African music and the history of time

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article aims to decentralize the dominant temporalities of the colonial era with reference to an ephemeral fragment of precolonial music from Uganda. The article outlines two overarching temporal frameworks—unilinear developmentalism and cultural relativism—as the fundamental global antinomies of colonial governance. By examining inherent pattern formation and beat entrainment in amadinda music, the article directs its findings to the general question of meter and rhythm in music and, by extension, the dialectics of colonial time itself. Instead of relativizing or provincializing this concept of time—a refinement of its historical critique—the article gestures toward recentralizing universal standards along more equitable and inclusive lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-426
Number of pages30
JournalHistory of Humanities
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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