African Talking Drum – Music that really talks

In our Kindermusik for the Young Child class is currently studying African Cultural Music.  The students got to explore making the changing sounds that my talking drum makes.  I can demonstrate a few rhythms and how the drum changes pitch as the strings are squeezed, but I am no master.

Fortunately, these YouTube videos allow us to hear from a true master of the Talking Drum.  Rasaki Aladokun of Sonic Soul demonstrates his talent, and answers questions about the instrument during his Berlin Concert on July 20, 2000.  There are two videos in the series:

Rasaki introduces himself and the instrument, and demonstrates what is played at a wedding.  I love the way he not only demonstrates the music, but also what the drum is saying – in both African and English.  It won’t let me embed it, so please use this link to go watch it on YouTube:  The Master of the Talking Drum – Part 1

Make sure to watch Part 1 before Part 2 that is embedded below.

Rasaki introduces what may be played at a funeral, and when a King comes to visit.  He also talks about learning the skill from his father, and how his skills developed over time.  Watch for his amazing performance at the end.

I hope you enjoyed this excursion into the world of JUJU music – the traditional music of Nigeria, Africa. 

It is awesome to explore the world of unique beats.  Look around your community to determine if you have a Drum Circle available.

  • For Polk County families, there is one in Winter Haven on the 2nd Friday night of each month in the downtown area.
  • For Florida, see the list of established drum circles on Florida.
  • Click to their home page to see the list of international drum circles.

If so, give your family a wonderful music experience – take a drum (even a homemade one) or another percussion instrument.  Listen for awhile, then get involved.  You will hear the drums talking to you.

Not only is it a rich musical experience, research has shown the participating in drum circles is Excellent at reducing the level of STRESS in the body.  I need that!   How about you?


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