Individual names given to talking-gongs in the Yalemba area of Belgian Congo

  • John F. Carrington Research Member of the African Music Society
Keywords: Talking drum -- Congo (Democratic Republic), Percussion instruments -- Congo (Democratic Republic), Talking-gongs, Idiophones -- Congo (Democratic Republic)


The practice of giving individual names to talking-gongs has been reported for some central African tribes but is not known among all peoples using this musical instrument. It has been found to be common in the Yalemba area of Belgian Congo (Basoko territory, Oriental province) among groups using the gong-language known as (h?) So based on the spoken language of the (ba)So tribe. The following article is an attempt to put on record some of these instrumental names while at the same time recording measurements of gongs made in the field.

Author Biography

John F. Carrington, Research Member of the African Music Society
For many years a missionary in the Belgian Congo. An authority on the languages of Northern Congo and the author of a book on Talking Gongs.
How to Cite
Carrington, J. “Individual Names Given to Talking-Gongs in the Yalemba Area of Belgian Congo”. African Music: Journal of the International Library of African Music, Vol. 1, no. 3, Nov. 1956, pp. 10-17, doi: