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Agwara  

Peter Cooke

Sets of side-blown trumpets formerly of the Alur people of northwestern Uganda. Ranging in length from 50 to 200 cm, they are made by splitting a wooden branch lengthwise and carving each half into a gently conical wooden trough. The halves are then glued together and sewn into a cowskin cover. Used in hocketing sets of up to eight different-size trumpets for dancing and other festivities, they were formerly played only by men but in ...

Article

Ann-Marie Nilsson

Swedish brass instrument manufacturer, active in Stockholm from 1850 to 1959. The firm was established by Olof Ahlberg (b Landskrona, 13 Nov 1825; d Stockholm, 29 Sept 1854) and Lars Ohlsson (b Landskrona, 7 Nov 1825; d Stockholm, 1893), journeymen who trained from about ...

Article

Hugh Davies

Electronic organ, several models of which were developed by Heinz Ahlborn (formerly a designer (1951–4) with Apparatewerk Bayern), and (from the mid-1960s) by Otto Riegg; it has been manufactured by Ahlborn-Orgel GmbH in Heimerdingen, near Stuttgart, from 1955. Like companies in several other countries, Ahlborn fought a long legal battle for the right to use the word ‘organ’ in the name of its instruments (‘Elektronenorgel’); after ten years the suit was resolved in the company’s favour in ...

Article

Ahnalya  

Steve Elster

Rattle of the Mohave Indians of Southern California and Arizona. The narrow, tapered end of a dried gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) approximately 13 to 18 cm in diameter is cut off and the shell is emptied. Soundholes about 5 mm in diameter are drilled around the base, and seeds from the native palm tree are placed inside. A 15-cm-long handle is affixed with pitch or glue in the hole at the tapered end. The rattle accompanies all-night song cycle performances, during which 200–300 songs may be sung, each singer shaking an ...

Article

Ahpareo  

J. Richard Haefer

Diatonic harp with 28 strings of the Yoeme Yaqui Indians of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico, and the Mayo and Guarijio Indians of Northern Mexico. The names derive from the Spanish arpa. Made from cedar or other local woods, the harp is about 160 cm tall, with a straight forepillar made from a local cactus pole, an inverted arch neck with wooden tuning pegs, and a resonator of three or usually five sides and a flat soundtable with three circular sound holes. Traditionally the lower strings are made of wound goat gut which the harpist receives as part of his payment for playing the fiesta. Nowadays the strings are made from monofilament nylon of various sizes with the lower ones wound to a larger diameter. The harp is retuned as the performance proceeds through the night with various segments using different scales. The harp is played together with the lave’leo violin to accompany the dancing of the ...

Article

Hermann Fischer

(b Göttingen, April 28, 1930). German organ builder. Ahrend studied in Göttingen with Paul Ott from 1946 until 1954, before opening a workshop in Leer, East Friesland, with his partner Gerhard Brunzema. After intensive study of surviving historical organs, Ahrend and Brunzema developed a special interest in the north German mechanical-action tradition and adopted its methods. From the beginning they divided their activities between the careful restoration of historical instruments and the construction of exemplary new organs. They often collaborated with leading performers of early music, and their groundbreaking work gained an international reputation. 67 organs were built and restored between ...

Article

Ahuli  

Victoria Lindsay Levine

Water drum of the Cherokee people of the southern USA. The body is normally made of wood (preferably red cedar) about 28 cm tall and 20 cm in diameter, with walls 3 or 4 cm thick, but an earthenware crock can also be used. It is filled with about 5 cm of water before the head is stretched across the opening. The head is made of woodchuck skin, tanned deerskin, or a rubber tire inner-tube, and is attached by a wooden or metal hoop. The drum is played with a single stick made of hickory wood about 30 cm long with a carved knob on the end. The drummer alters the sound by shaking the drum or turning it upside down, thereby moistening the head. Male song leaders play water drums to accompany certain communal dances performed at ceremonial grounds. Water drums also accompany ceremonial dances of the Delaware, Muscogee (Creek), Shawnee, and Yuchi (Euchee), and were used in the past by the Chickasaw and Choctaw. Each tribe has its own name for the water drum, for example Creek, ...

Article

Large box-resonated lamellaphone of Ghana; it has three to five metal tongues.

