In Africa, drums hold a deeper, symbolic and historical significance. They herald political and social events attending ceremonies of birth, death and marriage. They spark courtships, they herald home-coming and going and they accompany religious rites and rituals, calling up ancestral spirits.
What do drums symbolize in Africa?
In much of Africa, drums are considered to symbolize and protect royalty, which often leads to their being housed in sacred dwellings. They can also be considered as a primitive telephone, since drums are also used to communicate with tribes that are miles and miles away.
Why are drums so important in African culture?
Drums play an important role in every aspect of African life, including the physical, emotional and spiritual. African hand drums are played to communicate, celebrate, mourn and inspire. They’re played in times of peace and war, planting and harvesting, birth and death.
What is the significance of drumming?
For First Nations Peoples, the drum represents the universal heartbeat of Mother Earth, the Universal goddess and mother to us all. The first sound that was heard in the world was the heartbeat of Mother Earth. First Nations Peoples manifest this heartbeat through playing a special rhythm on the drum.
What are the main features of African drumming?
Features of these elements include:
- polyrhythms are created by layering different rhythms together.
- dynamics are changed depending on the force with which the drum is hit.
- dynamics are not written down on a score – the leader signals changes in dynamics during the performance.
How is the djembe drum used in African cultures?
The djembe has been an integral part of spiritual and ritualistic life in West Africa for many generations. It was traditionally only played by griots, well respected high-class court musicians, who used it for story-telling: passing on important historical, religious and cultural information to future generations.
What is the African drum called?
A djembe or jembe (/ˈdʒɛmbeɪ/ JEM-bay; from Malinke jembe [dʲẽbe], N’Ko: ߖߋ߲߰ߓߋ) is a rope-tuned skin-covered goblet drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa.
How is African drumming learned?
The music played by drum ensembles is very complex in rhythm and texture . The rhythms are not normally written down and are instead passed between people through aural tradition . … The leader directs the drummers with musical cues in the form of rhythm patterns.
What are the 3 sounds you can make on this drum?
We’ve all been there.
Three Basic Drum Sounds
- Kick- Responsible for making your beat feel grounded. It’s the bottom end of your drums that you feel in your gut, particularly when listening to loud music. …
- Snare- Bright, hard, clear and precise. …
- Hi-Hat- This is often the busiest drum, compared to others.
What is oral tradition in African culture?
Oral traditions are messages that are transmitted orally from one generation to another. The messages may be passed down through speech or song and may take the form of folktales and fables, epic histories and narrations, proverbs or sayings, and songs. … There is a rich tradition throughout Africa of oral storytelling.
What do drums symbolize in the Bible?
References of drums in the exodus
The use of the timbrel or drum in this commandment is clearly defined as an instrument used for celebration which helps express joy and liveliness.
How a drum communicates information?
They are made out of hollow logs. The larger the log, the louder the sound would be. The drummer would communicate through phrases and pauses, and low tones referred to males while high tones referred to females. Some have called this a way to gossip, or learn information through the grapevine.
What cultures use drumming?
Use of drums across the world started to spread across Asia, reaching Japan, India, Middle East, Africa and southern Europe by 2nd century BC (most notably African drums that were introduced into ancient Greece and Rome).
Why is polyrhythm important in African drumming?
It provides a ‘mixer’, allowing you to mute and fade different drums in a complex rhythmic cycle. Polyrhythm (literally meaning ‘many rhythms’) is the layering of a number of different rhythms. African rhythms are usually simple on their own, but when combined together they produce a complex, polyrhythmic texture.
What is the most important element of African music?
The rhythm is generally the most important, and West African songs are polyrhythmic featuring two or more conflicting rhythms. The story of the balafon, an ancient West African musical instrument.
What are the 5 elements of African music?
Additionally, string instruments are also used, with the lute-like oud and Ngoni serving as musical accompaniment in some areas. There are five groups of Sub-Saharan African musical instruments: membranophones, chordophones, aerophones, idiophones, and percussion.