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AFRICAN MUSIC.
269
to the King of the Monbuttoo—Munza; they have also a sort of national hymn, more noisy than musical. The words are monotonous and much repeated,—
" Ee, ee, tchupy, tchupy, ee, Munza, ee!" will do as a sample line. The king stands up and beats time, with all the gravity of a musical conductor. His baton is made of a wicker worked sphere filled with pebbles, and attached to a short stick, in fact exactly what we should call a baby's rattle. "When he approves the performance or gets excited, he joins in the chorus with a stentorian M B-r-r-r-r------" which shakes the house.
It is singular that music boxes should be popu­lar with Africans who indulge in such noisy effects, yet such is the fact; there is no present so desired by Negro potentates as a music box with bells and drums.
Explorers can find no surer road to the heart of an African chief than by a present of one of these mechanisms. Sir Samuel Baker had great trouble with King Kabba Kega (of the tribe of the Unyori,) about a music box.* Speke and Schweinfurth both found them among the most treasured possessions of the savage chieftains. Kabba Eega's reason for prizing the box above all other musical instruments, is unique; on hearing it play, for the first time, he remarked,—" It is more convenient than an instrument which requires study, as you might set this going at night, to play you to sleep, when you were too drunk to
• IamailU, By Sir S W. Baker, page 891






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