Folk & Traditional Music of the Western Continents

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a small bowl; bata drums are long truncated cones with two heads, one head being appreciably smaller than the other and producing a higher pitch. And there are several other types among the Yoruba. Each type is used for one or several deities, and each deity has its distinctive rhythms, a practice carried over into parts of the Americas such as Haiti. Thus, as Bascom notes,7 the igbin drums are sacred to Orishanla ("the great deity") and are played by members of his cult, among whom are albinos, hunchbacks, and cripples. Bata and dundun drums are played by professional drummers. Dundun are used for signaling—they are the "talking drums1'—but they are also used by the cult of Egzmgun, younger brother of the powerful Shango. Bata are sacred to the god Shango (the thunder god) and his wife Ova, but may be played for other deities as well, and each deity has its char­acteristic rhythms.
Several types of aerophones (wind instruments) are of great interest. Horns are common in various parts of Negro Africa. They are made of natural horn, wood, or ivory, and are used for music as well as signaling. They usually have no finger hole or valve mecha­nism and only the open or natural tones can be played. In recent times, however, finger holes seem to have been introduced. One character­istic of African horns is the position of the mouthpiece or hole used for blowing, which is frequently on the side of the instrument rather than at the small end, as is common in European horns. One use of horns that produce only one pitch is in the hocket technique, in which each horn plays only when its note is supposed to appear in the melody.
Flutes are also frequently without finger holes, and they are sometimes used for performance in the hocket technique in a fashion similar to horns. This is done particularly by Negro tribes of South Africa. Ensembles of flutes with finger holes are also found, as among the Mambuti pygmies of the Congo, who use as many as six flutes, each of which varies its own short ostinato figure. The flutes are most commonly true flutes rather than the plugged flutes like the recorder. Both end-blown and transverse flutes are found, the former being held vertically. Panpipes are also present in most of Negro Africa, but little is known of the music that they produce.
Many instruments have very specific and restricted uses. Thus
7 William Bascom, notes accompanying,the record, Drums of the Yoruba of Nigeria, Folkways P441.

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