Drums that Talk

You should get one too....

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History

The talking drum is a West African Hourglass drum whose pitch can be regulated to mimic the tone and prosody of human speech. Other talking drums of conical or tubular construction exist around Africa, but they are rather known by their particular names instead of the term "talking drum". These drums are some of the oldest instruments used by West African griots and their history can be traced back to the Ghana Empire.
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Cultural Significance

The use of talking drums as a form of communication was noticed by Europeans in the first half of the eighteenth century. Detailed messages could be sent from one village to the next faster than could be carried by a person riding a horse. The different societies found it easier to communicate this way. This allowed the spread of cultural ideas and beliefs throught different cultures.

Construction

The talking drum came in various sizes, and the dimensions of the durm differed between ethnic groups, but all of them still followed the same template. The pitch of this drum can be regulated to mimic the tone and prosody of human speech. It has two drumheads connected by leather tension cords, which allow the player to modulate the pitch of the drum by squeezing the cords between his or her arm and body. A skilled player is able to play whole phrases.

Why You Should Get One?

"Talking Drums" are drums that talk, and can imitate speech. Tjey are drums grouped in families for the purpose of talking to each other. Tapping this drum with your fingers produces a sound different from playing it with your palms, or striking it in the center, on the rim or on its sides. This is why you should get one! It can be very entertaining and can help you send a message secretly and productively.

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

The "Talking Drums" are very similar to other music in West Africa. Most West African music is played with hands, and drums are a major part of their music. Most of the music is diverse and rich sounding. It is used for entertainment and communication purposes.

Relate the talking drum to the role of the griot or jelli

"Talking Drums" were some of the oldest drums used by the West African Griots. Griots were West African historians, storytellers, praise singers, poets, and/or musicians. They used the "talking drums" used them for communication purposes, but now they are used for entertainment. Griots were respected members of the society and they are considered keepers of tradition.

Relate the talking drum to modern-day technology for communication

The "Talking Drum" is very similar to modern-day technology, and both of these are used for the same purpose; communication. Just like cell-phones and messages, "talking drums" delivered messages, relatively quickly. They help spread ideas in different societies and cultures.
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BY: Khushmi Shah