In the first edition of our Music 101 series, we will introduce you to 8 music instruments from Africa.

 

Djembe Drum

Source: DjembeMafia.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaped like a goblet, the djembe drum is carved from African hardwood. Its origins can be traced to the great Mali Empire.

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Ekwe

Source: MotherlandMusic.com

Also known as a the ‘log drum’, Ekwe is popular in in Nigeria and Cameroon. Made from wood, it comes in a variety of sizes and styles. With the large Ekwe, you get a deep bass tones while the smaller sizes produce sharper (pitched) tones.

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Shekere

Source: MotherlandMusic.com

Made from dried gourd, and beads woven onto a net used as covering, the Shekere originates from West Africa.

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Mbira

Pugetsound.edu

Also known as the thumb piano, Mbira originates from Zimbabwe. It is played with the thumbs and one finger.

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Balafon

Source: AwaleBiz

Historical records shows that the Balafon originates from West African Countries: Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Ghana.  Playing style is similar to the Xylophone.

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Udu

Source: Udu.com

Made entirely of clay, and shaped like a vase with a narrow neck, the Udu drum was invented by the Igbos (Nigeria).

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Akonting

Source: Kaypachac.com.ar

Traced to Senegal, the Akonting is believed to be the inspiration behind the ‘Banjo’.

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Kora

Source: Baragnouma.com

The Kora is a popular string instrument in West and East Africa. Twenty one leather or nylon strings are attached to the top of the neck with leather turning rings.

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Featured Image source: Pexels.com (Shot by Pixabay)

Music 101

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