Type: Idiophones > Lamellaphones > Comb.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 122.1
Region: West Africa.
Description: The agidigbo is a large traditional plucked lamellaphone used by the Ọ̀yọ́ Yorùbá people of Nigeria. It has diffused to the Nago peoples of Benin and Lucumí people in Cuba, where it is known as the marímbula.
Five adjustable metal tongues are mounted on a large wooden box resonator, which can be 45 cm by 60 cm and 22 cm deep or larger. The instrument is played on the lap, suspended from the neck at waist level so that the tongues can be plucked with the fingers of either hand. Or resting on the floor with the player seated.
Playing Techniques: The instrument is played on the lap, suspended from the neck at waist level so that the tongues can be plucked with the fingers of either hand. Or resting on the floor with the player seated. The musician plucks the metal tongues of the instrument with his fingers. Producing very sonorous tones, as he accompanies a sekera, or waka or an apala band. The player wears a thick “ring,” usually a bottle neck, on his thumb, which he uses to tap the sides of the wooden box.
Factoid: Babatunde Olatunji famously plays an agidigbo on “Oyin Momo Ado” [Sweet as Honey], which is track 7 on his 1959 Drums of Passion album.
Citation: Bibliography: K.A. Gourlay, revised by Amanda Villepastour ; Discography: Babatunde Olatunji, “Oyin Momo Ado” sweet as honey] track 7, Drums of Passion: Websites: Grove Music Dictionary Online / Agidigbo ;