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Ngombi na pekeh / Půlnoční harfa

29. 4. 2008

 

 

Čtyřstrunné ngombi na pekeh (ngombi je vlastně pygmejský název pro kterýkoliv strunný nástroj) se také přezdívá půlnoční harfa. Hráč ji má položenou na klíně a vytváří na ní repetitivní hypnotické melodie a nejlépe prý zní v noci, kdy ji doprovází zvuk hmyzu.

 

Obrazek

 

 

 

Obrazek

This is probably the most beautiful of the Baka's instruments. "Ngombi" is to a certain extent a generic term. For example they will call a guitar a "ngombi". The full name for the instrument I am about to describe is the "ngombi na pekeh" or the "ngombi made from the raphia palm" which indeed it is.

The ngombi can be anything from about one to two metres long. They have four strings with a bridge in the centre making 8 separate notes. It is played on the lap, one hand plucking the strings to the left of the bridge, the other plucking the strings to the right. The music is usually repetetive patterns that accompany singing. When played at night accompanied by the songs of the insects and the Baka's gentle voices it is a very hypnotic magical instrument. It is very similar to the "mvet" or "midnight harp" that is found in the forests further north in Cameroon.

 

The strings of both the ngombi and the mvet are traditionally made from fibres that are found in the stem of the palm used to make the body, but today often they use wire strings which they unravvel from their snare cable. This gives the instrument a different tone and the strings last longer.

hear the ngombi
how to build a ngombi(pdf file)

 

 

 

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