Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Five Videos Of Fulas' Tambin (Flute) Music

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases five videos of Fulas' (Fulanis', Peuls') Tambin (Flute) music. Selected comments from some of these videos' discussion threads are also included in this post.

Information about the Fulanis (Fulas)is included in this post.

This subject was prompted by this comment in a previous pancocojams' post:
ahmmsh, 2013
"From hearing the flute I can tell they are the descendants of Fulani people who were enslaved by Berbers and Songhai, and sold to the Arabs. The Fulanis call this flute "Tambin", you can see videos of the fulani tambin on youtube too..

I wish the Haratines dignity, freedom and success in this new world that no longer recognises the evils of slavery and racism."
wMauritania's Haritans (Black Moors') Neifara (Flute) music." Eight Examples Of Haritan's Neifara (Flute) Music (Mauritania)
That particular video and one additional video of Haritans' Neifara music from that post are included in the Addendum to this post.

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are featured in this post. Thanks also to the publishers of these examples on YouTube, and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

"The Fula people or Fulani or Fulɓe (Fula: Fulɓe; French: Peul; Hausa: Fulani; Portuguese: Fula; Wolof: Pël; Bambara: Fulaw) numbering approximately 20 million people in total are one of the most widely dispersed and culturally diverse of the peoples of Africa.[5] The Fulani are bound together by the common language of Fulfulde, as well as by some basic elements of Fulbe culture, such as the pulaaku, a code of conduct common to all Fulani groups.

A significant proportion of their number, (an estimated 13 million), are nomadic, making them the largest pastoral nomadic group in the world.[6] Spread over many countries, they are found mainly in West Africa and northern parts of Central Africa, but also in Sudan and Egypt.[7]

...Fulani music is as varied as its people. The numerous sub-groups all maintain unique repertoires of music and dance. Songs and dances reflect traditional life and are specifically designed for each individual occasion. Music is played at any occasion: when herding cattle, working in the fields, preparing food, or at the temple. Music is extremely important to the village life cycle with field cultivation, harvest and winnowing of millet performed to the rhythm of the songs and drums.

Fulani herders have a special affinity for the flute and violin nianioru... The truly Fulani instruments are the one-string viola of the Fulani (nianioru), the flute, the two to five string lute hoddu or molo, and the buuba and bawdi set of drums. But they are also influenced by the other instruments of the region such as the beautiful West African harp, the kora, and the balafon. Entertainment is the role of certain casts. The performance of music is the realm of specialized casts. The Griots or Awlube recite the history of the people, places and events of the community."...

These examples are given in chronological order according to their publishing dates on YouTube with the oldest dated example given first.

The comments are given in chronological order, except for responses. However, they may not be in consecutive order.

Example #1: Flute Lesson with Lancinet Conde of Les Ballets Africains

Alan Tauber, Uploaded on Jan 25, 2009

Example #2: ABOU DIARRA ft DRAMANE DEMBELÉ - Live session "An ka belebele"

Abou Diarra, Uploaded on Jun 23, 2010

Abou Diarra et Dramane Dembelé. Festival des Jardins de Rochefort le 5 juin 2010.
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread:
MOA Photography, 2013
"it is fantastic!!!!! what is the name of the tool that looks like a flute?"

leftysergeant, 2013
in reply to MOA Photography
"It is called the tambin or Peuhl (Fula) flute, typical of Mali, Guinea and Senegal."

Egunjobi, 2013
"@Aboungoni, who is the Flutist?"

Abou Diarra, 2013
"Hello, Le joueur de flute s'appelle Dramane Dembelé."
Google Translate from French to English:
Hello, The flute player is called Dramane Dembele.

leftysergeant, 2013
"Does anyone have a problem with my using the term "absolute freaking GENIUS?"

I have never seen anyone play the kamel ngoni like that before. The percussive sounds he coaxes out of it are amazing.

I must find more examples of these people's work."

Egunjobi, 2013
in reply to leftysergeant
"Jam Tan ! Don't forget the Brotha' on the Tambin(Fulani Flute). Me welltima"

leftysergeant, 2013
in reply to Egunjobi
"I am sure that he will in time be recognized as the master of the instrument for his generation. I have heard a few old men do better, but not by much."

