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Article

Ludaya  

Peter Cooke

Transverse flute of Masaaba, eastern Uganda. It is made from the gently conical dry flower-stalk of the giant lobelia. The player blows across a rectangular embouchure about 45 mm from the wider, proximal end of the tube, which is about 67 to 100 cm long. The proximal end is closed by the thumb while playing. Though it has no fingerholes, the flute produces a range of pitches by overblowing to sound two sets of higher harmonics produced by opening and closing the distal end with a finger. It is used for general entertainment, the player also sounding a regular beat from bells strapped to his calf while further accompanied with triplet rhythms played on a rattle or percussion trough by an assistant.

P.R. Cooke: ‘“Ludaya”: a Transverse Flute from Eastern Uganda’, Yearbook of the International Folk Music Council...

Article

Lukombe  

K.A. Gourlay

revised by Ferdinand J. de Hen

Pluriarc of the Titu, Yaelima, Ipanga, Kutu, Ntomba, Sakata, Shongo, and adjoining peoples of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of the Congo. The term is either cognate with or a variant of others that resemble it closely: lokombe (Ngando), lukomb’ (Lele), lokombi (Oli, Mongo, Lia, Yela), longombe (Nkundo, Ngata, Mongo, Yaelima, Ibeke, Mbole, Eso, Lia, Bokatola, Ngongo), longombi (Mongo), and lokombele (Nkundo). All the instruments have a wooden soundbox, generally rectangular, about 30 to 50 cm long by 15 to 20 cm wide; in some the base retains the semicircular form of the tree from which it is carved. Five strings are normal, though Sakata, Mongo, Nkundo, and Ngando pluriarcs have six and some Mongo seven. Each string is attached to a separate bow that rises from the base of the soundbox; in some cases bows are affixed in the end. The string passes through a hole in the soundtable, either with or without a small ‘bridge’, and is secured beneath it. Tuning is effected by twisting the string around the bow to increase or decrease tension....

Article

Lushiba  

J. Gansemans, K.A. Gourlay and Ferdinand J. de Hen

Common name for a carved wooden whistle and for a vessel flute among various peoples of the Western Kasayi region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Among the Luba the whistle is used for signalling during hunting and is frequently of a roughly cruciform shape and approximately 10 to 12 cm long. It is held upright between the thumb and index finger and placed against the lower lip; the thumb covers and uncovers a small hole in the side, thus enabling the production of two notes. Through one ‘arm’ is a second hole for attachment of a suspension cord. Before use, the interior of the whistle is moistened with several drops of palm oil. The whistle may also be used as a rhythmic accompaniment for dancing.

According to Knosp, the Luluwa lushiba is also a vessel flute with up to four fingerholes, and Laurenty, who describes 34 specimens of ...

Article

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[madoku]

Lamellaphone of the Kilima people of the Watsa-Gombari region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its wooden tongues are affixed to a board without a resonator. The differently shaped madaku is used by the Ngbele, Bangba Adoi, Balese, and Andekori peoples of the Uele region of the DRC. According to Laurenty, the Dongo and Zande people use a ...

Article

Madimba  

K.A. Gourlay

revised by Ferdinand J. de Hen

Xylophone of the Kanyok, Bushongo, Binji, Yeke, and Luluwa peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Related terms are the Luba dimba or djimba, Lunda jimba, Salampasu mdimba, and Chokwe ndjimba. The frame consists of two wooden planks, narrow side facing upward, placed parallel between the ends of a semicircular wooden bow. In the broad side of the planks are a number of holes; through these pass sticks upon which calabash resonators, each with a vibrating membrane (mirliton) covering a hole in the side, are suspended. The bars are strung together and separated from the frame by a layer of fibre padding. The number of bars varies according to the type of instrument: the Luba madimba makata, as leading or solo xylophone, has nine or ten bars, while the madimba matshetshe, the supporting instrument, has seven or eight. Among the Bushongo the madimba has nine, 12, or 13 bars, while the Luluwa instrument has 10, 12, or 13. The ...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Lamellaphone of the Boa people in the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The resonator is made of bark bent around three sticks curved in an arch and stuck in the underside of the rectangular wooden soundtable, forming a shape like a boat hull. The number of wooden tongues varies from six or eight (the usual number) to fourteen....

