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date: 19 November 2019

Clarinet, transverselocked

  • K.A. Gourlay


Idioglot reedpipe of West Africa; the position of the reed requires the instrument to be held horizontally. (The only known instance of such instruments outside Africa is the caña de millo of Colombia.) The West African instrument is found throughout the savannah region, from Guinea to Cameroon. It is made from a stem of guinea-corn or sorghum millet from which the pulp has either been pulled with a piece of wire (as among the Angas people of Nigeria) or pushed out with a metal rod (among the Birom of Nigeria) or with a stick of henna shrub (the Hausa of Nigeria and Niger), leaving both ends open. Small clarinets consist of a single internode and larger ones of two internodes; others are intermediate in length. Short versions include the clarinet of the Kilba people, Nigeria (23 cm); the Hausa tilboro (30 cm); the tsiriki of the Kebbi, Nigeria (35 cm); the ...

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