Àjà

Name: Àjà.
Type: Idiophones > Percussion > Metallophones > Bells >
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 
Country: Nigeria, Benin, Cuba & Brazil.
Region: West Africa.

Description: Àjà is a generic term for metal clapper bells of the Yorùbá people of Nigeria and Benin. Their most common use is in òrìṣà cults where the àjà punctuates prayers and incantations a-rhythmically and is believed to invoke the deities. The instrument is also used in Cuba and Brazil, where it is known as adjá. The bells, which can be of iron or brass and of variable sizes, have an integral handle.

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Agogô

Name: Agogô.
Type: Idiophones > Percussion > Metallophones > Bells >
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 111.242
Country: Nigeria, Brazil.
Region: Africa & South America.

Description: The agogô [in Yoruba: agogô meaning bell] is a musical instrument that is made up of a pair of single or multiple bells, tuned to pitches. Although the agogô is played throughout the world with its origins in 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.

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; it 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 Originally made of wrought iron, they are now manufactured in a variety of metals and sizes for different sound qualities.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:

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