Wednesday, November 12, 2014

(Letters C - F) Videos of Traditional Music Instruments

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is the third in a series of seven posts on traditional music instruments throuighout the world. This post features one or two videos of and information about various traditional instruments whose names begins with the letter "C" - "F".

To access other posts in this series, click the "traditional musical instruments" tag below.

In the context of this series, with a few exceptions such as pan ("steel drums"), and vuvuzelas, my definition of "traditional music instruments" are those instruments that were created prior to 20th century and which are largely unfamiliar to people in the general public (including me).

My thanks to the musicians and vocalists featured on these videos and to all the publishers of these videos.

This series does not purport to include examples of all "traditional music instruments" worldwide.

I love listening to music & I enjoy watching music videos. Unfortunately, I don't play any musical instrument and I've never studied ethnomusicology anywhere but informally online. I'm definitely not an expert on the subject of traditional music instruments.


Darbuka (Doumbek Goblet drum; Chalice drum)
Dholak [also known as "Dhol"]
Diddley bow
Donso Mgoni
Dununs [also known as "Dun Dun", "Djun", "Sangba", and "Kinkani]



These featured instruments are presented in alphabetical order, with their geographical places of origin given in brackets.

Other featured traditional musical instruments may be shown in the video for the instrument that is showcased in this post. Some viewer comments may be included along with quoted information about the showcased instrument.

CAJON [Caribbean, South America]

Cajon Solo David Kuckhermann

Samuel Torres performs on cajon and Colombian maracas

martincongahead | October 11, 2006

Award winning, Samuel Torres performs a solo piece on Cajon and
Colombian maracas as part of the Profiles in Greatness series

Information about the "cajon":
"Cajón .. "crate," "drawer," or "box") is a kind of box drum played by slapping the front face (generally thin plywood) with the hands...The cajón is the most widely used Afro-Peruvian musical instrument in the 20th century.

Slaves of West and Central African origin in the Americas, specifically Peru, are considered to be the source of the cajón drum; though the instrument is common in musical performance throughout the Americas. In Cuba, the cajón is associated with the Afro-Cuban drum/song/dance style known as rumba, while in Peru it is associated with several Afro-Peruvian genres."


Live beiaard concert / Carillon Concert Live in Mechelen

quasimodo2 | July 26, 2006

Jo Haazen is playing Prelude II of Matthias Vanden Gheyn on the Carillon of the Sint-Rombouts Tower in Mechelen (Belgium/Flanders). His cabin is about 80 meter high and he is surrounded by 49 Tuned Bronze Carillon Bells.

Information about the Carillon
"A carillon.... is a musical instrument that is typically housed in the bell tower (belfry) of a church or municipal building. The instrument consists of at least 23 cast bronze, cup-shaped bells, which are serially played to produce a melody, or sounded together to play a chord. A traditional manual carillon is played by striking a keyboard — the stick-like keys of which are called batons — with the fists, and by pressing the keys of a pedal keyboard with the feet. The keys mechanically activate levers and wires that connect to metal clappers that strike the inside of the bells, allowing the performer on the bells, or carillonneur/carillonist to vary the intensity of the note according to the force applied to the key."

CASTANETS [Phoenician]

Guajira Castanets and Guitar

FlamencoForSchools | November 28, 2007

María José García plays Guajira a flamenco piece for Castanets and Guitar.

Information about Castanets
"The castanets are a centuries-old, percussion instrument whose earliest recorded history dates to over 1000 B.C. and whose origin is attributed to the Phoenicians, a culture imminently commercial, who thrived in the countries surrounding the basin of the Mediterranean: Greece, Turkey, Italy, and Spain. However, over the course of history, it has been Spain that has conserved and developed their use and as such, the castanets are considered the cultural patrimony of Spain (they are considered the national instrument of the country). Thus, the castanets are usually used with the music that gives a Spanish color and character to that music."...


Rumba in Havana Vieja 3

rqshquesada | September 21, 2006

This is another song from the same day Rumba in Havana Vieja. Here you will see them start and then stop. It began to rain a few minutes later and that's when I made it into the owner's house...

Rumberos De Cuba Cuban Music

CubaCheChe | October 26, 2007

the Rumberos de Cuba 2008

Information about Claves:
"Claves are a pair of solid, wood sticks, each about seven inches long and an inch in diameter, and usually made of rosewood. One clave is cupped loosely in the hand and is struck with the other. The clave are used widely in Latin America, and most popular in Cuba. The rhythm usually played on the clave is called 'clave'."


