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Christian Poché

[ṭambūra, ṭanbūr, ṭumbura etc.]

Bowl lyre of Egypt, the Sudan, Djibouti, Yemen, southern Iraq and the Gulf. It was known formerly also in Zanzibar, where it was called the ṭambira. The name is a dialectal mutation of the classical Arabic ṭunbūr (lyre), a survival from a rich variety of lyres in that part of the world. Arabian authors seldom mention it, as they recognize the ṭunbūr as a long-necked lute, and it is this that makes it difficult to identify the instrument organologically. The more recent version, ‘ṭanbūra’, dates from the 19th century.

The term ‘ṭanbūra’, mutated from ‘ṭunbūr’, was borrowed by the Arabs from the Sassanids and was used for the lyre from the beginning of the Islamic era in the 7th century. It is found again in the Nile valley during the period of the Ottoman Empire, often paired with other instruments. The lyres known as ṭanbūra probably originated in upper Egypt and the Sudan (...

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Tarija  

Christian Poché

[ta’rija]

Single-headed goblet drum of Morocco. It is made of glazed pottery, often geometrically decorated. It ranges in height from 12 to 80 cm, and the head, commonly of goatskin, is glued on and can have an internal snare. It is played by Berber men or women during festivities and processions (in Marrakesh), and by children as a toy. Long instruments are called ...

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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....

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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 ...

Article

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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Uindja  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

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Undaji  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[kimpungili, mpungi]

Voice modifier of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is made of reed or a hollow stem of the papaya tree. One end is covered with a thin skin or spider web that vibrates and alters the vocal timbre when the user sings into the other, open end. Although uncommon, it is used throughout the DRC and called by various names including ...

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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 ...

Article

Washint  

Claire Lacombe

End-blown flute of Ethiopia. It is made of a kind of bamboo (schembeko) in various lengths and pitches and typically has four to six equidistant fingerholes, sometimes with any unused ones covered with adhesive paper. The blowing edge is sanded straight rather than notched, and the flute is held obliquely. It is played exclusively by males, often to improvise luxuriant ornamentations on folk melodies. Traditionally, the washint has a pentatonic anhemitonic scale (tizita) and is played by shepherds in the Amhara and Tigray regions, who alternately improvise tunes on the flute and sing melodically-related melismatic songs (zefen) about personal memories and family history. The use, tuning and repertory of the washint were modified during the 1960s when it was brought to Addis Abeba and entered the orchestra of the National Theatre. Since that time, to be able to play the four traditional pentatonic anhemitonic scales of northern and central Ethiopia (as chordophones do), a ...

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Wonga  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Drum of the Yeke people in the Shaba region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is a very large, double-headed instrument, part of the king’s regalia. The heads, of buffalo, antelope, or elk skin, are laced together and beaten with two sticks. The yamilango may be played only by the king and only on official occasions. (...