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talking drums in malta

AfroTon Dondo - Talking Drum | AST 403


The Talking drum is an hourglass-shaped drum from West Africa, whose pitch can be regulated to mimic the tone and prosody of human speech. It has two drumheads connected by leather tension cords, which allow the player to modulate the pitch of the drum by squeezing the cords between their arm and body.

A skilled player is able to play whole phrases. Most talking drums sound like a human humming depending on the way you play. Similar hourglass-shaped drums are found in Asia, but they are not used to mimic speech, although the idakka is used to mimic vocal music.


- Handmade wooden body from a trunk,

- Two goatskins

- Tunable string covering

- By pressing on the string, the timbre changes over a large dynamic range

- Ghana

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