An introductory study of music among the Kera
There are many variations of the rhythms played on drum. Some of the drums provide two tones, giving more possibilities for variation. Following are some examples. The first was heard in the village at night.
The following rhythms are played by young people in the church:
The Sunday School rhythms are a little different:
The women's meeting sometimes uses a drum too. I have yet to observe who plays it:
The d«mal can be played by any man anywhere. It is played on the side with the drum under the arm. A cord is usually worn around the neck to support it. It can be played with both hands tapping one end or one hand at either end. This drum is used extensively in festivals to accompany the dancing. It is also used by the young people in the church. The d«mal can also be played between the knees. The tone of the drum stays constant, but the two ends have a slightly different pitch from each other. One end can be dampened with the hand to produce a different rhythmic effect. Not all d«mal are the same size.
The teleere is a tall, thin drum on three legs, played with the hands. I have only observed men playing this drum. It is played when offering drinks to the spirits and for the sowing festival. The drum is played in the evenings for a few days before the festival. It is made of wood, with hide nailed to the top of the wooden frame, and stands about two feet high.
The titir is a tall, fat drum on three legs, which is also played with the hands. Generally, only the chef de terre has the right to play it, and it is played for sacrifices, funerals, and to announce bad news, such as the death of a son of the village. (It is not played for the death of a woman.) The drum stands about four feet high and is kept within a hut built especially to house it in the compound of the chef de terre. It provides a deep tone that carries for some distance, and it is too big to move. Therefore, when it is played for festivals, the celebrations take place near the compound of the chef de terre. It is made of wood and hide like the teleere. One version that I saw was decorated so that the side was black with silver spots.