Listening Guide

time lead drum
0:02 theme 1
0:10 theme 2, call
0:20 theme 2, variation 1
0:27 theme 2, call
0:34 theme 2, variation 2
0:42 theme 2, call
0:46 theme 1
0:53 theme 2, call
1:05 theme 2, variation 1
1:13 theme 2, call
1:19 theme 2, variation 2
1:26 theme 2, call
1:34 ending signal

Musical Notation Figures


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Performance Comment

Of all the items in the piece, I was least apprehensive of making mistakes in Davu (Item 2a). My confidence was due to the fact that the response drum part, which does not change, fits within one bell cycle. In Sohu (Item 2b), on the other hand, I would need to play the lead drum call for response drum theme 2 so that its two-measure phrase flowed seamlessly from the one-measure theme 1. In playing Item 2a, perhaps the hardest thing for me was to control my urge to play more variations and to refrain from improvising. I was guided by advice from Alhaji Abubakari Lunna, my teacher of Dagomba music from northern Ghana, “Don’t play over your head. Just learn a few phrases and make them sound really good.” Concentrating on making good bass and mute sounds with my bare hand, I played through the lead drum material twice (0:00-0:46 and 0:46-end), using the same straightforward order each time.

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