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Baranga  

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Barba  

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Baruma  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

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Basoko  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

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Bàtá  

Rainer Polak

revised by K.A. Gourlay and Amanda Villepastour

Set of double-headed conical drums of the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria and neighbouring Benin. The heads, of different sizes, are fastened with leather straps and small bells may be attached to the drums. An ensemble normally includes the lead drum ìyáàlù (‘mother drum’, the largest), the ‘female’ accompanying drum omele abo (medium-sized) and the small accompanying drums omele akọ and kúdi. The latter two are often strapped together as a single instrument. A typical ìyáàlù is 70–75 cm long, with heads about 24 and 14 cm in diameter. The omele abo is 50–60 cm long, with heads about 22 and 12 cm in diameter. The omele akọ and kúdi are 23–33 cm tall with heads about 15 and 11 cm in diameter. The ìyáàl̀ù and the omele abo are held horizontally. The smaller head is beaten with a rawhide thong, producing a sharp, high sound. The larger head is tuned with black paste, which allows the bare hand to produce a deep open tone, a slightly higher muffled tone, and a slap tone. The ...

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John M. Schechter

revised by Amanda Villepastour

Drum of the Ẹ̀cgbá Yorùbá people of Nigeria. It is constructed from two large gourds strung together (koto is a Yorùbá word for ‘deep gourd’). One end is then cut open and covered with a skin head. The bàtá koto ensemble consists of the ìyáàlù (mother, lead drum), two omele (accompanying drums), and a sẹ̀ckẹ̀crẹ̀c (gourd rattle). There is also a Cuban batá kotó of the Lucumí people, which is a long, single-headed cylindrical drum with a nailed head. It resembles the Cuban arará drum, which has Fon (Benin) antecedents and was formerly used in Cuba as a war drum. In spite of its name, the bàtá koto is unrelated to the batá/bàtá drum family of the Lucumí and Yorùbá people; these are double-headed, hourglass or conically shaped, closed drums laced with rope (in Matanzas) or hide (in Nigeria and Havana). The Cuban batá-kotó is played with curved sticks (...

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Batta  

K.A. Gourlay

Term used by the Gunga and Duka peoples of northwestern Nigeria for a calabash drum. The Duka drum is also known as kworria. The Gunga batta is almost spherical and measures about 55 cm in diameter. The goatskin head, about 25 cm in diameter, has a large piece of tuning wax. Metal jingles are attached to the lacing. The drum is beaten by hand and is usually played with the smaller stick-beaten ...

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Bavugu  

Gerhad Kubik

Stamped aerophone of the Khoisan and !Kung people of South Africa and Angola. Three gourds of the Strychnos spinosa plant, open at both ends, are fastened end to end with black wax to form a tube. The bavugu is stamped on the player’s left thigh and the upper end is either hit with the right hand or covered more or less with it to change the pitch....

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Bawa  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Mouth bow of the Aïmeri people of the Watsa Gombari region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The string is sometimes coupled (braced) to the bow stave by a cord that divides the string into two unequal segments, thus obtaining two different pitches when the segments are plucked by the fingers; the bracing cord itself can also be plucked....

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Baya  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Side-blown animal horn or ivory horn of the Zande people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The ivory examples have a carved lozenge-shaped embouchure. All have a fingerhole in the tip. The term also refers to a composite side-blown horn of the Zande, made of ivory and wood, also with a similar embouchure and a fingerhole in the tip....

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Baza  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Xylophone of the Gobu people in the Ubangi region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has 5 to 10 bars lying on braids of vegetable fibre that isolate the bars from the frame, which is made from two boards linked by a semi-circular wooden bar that forms a handle. The calabash resonators can have a hole in the side, covered by a thin membrane (mirliton) of fish bladder, spider web, or cigarette paper to add a buzz to the sound, a magical practice by which the player contacts the gods....

