The African Continent Drums
The Bata consists of a set of three tapered cylinders of various sizes. lya, the largest, is referred to as Mother drum”. Itotele, the middle one and Okonkolo, the smallest, is called “father” and “baby” respectively. In Yorubaland, bata drum has different parts which include: lgi lu, Leather, Egu Ilu, Osan, Iro, Bulala, Cowry,
The Sekere players are known as the song leaders. They echo the songs or chants of a lead talking drummer. These song leaders typically present with sonorous and audible voices that echo the sayings of a lead talking drummer. They are quite seasoned and knowledgeable of the Yoruba tradition, lineage praise, historical and entertainment chants.
IYA ILU BEMBE
This is the commanding officer” of the talking drum ensemble. It leads the whole ensemble, as it talks, dictates the pace, determines the song and gives cues and prompts with its deep audible sound. It is easily distinguishable with “Saworo” (brass rings) at both ends of the two faces of drum forming a semi-circle, jingling while the iya-ilu is being played. The Saworo adds percussioning effects to the tune of iya ilu. The Iya lu is typically and skilfully played by a master talking drummer who is highly experienced and very seasoned.
Agogô is a single or multiple bells now used throughout the world but with origins in traditional Yoruba music, it is mostly used as a percussion instrument. The agogô has the highest pitch of any of the bateria instruments.
The Djembe (aka jim-bay) is the most popular African hand drum in the world. Its popularity blossomed into many different settings in the last twenty years. This is because besides it having a spiritual aspect in its sound, and community gathering aspect in the learning and playing of its traditional music, this drum has a large tonal range for a single, fairly simple made drum, and this lends itself well to many different situations.
IVORY COAST DUNUN SET
This set of dunun (DOO-noon, aka dun dun, djun djun), imported directly from Ivory Coast, West Africa, is matched well in terms of size and sound, and represents a step up in construction and sound quality from the Ghana Classic Dunun Set. The hardwood Iroko and thicker cow skin, tuned properly with thicker nylon rope.
This Bara Drum or Bendré Drum is made from a dried calabash gourd with a thin goat skin drum head stretched over a cut opening in the gourd. The drum produces a unique sound with a short decay or short ring. Bara Drums originate primarily from Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, and Mali. The main accompanying instrument is the balafon.
Regional drums from the Ashanti Central States of Ghana. The fontom from drum family (either in part, or all drums) and others are traditionally played at many community and regional events, There are many, many different drums in Ghana, and the fontom from represents well the remarkable, proud cultural and spiritual traditions found there.
The Sabar drum has been used to communicate from village to village over considerable distances. The rhythms can imitate spoken phrases which could then be heard for over 15 kilometers. Like most African hand drums, the sabar is not a solo instrument. It’s part of an ensemble and contributor to community events such as births, baby naming ceremonies, weddings and other holidays.
Like many African hand drums, the Udu has a rich cultural history. Starting out as clay water jug that eventually had a hole added to the side, the Udu is believed to have been created by the women of the Igbo people of Nigeria. In the Igbo language, Udu means pottery or vessel. In fact, some of the larger Udus are no different from water storage pots used by the Igbo. This type of Udu can be found scattered throughout the Igbo region in Nigeria.