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Article

Atoke  

Jeremy Montagu

Trough-shaped clapperless iron bell of the Ewe people of Ghana. It is rested on the palm of the hand and struck with an iron rod or nail, normally in an ostinato to provide a reference pattern in polyrhythmic music. High- and low-pitched types exist.

Article

Michel Domenichni-Ramiaramanana

Modern term for a free-bar xylophone found in southeastern Madagascar among the Antandroy, Bara, Mahafaly, Masikoro, Sakalava, and Vezo peoples. The instrument has Southeast Asian origins. It is also known locally as katiboky, kilangay, or valihambalo. It can have up to 12 bars but only five or seven are normally used in a performance. It is played by women. One woman supports the instrument with her legs. She plays a melody while another woman plays an ostinato. The instrument was traditionally used in magico-religious ceremonies, but it is now used for secular purposes, except among the Bara. It is often played at dusk, or to encourage young children to dance....

Article

Jeremy Montagu

Single-headed open barrel drum of the Anlo-Ewe people of the southeastern coast of Ghana. Barrel drums from this region are distinct because they are made of wooden staves joined by iron hoops and are always painted red, blue, or green. The atsimewu, 130 cm or more tall and about 40 cm in maximum diameter, is the master drum of an ensemble that includes the ...

Article

Atuamba  

K.A. Gourlay and F.J. de Hen

Bullroarer of the Kuma of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. It consists of a slightly concave ellipsoidal piece of wood measuring 30 × 10 cm along the axes. The instrument is whirled by a cord attached to one end and the sound produced is said to resemble the growling of a leopard. The bullroarer has associations with spirit voices and secret ceremonies such as circumcision, and has restrictions against women and non-initiates seeing it, as is customary for other bullroarers of the Congo. The varied names collected by de Hen suggest an onomatopoeic derivation, for example, the Adoi, Amanga, Andebogo and Andowi ...

Article

Atumpan  

Goblet-shaped Talking drum (membranophone) of Ghana. See also Drum, §I, 2, (ii), (d).

Article

Atumpan  

K.A. Gourlay

Talking drum of West Africa. The atumpan, the principal talking drum of the Akan people of Ghana, is a large barrel drum with a tubular foot open at the base, thus resembling a giant goblet drum. The drums are played upright, usually in pairs (of different tones), by the master-drummer, who uses two angular hooked sticks. They also appear in ensembles as supporting drums. The ...

Article

Aulero  

Peter Cooke

End-blown flute of the Teso people of the Mbale district, Uganda. It is usually made from a lobelia stem and is sometimes blown obliquely. Frequently the narrow, open distal end is cut obliquely also.

See also Ndere .

Article

Jeremy Montagu

Sanskrit term for ‘tied on’ and thus for drums in general. It is one of the four categ ories of Indian instruments as classified in Assam, the others being ghana (idiophones), su ṣira (aerophones), and tata (chordophones).

D.R. Barthakur: The Music and Musical Instruments of North Eastern India...

Article

Azangi  

F.J. de Hen

Whistle of the Bali of the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The cylindrical wooden stopped tube is notched at the blowing end.

LaurentyA, 180 F.J. de Hen: Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Musikinstrumente aus Belgisch Kongo und Ruanda-Urundi (Tervuren, 1960), 189, 192

Article

Aze  

Rattle of the Edo-speaking people of Nigeria.

Article

J. Gansemans, K.A. Gourlay and Ferdinand J. de Hen

Ground harp of the Mamvu, Apanga, and Mari peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It consists of a flexible stick stuck in the ground with a string tied to its upper end. The lower end of the string is fastened to the bark cover of a nearby pit, which serves as the resonator. The string is plucked with the right thumb and forefinger or hit with a small stick. The name ...

Article

Gerhard Kubik

Modern single-string bass instrument of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, and adjacent areas. It became popular in the early 1950s with kwela flute (tin whistle) music and is probably derived from the American washtub bass or tea-chest bass. The resonator is usually an empty plywood tea chest, its open end resting on the ground. The string is anchored through a central hole in the top of the chest and its other end is tied to the top of a stick (resembling a broomstick) that stands vertically on the chest, near the side closest to the player (but is not attached to it). With one foot on the chest to steady it, the player holds the top of the stick with his left hand, pulling it towards him with varying pressure to alter the tension of the string as required, to change the pitch, while plucking the string with his right hand....

Article

Small metal pellet bells of the Jola people of Senegal. They are wound around the arm or waist of girl dancers, or around the waist of atuma wrestlers.

Article

Bagara  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Side-blown bovine horn of the Ngbandi people of the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has a rectangular embouchure and a fingerhole in the tip.

J.S. Laurenty: Systématique des aerophones de l’Afrique centrale (Tervuren, 1974), 321.

Article

Bagwase  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Struck metal idiophone of the Bangba people in the Uele region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is the blade of an axe or hoe and is used in dance music with gúdúgúdú and ndima drums.

See also Gúdúgúdú ; Ndima .

Article

Bailol  

Jeremy Montagu

Mouth bow of the Fula and Tukulor peoples of Senegal and the Gambia. The left hand presses the string with a small stick to alter the pitch of the fundamental, while the right hand taps the string with a second stick. Overtones are selected by altering the shape of the mouth....

Article

Baka  

Mouth bow of the Gbande people of Liberia. The player taps the string with a stick in his right hand while regulating the vibrating length with a stick in his left. The string passes between his lips; by altering the shape of the oral cavity he can produce different overtones. ...

Article

Bake  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Percussion beam of the Tsogho people of Gabon. The hardwood beam is about 1.5 to 2 m long and 23 to 25 cm thick. It rests on two supports and is struck with wooden sticks by two players. It is an important idiophone in ritual ensembles....

Article

Baku  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Symmetrical bowl lyre with five to seven strings, of the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. It can have a bridge but this is not always present.

F.J. de Hen: Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Musikinstrumente aus Belgisch Kongo und Ruanda-Urundi (Tervuren, 1960), 158–59.

See also...

Article

Monique Brandily

Wooden single-headed hourglass drum of the professional musicians of northwestern Chad. Like the small clay drum kollu, the head is fitted with snares. Two drums are always played together, held one above the other under one arm, and are beaten by hand, one of the drums having a ‘male’ and the other a ‘female’ voice. Two ...