African Drumming

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  • African Drumming
    • Instruments
      • Djembe
        • played with bare hands
        • master drummer has the djembe
        • low, medium and high sounds depending where you hit
        • keeps the pulse
      • DunDuns
        • cylindrical drums played with sticks
        • kenkeni (high-pitched that keeps the pulse going)
        • sangban (mid- pitched drum)
        • dundunba (large, low-pitch)
      • Agogo Bell
        • bells to cut through the tibre of percussion
        • two pitches, high and low
        • plays the timeline and keeps the pulse
      • Gourd Rattle
        • shaker to cut through several drums
        • keeps the pulse
    • Culture
      • used to accompany singing, dancing and general work
      • drums call people together for celebrations, funerals and weddings
      • passed down through oral tradition
      • drumming patterns, techniques, and beats can be used as dialect
    • Rhythms
      • 4/4 time signature
      • syncopated rhythm
        • notes that dont fall on a strong beat can be emphasised
      • 6/8 time signature
      • cross rhythm
        • conflicting rhythm patterns played at the same time
      • polyrhythm
        • many rhythms played over one another
      • ostinato
        • a rhythmic pattern which repeats over and over again
      • cyclic rhythms
        • short repeated rhythms
    • structure and phrasing
      • call and copy
        • the master drummer begins and the other drummers follow with the same rhythm
      • call  and response
        • master drummer begins and the other other drummers respond with a different rhythm with the same timing
      • improvisation
        • a rhythm made up on the spot by a performer often based on time phrases


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