Amadinda

Forming part of the Ugandan percussion family; the Akadinda, Entaara and Embaire are sister instruments to the Amadinda.

Featuring two ‘shoulders’ carved on the bottom of the instrument allows for the keys to stay fixed when they are place on to the banana stems, however it is mostly made out of wood nowadays. It has larger keys than the Akadinda and once had up to 22 keys. The number of musicians varies, for the 17 key version, a total of five men are needed and six for the 22 key version. The larger keyed versions are rare, leading to smaller instruments of around 12 keys and being played by three men.

Musicians have set notes to play; one performer plays the two highest notes whilst the other two musicians create various melodies on the remaining ten. The creation of melodies between the two players forms a third melody with a longer metric cycle. This interlocking technique means that the musicians can play a single melody at a very fast tempo with ease.  

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