Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes



Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
AFRICAN MUSIC.                         265
which, great stems of trees come into requisition. Interchanged by fits and starts with the shriller blasts of some smaller horns, make up the burden of the unearthly hub-bub which re-echoes miles away along the desert; meanwhile women and children by the hundred fill gourd flasks with little stones, and rattle them as if they were churning butter; or again at other times they will get some Bticks or faggots and strike them together with the greatest energy.
The huge wooden tubes which may be styled the trumpets of the Bongo, are by the natives themselves, called " manyinyee;" they vary from four to five feet in length, being closed at the extremity and ornamented with carved work representing a man's head, which not unfrequent-ly is adorned with a pair of horns. The other end of the stem is open, and in an upper depart­ment, towards the figure of the head, is the orifice into which the performer blows with all his might.
There is another form of manyinyee, which is made like a huge wine bottle; in order to play upon it, the musician takes it between his knees like a violincello, and when the build of the instrument is too cumbrous he has to bend over it as it lies upon the ground.
" Little difference can be noticed between the kettle drums of the Bongo, and those of most other North African Negroes. A section is cut from the thick stem of a tree, the preference being given to a tamarind when it can be urocured, this is hollowed out into a cylinder, one end being






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III