• African instruments have been present in Africa since prehistoric times, but African music is not just an “add-on” to life as one might see it in the western world, it is an integral part of their social fabric and life itself. There the written word was virtually non-existent until colonial كورة لايف development, music and song were used as a means of recording history that could be passed from one generation to the next.

    Rhythm almost certainly originated in the area we now know as Africa. To the African musically trained ear, almost all modern, non-African music containing variations on African rhythms can be heard. The instruments used to express this music have evolved over millennia and fall broadly into one of five groups of instruments; Drums, strings, shakers, bells or other percussion instruments. Here are some examples of some of the most commonly used African instruments.


    in West African Guinea, the djembe is a hand-held drum played by a person almost exclusively with their bare hands. Usually up to three meters high. The striking head is typically 14 inches in diameter. The shell is made of a hardwood such as ' lenge ' or ' harre ' and the shaved skin of a goad is stretched over the head of the drum, using an arrangement of metal rings and sinew to tighten the skin. A master drummer ( djembefola ) can produce over 36 different sounds from the djembe using only his hands. It is usually played in a group of drummers and each djembe is tuned and sized for a specific tone.


    Originating in West Africa (and now played almost exclusively in that region), the kora is a 21-string bridge harp (but the number of strings varies from region to region). A kora is constructed from a large calabash cut in half and covered with cowhide to form a resonator, and has a notched bridge like a guitar. With a harp-like sound, the kora is played with the hands, playing bass notes with the left hand and the accompanying melody with the right hand.


    Across Africa there is a tree with a seed coat that in its natural form makes an excellent shaker, and it was probably this type of shaker that had been used from the beginning of Rhythm. Shakers are said to add the 'spice' to African music and have evolved over the years, although كورة لايف the use of natural materials is still the norm. In West Africa, a very common and popular shaker called a ' shekere ' is made from a dried gourd with the beads woven into a mesh covering the gourd. Similar gourd and bead or gourd and seed percussion instruments exist throughout the African continent.