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African Instruments


TRADITIONAL AFRICAN INSTRUMENTS

In line with our commitment to African music, we produce a number of traditional African instruments including:

Nyanga pan pipes
This set of 4 instruments, called Nyanga by the Nyungwe people from the Tete district of Mozambique, represent a basic starter set:- part of an ensemble that can include up to 30 instruments. The music played on them is very exciting, and extremely challenging, involving blowing and singing interlocking rhythmic patterns, while dancing intricate steps. If you want an introduction into the complexities of African Music, these are for you.
Xhosa Uhadi bows.
A traditional instrument from our area, the Uhadi requires a shift in western musical perceptions. The scale is built up from the harmonic series resulting from the overtones of the two fundamental notes played on the single string. These overtones are separated and amplified by changing position of the instrument, which tunes the resonating air space between the gourd resonator and the player's chest. This deceptively simple instrument will encourage you to explore new horizons - music will never be the same again!!
Kudu horns
This set of 6 horns represents a cross pollination of musical traditions. Animal horns are played all over Africa, and ensembles of pentatonic instruments form the basis of many musical traditions, from the makondere horn bands from central Africa, to the single panpipes of the Pedi. Almost any pentatonic tune can be transposed onto these horns, and we have had great success playing African xylophone pieces. The sound is warm and mellow and will lend a unique, heraldic African accent to any formal occasion.
Akadinda
This enormous instrument is played throughout central Africa in many different traditions. Possibly the best known, and certainly the most extensively studied is the music from the Baganda people of Uganda. Players sit on opposite sides and play fast interlocking patterns. Up to 6 players can be accommodated on one instrument. Traditionally only the notes are transported from place to place; they are supported on banana tree stems and placed over a tuned pit dug into the ground for performances. Our instrument features a sturdy wooden resonating box that doubles as a container for the notes during transport.



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