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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

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 ...

Article

Andrew Porter

(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 (...

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 ...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

End-blown one-piece wooden trumpet of the Mamvu people of the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

J.S. Laurenty: Systématique des aerophones de l’Afrique centrale (Tervuren, 1974), 337.

Article

Balingi  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

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

Side-blown ivory trumpet of the Lengola people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has a plain oval embouchure and a fingerhole in the tip.

J.S. Laurenty: Systématique des aerophones de l’Afrique centrale (Tervuren, 1974), 389.

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 ...

Article

Balo  

K.A. Gourlay and Lucy Durán

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 ...

Article

Bambam  

Double-headed cylindrical drum of the Lobi people of Burkina Faso. It has laced heads, one of which is struck by the hand while a stick is used to strike the body. The bambam is played with the elong xylophone in funeral music for respected farmers....

Article

Bambaro  

Jeremy Montagu

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...