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HOW called wooden African drum

What do you call a wooden African drum

National African wooden drum is considered as the most versatile and popular percussion instrument in the world. It has gained popularity thanks to the variety of sounds.

These he owes to the unique design and slinky goat skin, as well as the skill of the performers, some of which have received international fame.


Wooden African drum called the djembe. Play on it with his hands. It is believed that it was invented in the 12th century in the West African Mandinka tribe, which is now known as Mali. Drumming generations of Africans, because it is an integral part of rituals to Mali, Guinea, Cenegale and other West African countries.
Traditionally, the djembe played only griots -respected high-class musicians - who used it for the initiation of younger generations in the historical, religious and cultural past, the stories about the old days and the ancestors of life. Griots were, and still are not only famous musicians but also people who have deep knowledge, the heritage of wisdom of generations.
Djembe inseparably linked with dancing and singing. Dzhembefola (musician playing the djembe) must know the song and dance in the rhythm of the drum. Some dances have a symbolic value, and are performed at important events, such as festivals, dedicated to the petition of rain and a good harvest, weddings, funerals, or birth of a child.

Musicians playing the djembe, combined into groups called "ballet".

Design djembe

Djembe has an unusual appearance and structure, thankswhich are born different sounds. The drum is designed as a cup. This form is carved from a single piece of timber. Mandinka traditionally used wood Leng - the sacred tree for the tribe. The upper bowl-shaped drum department produces the sound and the lower narrower drum department adjusts the volume. The top of the drum covered with goat skin, which allows to obtain high tones and sounds similar to slap. Goat skin, unlike bovine skin or antelope, thinner and more suited for the musical instrument. The tension is adjusted with string, passed through the metal rings. Drum Corps painted ritual paintings.

The drum is made of laminated wood strips, like the djembe, called Ashik.

The sound of the djembe

Djembe produces three types of sounds: bass, tone and slap. Bass turns on hit full in the middle of a hand drum. Tone (low noise) issues play on the edge of the drum. Slap (alt) is the most complex of sounds from a technical point of view. There are several types of slap, and they are born with the game on the edge of the drum. To get this sound, the fingers should be completely relaxed and kick produced by the movement of the hand and forearm. Musicians say that explain the performance of slap technique impossible. Mastership can be achieved only by trial and error, as the arms are different, respectively, and the sound will be different.

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