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Mpungi  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Tubular mirliton of the Sanga people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is made of the stem of a papaya or other reed and is sung into through a hole cut in the side. One end is left open and the other is covered by a thin buzzing membrane. The Chokwe call it ...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Mukoko  

J. Gansemans

revised by Ferdinand J. de Hen

Small wooden slit drum of the Yaka, Suku, Pende, Ngongo, and Mbala peoples of the Lower Congo and Kwango areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It belongs to local doctors and diviners who attempt to contact spirits with it and request answers to the questions of their clients. As a two-toned instrument, the aspect of ‘talking’ and ‘giving a message’ is predominant. It usually has a cylindrical soundbox from 45 to 55 cm long with a carved anthropomorphic head as the handle; this head symbolizes the spirit. Other names reported by Laurenty for this instrument among other peoples of the DRC are mukok, mukokk or kokk (Holo), mukoko dia ngombo (Pende), mikoko mi ngombe and konko (Kongo), and mukokok (Suku). The Bwende have a larger cylindrical slit drum (about 90 to 100 cm long) one end of which has a carved human figure.

O. Boone: Les tambours du Congo belge et due Ruanda-Urundi...

Article

Mulimba  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Trapezoidal slit drum of the Holoholo people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is made of sycamore wood up to 90 cm long. The Songye of the Shaba region call their similar slit drum modimba.

Article

Mungiri  

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[musenkele]

Single-headed drum of the Sanga and Yeke peoples in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The head is nailed to the almost cylindrical body, which is about 40 to 45 cm long including a foot shaped like an upside-down bowl.

O. Boone: Les tambours du Congo belge et du Ruanda-Urundi...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[musémb, muséng, mushyémm]

Conical wooden whistle of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. About 12 to 28 cm long, it has a long handle and the upper part is ovoid with a carved side-projection in which a fingerhole is made. It is found among many peoples of the Kwango area. For the Dzing and Mbagani, ...

Article

Mushiba  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

(pl. mishiba)

Panpipe of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Sampwe people have a mishiba with four pipes, the Luba with four to eight pipes. The Kanyoka use another prefix for the word: lushibb. This denotes a panpipe with wooden pipes; for instruments with bamboo pipes they use the term chitebb...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[mutumbi]

Single-headed drum of the Luba and Sanga peoples in the Shaba region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The head of the Sanga drum is coated with a rubbery paste to mute the sound. Also called musenkele, it was adopted from the Sanga by the Yeke, and is used during funeral rites....

Article

Mvet  

Gerhard Kubik

An idiochord stick zither with a notched bridge. It is unique to an area of western central Africa which includes southern Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, northern areas of the Republic of the Congo and the south-west of the Central African Republic. Its invention is attributed to the people of the Pahouin group (known variously as the Fang’, Fan, Fanwe, Mfang’, Mpangwe, Pangwe) and, according to tradition, its first player was Efandene Mvie. First described by Hornbostel as a ‘Pangwe’ instrument, it is thought to be a development of the monochord stick zither of the Fang’ and other peoples.

The Pahouin mvet is made from a raffia branch about 1·5 metres long. Five idiochord strings are raised from the hard surface of the branch and are supported at their centre by a notched bridge. Small rings of fibre are wound round the ends of the strings and the branch; the mvet...

Article

[sokou]

Single-string fiddle of Mali. The resonator is a half calabash shell, its opening covered by a skin soundtable. Horsehair can be used for the string and the bow. The instrument is said to have been introduced to Mali by Muslims from Andalusia and to have been played by women and bards, but evidence is lacking. It was popularized in the late 20th century by the eclectic musician Ali Farka Touré....

Article

Naka  

David K. Rycroft

[‘horn’](plur. dinaka)

Term, for flutes, especially stopped flutes, among most subgroups of the northern Sotho-speaking peoples of southern Africa, particularly the Pedi, Ndebele, and Lovedu. The naka of the Tswana people is made from the lower leg bone of the secretary bird, covered with lizard skin, and is used for divining and to ward off lightning. The tsula of the Pedi, who use eagle or wildcat leg bones, is similar. The Lovedu play a pentatonic set called motaba, dinaka, or kiba, with four drums for the dinaka dance.

Among the Pedi people, the name naka ya lehlaka covers either a transverse flute, similar to the Venda tshitiringo, or an end-blown stopped pipe, of reed, without fingerholes. The latter yields one note, other notes being interspersed through whistling as the breath is drawn in. It is played by herdboys. The naka ya phatola (or naka ya makoditsane) is a conical flute made from wood, covered with buckskin and woven wirework, and treated with medicinal charms. Warriors used it as a signal instrument. The player’s hollowed tongue directs the air-flow. With the lower end either open or closed by a finger, two notes can be produced plus several overblown harmonic partials....

Article

Nakers  

James Blades

revised by Edmund A. Bowles

(from Arabic naqqāra; Fr. nacaires; It. nacchera; Sp. nácar, nacara)

Small kettledrums of the medieval period, of Arabian or Saracen origin (in the system of Hornbostel and Sachs they are classified as membranophones). At the end of the 20th century the instrument was represented in North Africa, Turkey, Egypt and Syria by small drums with bowl-shaped bodies of wood, metal or clay, and covered on their open tops with animal skin. The Western form was often crafted from thick leather, shaped while still wet over a mould. While nakers were introduced into Spain by the Moors in the early 8th century, there is no hard evidence for their use in Western music prior to the era of the Crusades (1096–1291). Nakers represent one manifestation of the cultural exchange between the Muslim states and the West, a phenomenon that began before the Crusades with Frankish mercenaries serving in Byzantium and under Muslim potentates, and Saracen troops serving the Normans in Sicily (...

Article

Namaddu  

Peter Cooke

Article

Ndall  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Side-blown horn of the Mbelo Panda region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is made from a hollowed root or branch about 140 cm long and has two rectangular mouthpieces a few centimetres apart. The player selects one and closes the other with his hand.

J.S. Laurenty: La systématique des aérophones de l’Afrique central...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Ndugu  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Tronco-conical drum of the Tsogho people of Gabon. The long wooden body has a glued head and two rings carved on the side around the circumference at about ¾ of its length. It lies horizontally on the floor with the player sitting on it. It is part of an ensemble including an ...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Side-blown horn, normally of ivory, of the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Among the Mangbele people it has a fingerhole in the tip and is also known as namoduduka and moduka. Among the Barambo, Makere, Mayogo, and Meje, nembongo and nembongaye denote both an ivory and an antelope horn with carved mouthpiece....

Article

Ngangan  

K.A. Gourlay

revised by Ferdinand J. de Hen

Mouth bow of the Ngbaka of the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The wooden bow stick holds a liana string, which is placed between the lips without touching them. The player strikes the string with a stick in his right hand, holding the bow to his mouth with three fingers of the left hand and altering its sounding length with a second stick (or the back of a penknife) held by the thumb and forefinger. The instrument accompanies the performance of chronicles, fables, and complaints. It is also known as ...

Article

Nghomba  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Single-headed drum of the Tumbwe people in the Shaba region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The head is nailed to the 30-cm-long body, which is decorated with geometrical incisions and zoomorphic, painted incisions. A similar istrument is the mufukula of the Tabwa in the same region. When the nghomba is played during dances, the (usually professional) drummers hold the instrument against their chest. It is played by the hands and sometimes one hand presses the head to raise the pitch....