The Cuban Batá and Yoruba Drums

Typically, in West African nations,there was no written language. Batá drums functioned as approach of communication, in Nigeria specifically, as a surrogate for the language of Nigeria, Yoruba. It was speech that was coded between drummers, based on Yoruba, that not all individuals could understand. So as an example, because drum audio brought for relatively cross countries, the batá was utilized historically to connect through code their bata_drumsbattle strategies. Yet, like Chinese, Yoruba is a tonal language with an inherent melody, as well as the dundun (or talking drums) that were pitch flexible could imitate it much better to make sure that every Yoruba speaker could recognize exactly what the drums are “stating.” Today, the dominance of the chatting drum along with texting on cellular phone in Nigeria and also Benin are threatening making batá drum language outdated. Drums like the batá are currently used much more for songs than for interaction, though for 500 years they were the main linguistic communicators in Nigerian and also Dahomeyan villages.

I keep in mind, as an aside, a story concerning King Sunny Adé and also his speaking drummers. After King Sunny’s drummers told the illumination people ways to use their drums to light the hall, they started talking poorly regarding some of the adorable females that remained in the front area of the hall. King Sunny terminated them all after the trip.

The batá drum made its way to Cuba by way of Africa. There are three different types of drums: the small “youngster” drum, the medium-sized or “father” drum, as well as the big or “mother” drum. They interact in typical rumba and also different santeria habits as well as events to “speak” rhythmically concerning the spiritual gods. However in Cuba, the batá does not operate as a direct language surrogate since Cubans talk Spanish, which is not a tonal language. The batá drums in Cuba could intone the lucumi language that is Afro-Cuban, but that is not an exact match, like Spanish, due to the fact that lucumi is likewise not tonal. Furthermore, the drum directly batá drums can not be adjusted like they are by the ropes on the sides of talking drums. This keeps them from being able to express the Spanish directly that is spoken in Cuba.

Posted by: Brian Garcia on