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Algaita  

Anthony King

revised by K. A. Gourlay and Jeremy Montagu

The most common name for a type of oboe of the savanna zone of West Africa, particularly southern Mali and Niger, northern Nigeria, southern Chad, and the adjoining areas of Cameroon. The Fulani instrument is called algaitaru, while in parts of northeastern Nigeria (e.g. Bauchi and among the Bolewa and Kilba peoples) it is called aligata; the Kanuri use the name alita and the Tiv agida. The instrument is an importation from the Maghrib and has carried with it not only the name ghayia but, in most cases, also the article ‘al’. It consists of a conical wooden body, sometimes made sectionally as a stepped cone, all covered in leather, and a cup-shaped bell which is sometimes also leather-covered and which can be integral with the body or a separate piece, the joint covered by the leather. The body is about 30 cm long, and the bell about 10 cm long. A narrow staple, at least 10 cm long, has a fixed flat, circular pirouette disc, both made of brass or tinplate, and carries a double reed made from stalks of wild grass (...

Article

Aligogo  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Slit drum of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Two kinds exist: a small zoomorphic form among the Mamvu people and a trapezoidal form among the Bari and Bangba of the northeastern DRC.

F.J. de Hen: Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Musikinstrumente aus Belgisch Kongo und Ruanda-Urundi (Tervuren, 1960), 49, 58....

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Alimba  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

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Alindi  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[lukumbi]

Double-headed drum of the Komo and Lega peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is conical, 40 to 50 cm tall, head diameter 25 to 30 cm, foot diameter 10 to 20 cm. The wild-goat-skin heads are laced together in a V pattern and the upper head is beaten with a stick in one hand and also by the other hand. It is used only to accompany dances....

Article

Allun  

[tagnza]

Frame drum of the Berber people, particularly of Morocco (the High Atlas). Its width varies from 40 to 75 cm and its depth from 8 to 15 cm. It is similar to the bendīr, but usually has no snares.

B. Lortat-Jacob: Musique et fêtes au Haut-Atlas (Paris, 1980).

See also...

Article

Alo  

Jeremy Montagu

[ivom, odima, oduma]

Large clapperless bell of the Igbo people of Nigeria. It is a single bell, made of forged iron, 90 to 120 cm tall, and is struck by a wooden beater with soft padding around the end. Its main use is by women’s groups to accompany singing and for the atiblogwu...

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Aluti  

Article

Peter Cooke

(‘the keys’, sing. eddinda)

Pentatonic log xylophone of the Ganda people of Uganda. Traditionally it consisted of 12 wooden bars made preferably from the lusambya tree (Markhamia platycalyx) which are laid in scale order across freshly felled banana trunks and held in place by tall sticks pushed into the trunks between the keys as spacers. On better instruments they are further anchored in place by fibre nooses, which are attached to the bars and hooked over adjacent spacers. The bars are tuned by reducing their thickness mostly on the underside of the middle third of the bar, thus flattening the pitch; sharpening is achieved by bevelling away the underside of both ends.

Until 1966 an amadinda known as entaala was played in the enclosure of the king of Buganda, accompanied by a set of six drums, the largest of which, entamiivu, was accorded high status and gave its name to the ensemble. Like all but one of the set it was of the Uganda drum type but very tall and accordingly had a deep booming tone like other ‘royal’ drums. It stood next to a more slender drum of similar height called ...

Article

[amafohlolwane; sing.: ifohlwane]

Ankle rattles of the Zulu people of southern Africa, worn by dancers. The Swazi emafahlawane and Mpondo (Xhosa) amahlahlazo are similar. They comprise either a number of cocoons or small palm-leaf boxes containing small stones, fastened to a fibre cord for tying round the ankles. The cocoon type is also called ...

Article

F.J. de Hen

Article

K.A. Gourlay

revised by Peter Cooke

Horn ensemble of eastern Africa. Amakondere is a term used in southern Uganda; amakondera is used in Rwanda. Both terms refer to sets of five or more side-blown horns associated traditionally with the ruling houses of Buganda, Bunyoro, Toro, Nkore, Kooki, and Rwanda. The Ganda ekkondere (sing.) is a slightly conical or irregularly shaped section of gourd with an oval embouchure near the tip and a fingerhole in the tip itself. The whole instrument is covered with cowhide. The Nkore horn is composite: both parts can be made of gourd, or it can be an animal horn with a gourd bell joined by a strip of cowhide. The instruments vary in length from 32 to 45 cm, while their width does not exceed 8 cm. The three smallest of the set played for the king of Bunyoro are heavily decorated with red, white, and blue beads and cowries. Called nyamarra...

Article

[amatambo]

Clappers of the Zulu people of southern Africa. Like the marapo of the Tswana, they are made from a pair of rib bones and are used for rhythmic song-accompaniment.

P.R. Kirby: The Musical Instruments of the Native Races of South Africa (London, 1934, 2/1965), 10, and pl.5.

See also Bones ...

Article

Ambimbo  

F.J. de Hen

[nambimbo]

Wooden whistle of the Makere of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There are two types: a cylindrical, stopped whistle threaded onto a cord or wire either singly or in a set, and a whistle with a slender conical bore. These are probably used for hunting and signalling. (LaurentyA...

Article

Amor  

F.J. de Hen

Drum of the Alur of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, reserved for the use of the king. The two cowhide heads are laced together with leather thongs on the wooden shell. It is beaten with two sticks, or by two men each beating one head with two sticks. (...

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Amponga  

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Andzolo  

F.J. de Hen

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Jeremy Montagu

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