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date: 18 October 2019

Bisalocked

Extract

Raft zither of the Nupe people of Nigeria. It is constructed and played in the same manner as the Birom yomkwo, a raft of reeds sharing a wooden bridge at each end to support the 18 idiochord strings, which are arranged in groups of two and three tuned an octave apart. Sometimes a woven container at the back contains rattling seeds or small pebbles. The instrument originally had a ritual function but is now used mainly for entertainment in accompanying song. (S.F. Nadel: ‘Gunnu: a Fertility Cult of the Nupe in Northern Nigeria’, ...

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