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Bake  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Baku  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

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 ...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Balingi  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[mwanza]

Log xylophone of the Uele region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has seven or eight bars set across two logs, usually banana trunks, sometimes placed over a pit for resonance. Among the Lika, Zande, and Budu peoples the bars are separated by pegs driven into the logs; the Ngbandi and Sango drive the pegs through holes in the bars. Tuning is done by scraping the underside of each bar. According to the pitch, the bars are designated as ...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Balo  

K.A. Gourlay and Lucy Durán

[bala, balafou, balafon]

A gourd-resonated frame Xylophone of the Manding peoples of West Africa, found in the Gambia, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali and northern Côte d’Ivoire. Possibly the earliest reference to the instrument is that of Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, who visited the court of Mali in 1352 and saw an instrument ‘made from reeds, and provided with gourds below them’. In 1620, the British gold-prospector Richard Jobson described the ballards, the principal instrument of the Gambia, as having 17 keys with gourds suspended beneath them from iron rods. The player used a beater in each hand, the end of which was covered with ‘soft stuff’, and the instrument was played to accompany dancing. In the 1790s, Mungo Park described the Mandingo balafou as having 20 hardwood keys with ‘shells of gourds hung underneath to increase the sound’.

The contemporary instrument has 17 to 19 keys strung together on a frame with a gourd resonator beneath each. The keys are from 27·5 to 40 cm long, 2·5 to 4 cm wide and less than 2·5 cm deep; the undersides and ends are thinned for tuning. The instrument is tuned to an apparent equitonal heptatonic scale and has an approximate range of 2·5 octaves. It is played exclusively by professional male musicians and is used to accompany praisesongs; its repertory is almost identical to that of the ...

Article

Bambam  

Article

Bambaro  

Jeremy Montagu

[bamboro]

Metal jew’s harp of European pattern played by young men of the Songhay in Niger and the Zamfara Hausa in Nigeria. It has become a part of the local instrumentarium, replacing the indigenous bamboo zagada. Children still make substitutes from halved guinea-corn stalks, loosening a strip of cortex as the tongue and digging out a segment of the pith as a small resonating chamber....

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Lamellaphone of the Mabadi and Bandia peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has five to 12 wooden tongues and a trough-shaped bark resonator. Similar instruments are the Mangbele marombe, Mbuja ekwongolia, and Zande modeku.

F.J. de Hen: Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Musikinstrumente aus Belgisch Kongo und Ruanda-Urundi...

Article

Bandiri  

Set of two or more single-headed frame drums, with or without circular metal jingles, and a kettledrum used by members of the k’adiriyya Islamic sect of northern Nigeria. It accompanies the zikiri (creed formula by which a person acknowledges that he is a Muslim). The frame drum is held in the left hand and beaten with the fingers of the right....

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Bangali  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Bangia  

Lyre of the Berta people of southeastern Sudan. It has a wooden bowl resonator, a soundtable of hide into which two soundholes are cut, and a small wooden bridge. The five strings, formerly made of gut, are nowadays made of steel. Each string is fastened to a strip of cloth wound around the yoke and can be tuned by twisting the cloth. The ...

Article

Bangili  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Bangwe  

Andrew Tracey

[bango, ndyele, pango, pangwe]

Board zither of southeastern Africa made of a flat board or of a raft of papyrus stalks. Its single wire or fibre string is stretched from end to end through holes in the body of the instrument (normally seven times, but nine to 12 among the Sena, Manganja, and Barwe peoples of central Mozambique). Rough tuning is effected by friction tensioning each segment, fine tuning by moving the small bridges under each string at the player’s end. In northern Mozambique and Malawi the player usually strums all the pentatonically tuned strings with the right index finger while damping with the left fingers those notes that are not required to sound, an ancient technique used on many lyres and zithers. The bangwe, once ubiquitous in Malawi, is now rare. In central Mozambique the tuning is heptatonic; the player plucks the open strings with the fingers and thumbs of both hands, sharing a repertoire with the lamellaphones of the region. The far end of the instrument is often put into a calabash or tin can for resonance; the resonator is dotted with loose bottle tops that serve as buzzers....

Article

Banja  

Article

Bankiya  

Article

Banzie  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[banzu]

Zither of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The name banzie is used by the Zande people, banzu by the Mangbetu and Bwa. It has a box resonator of bark and 9 to 13 liana strings.

F.J. de Hen: Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Musikinstrumente aus Belgisch Kongo und Ruanda-Urundi (Tervuren, 1960), 155–6....

Article

Bappe