African Music Genre

Instruments in African Music

Genre: Folk Music


The Djembe is significant instrument that is played at weddings, parties, and celebrations. It is also use to heal people when sick. This drum is made out of one piece of wood and goat skin on top. The instrument has three individual sounds: base, tone, and slap.  It is a staple for African people because it is used to tell ancestral stories.

The Bones

The instrument is made out of vose wood. The bones are one of the oldest instruments in the world and found in many different countries. To name a few of the countries:Greece, India, Egypt, and Ireland. They came to American from the Irish. 


Black banjo and grandson

The Banjo was created by artist and craft slaves and created in memory of African flutes and strings. This instrument became appropriated by white people, and played a critical role in the Blackface entertainment business. 

West African Kora

The West African Kora is made out of a dried calabash, capped with cow skin, and 21 or 22 string on the neck that goes all the way through the instrument. It is native to the Mandinka people who live in Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, and Guinea Bissau. The instrument is used by the West African culture to convey history through song.  


The washboard is an ordinary object that was turned into an instrument by the enslaved community. This instrument has 16 notes and produces sound from long stokes of the hand on the board. The new purpose of the object, released negative energy in the work environment. The slaves had an increase of energy and pleasure when being forced to work.


The instrument is versatile and is played different ways in different locations. It is called a pandiero in Brazil, and played differently than in America. Also the tambourine plays on beats that are not primary. 

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