Speak Through the Beat!

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Structure of the Talking Drum

This hourglass-shaped drum originating from West Africa, is so named because of its pitch that can be regulated to mimic the tone and prosody of human speech. It has two drum-heads (double-sided) connected by leather tension cords, which allow the player to influence the pitch of the drum by squeezing the cords between his or her arm and body. The taling drum when used with multiple other drums create an effect of communication with each other through successive interlocking rhythms that brings a call and response effect.

A Brief History

Talking drums are some of the oldest instruments used by West African griots with history that can be traced back to the Ghana Empire. The Hausa people (originally) and also the Yoruba people of south western Nigeria, and Benin and the Dagomba of northern Ghana have developed a a particular genre of griot music centering on the talking drum.

The cultural significance

The use of talking drums was most recognized as a form of communication between villages and people that may have been slightly far away. Detailed messages could be sent from one village to the next faster than could be carried by a person riding

a horse. Like languages such as Mandarin or Cantonese the African languages were tonal, meaning that the pitch is important in determining the meaning of a particular word. Therefore the drums and the change in tone that the drummer was able to create gave them the opportunity to beat in a sound representing a word of a syllable to connect with meaning.

Some of the many Names:

Customize or Choose your Style!

The above options are just a few of our many styles and adaptations of the instrument. You can even design your own talking drum so that it can reflect your own voice better! If you feel comfortable with your drum, then there is no doubt that it will speak for you. Order today at our website or come by our shop below

Talk with our drums!

Visit our shop downtown, we offer lessons if you are interested!