Talking drum

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Talking Drum , ( English for speaking drum ), is the English word for speaking drums in West Africa. After being used, some can be message drums.

Many speaking drums have an hourglass-shaped body and are strung with two skins connected by leather cords. The drum is clamped under the arm and played with a special crook. By tensing and letting go of the upper arm, the pitch can be changed using the leather cords. Due to the different pitches, all tonal languages ​​of Ghana can be played on the drum ( Twi , Hausa , Dagomba etc.).

In the Tama, a different system is used to cover the drum body, depending on the ethnic group.

Language, ethnic group, or territory Surname
Akan Odondo
Ashanti Dondo
Dagomba Lunna
Hausa , Songhai Kalangu
Wolof Tama or Tamma
Yoruba Gangan, Dundun

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The term talking drum is rejected by African ethnomusicologists, since every drum actually speaks. See Samuel Akpabot The Talking Drums of Nigeria African Music Vol. 5 (4) (1975/1976): 36ff.
  2. Hermann Jungraithmayr ( Function and meaning of the musical pitch in African languages , in: Artur Simon (Ed.): Musik in Afrika, Berlin 1983, p. 66ff.) Emphasizes, however, that the Hausa have no drum language and there the pitches above all grammatical functions, but not fulfilling any fundamental meaning.