The Djembe Font

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The Djembe Font is a typeface designed specially for African drum rhythms played on djembes, bass drums and bells.

It enables you to write graphic drum notation from your keyboard in any Windows or MacIntosh program.

The graphic symbols used in this notation system are based on the three basic sounds of the djembe - the high pitch slap, the medium pitch tone and the low pitch bass.


The same three symbols are also used for the sounds of the African bass drums - the small kenkeni, the medium size sangban and the large doundoun - and it can also be used for bells of different pitch.

In order to distinguish between djembe, bass and bell notation you can either write which it is or simply put the corresponding instrument symbol at the beginning of each notation line. (See Notation page)
 

Instrument Symbols

Sign

 Part

Character Key

 Djembe

Q

 Bass

W

 Bell

%

 Signal *

!

 Shekere

?


* The signal symbol is used to distinguish rhythms (which should be repeated continously) from signals or breaks (which should only be played once on each occasion). It can be used by itself or together with the appropriate instrument symbol.
 

Basic Sounds

Note
Djembe
Bass
Bell

Character Key *

Slap
Kenkeni
High

s

a

K

C

H

Tone
Sangban
Low

t

o

e

i

S

L

Bass
Doundoun
-

b

u

n

D

B

Rest
Rest
Rest

-

+


* When using the keyboard to write the basic drum notes you will find that there are several characters to choose from. This is just to make it possible for you to continue using your favourite (ascii) character notation. (Read more about this on the Djembe Font Notation page.)
 

Muffled Sounds

Note
Djembe
Bass
Bell

Character Key

Slap
Kenkeni
High

m

p

k

x

c

d

Tone
Sangban
Low

w

j

-
Doundoun
-

q



Rolls *

Note
Djembe
Bass
Bell

Character Key

Slap Roll
-
-

R

V

Tone Roll
-
-

r

v

Bass Roll
-
-

M


* The roll notes are intended to be used in combination with a single note, to form a group of (at least) three adjacent notes.


Flams

Note
Djembe
Bass
Bell

Character Key

Slap Flam
-
-

F

A

Tone Flam
-
-

f

O

E

I

Bass/Slap
-
-

Z

Bass/Tone
-
-

X


The notes and symbols that you have seen so far are just sample images of the Djembe Font, to give you some idea of what the font looks like.

The Djembe Font also contains:

  • Handing symbols
  • Notation Line components
  • Shuffle notes

  • Loudness notes
  • Barless / Lineless notes
  • Font Information

In order to see the remaining Djembe Font notes and symbols,
the Djembe Font must be installed in your system!

 
      

 

Copyright 2000 Lennart Hallstrom, Skarpnäcks Allé 60, SE-128 33 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone +46-(0)8-612 17 82  ·  lennart.hallstrom@djembe.net  ·  Cell +46-(0)70-725 42 63


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