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Alo  

Jeremy Montagu

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 ...

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Aluti  

Side-blown animal horn of the Teso people of Uganda. The name aluti is attributed to the Mbale district, aluut to the Usuku area. The aluut is blown to summon assemblies and on ceremonial occasions. In regions adjoining Karamoja it is used by herdboys to scare away hyenas....

Article

Peter Cooke

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....

Article

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

Notched flute of the Hutu of Rwanda. It is made of bamboo with three or four fingerholes placed to suit the player, usually a herdsman who makes his own flute. The similar umwilenge has two fingerholes.

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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....

Article

Ambimbo  

F.J. de Hen

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. (...

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 ...

Article

Amponga  

Generic term current in Madagascar for percussion instruments. It includes cylindrical drums such as amponga ntaolo (‘ancestors’ drum’) and the ground zither amponga tany (‘earthen drum’).

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 (...

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 (...

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Wooden whistle of the Dogon people of Mali.

Article

Andzolo  

F.J. de Hen

Metal handbell of the Bandia of the Buta region in the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is played in dance music, with drums and Akiri bells.

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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 ...

Article

Jeremy Montagu

Oboe with five equidistant fingerholes, found in the northwest of Madagascar. It is an uncommon instrument and is of Arab origin. The kabiry is larger and probably of Comorian origin. Nowadays the name anjomara also denotes a European oboe introduced under the Merina monarchy in the 19th century....

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Malagasy term for trumpets. Each type of instrument has its own local name.

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Hand drum of Ghana.

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Aporo  

Peter Cooke

End-blown trumpet of the Labwor and Nyakwai peoples of Karamoja, Uganda. It is an open tube of aporo wood (hence the name) up to 91 cm long and 5.5 cm in diameter. The aporo is played by women, chiefly for their acut dance and is blown into at either end with the cheeks well distended and the hands holding it in the middle. It sounds not unlike a foghorn. A number of ...