Wednesday, November 12, 2014

(Letters K - O) Videos of Traditional Music Instruments

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is the fifth 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 "K - "O".

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.

Klewon (also known as "kone")


Marimbula (also known as "rhumba box")
Mbela (African mouth bow)
Musical Saw

Nadhaswaram (also known as "nagaswaram")
Ngongo (African mouth bow)


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.

KALIMBA (thumb piano)[Africa]

African Harp and Thumb Piano Ensemble

alkisaka | August 01, 2007

Valanga Khoza - kalimba and vocal

DigitalPillTVwebsite, Uploaded on Feb 15, 2011

VALANGA KHOZA at home playing kalimba and singing a song about his father. Valanga was born in South Africa and spent his youth in Alexandra, a black township of Johannesburg, and in rural Transvaal. Music, dance and storytelling were an integral part of the culture he grew up in. A musician since youth, Valanga has devoted himself to performing since settling in Australia.


"The [thumb piano] instrument is known by different names in different regions of a Africa, including Mbira, Mbila, Mbira Huru, Mbira Njari, Mbira Nyunga, Marimba, Karimba, Kalimba, Likembe, Okeme, as well as marímbula (also called kalimba) in the Caribbean Islands.

The thumb piano originated as an instrument typically played while walking by traveling Griots. It is also often played at religious ceremonies and social gatherings." .

Another entry for thumb pianos is found under "mbira'.


Kazoo Solo - The Ode to Joy by Beethoven

dbrooks1000, Uploaded on Feb 13, 2008

A student from Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, performs Beethoven's Ode to Joy from his 9th Symphony, Opus 125.

KLEWON (Kone)[Hait]

Rara music of Haiti – 6

mbreginny | February 01, 2009
"World music Recordings of real raras passing in Haiti"

This video also features the vaksin (a one-toned bamboo trumpet)

Note that the Haitian "klewon" looks exactly like the South African "vuvuzela".

KORA [Mali]

Mali's Mamadou Diabate plays the kora

ListenForLife1, Uploaded on Apr 13, 2011

Listen for Life ( ) presents: MALI'S MAMADOU DIABATE PLAYS THE KORA

The kora, a 21-string harp, is the leading instrument in ensembles of traditional instruments in Mali and several closely-related West African countries. In this video Mamadou Diabate, who performs kora music

Brikama Griots

pinktoumani, Uploaded on Sep 10, 2008

Malamini, Pa Bobo and Bai Jobarteh playing Kelefa Ba. The drums are two djembe and a sabar. The stringed instrument is the kora.

"The kora is a 21-string harp-lute used extensively by peoples in West Africa. A kora is built from a large calabash cut in half and covered with cow skin to make a resonator, and has a notched bridge like a lute or guitar. The sound of a kora resembles that of a harp, though when played in the traditional style, it bears a closer resemblance to flamenco and delta blues guitar techniques. The player uses only the thumb and index finger of both hands to pluck the strings in polyrhythmic patterns (using the remaining fingers to secure the instrument by holding the hand posts on either side of the strings). Ostinato riffs ("Kumbengo") and improvised solo runs ("Birimintingo") are played at the same time by skilled players."


Nii Okai Aryeetey - Master Kpanlogo Drummer.wmv

Uploaded by headfullofrhythm on Feb 13, 2011

Nii Okai Aryeetey is a master kpanlogo drummer from Accra, Ghana. In this clip he is playing at home with 5 kpanlogo drums


jjgear's channel, Uploaded on Oct 4, 2008

Kpanlogo Pan African Orchestra arrangement.
Performed by members of the Kusun Ensemble.
Filmed in Nungua, Ghana.

"Kpanlogo is a recreational dance and music form from Ghana, West Africa. It was first played by the Ga ethnic group, most of whom live in and around the capital city, Accra, but is now performed and enjoyed throughout the country. It began in the early 1960s as an innovative dance form, influenced by American rock and roll, and giving the younger Ga generations a point of distinction from their elders"...

KUDU [Zimbabwe]
An example of the Kudu (antelope horn) is found under the entry for "Hosho".

KULINTANG [Indonesia]

Making Music with Bamboo (Kulintang) Part 1

blessedmiracles | April 12, 2009

This Easter Sunday, Nong Badong joined us at the beach and played his Kulintang for us - that was fun indeed

"Kulintang is a modern term for an ancient instrumental form of music composed on a row of small, horizontally-laid gongs that function melodically, accompanied by larger, suspended gongs and drums. As part of the larger gong-chime culture of Southeast Asia, kulintang music ensembles have been playing for many centuries in regions of the Eastern Malay Archipelago — the Southern Philippines, Eastern Indonesia, Eastern Malaysia, Brunei and Timor..."


