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          Music and Dance

I think all Gambians are more or less musicians and dancers, as traditions are strong on the countryside, people bring that music with them where ever they go.

Drums are the basics of all african music, melody and background ensamble are brought on with kora, palaphone and other instruments.

A griot (pronounced "gree-oh") is a West African poet, praise singer, and wandering musician, considered a repository of oral tradition. Griots today live in many parts of West Africa, including Mali, Gambia, Guinea, and Senegal.
The balaphone
The balaphone resembles the western xylophone. But the Gambian balaphone is made up of 20 rectangular wooden slats. Two rows of calabashes below the slats serve as natural amplifiers. It's played with two mallets, wooden sticks with the tops covered with cloth. The music is a mix of percussion and melody.
The kora 
It uses a large calabash cut in half and covered with cow skin as a resonator, and has a notched bridge like a lute or guitar. The sound of a kora is like a harp, the player uses only thumb and index finger of both hands to pluck the strings in polyrhythmic patterns. Kora players have traditionally come from griot families who pass their skills on to their descendants.
A djembe
A djembe (pronounced "JEM-bay") also known as djimbe, jembe, jenbe, yembe or sanbanyi in Susu; is a skin covered drum shaped like a large goblet and is meant to be played with bare hands. It is a member of the membranophone family of musical instruments: a frame covered by a membrane made of one of many products, usually animal skin. The djembe originated in West Africa, where it became an integral part of the area's music and tradition.
Djembe is usually played in ensemble with the dunun drum, bells, and sometimes tama, with individuals playing different parts that lace together intricately to weave a delicate rhythmic tapestry. Dancers are actually accompanied by a griot, who is the group leader or soloist whom will play sounds which align with the dancer's movements as they make them.

Here's traditional and today's music I recorded as video, cilck the picture:

© Copyright A. Jokisaari