African Drum Rhythms - Reviews

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The Swedish Library Service´s review
of African Drum Rhythms:

The ”djembe”, a hand drum, plays the principal part in Hallström´s book,
which is a thorough study of the rhythmic traditions of West Africa, with
some 150 examples illustrated by a specially designed notation system.

The book has three sections - the first one deals with drumming basics and
describes the instruments involved: the djembe, the bass drums and the bell.

Furthermore, concepts like polyrhythm, stroke patterns and the nature of
rhythm are explained, and there are tips about the best way to get started.

The second section is a detailed study of the character of various rhythms,
with accompanying notation and handing options, plus a comparative
analysis of the rhythms - which all have names: Akiwowo, Kokou, etc.
There are also some recommendations of appropriate playing exercises.

In the final section we are given a brief overview of the cultural history,
a detailed description of how to assemble and store the djembe, the best
way to keep your hands in playable condition and other practical tips.

As a reference, there is an extensive glossary and a ”rhythm index”.

A 90 minute audio cassette* completes the book, which is impressive in
its wealth of details and expert knowledge.

Reviewer: Per Wikén

[Hallström, Lennart. African Drum Rhythms. 166 p. + Examples Tape*]

* Author´s note: In the English edition there are 3 one hour CDs



Copyright 2000 Lennart Hallström, Glasbruksvägen 57, SE-361 94 Eriksmåla, Sweden
Phone +46-(0)8-612 17 82  ·  ·  Cell +46-(0)70-725 42 63

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