Pedro "Pedrito" Martinez sings song, accompanies on conga

martincongahead | October 22, 2006

Award winning percussionist, Pedro "Pedrito" Martinez sings song and accompanies himself on conga

Information about Conga drums:
"The conga is a tall, narrow, single-headed Cuban drum of African origin, probably derived from the Congolese Makuta drums. The Cuban conga is staved, like a barrel. These drums were probably made originally from salvaged barrels. They were used both in Afro-Caribbean religious music and as the principal instrument in rumba. Congas are now very common in Latin music, including salsa music, as well as many other forms of American popular music. A percussionist who specializes in playing the conga is called a "conguero."...

In English, "conga" can refer to drums of a number of sizes. The names for the individual drums vary even in Cuba. As many as six different drums are included in the conga family: The supertumba is the largest, followed by the tumba, conga, quinto, requinto, and ricardo. The drum that is called a "conga" in English is sometimes called a tumba or tumbadora in Spanish. Some sources give tumba for the largest drum and niño for the smallest.

The term conga was popularized in the 1950s, when Latin music swept the United States. Cuban son music and New York jazz fused together to create what was then termed mambo, but later became known as salsa. In that same period, the popularity of the Conga Line helped to spread this new term. In Spanish, conga players are called congueros, while rumberos refers to those who dance following the path of the players. The word conga came from the rhythm la conga used during Carnival in Cuba."...

COWBELL [various geographical locations]

Jorge Gonzalez-bongos, cowbell and guiro

martincongahead, Uploaded on Nov 28, 2006

Jorge Gonzalez, bongocero with Spanish Harlem orchestra demonstrates martillos, cowbell and guiro patterns

Information about cowbells:
"The cowbell is an idiophone hand percussion instrument used in various styles of music including salsa and infrequently in popular music. It is named after the similar bell historically used by herdsmen to keep track of the whereabouts of cows."...
Also, read the entry for "Agogo".

Darbuka (Doumbek Goblet drum; Chalice drum)
Dholak [also known as dhol]
Diddley bow
Donso ngoni
Dununs (also known as dun dun, sangba, kinkani, djun djuns)
Dundun (Yoruba, Nigeria talking drum)


DARBUKA (also known as Doumbek, Globlet drum, Chalice drum)
[countries near the Middle East]

Onur Darbuka Solo

silivrilidarbukaci | July 02, 2006

From Turkey İstanbul/silivri ONUR DARBUKA solo he is amazing :)

Information on Darbuka:
"The Goblet drum (also Chalice drum, Darbuka or Doumbek) is a goblet shaped hand drum used mostly in music originating in countries near the Middle East. Its thin, responsive drumhead and resonance help it produce a distinctively crisp sound. Though it is not known exactly when these drums were first made, they are known to be of ancient origin.

Traditionally, goblet drums may be made of clay, metal, or wood. Modern goblet drums are also sometimes made of synthetic materials, including fiberglass. Modern metal drums are commonly made of aluminum (either cast, spun, or formed from a sheet) or copper. Some aluminum drums may have a mother-of-pearl inlay, which is purely decorative. Traditional drum heads were animal skin, commonly goat and also fish. Modern drums commonly use synthetic materials for drum heads, including mylar and fiberglass."...

DHANTAL [India, Caribbean]


phasenetix, Uploaded on Jun 16, 2010


Information about the dhantal

The dhantal is a long steel rod based percussion instrument which was adapted from the iron "bows" that yoked the oxen that pulled the carts on the estates in Guyana, Surinam, and Trinidad and Tobago.[1] The original beater was an actual horseshoe, a shape which is still retained in the dhantal's modern context as a musical instrument. Its top is tapered to a fine point to allow for greater resonance, and its end is shaped into a circle that rests on the ground, table, or other surface when it is played. It is usually about a meter long and 3/8" to 1/2" thick.[2]


The dhantal is of Indian origin, but most commonly found in the Caribbean. It is unclear whether it was brought to the Caribbean from India or invented by Indian laborers on the Caribbean sugar plantations. The instrument's name literally means "stick percussion" from danda, "stick," and taal, the act of striking rhythmically.[3]"

DHOLAK [India, Caribbean, Suriname]

