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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

National Museum of Mali

A nice virtual museum featuring pictures and recordings of Malian traditional instruments: .

Monday, February 1, 2010

The djembe magazine: Mandenfoli


There is a new percussion magazine on the market. It writes about Mandinka music with special regards to percussion and the djembe. It is in French and available only in French bookstores, and it doesn't look like it will get translated any time soon. However, you can order a copy on the website of .


Judging from the index, the first issue seems like a rough guide to the djembe. It introduces the old and the young djembefolas, writes about history and culture of the Mandinka empire, and there is also a section dedicated to the notations of the rhythms (in this issue the Soli). Finally, what was actually needed in this market, it lists the upcomming events and new albums, videos, etc.

Check out this link

Friday, January 29, 2010

Abdoulaye hits again

I always liked Abdoulaye Diabate's balafon playing, but now he is really becoming awesome. He impresses me every time I see a video of him. That musicality... Unbeatable. An older video was mentioned in this post, but check out these new ones.




Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Reversed hand order

I learned from the accompaniments of rhythms like Madan and Djansa that sometimes you have to reverse the hand  order if you want to play at a very high speed AND preserve the swing. 



The most typical example is for the 4/4 accompaniment. Notation + handorder:



S
.
.
S
S
.
T
T
S
.
.
S
S
.
T
T
r
.
.
r
l
.
r
l
r
.
.
r
l
.
r
l



Notice that the pairs marked with the red color become  when you go fast enough preserving the swing.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Pluznick's Didadi videos

keeps adding lots of quality material to the West African drumming  community. Here goes the newest video of the Didadi, a very popular rhythm in Mali.






And some older ones with the same piece: