Akan drums are used in the Ashanti, Fante and Akyim/Akim Tribes of Central and Southern Ghana. The different families of drums are named after their dances. Adowa and Fontomfrom share mostly the same drums as do Asaadua and Sikyi.
In West Africa; drums are not normally played on their own, but as part of an ensemble or a grroup, with particular lead drum, support drum, bass drum, melody instruments, shakers and a bell.
Adowa, the dance is by far the most widespread and frequently performed social dance of the Akan people of Ghana. It is best described in Akan as a woman's dance because they dominate the performance. This dance is mostly performed at funerals, but can also be seen at yearly festivals, visits of important dignitaries and other celebrations.
The lead Atumpan Pair and the Support Drums Apentema, Brenko, Petia and Dondo.
Fontomfrom Pair, Atumpan Pair and Support Drums Apentema, Brenko, Petia and Dondo.
Kete is commonly found in the royal courts of traditional Akan communities. It is performed in the courts of every chief whose status entitles him to be carried in a palanquin. The music therefore can be heard on state ocassions and festivals. There are three parts of the performance: Drum Music, Pipe Interludes, and Vocal Counterpart of the Pipe Tunes. At least, eight pieces are played during a performance. These pieces are identified by the general name for the type of drumming and dancing, by name of its usual context function or general character and by name commemorative of an event.
The drums of Kete are always wrapped in red and blck cloth.
Lead drum, Kwadum and Support Akukuadowo, Aburukua, Apentema, Dondo, Slit Bell and Shakers/Chekere.
Asaadua was once a popular recreation musical type among the Akan people of Ghana. Its performance is now limited to some few communities in Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions. Like Popular entertainment music, which revolves from the ingenuity of some veteran traditional musicians. Asaadua started as a youth recreational music for the men of the Akan tradition. The name Asaadua evolves from the Asaa tree(Dua) in Akan. This relates to the gay and pleasant nature of the dance. The Asaa is a sweet fruit tree commonly found in the forest region of Ghana. One therefore would conclude that Asaadua is a dance for sheer enjoyment and pleasure.
Ashanti Asaadua Set:
Lead Drum Operenten and Support High and Low Tamalin, Dondo, Kpanlogo support Drum, Double Bell, Pod Bell and Gourd Shaker.
Sikyi is a recreational music and dance of the youth of Ashanti. It originated in the 1920s but became very popular around Ghana's Independence in 1957.It is performed in the vein of Kpanlogo of the Ga of Accra and Boborbor of the Northern Ewe of the Volta Region of Ghana. Sikyi is seen principally at social gatherings where the youth solely express themselves in courtship. It is flirtatious in character. Its characteristic form is the strutting and bobbling up and down and a display of theatrical elegance
Sikyi Drum Set:
Lead Operenten, Support Apentema, High, Middle and Low Tamalin, Bell and Shaker.
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