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Abiba  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Small double-headed cylindro-conical drum of the Buda and Mangbetu peoples of the northern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The head is made of antelope skin and beaten with the hand. It was used in (forbidden) mambela rites. The abiba deni is a drum of the Lengola people of the DRC....

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Abigolo  

Jeremy Montagu

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Abita  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

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Abombo  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Bowl-shaped drum of the Angba people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is about 50 to 75 cm tall. The single antelope-skin head is laced to the body. It is beaten with one hand and one stick. The abowa mokindja of the Lengola people is similar.

G. Knosp...

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Abu  

[bu]

Large, complex horn of the Luo people of Kenya. It is formed from a round gourd to which is affixed an elongated gourd neck joined at the top to a cow or antelope horn. It is side-blown through a hole near the tip of the animal horn. The sections are joined with beeswax, and the instrument is dampened with water before use to seal any cracks. It is played at funerals and other functions. The player introduces a song, and after the chorus enters he plays the ...

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Abume  

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K.A. Gourlay

Cylindro-conical or barrel-shaped open drum of the Akan people of Ghana. The single head is secured with cords to pegs driven diagonally into the body. The base opening is narrowed by inserting a flat circular board with a hole in the centre. The drum is beaten with two curved sticks, and is played in pairs (‘male’ and ‘female’) in the same manner as atumpan talking drums, the drummer varying the point at which his sticks strike the head in order to change the tone. The drum is used with others by warrior associations in state drumming. Its sounds are said to imitate the cry of the bird of the same name....

Article

Jeremy Montagu

End-blown conical flute of the Mombutu people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is made of antelope horn and has two fingerholes. Such flutes, with a curved or straight blowing edge and two or three fingerholes, are common all over this area of the DRC under various names....

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Adewu  

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Adigidi  

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Agbe  

Jeremy Montagu

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

[abongboya, magbomboyo]

Lamellaphone of the Rubi-Haut-Uele area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has a box-shaped bark resonator and six to eight wooden tongues fastened to the soundboard by raffia fibre. According to de Hen a lamellaphone of this type, with wooden or metal tongues, is known by the Badjande people as ...

Article

K.A. Gourlay

revised by Amanda Villepastour

Lamellaphone of the Ọ̀yọ́ Yorùbá in Nigeria. It has diffused to the Nago peoples of Benin and Lucumí people in Cuba, where it is known as the marímbula. Five adjustable metal tongues are mounted on a large wooden box resonator, which can be 45 cm by 60 cm and 22 cm deep or larger. The instrument is played on the lap, suspended from the neck at waist level so that the tongues can be plucked with the fingers of either hand, or resting on the floor with the player seated. The agídígbo is usually used as part of secular instrumental ensembles such as sákárà, mambo, jùjú, and àpàlà. The Yorùbá instrument has given its name to the Gwari and Fon gidigbo and to the Gwari agijigbo, both five-tongued with box (or old kerosene tin) resonators, and to the agidigo used by some Hausa musicians, notably Audu Karen Gusau, who used instruments of this type either solo or with the hourglass drums (...

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Agolora  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[akoti]

End-blown gourd trumpet of the Logo people of the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. About 90 cm long, it consists of three hollow calabashes joined in a line and adhered together with clay. The Logo call the instrument also by other vernacular names such as akoti, aori, and kanga...

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Aguma  

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Agwara  

Peter Cooke

Sets of side-blown trumpets formerly of the Alur people of northwestern Uganda. Ranging in length from 50 to 200 cm, they are made by splitting a wooden branch lengthwise and carving each half into a gently conical wooden trough. The halves are then glued together and sewn into a cowskin cover. Used in hocketing sets of up to eight different-size trumpets for dancing and other festivities, they were formerly played only by men but in 2006 members of an Alur women’s club adopted them. In Kampala, male university students blow them while processing around their campuses during electioneering rallies and other festivities. Similar trumpets used by other peoples of northern Uganda include the Acholi tuum, the Madi turi or ture turungule, the generally shorter gwara me akuta of Lango, and the arupepe of the Teso and Karimojong peoples in the northeast.

The Para-nilotic word-stem gwara applied to side-blown trumpets occurs also in the terminology of Bantu peoples, hinting at the historic influence of Nilotic migrants on their culture, hence the ...

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Àjà  

Amanda Villepastour

A generic term for metal clapper bells of the Yorùbá people of Nigeria and Benin. The bells, which can be of iron or brass and of variable sizes, have an integral handle. Their most common use is in òrìṣà cults where the àjà punctuates prayers and incantations arhythmically and is believed to invoke the deities...

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Amanda Villepastour

The largest gourd rattle in the Sẹ̀kẹ̀rẹ̀ family of instruments of the Yorùbá people of Nigeria and Benin. The gourd resonator is encased in a net to which cowrie-shell and sometimes glass bead strikers are attached. The rattle was once associated with the worship of Ajé, the Yorùbá òrìṣà (deity) of prosperity, symbolized by cowrie shells. Traditionally, this instrument was used only in the palace (...