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Axatse  

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Azangi  

F.J. de Hen

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Aze  

Article

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

[babakungbu]

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.

A. Benseler...

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Article

Bagara  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

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Bagwase  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

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Charles de Ledesma

(b Johannesburg, March 13, 1938). South African percussionist. He was a popular drummer in Philip Tabane’s band Malombo, one of the foremost groups playing kwela (a style of urban popular music in South Africa). In 1973 he moved to London and formed the group Jabula, which played an amalgam of African music and rock; in 1977 this joined forces with a band led by Dudu Pukwana to form Jabula/Spear, which recorded the album Thunder in our Hearts (1977, Car. 2009). Later Bahula worked to promote African music in London, though he also played occasionally with the group Jazz Afrika and with a new group under the name Jabula. In the late 1980s he worked with Dick Heckstall-Smith in the band Electric Dream.

R. Cotterrell, ed.: Jazz Now: the Jazz Centre Society Guide (London, 1976) C. de Ledesma: “Afro Jazz: Evolution and Revolution,” The Wire, no.12 (1985), 26, esp. 38...

Article

Andrew Porter

(Stanley)

(b Birmingham, March 23, 1933). English baritone. He studied at Rhodes University, South Africa, and at the Vienna Music Academy, making his début with the Vienna Chamber Opera as Tobias Mill in Rossini’s La cambiale di matrimonio in 1959. He sang at Linz (1960–63) and in Germany (1963–7), where his roles included Rigoletto, Boccanegra, Nabucco and Renato. He joined the Sadler’s Wells Opera (later the ENO) in 1967, making his British début in Manchester as Mozart’s Count Almaviva; he celebrated his 25th anniversary with the company in 1992 as Sharpless. His London début, as Hans Sachs under Goodall (1968), established him as a Wagnerian of more than local importance, and he later undertook the role at Covent Garden, in Hamburg, Brussels and Munich, and at Bayreuth. He was an equally impressive Wotan (in a new production of the Ring at the London Coliseum, ...

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

Owen Wright

[Avenpace]

(b Zaragoza, north Spain; d Fez, Morocco, c1139). Philosopher, administrator and composer. He spent much of his life, first in Zaragoza and then in Játiva, south Spain, as vizier to various Almoravid governors, and later moved to Fez.

His Kitāb fī al-nafs (‘Book on the soul’) deals with acoustics. He is also reported to have written a substantial treatise on music that could stand comparison with that of al- Fārābī, but this, unfortunately, has not survived. However, his reputation as a composer stayed alive for some considerable time, and his songs are still mentioned by Ibn Khaldūn (1332–1406). He was also a dexterous ‘ūd player. The fullest, if still succinct, account of his achievements is provided by al-Tīfāshī (d 1253), according to whom he studied for several years with female professional musicians (qiyān) and subsequently introduced two important innovations. One resulted in improvements to two of the important song forms, while the other, more general, is intriguingly characterized as a fusion of ‘Christian’ and ‘Eastern’ song. The resulting synthesis was to establish itself as the dominant style in Muslim Spain, effacing that of the earlier school of Ziryāb....

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

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Baku  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

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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

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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

(b Kissy (nr Freetown), Sierra Leone, March 14, 1893; d ?Sierra Leone, 1961). African ethnomusicologist and composer. Missionaries changed Ballanta, the grandfather’s African surname, to Taylor. Nicholas George’s father, Gustavus, hyphenated the name, under which the son published. He sang and played the organ at St. Patrick’s Chapel, Kissy, as a youth. In 1917 he passed the intermediary examination for the BM degree at Fourah Bay College, Freetown, an affiliate of the University of Durham, UK, but he could not complete this degree because of travel requirements that the final examination be taken in England. Between 1918 and 1919, he participated in a Freetown choral society, for which he wrote the oratorio Belshazzar’s Feast. He spent the winter of 1921 in Boston, sponsored by an American patron, where he conducted his African Rhapsody at Symphony Hall and studied orchestration privately. In 1922 he matriculated at the New York Institute of Music Art (now Juilliard School of Music), where he obtained his diploma (...