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Seto  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Arched harp of the Ngbaka people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has five (sometimes seven) fibre strings. The wooden soundbox is almost rectangular with slightly rounded corners, and is covered with antelope skin pierced by two soundholes. The wooden neck stands almost perpendicular to the soundbox and has a roughly carved human head at the top. This type of harp is also found in the northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo among the Mbanja, Nzakara, Poto, and Sango peoples, and in the Republic of Congo....

Article

Tama  

K.A. Gourlay, Lucy Durán and Rainer Polak

[tamanin, dumanu, dumanan, dunkan]

Variable-tension hourglass drum of the Wolof and Mande-speaking peoples (Khasonka, Soninke, Maninka, Bamana, Dyula) and their neighbours in Senegal, the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Ivory Coast. The tama is struck with one curved drumstick with a flattened end, and by one hand. The two heads are lapped onto rings at the ends of the wooden body and joined by numerous cords so that, when the drum is placed under the player’s arm, pressure on the cords can vary the pitch. Most modern instruments are relatively small (25 to 30 cm tall, 10 to 15 cm in diameter); in Mande languages, these are known as tamanin (‘small tama’). Larger drums might have been in wider use historically. The tama resembles other, larger hourglass drums of West Africa, such as the Dagomba lunga of northern Ghana and the Yoruba gángan of south-western Nigeria. However, unlike these, it is not known for speech surrogacy and is not a ‘talking drum’, a term sometimes misleadingly applied to West African hourglass drums in general....

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Towa  

Konin Aka

Large gourd vessel rattle of the Baule people of the Ivory Coast. It has an external net strung with cowrie shells or pearls and is used mainly on ceremonial occasions to mark the appearance of masked dancers. It especially evokes the most powerful divinities who protect Baule villages. It also accompanies war songs.

Towa is also the name used by the Agni-Bona and Agni-Diabe peoples for a calabash rattle with a handle, containing seeds or gravel. The Abron call this calabash rattle touwa, sèssègo, or sèssèdjigo. Among these peoples, it is used by women to accompany funeral and rejoicing dances. Tobaha is the vernacular name of a tin rattle with a handle, used by the Ehotile people; it is played by men to accompany the funeral and rejoicing dance called kpandan. One player shakes two of these rattles.

K. Aka: Traditions musicales chez les Akan lagunaires de Côte d’Ivoire: cas des Abbey, Abidji, Éhotilé et M’batto...

Article

Tsambi  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Lamellaphone of the Mayombe region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Three types have been reported: a flat-board type with 10 metal tongues; a raft-body type with 11 (apparently) wooden or bamboo tongues; and a box-resonated type with 10 metal tongues.

J.S. Laurenty: Les sanza du Congo (Tervuren, 1962)....

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[kikasa]

Drum of the Bena Kalundwe, Luba, and Sanga peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has a cylindrical, footed body 1.2 to 1.5 metres long, with a single head nailed on. Among the Luba it is beaten for the enthroning of a chief, or in times of war....

Article

Tsimbi  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Lamellaphone of the Loango region of the western Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has six or seven metal tongues and a resonator made of a hollowed piece of wood. It is open on the end nearer the player and beak-shaped at the opposite, closed end. The Sundi call it ...

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Tsinda  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[ntshinda]

Drum of the Mbole, Kutu, and Saka peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The single head is nailed to the footed body, which is decorated with geometrical incisions. It resembles the Nkundo bondundu.

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Ferdinand J. de Hen

Double-headed drum of the Yeke, Luba, and Lomotwa peoples in the Shaba region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The body is made of a palm tree log, with both ends hollowed but left solid in the centre. The heads are nailed on. Frequently it is decorated with white and red geometrical patterns. It is suspended from the neck of the player and used to accompany songs of praise to the chief....

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Vizugo  

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Waka  

Ronnie Graham

Yoruba percussive and vocal genre. Waka has its origins in south-west Nigeria, where extensive Islamic conversion during the 19th century produced a variety of musical genres performed during key periods in the Muslim calendar. Waka (Hausa term for song or poem) was originally sung by women, accompanied by handclaps and beaten seli or pereseke (tin discs with metal rings attached), and remains one of the earliest of these genres. With the addition of drums in the Ijebu area, waka increasingly parted company with Islam by the 1920s, and with the involvement of professional musicians it became a more commercial and recreational music, devoid of religious purpose. The style continued to flourish informally over the next 40 years, until it assumed a new significance in the 1970s through the recordings of leading purveyors such as Madam Comfort Omoge and Salawa Abeni, the queen of Waka.

With men confined to instrumental ensembles, the modern ...