In our Kindermusik for the Young Child class is currently studying African Cultural Music. The students got to explore making the changing sounds that my talking drum makes. I can demonstrate a few rhythms and how the drum changes pitch as the strings are squeezed, but I am no master.
Fortunately, these YouTube videos allow us to hear from a true master of the Talking Drum. Rasaki Aladokun of Sonic Soul demonstrates his talent, and answers questions about the instrument during his Berlin Concert on July 20, 2000. There are two videos in the series:
Rasaki introduces himself and the instrument, and demonstrates what is played at a wedding. I love the way he not only demonstrates the music, but also what the drum is saying – in both African and English.
Rasaki introduces what may be played at a funeral, and when a King comes to visit. He also talks about learning the skill from his father, and how his skills developed over time. Watch for his amazing performance at the end.
I hope you enjoyed this excursion into the world of JUJU music – the traditional music of Africa. Look around your community to determine if you have a Drum Circle available. If so, give your family a wonderful music experience – take a drum (even a homemade one) or another percussion instrument. Listen for awhile, then get involved. You will hear the drums talking to you.
Not only is it a rich musical experience, research has shown the participating in drum circles is Excellent at reducing the level of STRESS in the body. I need that! How about you?