Dholak - Band leader of X3me Int'l Band

Uploaded by mohanlakhan on Feb 21, 2007

Information about the Dholak
"The dholak ... is a South Asian two-headed hand-drum. It may have traditional cotton rope lacing, screw-turnbuckle tensioning or both combined: in the first case steel rings are used for tuning or pegs a twisted inside the laces. The dholak is mainly a folk instrument, lacking the exact tuning and playing techniques of the tabla or the pakhawaj. The drum is pitched, depending on size, with an interval of perhaps a perfect fourth or perfect fifth between the two heads. It is related to the larger Punjabi dhol and the smaller dholki'


It is widely used in qawwali, kirtan, lavani and bhangra. It was formerly used in classical dance. Indian children sing and dance to it during pre-wedding festivities. It is often used in Filmi Sangeet - Indian film music - in chutney music, baithak gana, tan singing and the local Indian music of Jamaica, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, where it was brought by indentured immigrants. In the Fiji Islands the dholak is widely used for bhajan and kirtan. Also it is mostly used in India."

DIDGERIDOO [[Australia]

Didgeridoo virtuoso David Blanasi, Outback Adventures 1998

ididjaustralia,Published on May 27, 2014

An early 1998 episode of Outback Adventures with high-adrenalin Aussie bushman and outback daredevil Troy Dann.

Ryka Ali Plays Aboriginal Eucalyptus Didgeridoo

Barry Martin, Uploaded on Jun 19, 2008

Learn about the didgeridoo, how to play one, and where to buy your own at L.A.Outback Didgeridoos in Palm Springs, CA. Visit this didgeridoo mega site:

Information about
"Didgeridoo and clapping sticks

A didgeridoo is a type of musical instrument that, according to western musicological classification, falls into the category of aerophone. It is one of the oldest instruments to date. It consists of a long tube, without finger holes, through which the player blows. It is sometimes fitted with a mouthpiece of beeswax. Didgeridoos are traditionally made of eucalyptus, but contemporary materials such as PVC piping are used.

In traditional situations it is played only by men, usually as an accompaniment to ceremonial or recreational singing, or, much more rarely, as a solo instrument. Skilled players use the technique of circular breathing to achieve a continuous sound, and also employ techniques for inducing multiple harmonic resonances. Although traditionally the instrument was not widespread around the country - it was only used by Aboriginal groups in the most northerly areas - today it is commonly considered the national instrument of the Australian Aborigines and is world renowned as a unique and iconic instrument."

Also, see the entry for yirdaki in the seventh post of this series.

DIDDLEY BOW (United States/African Americans)

The History of The Diddley Bow

Jon Nelson, Uploaded on Aug 13, 2009

Documentary outlining a brief history of the Diddley Bow

Napolian Strickland: Jesus Stop By Here (1978)

Uploaded by AlanLomaxArchive on Jan 6, 2012

Napolian Strickland sings a short "Jesus Stop By Here" — a variant of "Jesus Won't You Come By Here" or "Daniel In the Lion's Den" — accompanying himself on diddley-bow. Shot by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long at Strickland's home in Como, Mississippi, August 29, 1978. For more information about the American Patchwork filmwork, Alan Lomax, and his collections, visit [02.13.18]

DJEMBES [West Africa]

Grand Master Djembe Player! [Mali]

rootsymali | September 13, 2006

Sega Cisse is a 70 year old master djembe player from Mali.

Amazing -


Gary B. Smith, Uploaded on Jan 5, 2011

Traditional Djembe Drumming in Dakar, Senegal. A musical feast for all fans of West Africa's unique drum stylings. Join Mbaw as he and his talented group transfix you with their live-on-location rhythmic skills. [flimed in 2007]

"A djembe (pronounced /ˈdʒɛmbeɪ/ 'JEM-bay') also known as jembe, jenbe, djimbe, jymbe, yembe, or jimbay, or sanbanyi in Susu; is a skin-covered hand drum shaped like a large goblet and meant to be played with bare hands. According to the Bamana people in Mali, the name of the djembe comes directly from the saying "Anke dje, anke be" which literally translates to "everyone gather together" and defines the drum's purpose. In the Bamanakan language, "Dje" is the verb for "gather" and "be" translates as "everyone"...