Article

Alfred Reichling

(b Gasteig, nr Sterzing, March 15, 1809; d Marling, nr Meran [Merano], Jan 2, 1887). Tyrolean organ builder. His earliest known work was the organ for Navis (1837; lost). Among his numerous other organs are those at Absam (1841; in an organ case by Johann Anton Fuchs, ...

Article

Aip  

Brian Diettrich

An hourglass-shaped, single-headed drum from the island of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. The body was made from breadfruit tree wood (Artocarpus altilis) or from the local tree topwuk (Premna gaudichaudii), and the head from shark or ray skin, or ray, or possibly a fish bladder. Drums were formerly of great cultural significance on the island; they were given proper names, associated with paramount chiefs, and played and cared for by men assigned the honorary title ...

Article

Philip Bate and Murray Campbell

The body of air inside a tubular wind instrument. When a note is sounded the air column is in a state of longitudinal vibration, i.e. subject to a cyclic succession of local compressions and rarefactions (see Acoustics, §IV, 2). The frequency of these disturbances determines the pitch of the sound heard; it is governed mainly by the form and dimensions of the air column (...

Article

Aiva  

Hourglass drum of Wuvulu Island, Bismarck Archipelago. It is beaten during times of sickness to chase away evil spirits.

P. Hambruch: Wuvulu und Aua (Maty- und Durour-lnseln) (Hamburg, 1908), 125–6.

Article

Aiyam  

J. Richard Haefer

Vessel rattle of the Yoeme Yaqui maso (deer dancer) of Arizona and Northern Mexico and their Mayo neighbours. One is held in each hand. They are made from gourds about 15 cm in diameter but of slightly different sizes and shapes to give different sounds to the various movements of the deer. The inside of the gourd is scraped clean and small pebbles are placed inside. A cottonwood handle about 15 cm long is inserted into the base of the gourd, which is neither painted nor decorated....

Article

Àjà  

Amanda Villepastour

A generic term for metal clapper bells of the Yorùbá people of Nigeria and Benin. The bells, which can be of iron or brass and of variable sizes, have an integral handle. Their most common use is in òrìṣà cults where the àjà punctuates prayers and incantations arhythmically and is believed to invoke the deities...

Article

Aje  

Barbara B. Smith and Jessica A. Schwartz

Single-headed Hourglass drum of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia. Most descriptions indicate that it was introduced from Melanesia, possibly through Pohnpei, where the Aip resembles it in structure. The long-waisted body (about 65 cm tall, diameter at the ends 20 cm) is crafted from breadfruit wood. The head, made from the inner lining of the stomach or bladder of a shark, is tied over one end by a cord of fibrous plant material. The drum is held on the lap or under the left arm. Finger and hand strokes, and playing positions (centre or rim), are differentiated. One, two, or three ...

Article

Amanda Villepastour

The largest gourd rattle in the Sẹ̀kẹ̀rẹ̀ family of instruments of the Yorùbá people of Nigeria and Benin. The gourd resonator is encased in a net to which cowrie-shell and sometimes glass bead strikers are attached. The rattle was once associated with the worship of Ajé, the Yorùbá ...

Article

Ajigo  

K.A. Gourlay

Kettledrum of the Idoma people of Nigeria. It is approximately 60 cm tall and 35 cm in diameter, and has a head affixed by wedge bracing (i.e. tension is obtained by inserting wooden wedges between the securing ring and the body). The ajigo is played with the hands. Believed to be sacred, it is used solely by members of the ...

Article

Peter Cooke

Large pentatonic log xylophone formerly played in the royal compound of the kabaka (King) of Buganda, central Uganda. Like other xylophones in Uganda the bars were preferably carved from logs of the lusambya tree (markhamia platycalyx). Their number varies between 17 and 22 and they are laid across freshly felled banana trunks and held in place by tall sticks pushed into the trunks between the bars. The bars are sounded at both ends with heavy beaters but are held longitudinally in place by a pair of shoulders carved out of the underside of each bar which trap the bars between the trunks yet allow free vibration....

Article

Idiochord single-string stick zither made by Ganda children in Uganda. It consists of a piece of papyrus stem about 55 cm long with a thin strip raised and supported on bits of papyrus that serve as bridges. It is plucked either with a finger of the right hand or with a small stick....

Article

Akaene  

Gourd vessel rattle of the Teso people of Uganda. It is filled with pebbles or dried peas, and used to accompany songs for healing or rain-making.