Article

Makembe  

K.A. Gourlay

Clapperless bell of the Ngbaka people of the Central African Republic. It is a large instrument made of welded iron, and has a protruding handle and divided V-shaped mouth. The bell is held upright by a seated player with the instrument’s mouth resting on the player’s leg above the knee and its handle in his left hand. He lifts the bell clear of contact to strike it with a curved beater in his right hand. The instrument is played with drums to accompany singing, for example, warriors’ or hunting songs. The name seems not to be found among the Ngbaka in the Democratic Republic of the Congo....

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Manzisi  

Jeremy Montagu

Trumpet of the Bongo people of Sudan. It is made from a hollowed-out tree trunk, carved on the outside into the shape of a limbless man, about 125 cm tall and 30 cm wide. The instrument is held vertically, the man’s head at the top, and the player produces low staccato sounds by blowing into a square mouth hole in the upper part of the back....

Article

Mapengo  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

(1) Set of whistles of the Boa people of the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Typically seven or nine cylindrical stopped pipes are threaded on cord or wire. Other names reported are gude and moleno.

(2) Wooden cylindrical whistle of the Makere of the DRC.

J.S. Laurenty: Systématique des aérophones de l’Afrique centrale...

Article

Mbenza  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[binza]

End-blown whistle of the Boa people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Related names for similar instruments are gwinza (Bati), bwanze (Makere), and mwanzi (Zande). The mbenza is made of wood, about 40 cm long, and has a slender conical or cylindrical bore with no fingerholes.

F.J. de Hen...

Article

Mbinga  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Mbio  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Laurence Libin

Unique drum of the Nyanja/Chewa people of the Kasungu district, Malawi. It is used in rain-making rites. The cylindrical wooden body has geometric designs on the side reminiscent of rock paintings of the BaTwa Pygmies, and it is thought that the drum might originally have belonged to that people. The body contains rattling elements, said to be human teeth, inserted through a hole in the side. The two heads are made from varan lizard skin. The mbiriwiri formerly resided in a hut at a rain shrine at Msinja, resting on two poles and covered with dark cloth. Every year it was oiled. It was removed only to be beaten at the start of the rainmaking ceremony or for repairs. Only a special functionary (tsang’oma, ‘drum beater’) was allowed to handle it. Another functionary provided new skin for the heads when needed. Reportedly, when invaders sacked the shrine in the 1860s the ...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Xylophone of the Fang (Pahuin) people of southern Cameroon and northern Gabon. Its bars rest across two banana trunks. These instruments are used exclusively in the Melane ancestor cult, in an ensemble with five xylophones of four different sizes having a variable number of bars. The Eton/Fang use an ensemble of four xylophones....

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Mizwid  

Jeremy Montagu

Bagpipe of North Africa. It is basically a mijwiz played through a bag, i.e. a double clarinet with two parallel cane chanters, each with a single reed. Each chanter usually has five fingerholes, often with a short cowhorn bell on the end. The bag is normally made from a minimally cured goatskin with the chanters set into the neck hole. The mouthpipe, in one leg hole, often lacks a non-return valve, so the player must stop the pipe with the tongue while inhaling. The other leg holes are plugged with wooden sticks....

Article

Mokoto  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Very large cylindrical slit drum of the Mbuja people in the Ubangi region, Democratic Republic of the Congo; it is also known as mongungu, a name also used by the Komo. The term mokoto also denotes a large slit drum of the Ngombe in the Ubangi-Uele region; it is carved in a zoomorphic form....

Article

Molea  

Ferdinand J. de Hen