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date: 18 November 2019

Sabar [sabaro, serouba, saoruba, tantan(go)]locked

  • Rainer Polak


[sabaro, serouba, saoruba, tantan(go)]

Family of drums and a drum/dance genre of Senegal and the Gambia. Specialist woodworkers carve the instruments from single pieces of hardwood. The drummers themselves attach the goatskin heads with wooden pegs. Most sabar drums are played with one bare hand and one light stick.

(1) In Senegal, sabar denotes a set of instruments associated with the griots of the Wolof people. The standard ensemble consists of two types of drums. The first type is slightly hourglass-shaped, open at the bottom; the single head (20–25 cm in diameter) is affixed to the pegs with extra lacings. Instruments of this type are often identified as sabar proper by outsiders, for instance on the international market for ‘ethnic’ percussion instruments. The nder, 80 to more than 100 cm tall, is the tallest and narrowest variety. Shorter and slightly more compact variants are called mbeng-mbeng (55–60 cm) and tungune (40–45 cm). The second type is slightly egg-shaped, has two heads 20–25 cm in diameter, and has no extra lacing around the pegs, making it easy to tune. The ...

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