In a In our Kindermusik for the Young Child class is currently studying African Cultural Music.   Our young developing musicians were able 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, there are amazing YouTube videos that allow us to hear from a true master of the Talking Drum.  Rasaki Aladokun is truly a master with this drum, and others, and is fascinating to observe in action.   Follow this link to listen to him play the drum, then interprets what he just played in his native language, and then again in English.   There are three pieces he introduces, one for a funeral, one for when the king will be visiting the village, and one for a wedding.

Part 2 of this series shows him playing with others on a stage.  If the link doesn’t work, please search by his name, or the words that have the link.   In a different video, Rasaki talks about learning the skill from his father, and how his skills developed over time.  Because of the specific “language” that this drumming symbolizes, it must be taught by a master to those wishing to learn this traditional way of playing.

.Another master drummer,  Ayan Bisi Adeleke, demonstrates a WIDE RANGE of sounds that can be played on a talking drum in the first half of the video, then the bembe drum and gongon (shekere) in the 2nd half… WOW, so impressive.  

Ayan Bisi Adeleke – Master talking drummer – drum talks



It is awesome to explore the world of unique beats.  Look around your community to determine if you have a Drum Circle available.  That is one of my favorite ways to see some amazing drummers in action and FEEL the beat.  

For Florida, see the list of established drum circles on Florida.   My favorites are Nokomis Beach (Sundays) and Venice Beach (Saturdays)

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?

image of 3 talking drums

I hope you enjoyed this introduction into the unique cultural instrument of the BATA, the talking drum, which is part of JUJU music – the traditional music of Nigeria, Africa.

You may be able to find one of these drums to try in a music store nearby.  Or, of course, you can come visit us in our Kindermusik classes in Lakeland. 

Just ask me, Ms Debbie, to try the talking drum.  I  definitely takes requests if you’d like to experience this drum, or so many other different drums and musical instruments I has gathered over the years for us to play.