[written in response to a comment that that instrument was a Kora and not a Ngoni]
leftysergeant, 2013
in reply to TheTrapperjaw
"They may have a similar origin, but the kamale ngoni is derived from the Donso ngoni of the Donso hunter caste of the Wassoulou region. Some time in the 1960 it was modified intro its current form and has served as the basis for the characteristic popular music of the Wassoulou region. Much of Oumou Sangare's recordings and stage performances are accompanied by the kamale ngoni. The kamale ngoni has only 8-12 strings, while the kora has 21. and is larger and held differently."

Gene Emerson, 2014
"Absolutely beautiful! The harmony between the two musicians, just wonderful. Do I hear the word Senegal in the song? Thanks to the explanation @left sergeant and@Abou Diarra, I have a better understanding of these magnificent West African instruments. Bravo!"

Djimt Cie, 2014
"Yes, Senegali in bambara. You'll have to learn more..."

mohamed sow, 2014
"God bless Mali and burkina fasso. This is our tradition song. Specialy decicated to hunters"

Example #3: Fallou Sy, ich spiele eine Tambin Fulani Flöte

f25824 Uploaded on Jan 5, 2010

Fallou Sy, ich spiele eine Tambin Fulani Flöte. Es tanzt das National-balett des Senegal. Ich spiele eine traditionelle,spezielle Obertonflöte Flöte. Es ist eine Tambin auch Fulani genannt.
Google Translate from German to English:
Fallou Sy, I play a Tambin Fulani flute. [I'm a member of the dance group] the National Ballet of Senegal. I play a traditional, special overtone flute. It is also known as Fulani Tambin.

Example #4: Fula Flute "Bao Fello"

Sylvain Leroux, Uploaded on May 5, 2011

Fula Flute presents Bailo Bah performing the song "Bao Fello" in an environment of works by French sculptor Alain Kirili. Special thanks to Alain and Arianne for the use of their loft and enthusiastic support. © Fula Flute Music 2011
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread:
md2v4, 2012
"fula's masters of the flutes."

fulaqueen, 2012
"The flute represent all of us proud fulani people puular all the way onyodaramaaaa"

nikolaus gerszewski, 2014
"This reminds me of the “Prague Experiment” of which I have read with Jakob Ullmann. As I can no longer find the part, I must rely on my memory: The experiment took place in the 1930s. An african flute player visited the town of Prague to perform one of his compositions. A western flute player, who had the reputation of being able to repeat any piece of music after a single listening, was engaged to replay the Africans composition. So he repeated note for note of what he believed to have heard. However the African said, this was not his piece. So he was required to play his composition again himself. Yet no one in the audience could recognize any correspondence between the first and the second performance. The audience was obviously accustomed to focus on melodic progression, i.e. sequence of pitches and durations; and so was the western flute player. The African instead focussed on the shape of the sound itself, i.e. the subtle mixture ratios of tone and breath; pitch and duration were not even secondary parameters. Since the western audience did not know the code, they were literally unable to hear the music."

Gidado, 2014
"Change your Spelling in the title from "Bao fello" to "BAAWO FERLO".... That is the correct spelling in Fulfulde."

Example #5: OUSMANE BAH Fula flute Senegal

Ariel Nahum Published on Jun 10, 2012

Example #1: yelallkom mesoeydik Music Mauritania Uploaded on Jul 18, 2008
Here's a comment from this video's discussion thread:

Diallo Gouné, 2015
sa me fait un grand plaisir d'écouter cette musique en tant que mauritanien de la région du guidimakha
Google Translate from French to English
it gives me great pleasure to listen to this music as the Mauritanian Guidimaka region

Example #2: belkhere yelalkom - meso eydikom music mauritania, Uploaded on Mar 2, 2011
Read a selected comment from this video's discussion thread above.

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  1. Hi PancocoJams, I was just browsing your blog and wanted to share a great band of musicians I saw several times in the Netherlands. They are composed of African Francophone natives and diaspora players, and Dutch locals from the town of Groningen. What really struck me was the Ngoni playing and percussion and I would love to share it with more people-

    band website:

    An example of a recording made under the guitarist's name but including all the band members:

    Best to you.

    1. Thanks for that information about Dramali.

      YouTube has several videos of that band. Here's a link to one of Dramali's videos:

      I love their sound!