Representation of Yorùbá Tones by a Talking Drum: An Acoustic Analysis
Samuel Akinbo
November 2019

The present paper proposes an articulatory and acoustic study of the representation of Yorùbá tones in gángan (a talking drum). The video and spectrographic analyses of the data collected from five native drummers in Nigeria show the number of syllables in a word directly corresponds to the number of strikes on the drum membrane. As the talking drum resonates from the strikes, the drummers tightened and loosened the drum membrane to articulate the three tones in Yorùbá. Furthermore, tonal processes such as tone contour formation on the second tone in HL or LH sequences are musically rendered. Based on this evidence, this paper concludes that drummers are able to represent syllables, lexical tones and tonal processes of Yorùbá speech with a talking drum.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004884
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Linguistique et Langues Africaines
keywords: lowering, music, phonetics, raising, syllable, talking drum, tone, yorùbá., semantics, morphology, phonology
previous versions: v1 [November 2019]
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