African drumming has a long history, and the tradition of African drumming has spread throughout western cultures as many businesses, corporations and other groups see the team building value of playing music together. These tribal instruments still have importance throughout African culture but are also becoming more common in western societies.
African culture has a deep respect for music and rhythm. They feel that rhythm is life and signifies how human relationships create the very fabric of our meaning. Cross beats create tension but different parts working together can be a great way of creating the whole. When creating rhythm, African music often relies on shakers or the double bell - an instrument made of iron and creating two different tones.
One of the most popular African drumming instrument is the djembe. The djembe originates in Mali and its name comes from a saying that roughly translates to "everyone gather together in peace." With musicians and participants coming together to create music together, and breaking down barriers, no wonder this instrument has now become a popular instrument in team building workshops outside of Africa. The djembe shell (on a good quality djembe) is carved from a single piece of hardwood. A skin is placed on one end, often made of goat skin, and held in place with cord. These days a polyester cord is used as it is easier to manipulate.
Often played with the djembe, and helping to bring everyone together in peace, is the dundun drum. Like the djembe, the dundun drum is rope tuned but this African drum is cylindrical in shape and has skin at both ends. Again, goatskin is popular. The dundun drum is played with sticks and is often placed on a stand or played with a shoulder strap.
African drumming has a long proud history and many groups now outside of West African are starting to see the benefits these instruments can provide. Many businesses out there use African drumming instruments as part of team building workshops as they help businesses realize the value of working together and how many parts make a whole.
If you are looking for a new cultural experience for yourself, or if you are looking for a team building workshop for your organisation, then embracing the culture, energy and participation that flows from an African drumming workshop may be for you. At the very least you will get a great workout as you play those high speed rhythms.