Akadinda: Xylophone – Percussion


The Akadina is part of the Ugandan percussion family; others of varying sizes are called the Akadinda, Entaara and Amadinda.

The Akadina is the largest member of a family of Uganda instruments that can be described as a unique set of traditional, handcrafted, xylophone-like melodic instruments.

The Akadinda is incredibly rare, and we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to record and sample one in the village of Nakibembe, near the settlement of Iganga. The Akadinda is placed above a pit in the ground, approximately 70 centimetres deep and just under two metres wide. The keys lie parallel to one another, and are kept in place by threading them onto wooden nails. Once constructed the Akadinda is tuned by the careful hands of one individual community member who carefully strips layers of wood off the belly of the keys with a small axe-like tool.

Several musicians can play the Akadinda at the same time, striking the left hand keys with a fairly soft wood and the right hand keys with a much harder wood, whilst non-performing community members dance and participate in singing traditional folk songs. The musicians use both wooden beaters and the palms of their hands to conjure different musical articulations, and the effect provides the instrument with an overwhelmingly powerful force and volume.



  • Zoom H6 - Stereo setup 2x DPA
  • GoPro 4 - Timelapse recording
  • LG 360 Camera


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