Talking Drums

History of the Talking Drums

The talking drum is hourglass-shaped, it has two drum heads connected by leather tension cords, it allows the player to change the pitch of the drum by squeezing it. The history of the talking drums are some of the oldest instruments used in West Africa and can be traced back to the Ghana Empire, the Yoruba people, and the Hausa people. The talking drum was used for four main purposes in Mali history. The first thing they are used by jellis or griots charged with orally recording, preserving, and sharing the community's histories an cultures. Second, they were used to communicate messages to other villages. They are also used during religious rituals. Griots and jellis were the ones who usually ran these ceremonies. They also were used to bring people together and settle problems among members of the village.

The cultural significance of the “Talking drum”

In the past before we had any cell phones or radios or cars or any of those things people would have to walk around the villages to spread news. Then once they had the talking drums they could spread news faster. Each tap or smack on the drum stood for a certain word or noise so they could make sentences for example they could use the drums to warn others that something is coming and possibly danger.

The construction of the “Talking drum”

Talking drums are a type of membranophone. A membranophone is any musical instrument which produces sound primarily by the way of a vibrating stretch of membrane. Unlike many drums used in American, the talking drums have two drum heads, instead of one, on the top and bottom of the drum. It is in the shape of an hourglass and strings to connect the two drum heads.

The reason someone would want to purchase a “Talking drum”

You should buy the talking drum for many reasons. One the drum symbolizes the power of a traditional political leader, and skilled drummers have held considerable status in West African communities. The talking drum is pretty durable and is easy to care for and clean. Also learning to play the talking drum can be a great idea because they say that the drum patterns and rhythms are closely linked with ¨ogun¨, or spiritual beings.

the use of talking drums with other uses of music in West Africa

In west Africa the talking drums are mainly used in ceremonial settings, but can be used in other things. West African music favors melody and instrumentation. You will find rhythm at the center of West African music, the texture and layering from the percussion, especially the drum, adding color and life to the culture. They incorporate music into their work and music is a big part of them and their culture.

the talking drum to modern-day technology for communication

The talking drums was used as a way to spread news around, today if we wanted to do the same thing we would just send out a giant group text or email. We could also check news websites and things like that. We can also be more detailed in a text or email compared to the talking drums.