Type: Idiophones > Percussion > Bells > Clapperless >
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 111.242
Country: Nigeria, Brazil and Diaspora.
Region: Africa & South America.
Description: The agogô [in Yoruba: agogô meaning bell] is a musical instrument that is made up of a pair single or multiple bells, tuned to pitches. Although agogo has its origins with Yoruba and Edo music. It is used in the ceremonial music of religions in Yorubaland as well as in their new world practice, which is based on beliefs such as Candomblé brought by slaves from Africa.
In the Diaspora: It is also played in the Samba batterias [percussion ensembles]. It is used in the ceremonial music of religions in Yorubaland as well as in their new world practice, which is based on beliefs such as Candomblé brought by slaves from Africa. The agogô is maybe, one of the oldest percussion instruments used in Samba. The agogo as played in Brazil is based on Yoruba single or double bells. The agogô has the highest pitch of any of the bateria instruments.
Playing Techniques: Either bell may be hit with a wooden stick to make a sound similar to a cowbell when struck. A clicking sound is produced by squeezing the two bells together.
Construction: Each bell of the agogo is of a different size. This allows different pitched notes to be produced depending on which bell has been hit. Originally made of wrought iron, they are now manufactured in a variety of metals and sizes for different sound qualities. The most common arrangement is to have two bells attached by a U shaped piece of metal. The smallest bell is held uppermost.
Citations: Bibliography: Websites: Oxfordmusiconline.com / agogo – article by James Holland ;