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Heard of a 'talkin drum' ?

Discussion in 'music' started by MUTTY1, Jul 18, 2003.

  1. MUTTY1

    MUTTY1 Waste of bandwidth

    Appears as a instrument on the credits of a album - St Gremain . Tourist - South African jazz.
    Thanks Paul.

    Ps read the three replies below - thanks - it is very interesting stuff.
  2. RichardH

    RichardH Bodging pleb

  3. joel

    joel Painter of Dragons, Maker of Mirrors

    Quick reply..
    Some African languages are tonal (like Chinese) - very very roughly in these languages, the same "word" form said at a higher or lower pitch has different meanings. A little as if the word "dog" said in A meant dog, but said in G meant cat.
    In these languages (to my knowledge mostly found on West / Central Africa) there are drums "tuned" to certain pitches that can quite effectively (in the hands of master drummers) "repaeat" words - string a bunch of these together and you even have a phrase.
    Interestingly after the slave revolts of the early 19th century - drums and all forms of similar percussion were forbiddeen to slaves in the US. The only place this law did not apply was... New Orleans.

    Sorry, too many Riojas to give a proper reply. I'll try again tomorrow.

  4. auric

    auric pfm Member

    A good few years ago while at college some lads from the West of Africa gave a “get to know us” cultural evening for the rest of the class members. The night consisted of much exotic food and drink plus music preformed with stick, drum and stringed instruments.

    The talking drum featured in quite a few of the performances with one drummer banging out a message followed by a reply from another drummer. This went on for some time with someone else supplying a translation and commentary of the drum music.

    A good evening was had by all.

  5. Thomas K

    Thomas K pfm Member

    Afro Celt Sound System use talking drums a lot. Cracking good music apart from that.
  6. JohnG

    JohnG pfm Member

    Played by Jamie Muir and the title of a track on "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" by King Crimson
  7. Martin

    Martin pfm Member

    Too right.

    "Volume 2: Release" is fantastic, and the first is pretty good. The latest is pretty dissapointing, though.

    cheers, Martin
  8. joel

    joel Painter of Dragons, Maker of Mirrors

    All very nice I'm sure with King Crimson and Afro Celt - but those ain't talking drums. I know I'm being pedantic here, but if you read the excellent link provided by RichardH, you will understand what we are talking about here.
    I still don't understand what people see in AFro Celt, but I'll save that for another thread.
  9. Thomas K

    Thomas K pfm Member


    The liner notes of both Afro Celt albums I have list "talking drums" -- maybe they haven't a clue themselves.

    As concerns their appeal ... you just need a good system to appreciate their music ;-)
  10. joel

    joel Painter of Dragons, Maker of Mirrors

    hmm, talking gibberish I guess then... Fair enough.
    Good point. Must be why I listen to so much weird crap :D
    If I got a better system, my taste in music would also improve.
    Thanks for the tip Thomas
  11. lilolee

    lilolee pfm Member

    Seeing King Sunny Ade tomorrow at the RFH. Can't wait for those drums to start a beating.

    And on the tuned drum thing saw Bikram Ghosh last night (he's played tablas with Ravi Shankar for many years) with his own ensemble of friends doing non classical Indian ragas etc. The consessions were keyboards and a drummer. It was really good. More authentic than either Nitin or Talvin, but nice nods to Western beats. Do check him out.
  12. joel

    joel Painter of Dragons, Maker of Mirrors

    I am envious. We get hardly any African music live here. King Sunny Ade, was the first African "pop" artist I remember hearing (would have been on the Alexis Korner show circa 1980 -81)

    I listen to Kardes Turkuler and don't need your puny, boring "Western beats" ta very much :D
    Rocking to the rhythm of the Levant

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