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Most popular African musical instruments

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When it comes to musical instruments, the African continent is well known for its vast instruments. There are many tribes or ethnic communities that have their own unique instruments of different types . Our entertainment reporter, CHIKAODI CHUKWULETA takes a look at their make,sound and performance.

Kora

THIS  probably stands out as one of the most famous stringed instrument, that may come in terms as” jali.The design is almost similar to that of a guitar, it is made  of animal skin with 21 strings. This kind of instrument is popular in senegal ,  burkanafaso, Benin and Mali.

Kalimba

Kalimba is made from bamboo strips and comes in various lengths.The sound is produced by picking the ends of the flexible strips. It is also referred as thumb piano and popularly found in Central Africa.

Talking drum

It is probably the most known drum in Africa that has a beautiful shape. People who play it usually place it under the arm, to enable it vary the pitch or sound. The player presses or squeezes the narrow edge.

Balagon

This is an instrument that resembles xylophone. It is a percussion instrument normally found in lvory Coast, Ghana ,Mali and Bukinafaso.It is made from wooden planks that are loosely bound by  string and placed  over large gourds. Sound is produced by hitting it  with miniature clubs or mallets.

Ichaka

It is one of the most famous in Africa. It is also known as shekere. The instrument consists of closely woven beads that form a net. The net is placed around a gourd and the sound is produced by either shaking or slamming the hands. It is seen in Nigeria, Ivory Coast and many others.

Djembe or jembe

Djembe is a type of drum found in central and west Africa. It consists of animal skin and carved from piece of wood with a hole in the upper region where the skin is stretched out, and the top surface is usually wider than the buttom surface.

Udu

It is a drum that has its root in Nigeria. It resembles vessels or jars used to draw water from the  river. Unlike most  instruments, it is  made from clay instead of wood. The sound or pitch is influenced by the hallow size and the style of playing.

Marimba

It is a type of African xylophone made of small planks of wood.. The sound is produced by hammering the plank with stick or mallets. It can be found in East and Central African region such as Zimbabwe, etc.

Mbira

Mbira is a thumb piano that resembles the kalimba. It is made up of two rows of metal strips that come in staggered dimensions. They are placed on wooden resonator which is sound box. It is  common in southern Africa, like Tanzania, Nambia, among others.

Algaita

This is a popular wind instrument found in west Africa. It is closely related to an instrument known as “oboe”.Algaita comes with a wider opening at the base  and open finger holes and made from reeds. Most countries use it in ceremonies and festival, like Nigeria, Togo, Senegal, Benin, etc.

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