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Bazara  

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Beganna  

Ronald Lah

revised by Stéphanie Weisser

[bagana, bägänna, begenna]

Lyre of the Christian Amhara of central and northern Ethiopia. The most carefully crafted of Amhara string instruments, the beganna is noteworthy for its ornately sculpted crossbar and engraved arms. Its soundbox (gebeti) is either a square-face wooden bowl or an open box shaped as a truncated square pyramid, made of plywood in recent instruments. The open face is covered with untanned cattle skin sewn at the back of the soundbox. The ten sheep- or cattle-gut strings are bound with tuning levers and twisted around the crossbar. Their opposite ends are attached to a tailpiece held by two leather strips inserted through incisions in the skin head and fastened inside the soundbox. A hole, often shaped as a cross, pierces the back of the soundbox. The beganna is typically about 120 cm tall and the crossbar is about 45 cm wide.

Small U-shaped bits of leather (enzirotch...

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Bel  

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Bele  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

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Amanda Villepastour

Double-headed cylindrical drum of the Yorùbá people of Nigeria. One or both skins have snares and one head is struck with a curved stick held by the right hand while the left hand presses on the other skin to regulate the tone. The largest bẹ̀m̀bẹ́ ensembles comprise the ìyáàlù (‘mother drum’) lead instrument, accompanied by the atẹ̣̀lé (‘the one that follows’) and the hourglass drums related to the dùndún ensemble, the kẹríkẹrì, ìṣáájù, and gúdúgúdú. The agogo bell and ṣẹkẹ-ṣẹkẹ or ṣẹ̀kẹ̀rẹ̀ rattles may be added. In palace orchestras, a kàkàkí (long trumpet adopted from the Hausa) may be added. Yorùbá bẹ̀m̀bẹ́ drums were likely adapted from the Hausa gàngaa, a double-headed cylindrical snared drum of similar construction. The bẹ̀mbẹ́ can be used for a range of life-cycle celebrations and in the worship of Yorùbá deities. The bẹ̀mbẹ́ is now most prevalent in Ọ̀ṣun worship in Ọ̀ṣun State. The bẹ̀m̀bẹ́...

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Bendīr  

Tony Langlois

[bendair]

Large single-headed frame drum of North Africa. The head, which is usually goatskin, is stretched over a flat wooden hoop usually no more than 15 cm wide. The diameter of the rim varies but is rarely more than 60 cm across the head. The frame usually has a single bored thumb-hole, which facilitates one method of playing. Very often, three or four gut or nylon snares are attached to the inner side of the drum, and these resonate against the skin when the drum is played. Occasionally jingles are attached through slots made around the frame. At many ambient temperatures the skin is slack, and is tightened either by placing the drum in direct sunlight or by heating it over a brazier.

The bendīr is played in a variety of ways, but is most commonly held upright against the body, supported by the left hand with the thumb through the thumb-hole and the fingers resting on the skin of the drum. By releasing or applying pressure to the skin with these fingers, ‘open’ and ‘closed’ tones can be struck. The head is beaten with a flat right hand, either in the centre, which produces a relatively deep note, or at the edge, producing a higher pitch. (These positions are reversed for left-handed players.) The ...

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Bendre  

Rainer Polak

[bentere, binderi]

Kettledrum of Gur-speaking peoples (Mossi, Sisala, Mamprusi, and others) in Burkina Faso and northern Ghana. It is an almost spherical calabash with a small goat- or antelope-skin head, tuned with black adhesive paste at the center. It is beaten by the hands. The player either stands with the drum suspended from his neck or sits on the ground. Often metal plaques with rings along the edges are attached to the instrument creating a jingling sound. The bendre is considered sacred and noble by the Mossi of Burkina Faso. At the court of Tenkodogo several bendre join gangaogo and lunsi drums in an ensemble that accompanies declamation of the history of the rulers. Alternatively, a single drum can be made to ‘talk’ while a declamator translates the words. At Koupéla the drum is known as binderi, cognate with the bentere of Ghana. In Mali and western Burkina Faso, the Bamana, Bobo, Senufo, and others use a similar calabash drum without tuning paste, called ...