"River Flow" Medieval Hammered Dulcimer Music by Dizzi

dizzid11 | April 10, 2007

This Song is available on my new album "Dulci Solo"

[Musical instrument: hammered dulcimer]

I'll Fly Away, played on mountain dulcimer by David Durrence

dulcimermusicman, Uploaded on Apr 15, 2011

This is an old Hymnal played by David Durrence, in his usual style of playing. The setting is his back yard in Waycross, Georgia. David is playing one of the dulcimers that he has build under the name of Caney Creek Dulcimers. The tuning is DAA, a half step higher to D#A#A#. I hope you are blessed.

DUNDUN [Yoruba talking drum]

The Yoruba DunDun Talking drum ensemble, as seen on Lagbaja's site

Uploaded by richardolatunde on Oct 26, 2010
The smaller drum at the end of the line is the Gudugudu.

Lágbájá - Lulu Fun Won

Motherlan on Jun 1, 2010

MOTHERLAN' the official video channel, presents "Lùlù Fuń Wọn". Part of a series of new videos from Lagbaja's new albums - Paradise & Sharp Sharp
he drums with the bells attached and played with a curved stick are Dun Duns (talking drums). The long pear shape drums are Bata.
Here are two comments from that viewer comment thread about that video:
taganew, 2011:
"it's called oriki... a sort of praise mixed with epithets. It loses its strength and deep meaning if translated to english. There are just some yoruba expressions that are like that. Hard to translate to english without dimishing content. I do not know if you understand, but yoruba is a highly expressive language. It's tonal and wooven with emotions. It's hard for someone who does not know any tonal language to understand."

taganew, 2011
"basically the man in purple&yellow is singing epithets to Lagbaja (and a bit of his lineage too). And Lagbaja is upset with him and warns him to stop the oriki, probably because he does not want him to reveal his identity (Lagbaja i.e. since nobody knows who he is). Then, the man invites him to dance and he does"...

Information on Dun Duns:
"Nigeria talking drum (dundun)"Pronounced (" doon-doon "), and sometimes referred to as a talking drum, is a wooden hourglass-shaped, two-headed drum covered with goatskin, whose twin heads are laced together by thongs of gut or leather. This instrument is cradled under one arm while the other hand strikes one side of the drum with a curved wooden stick. By manipulating tension on these thongs, the player can alter the pitch of the tone he/she is making, thus enabling the dundun to "talk" or produce the tones that sound like words. A master drummer can maintain a regular monologue on a talking drum, saying hi to different people, cracking jokes, and telling stories."

DUNUN (Also known as djun-djuns, Dununba, konkoni, kenkeni, and sangban are types of dunduns) [West Africa, Senegal]

The talking drum-Donno.mpg-Kwame Ansah-Brew @ Frostburg State Univ.

firitete, Uploaded on Dec 2, 2009

Guest Artiste for African Students Assoc. @ Frostburg State University. 2008

west african drums – Senegal

maely84 | September 02, 2008

seattle's bumbershoot 2008 -thione & gora diop

Les Cinq Fréres play Dundunba

Uploaded by louissanou on Feb 14, 2010

Recorded in the "Zuckerfabrik" in Enns/Austria on the 5. May 2009. Djembe Soloists: Louis Sanou, Fatogoma Dembele, Siaka Diarra (Petit Siaka). Djembe accompaniment : Robert Sanou. Dundunba: Idrissa Diarra. (All from Burkina Faso / West Africa
Editor: This video also includes djembes and various other types of dunduns (sangba, kinkani)

Information about Dunun:
"A Dunun (also known as dundun, doundoun, or djun-djun) is the generic name for a family of West African bass drums that developed alongside the djembe in the Mande drum ensemble. It is not to be confused with the dundun, the Yoruba name of the West African talking drum. There are different sizes of dunduns, ranging from 25 to 60 cm. Basing on the size, construction technique and tuning, there are different names for each type of dundun. Some of the most often used names are konkoni, kenkeni, sangban, dununba, djeli-dun, etc."

