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date: 19 November 2019

Kundi [nkundi, kunda, kundu, kondu, komba]locked

  • K.A. Gourlay
  • , revised by Ferdinand J. de Hen

Extract

[nkundi, kunda, kundu, kondu, komba]

Arched harp of the northeastern and northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo and of associated peoples of the Central African Republic, including the Nzakara and Sabanga. It is akin to the ngombi of Gabon. The instrument has a carved wooden soundbox, soundtable of snakeskin, antelope, buffalo (rarely), or elephant ear skin, and a wooden or ivory neck inserted into one end of the soundbox. The neck can be angled or gently arched (in the northwest a more angular harp is usual). Most instruments have five strings traditionally made from vegetable fibre, though the versions played by the Bale, Bajanje, and Hima have seven. Each string is attached to a tuning peg in the neck at the upper end and passes through a hole in the soundtable to be secured to a small piece of wood beneath the table. Although organologists may differentiate the instruments according to the shape of the soundbox, this distinction is not reflected in local terminology. The term ...

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