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Article

K.A. Gourlay

revised by Ferdinand J. de Hen

[kudrenene]

Ground zither of the Daka, Mamvu, Mangutu, Balese, Logo, Mayanga, and Nkundo peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A pit is dug about 25 to 30 cm deep and 20 cm in diameter, and covered with a piece of bark, which is pegged to the ground. From the centre of the bark rises a vertical stick supporting a single string that is also pegged to the ground at both ends. The two segments of the string are of different lengths and produce two different notes. The instrument is played by two boys, each with two sticks. One strikes the left segment of the string, the other the right. Other names reported for this instrument are kuzegne (Balese), kakalari (Logo), nedongu (Mangbetu), tindi de kileru, kudrugu (Kilima and Andernanza), kikilo, and dzi-dzingba.

LaurentyC, 110 B. Costermans: ‘Muziekinstrumenten van Watsa-Gombari en omstreken’, Zaïre, 1 (1947), 629–63 J.-S. Laurenty: L’Organologie du Zaïre...

Article

Kudu  

K.A. Gourlay

revised by Ferdinand J. de Hen

[rapapa, baku]

Bowl lyre of the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The term kudu is used by the Mundo and rapapa by the Bari; elsewhere in this area the instrument is called baku. It is found only in a small part of the DRC adjoining Uganda. As the instrument resembles the Ugandan bowl lyre in almost all respects, it may be considered part of the same complex. The roughly oval, concave soundbox can be of wood or (among the Bari) tortoise shell; when it is of wood the soundtable is made of antelope skin or (among the Logo) elephant’s ear. The instruments, 40 to 50 cm long, have arms of equal length and five to seven cowhide strings. The Hima and Mundo bowl lyres have a bridge on the soundtable, which is of antelope or reptile (snake or varan) skin. This bridge is not found on bowl lyres of the Zande and Mangbetu....

Article

Kula  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Kundi  

K.A. Gourlay

revised by Ferdinand J. de Hen

[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 ...

Article

Kyondo  

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

[kiondo]

Cylindrical slit drum of the Luba, Kamfwa, Mwanza, Bangubangu, Holoholo, and Sampwe peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is made from a hollowed log 50 to 60 cm long and 15 to 20 cm in diameter. Other names reported for slit drums of this size in the DRC are yondo (Vira people), tsh(i)ondo (Bangubangu) and eshiondo (Luba). Two square holes linked by a slit are cut in the upper part, and the sides of the opening are so carved that each has a different thickness, producing two tones at an interval of a 2nd or a 3rd. The side giving the higher pitch is called didimba dilume (‘male side’), the other didimba dikasi (‘female side’). The drum is struck with two rubber-tipped beaters. It has three functions: to transmit messages in and around the village; to attract the attention of spirits and bring luck to the players of the men’s game ...

Article

Article

Ligombo  

Gerhard Kubik

Trough zither of the Hehe people of western Tanzania, also played by the Safwa in the Mbeya region. It is about 1 metre long. The distal end of the narrow trough sits atop a gourd resonator shaped like a flattened sphere, with an orifice only 10 cm in diameter. The gourd’s diameter is less than a third of the length of the trough. The instrument has six strings and is tuned to a low pitch. It is used to accompany heroic songs and legends and praise songs concerning the chieftainship. Sangu informants claim that it was originally a Sangu instrument and only later adopted by the Hehe....

Article

Ligubhu  

[ligubo]

Unbraced gourd-resonated musical bow of the Swazi people of Swaziland and South Africa. It is similar in construction and use to the Zulu ugubhu, but the two fundamental pitches, open and stopped, are often a whole tone apart (as with the Xhosa uhadi) rather than a semitone, and a wire string is used. The ...

Article

Likimbi  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Lobiko  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[lofonde, lofonono, loforongo]

Vessel flute of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is made of a dried fruit shell. Among the Kusu, Mbole, and Ngombe Ndoko peoples it has four fingerholes; among the Kutu it has three or four; and among the Nkundo two or four.

J. Gansemans and others: Zentralafrika (Leipzig, 1986), 152–3....

Article

Lokole  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[lukulu]

General term for a cylindrical slit drum among the Mongo, Doko, Nkundo, Kota, Mbole, and Yela peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The word ‘lokole’ means slit or hollow. Amongst the northern and north-western peoples of the DRC the term denotes a trapezoidal slit drum.

J.S. Laurenty: Les tambours à fente de l’Afrique centrale...

Article

Lomeka  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Longa  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Clapperless iron double bell of southern and central Africa. It was reported in Angola by Girolamo Merolla da Sorrento in Breve e succinita relatione del viaggio nel regno di Congo … 1684–1688 (Naples, 1692) and by Giovanni Antonio Cavazzi in Istorica descrizione de tre Regni Congo, Matamba et Angola...

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 ...