ENANGA (also known as "Ennanga" and "Nanga") [Uganda]


INI KENETH, Uploaded on Jul 12, 2010


Enanga (enuma)

Wade Patterson, Uploaded on Aug 13, 2010

Enanga (zither). Song title is Enuma. Performed by Herbert Bakesigaki and recorded by Wade Patterson, Glendon Jones and Chris Zimmerman outside of Kabale, Uganda in late 1994.
Here are selected comments from this video's discussion thread:
Joseph Rushubiza, 2014
"What is the song about? The melody is like that of the "nanga" performed by the Bahaya in Bukoba

Wade Patterson, 2014
"Hi Joseph,
Yes, the enanga and nanga are versions of the same instrument. Even the Acholi nanga is related. The main characteristic feature is that the strings are actually one string woven back at forth at different tensions. It is found throughout Rwanda and Burundi, among the Banyankole and Bahaya and other areas in the region in DRC, Tanzania and possibly Kenya. There is even a version known by a different name - bangwe - in Malawi. Tanzanian author M. Mulokozi has done some excellent work on the nanga/enanga in TZ. at one point he was organizing festivals to help revive interest in it.

Herbert (the artist featured here) told me this song was about a particular mountain antelope or deer which is particularly tasty. As with most of these songs, the topic is a device to speak of different topics. In this case I believe he calls out the names and accomplishments of great people in the community. But I do not speak Rukiga so hopefully someone can chime in with more detail or corrections.
Information from
"The ennanga, nanga or enanga is a type of arched harp played by the Ganda people of Uganda. The sound box is made of a single piece of wood and roughly hemispherical. The top of the box is a stretched resonant membrane made of antelope skin, tied to a piece of hide at the bottom of the box. The neck is attached to the inside of the box, exits through a small round opening on the membrane, and curves upward for about 60 to 70 cm. Seven or eight strings are attached to a piece of wood inside the box, and extend through the skin to tuning pegs inserted along the neck. Sometimes small metallic rattling pieces are attached to the pegs, to color the sound. It is usually used to accompany men's singing."

ENDONGO [Uganda]

Seby Ntege and Andy Cooke - Ganga Alula

Raquel Ribes Miro, Uploaded on Sep 1, 2009

Ganga Alula, which means "Ganga had a lucky escape", is a royal song from Buganda in Uganda. Andy is playing an ennanga harp, a rare 8 stringed instrument from Buganda, traditionally used for entertaining the Kabaka (King) and other dignitories. The distinctive buzzing sound of the instrument comes from the grazing of the strings against rings of lizard skin. Seby accompanyies this with his endongo thumbpiano from Busoga, Uganda.
The articles that I've read online indicate that the endongo is a lyre. Is the summary in this video wrong about endongo being a thumb piano? And are entongoli and endongo the same instrument?


entongoli explanation

Wade Patterson, Uploaded on Aug 14, 2010

Explanation of Entongoli (lyre) playing style from Busoga. Performed by Balikowa Centurio of Ndere Troupe and recorded by Wade Patterson, Glendon Jones and Chris Zimmerman in Kampala, Uganda late 1994.
"Some Traditional African Instruments", January 29th, 2010 | Author: richhill The “endongo” or Ganda Lyre has a single hole, the Entongoli or Soga instrument has two pieces of barkcloth, banana threads or ordinary cloth and it winds around the yoke."


Fontomfrom - Royal Music of the Akan People - Otumfuo Opuku Ware II - Ayie

Uploaded by africanbushdoctor on Feb 7, 2011

Excerpts from the Traditional Funeral of Otumfuo Opuku Ware II (Late Asantehene). Sunday, March 21, 1999 to Thursday, March 25, 1999. This is an excerpt from inside the Royal Palace of the Asante "Manhyia". The music and dance is called Fontomfrom. Fontomfrom are "State Drums" of the Asante people and they recite very ancient and deep proverbs. The dance is also a language which is also known to be extremely deep.
Filmed in Kumasi, Ghana By Nana Kimati Dinizulu.

Ghana Drummers - Dzeleimi Labadi Beach Ghana Pilo, Kwakye, Susan, Sebe, Kareem, Azizi, Ocu!

WP, Uploaded on Nov 26, 2009
In case there's any question about it, the "Azizi" noted in this video isn't this blog's editor.

"Ashanti fontomfrom

Very popular in traditional music from Ghana, the Fontomfrom Ensemble is used to communicate royal messages in Ashanti tribal settings, as well as to play some popular. The energetic poly-rhythms created with these drums can be extremely complex, and is usually very loud given the size and purposes of the drums."

Videos are posted in the "r" section for "Rubboard"

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments and additions to this list are welcome.

You may also be interested in my new blog:
Cocojams2 showcases examples of English language playground rhymes, cheers, and singing games, with special emphasis given to African American examples.

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