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Djembe (Photo by Alissa Roedig).
flutes, panpipes, and the bullroarer (an instrument which is often associated with
circumcision rites and whose intermittent roaring sound is produced by whirling
a slat of wood tied to the end of a leather thong). While the one- or two-pitched
flutes and whistles are purely rhythmic in function, the five-stop flute used by the
Hausa people of Northern Nigeria (along with various other multi-pitched flutes)
serve melodic functions in African music.
Besides the numerous drums, African percussion instruments can be divided
into two broad categories: instruments with rhythmic functions and instruments
with melodic functions. Large gongs, twin gongs, and ritual gongs; rattles and foot
rattle; woodblocks and bells are examples of instruments with rhythmic functions.
Instruments with melodic functions include the various wooden and drum xylophones found throughout the region.
46 • Bigotry and the Afrocentric “Jazz” Evolution