Name: Umuduri.
Type: Chordophones > Bows > Idiochords > Mono > Percussive.
Hornbostel Sachs No#:
Country: Burundi & Rwanda.
Region: Africa.

Description: The umuduri is a Burundian and Rwandan stringed instrument. It is a musical bow consisting of a single string supported by a flexible wooden string bearer or bow that is 125 cm to 135 cm in length. A wooden stick and a rattle called the inzebe are also used. The umuduri is made by the Twa and used by the Hutu. Along with the ikembe rattle, the umuduri was introduced to Rwanda in the early twentieth century.

Use: It is played at festivals and official ceremonies; such as the ikinimba, which is a dance accompanied by instruments to tell the stories of kings and heroes of Rwanda. It is played alone, without accompaniment, and is used throughout a variety of genres.

Construction: The string is traditionally made from plant fibre and animal gut, however, metal wire is becoming widespread. A gourd is attached to the bow to act as a resonator. Two loops bring the string closer to the bow. A gourd is attached to the bow by a string holding it in place. Dividing the string into two unequal lengths.

This creates two different notes, usually a fourth or a fifth, as fundamental notes. To keep the resonator and the musical bow apart, a cloth or a pad of banana peel is placed between the two to ensure that there is no direct contact between the bow and the gourd that might interfere with sound production.


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