Four-toned announcements on Mbole talking gongs

  • John F. Carrington Research Member of the African Music Society


As in many other areas of Belgian Congo, the talking drums of the Mbole tribe reproduce essential tones of linguistic elements of a corresponding spoken language and in all cases that I have met in this area, the spoken languages have only two essential tones. The problem therefore presented itself as to why four notes were being used when normally two are adequate.

Author Biography

John F. Carrington, Research Member of the African Music Society
Missionary of the Congo Baptist Mission, expert on several northern Congo languages and exponent of the Lokele Talking Drums.