriously consider publishing this stuff. I am a fellow elementary music educator, and I would without question buy your songs for use in my classroom- if this and the patriotic one you posted are typical, your songs are as good as or better than anything else being marketed out there.

I am on my lunch break now, but I will be revisiting your catalog!

~Brian Weiland
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kristyjo said 4450 days ago (April 12th, 2007)
Hello, fellow music teacher!
I'm glad you stopped by. The concerts are done, and I'm burning 55 DVDs for students even as I write this. It went very well, and at one school, I even had the classroom teachers join me in playing the apitua (atoke) bells to keep the beat down the long lines of kids walking in. (Great stuff- having the classroom teachers making music in public!) I do an extended unit using djembe, djun-djun, kpalango drums and various shakers and gankouqui or apitua bells with my 6th grade students. We play some traditional grooves, then they have to write their own group projects, which they name. I record their performances, and they design a CD package. They then have a 'limited edition' CD with their names on them. Group drumming has so many possibilities, and I'm only scratching the surface right now. That's not all, but it's fun for me, too! I'm looking forward to hearing some of your own postings.
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
thetiler said 4432 days ago (April 30th, 2007)
Ya, I can see why your a pro instructor
good stuff indeed, lots of great culture.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful musical talents.
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kristyjo said 4431 days ago (May 1st, 2007)
Thanks for stopping by
I'm glad you took the time to listen to this piece. I'm hoping to redo it with apitua, kpalango and vocal harmonies when school gets out this summer. (That's in five weeks - we're all ready for summer!) In the meantime, I'm using my limited time on MacJams to listen to some of the great stuff you and other of my favorite artists are posting.
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
paul f. page said 4430 days ago (May 2nd, 2007)
Love it...
What a great way to teach kids and to help them have fun at the same time. The tune itself is repetitious enough to "get it" in a single hearing and that must be very appealing to your students. There are so many things you can do with percussion and every performance can be unique. That is a special quality about this song that really appeals to me: the music is "immediate" that way and has a constant source of life behind it. I enjoyed this comp very much.
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Name: Kristine Johanek
Location: Marshfield WI United States
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I've been performing, composing and teaching music for many years. I enjoy arranging traditional and classic pieces, and also enjoy composing original music. I'll write for whomever will perform my music, so I've written for children's choirs, co... [see more]

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