TECHNIQUES OF CONSTRUCTING DUNDUN: ABDULAHI AYULLA IN PERSPECTIVE

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ABSTRACT
                                                                   

Over the years music has become an art of inestimable value to the society, handed down from generation to generation and with every generation experiencing a considerable level of civilization, and has not been left behind. The music world has improved tangibly and this has gone a long way to affect the kind of music performed, and the types of instruments used in performances. 21st century music, as any observant would note, has witnessed a tremendous growth with new instruments being discovered and produced. One of the old instruments that seem neglected in the Yoruba popular music scene is the African talking drum popularly called the Dundun in the Yoruba popular music scene. This instrument has been handed down from generation to generation amongst the Yoruba people of Nigeria and has always proven to be an indispensable dream to so many musicians especially in the performance of traditional African music. This is as a result of the many qualities peculiar to the dundun drum.  It is saddening to note however, that despite the obvious quality of the dundun drums, many people have failed to pay attention to the magic behind the ability of the dundun drum to stand out amongst its equals even in contemporary times. It is for this reasons that I have decided to concentrate basically on the constructional techniques of Dundun drum as my project. In the cause of writing this project I have endeavored to see that anyone who reads this project will not only discover the technicalities involved in constructing the dundun drums but will also come to appreciate the beauty of its sonority as an African traditional musical instrument. To carry out this research work I have decided to consult various literature /books and with some observation method as I observed the Abdullahi Ayulla in his workshop, as he constructed the dundun instrument. One of the ancient instruments that seem neglected in the traditional Yoruba popular music scene is the talking drum, popularly called the dundun.

TABLE OF CONTENT

Title page
Table of Content

CHAPTER ONE
1.1: Introduction
1.2: Classification of Musical Instrument ( Sach- Hornbostel)
1.3: Jaap Kunst’s Observation on Sach and Hornbostel Classification
1.4: Echezona’s System of Classification
1.5: Chukwu Sam Kenneth Ihenyi’s System of Classification
1.6: Mosunmola Omibiyi’s Classification
1.7: Nwachukwu’s Classification
1.8: Akpabot’s System of Classification
1.9: Richard Okafor’s System of Classification
1.10: Nwamba Nketia’s Classification
1.11: Nzewi’s System of Classification
1.12: Historical Background
1.13: Aims and Objecting
1.14: Methodology

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.0: The African membrane drum can talk
2.1: The talking drum
2.2:  African traditional instruments
2.3: Membranes drum tuning / theoretical frame work
2.4: Range of Dundun Ensemble on Musical Staff
2.5: The Psychology Nature of African Membrane Drum
2.6:  Male –Female concepts
2.7: Playing the membrane drum
2.8:  Acoustic considerations of the dundun

CHAPTER THREE: MATERIALS USED
3.1: Materials and Their Uses
3.1: Tools and Materials
3.2: Seasoning of materials (Skin)
3.3: Wood Seasoning
3.4: Natural or Open Air Seasoning
3.5: Kiln Seasoning
3.6: Analysis on drying rate

CHAPTER FOUR
4.1: Construction process: The various stages of the construction of Dundun

CHAPTER FIVE
5.1: Notated scores on the playing of dundun drum/ membrane drums
5.2: Playing techniques
5.3: Dundun and Modern Technological Development in Nigeria
5.4: Summary
5.5: Recommendations
5.6: Conclusion

