20 August 2013
Trevor Wiggins Ghanaian Collection
Trevor Wiggins made extensive recordings in Ghana during the 1990s, focusing on the Dagaare people and their xylophone or "gyil" music, as well as recording various other instrumental and vocal music. These recordings are now available on the BL Sounds website.
One such instrumental recording is of the gonje or goge, a Nigerian stringed instrument which is played with a bow. Here's an example from the UCL Ethnography Collections - you can see that the string is of horsehair and the main body is a hemispherical gourd with a skin covering.
Some of the xylophone or gyil recordings include demonstrations of the tuning of the xylophones and, also, the "signature tunes" of the performers. Here's the signature tune of Rallio Kpampul, followed by further music.
You can hear Trevor talking about his work when he was interviewed by Carolyn Landau in 2010. The interview is one of a group of interviews with leading ethnomusicologists.
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