Music has a very long history. For example, archaeological evidence indicates that centuries before our Common Era, African tribes played drums, horns, and bells. is The African hand drum called a djembe. is at the heart of the drumming tradition of some West African tribes. Typically, djembe rhythms are linked with cultural events of village life, ranging from marriages, deaths, and births to festivals, harvests, and even the purchase of new clothing .“IT BELLOWS, screeches, cries and screams. It whispers and it sings. . . . It is the drum with infinite range, the drum with a thousand faces
One type of talking drum is the wooden slit-drum. A dundun is the famous Yoruba talking drum, from Nigeria. Shaped like an hourglass. A skillful drummer can imitate the rise and fall of the human voice. Drummers can hold “conversations” with other drummers who can interpret and play the drum language..
There are several styles of singing prevalent in this continent. In some regions it is nasal; the singing is high-pitched with greatly embellished melodic lines, which music is usually without harmony. The accompanying rhythms are not very involved. Then there is in some parts of Africa the full-throated singing of simple melodies. With these there also goes harmony. Here the rhythms are very complex, in fact, often several rhythms being used at the same time. Rhythm is the most distinctive element of much of Africa’s folk music.
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