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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. (...

Article

Daniel Avorgbedor

(b Adiemmra, Ghana, March 31, 1945). Ghanaian popular guitarist, singer and master of guitar-band. Highlife and concert parties. He formed the African Brothers International Dance Band in 1963, a band that produced important musicians such as the late Eddie Donkor. Ampadu acquired rudimentary guitar skills with the help of P.K. Yamoah and worked briefly at the Ministry of Agriculture in his home district area. He performed briefly with the T.O. Jazz band led by T.O. Ampoma in 1962, but it was not until 1966 that he landed his first major recording contract with Philips West Africa Limited in Accra with the song, Agyanka Dabere. His most popular highlife single release was Ebi Tie Ye (1967), a song that illustrates his skills as musician, storyteller, moralist, satirist and social commentator. As a master of the concert party genre and a musician rooted in Akan verbal lore, the songs of Ampadu address a wide range of personal, political and social issues in very humorous and satirical ways. His music has won several national awards, including the ...

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Amponga  

Article

Jacques Aboucaya

(b Oran, Algeria, Oct 25, 1961). French pianist and composer. After taking lessons in classical piano he went to the USA to study at the Berklee College of Music (1981–3) and then at the Manhattan School of Music (MM composition). He appeared in the BMI Jazz Composition Workshop under the direction of Bob Brookmeyer (1984) and wrote for Mel Lewis’s orchestra. Based in New York from 1985, he worked in clubs with such musicians as Joshua Redman, Bobby Watson, Ernie Watts, and Sonny Fortune and toured Brazil with Gerry Mulligan’s quartet. In 1987 he formed a quartet with the saxophonist Tim Ries for a tour of Europe, and then in 1990 recorded his first album as a leader, with Gary Peacock and Bill Stewart as his sidemen. He composed for a Belgian chamber orchestra and for the Orchestre National de Jazz in Paris. Amsallem has continued to play with Ries, and in the course of working in both the USA and Europe he recorded with the saxophonist in a trio with Leon Parker (...

Article

Daniel Avorgbedor

(b Peki-Avetile, Sept 13, 1899; d Peki-Avetile, Jan 1995). Ghanaian composer. After studying the rudiments of music and the harmonium at the Basel Mission Seminary at Kwahu Abetifi, Ghana (1916–19), he received formal lessons in harmony and composition from Emmanuel Allotey-Pappo; a teaching career at Akropong Teacher Training College gave him opportunities to embark on a series of choral works. The existing framework of African identity and personality, as proclaimed by Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first president after independence, greatly influenced Amu's attitude and general compositional language in his later years. After being dismissed from the college in Akropong for his overt articulation of African ideas, he moved to Achimota Training College (1934). Gordon Jacob was among Amu's teachers during his diploma studies at the RCM (1937–41), in which harmony and counterpoint were emphasized. He taught and served as head of music at the college in Achimota (...

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Andzolo  

F.J. de Hen

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Angbe  

Laurence Libin

End-blown whistle of the Mbuti and Efe hunter-gatherers in the Ituri forest, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is made of a hollowed mawambo stem (Acanthacaea family) and is blown to drive away rain.

H. Terashima and M. Ichikawa: ‘A Comparative Ethnobotany of the Mbuti and Efe Hunter-gatherers in the Ituri Forest, Democratic Republic of Congo’, ...

Article

Angola  

Gerhard Kubik

(Port. Républica de Angola). Country in south-central Africa. It has an area of 1·25 million km² and a population of 12·78 million (2000 estimate). Angola was a Portuguese colony during the first half of the 20th century, declared an overseas province in 1972 and achieved independence in 1975. Conflicts between liberation movements financed by foreign powers immediately plunged the country into a 20-year civil war that led to the destruction of most rural community-based cultures and excessive urban migration, particularly to Luanda, the capital city. The impact of this turmoil on Angola’s musical cultures is only gradually being assessed (see Kubik, ‘Muxima Ngola’, 1991).

Several Iron Age sites have been uncovered in north-west Angola. Further south, the site of Féti in the central highlands of Viye (Bié) was discovered in 1944 by an amateur archaeologist, Júlio de Moura, who recovered a flange-welded iron bell with stem grip and two other iron bells that each seem to have a clapper (Ervedosa, ...

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Jeremy Montagu

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