Greensleeves - Anonymous - Cutting – Lute

Luthval | April 29, 2008


Duo 4500-year-old reproduction lyre & pipes

MarkHarmer | September 29, 2007

The Lyre Of Megiddo

Peter Pringle, Published on Jan 25, 2014

The "lyre of Har Megiddo" is an instrument etched onto an ivory plaque that was discovered by archaeologist Gordon Loud in the excavations of a royal palace in the ancient city of Megiddo (aka Armageddon) in Israel. One of the interesting things about this image, which appears at the beginning of this video, is that it dates from roughly the time of the biblical King David (slightly before 1000 B.C.) and if David played a harp, as the Tanach (Old Testament) says he did, it was almost certainly an instrument of this sort.

David's instrument, which was called a "kinnor" in ancient Hebrew, had ten strings, and we know that he played it "with his hand" (as opposed to using a plectrum or pick for strumming - 1 Samuel 13:9). Being curious as to what this instrument might have sounded like, I built a replica of it, and that is what I am playing in this video. It is tuned to an F harmonic minor scale, and strung with pure silk. Harps and lyres in ancient time were strung with gut but silk, when it is properly prepared, is equally hard, strong and resonant.

Was this the sound that lulled troubled King Saul to sleep? We cannot know for sure, but it is possible. If you are curious about this instrument, here is a page on my website that explains a little about its construction and history.

Read the entry for Conga


Jose Granado Maracas

hbarroso01 | October 16, 2008
Solo de Maracas

Note that the maracas are held by the gourd or close to the gourd. In contrast, in the United States maracas are almost always held near the bottom of the sticks.

Another example of the maracas is found in the entry "Samuel Torres performs on cajon and Colombian maracas" that is posted under "c" for "cajon".


Botswana Music Marimba 1

Bokete7 | October 27, 2008

The Marimba band of North Side Primary School Gaborone giving us a tune to remember.


MANUEL URBINA. Uploaded on Nov 16, 2007


MARIMBULA [Caribbean]

Grupo Changui De Guantanamo Dax 08 toros y salsa [Cuba]

joacopercusion | September 23, 2008

Grupo Changüi de Guantanamo en vivo en Toros y salsa Dax 08, interpretando guarare de pastora.
Disfruten del changui tradicional, con marimbula y bongo ! ...

"A marímbula (Spanish pronunciation: [maˈɾimbula]) is a folk musical instrument of the Caribbean Islands (not to be confused with a marimba). The marímbula is usually classified as part of the lamellophone family of musical instruments. With its roots in African instruments, marimbula originated in the province of Oriente, Cuba in the 19th century. Eventually it spread throughout the Caribbean the Americas and Africa, from Liberia to the Congo. By the 1930s it had made its way to Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, other Caribbean islands, Mexico, and as far away as New York City. The Cubans call it marímbula, and most of the other Caribbean countries have adopted this name or some variant of it: marimba, malimba, manimba, marimbol. The instrument has a number of other names, such as marimbola (Puerto Rico), bass box (also spelled Calimba or calymba), Rhumba box, Church & Clap, Jazz Jim (Jamaica), and box lamellophone."...

MBELA (Musical bow)[Central Africa]

Mbela: Arc musical

FredSwimsuit | March 16, 2009
Un Pygmée Aka joue de l'arc musical. Une vidéo de Sorel ETA.
Baka people largely live in Central Africa

Click for information about and illustrations of a number of musical bows of the Baka people.

Two other examples of African mouth bow is found below under "Ngongo" and N!au. These are just a few of the different kinds of African mouth bows.

MBIRA (thumb piano) [Zimbabwe]

Mawungira Enharira

okirakugama | May 01, 2007 |

Remarkable mbira group from Zimbabwe.

The groove sound comes with the dancers percussion and ngoma drums . No longer it is healing sound , it is definetry the groovy which you can not refuze to dance."

Mbira musical instrument played by C Vambe of Chiota village Zimbabwe

ARTSCRAFTGALLERY, Uploaded on Feb 25, 2009
From [Add information about mbira]

MELODEON [Ireland]

Bobby Gardiner & Johnny "Ringo" McDonagh

ganainm124, Uploaded on Sep 22, 2008

jig & reel played by Bobby Gardiner & Johnny "Ringo" McDonagh
"A diatonic button accordion or melodeon is a type of button accordion where the melody-side keyboard is limited to the notes of diatonic scales in a small number of keys (sometimes only one). The bass side usually contains the principal chords of the instrument's key and the root notes of those chords."...


Mridangam Master

mlivevideo | October 12, 2007

Rohan Krishnamurthy, a senior at Kalamazoo College explains the different sounds produced on the mridangam, a classical Indian drum. For more info, please visit
Video by Mark Bugnaski /copyright Kalamazoo Gazette/ Mlive


Opie and Sons [Bahamas]

misterajc | July 04, 2008

Traditional Bahamian Rake 'n' Scrape music played by Opie and his sons.

Rake-n-scrape music [Bahamas]

NorthJersey | March 23, 2009

Rake-n-scrape music can be heard throughout the Bahamas, but is said to have originated on Cat Island.