References


CHAPTER ONE
 INTRODUCTION                           
            Music can be said to be abstract or non-figurative art that comes as an expression of emotional feelings to create diverse reactions in the heart of any listener depending on how it is performed. Africans are known to believe that music has magical powers embedded in it and could be used to invoke whatever deity they desire to invoke. Though it, is necessary to note that the kind of music performed at any point in time depends largely on the individual or group performing such music, and this is why there exists a thick wall of difference between the kinds of music performed in African societies and in the western world, as well as the kind of instruments involved in their performances.
            Music, as history has it, started right from the existence of man through the sounds they perceived and the things that went on in their immediate surroundings. This gave birth to the production of rhythms through clapping of hands and stamping of feet which later evolved to the making of drum-like structures and many more like flutes and string instruments. According to ethno-musicologists the musical instruments that existed in those primitive times could be classified into four categories namely:
(a)     Membranophones _____ Drum (dundun)
(b)    Aerophones          _____ Blown instruments (kakaki)
(c)     Chordophones      _____ String instruments (Goje)
(d)   Idiophones           _____ Self sounding instruments (Sekere)
In line with these classifications, a researcher called Curt Sachs (1959) was a German musicologist known for his extensive study and expertise on the history of musical instruments. Sachs worked alongside Erich Moritz von Hornbostel (18877-1933) an Austria musicologist and expert on the history of non-European music. Their collaborative work is now known as the Sachs-Hornbostel system, a method of classifying musical instruments according to the type of vibrating material used to produce sound.

1.1: CLASSIFICATION OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENT (SACHS-HORNBOSTEL)
Idiophones- Musical instruments in which a vibrating solid material is used to produce sound. Examples of solid materials used n such instruments are stone, wood, metal. Idiophones are differentiated according to how you make it vibrate. Such as:
  1. Concussion- A pair of similar instrument that are struck against each other to create sound. Examples: cymbals, castanets.
  2. Friction – Instrument that produce sound when robbed. An example of glasses in which the musician rubs his moistened fingers on the rim of the glasses to produce sound.
  3. Percussion – Musical instrument that produce sound by striking or using a striker. Examples: xylophones, triangles, bells, gongs, steel drums.
  4. Plucked – Also known as linguaphones, these are musical instruments that need to be plucked to create sound, such as the Jew’s harp in which the player plucks the “tongue” of the instrument.
  5. Scraped – As the name implies, these instruments that when scraped, produce sound. Examples of these are cog rattles and washboards.
  6. Shaken – Musical instruments that need to be shaken to create sound. A perfect example is maracas, which are believed to have been invented by native Indians of puerto Rico.
  7. Stamping – Instrument that produce sound when stamped on a hard surface, such as the shoes used by tap dancers.
  8. Stamped – When sound is produced by the material itself that’s being stamped on.
Membranophones- Musical instruments that have vibrating streched membranes or skin that produce sound. Membranophones are classified according to the shape of the instrument.
1.      Kettle Drum – Also known as vessel drums, these are rounded at the bottom and may be tunable or non-tunable. This vibrating membrane is either laced, nailed or glued to the body and player uses his hands, a beater or both to strike it.
2.      Tabular Drum - Are further classified into barrel, cylindrical, conical, double conical, goblet, hourglass and shallow. Tubular drums may either be tunable and non tunable. Like the kettle drums, it may be played by using both the hands or a striker and the vibrating membrane is laced, nailed or glued to the body.
3.      Friction Drums- Instead of striking, the stretched membrane vibrates when there is friction. These are non-tunable and the player uses a cord or stick to create sound.
4.      Mirlitons- Unlike other musical instruments belonging to memebranophones, mirlitons are not drums. The membranes produce sound with the vibration of a player’s voice or instrument. Mirliton are non-tunable, a good example of this type are kazoos.
5.      Other membranophones are called frame works in which the skin or membrane is stretched over a frame drums in which the skin or membrane is stretched over a frame such as tambourines. Also, pot drums and ground drums fall under the membranophone category.
Aerophones - Music instruments which produce sound by a vibrating mass of air. This is more commonly known as wind instrument and there are three basic types:

1.      Brass winds- Made of metal, particularly brass, these instruments create sound through the vibration of a player’s lips on the mouthpiece. The air that passes from the player’s lips goes to the air column of the instrument and thus creates sound. Examples: trombone trumpet, tuba......

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