Ripsaw music, Turks and Caicos 2

Uploaded by WhatGoesOnnn on Nov 27, 2010

The Five Cays Under the Tree Ripsaw Band at the Conch Festival, Blue Hills, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, 27 November 2010.



SRI MATHA NAGABHUSHANA RAO,Published on Mar 28, 2013

NGONGO [Gabon]

The Akele musical bow

Sorosoro, Uploaded on Oct 22, 2010

Linguist: Jean-Marie-Hombert
Image & sound: Luc-Henri Fage
Editing: Caroline Laurent

NGONI [Mali]
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba at the Jools Holland 2007 [Mali]

reebeeking | March 10, 2008

live Mali Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba Africa

African from Burkino Faso with Hand Made instrument Venice Beach California [Donso Ngoni]

NameOnRice | December 09, 2008

Unique music from Africa. Instrument is Ngoni. Filmed by Name On

Here's a viewer comment that provides information about this instrument:
leftysergeant - "...This kind of ngoni is called a "donso ngoni." It has 12 strings. Kora has 21. It probably gave rise to the kora. The banjo was derived from the smaller form of the ngoni, or a similar instrument called the "akonting." The ngoni or something like it is shown in Egyptian tomb paintings, so it has had time to evolve a lot. Some historians trace it back to the Sumerian culture, along with the lyre (which is still widely played in Africa.)"

"The ngoni or "n'goni" is a string instrument originating in West Africa. Its body is made of wood or calabash with dried animal (often goat) skin stretched over it like a drum. In the hands of a skilled ngoni instrumentalist, the ngoni can produce fast rapid melodies. It appears to be closely related to the akonting and the xalam and this instrument family is believed to be the ancestor of the American banjo. This ngoni is called a jeli ngoni, played by griots to perform at celebrations and other special occasions to play the traditional songs (fasa's in manding-language)."

Another type of ngoni is believed to have originated among the donso, a hunter and storyteller caste of the Wasulu people. The larger donso ngoni is still largely reserved for ceremonial purposes while the smaller kamale ngoni has entered popular musical styles such as Wassoulou music."

Also click (The Family of Kora) to read more information about the donso ngoni and other related instruments.


Luo Traditional Music: Man singing and playing Nyatiti

LifeCenterWPA, Uploaded on Nov 25, 2009

Man playing Nyatiti at the Kisumu airport in Kenya

Ayub Ogada-"Africa Calling" (Kenya)

Seka Moke, Uploaded on Apr 9, 2007


N!AU (mouth bow) [Botswana]

Mouth Bow, African Music, !Xo San, Botswana

Nharo! Arts & Crafts Inc, Uploaded on May 4, 2011

At Phuduhudu, in the Kgalgadi District, I met the monna mogolo (old man) and made a short video of him playing his mouth bow. I really enjoy it looking back. Straight from the Kalahari! in Ju/'hoansi the bow is called a N!au. I have seen this type of bow referred to as a /khou online. This video was taken January 10, 2008.



Dennis Obegi, Uploaded on Jan 14, 2010
Here are two responses to my questions on that video's discussion thread about this instrument:

Stema Ggi, 2011
"@Azizip17 it is such a nice song done in the Kisii language of the gusii community from western kenya. the dance is called "entabanana" and it involves the obokano instrument he is carrying on the shouldiers

Alvionjo Vionjo, 2012
"@Azizip17 Hello, You can also put the "Obokano" in different positions so long its drum shaped exterior is resting in a grounded location and all your fingers can reach all the strings just like the guitar. You can also google "Obokano" and click images.
"The obokano (also spelled obukano) is a large bass bowl lyre from Kenya. It is used by the Gusii ethnic group."

Saria's Song (Lost Woods) from Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time Played on STL Ocarina

STL Ocarina, Uploaded on Feb 14, 2009

An Ocarina from
From Wikipedia:
"The ocarina ... is an ancient flute-like wind instrument. While variations exist, a typical ocarina is an oval-shaped enclosed space with four to twelve finger holes and a mouthpiece that projects from the body. It is often ceramic, but other materials, such as plastic, wood, glass, and metal may also be used.

The ocarina is a very old family of instruments, believed to date back some 12,000 years. Ocarina-type instruments have been of particular importance in Chinese and Mesoamerican cultures. The ancient Chinese Xun, made of clay, has a history of probably several thousand years. Different expeditions to Mesoamerica, including the one conducted by Cortés, resulted in the introduction of the ocarina to the courts of Europe. Both the Mayans and Aztecs had produced versions of the ocarina, but it was the Aztecs who brought the song and dance that accompanied the ocarina to Europe."

OUD [Middle East]

Oud Music By Ali Hassan

abuseedo | November 21, 2006
Ali Hassan playing the Oud. Ali Hassan one of the top oud players today.
"The oud (Arabic: العود‎, al-'ūd) is a pear-shaped stringed instrument commonly used in Middle Eastern music. The modern oud and the European lute both descend from a common ancestor via diverging evolutionary paths. The oud is readily distinguished by its lack of frets and smaller neck."...

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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