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Traditional music Instruments in Uganda

Amakondeere – Engombe – Enzambe horn – wooden trumpet – wind instrument
These instruments are believed to have come from the Bushmen and Hamites.
In Buganda, Bunyoro and Batooro they were used in the royal palace for ceremonies like crowning and cultural ceremonies of the kings. In the western Nile region the set was used when celebrating the new chiefs and in all other great gathering occasions.

Adungu, Adeudeu bow harp – arched harp – string instrument
The eight-stringed ennanga of the Buganda and the six-stringed adeudeu (bow-harp) of the Iteso.
The adungu is a nine-string arched (bow) harp of the Alur people of northwestern Uganda. It is also used by the Lugbara and Ondrosi tribes in northwestern region around the Nile. The harp is used to accompany epic and lyrical songs, and it is also used as a solo instrument

The Fiddle
The resonator of the early fiddle was made of a gourd like a Kikuyu instrument.
The inventor thought the instrument was similar to the children’s ground bow Sekitulege and after making one for him, he played the children’s song on it. The fiddle has become very popular for light music

Endongo – Entongoli lyre – bowl lyre – harp lute – kora – string instrument
This is the most representative instrument of the Baganda and Basoga, Baganda people sometimes called it endongo when they played to lead a wedding dance, in eastern Uganda a similar instrument is called litungu. The Bagishu used it for the shoulder dance and called it kamabega. Generally, the harp-lute is the instrument of the griots, or praise-singers, much as the similar kora or soron is among the people of Guinea, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Gambia, and southern Mali. It is played either solo or to accompany songs of praise.

Ennanga – Nanga wooden zither – string instrument
This instrument was brought to Uganda by the Hamites and is common among the Bakiga and Acholi tribes. This string instruments emphasize the narrative and story-telling tradition of the people. Love songs, praise songs, epics, dirge songs and humorous songs.
African zithers have a boat-shaped sound box with a fairly long wooden neck, which enters the resonator. The ennanga is strictly a solo instrument and has eight strings, which run above a wooden trough. A zither is an instrument in which the strings run parallel to the resonator, which extends the entire length of the strings.

Sekitulege – Berimbeau musical bow – string isntrument
The musical bow is the simplest form of a string instrument popular among the Buganda, Busoga, and in the western Nile region, Aunene – ground bow by the Iteso people and is thought to have been developed from the hunting bow made to shoot arrows. It is the mother of all string instruments, or at least of the harp, and it dates back to very early times.

Endingidi – Adigirgi tube fiddle – one-string-fiddle – string instrument
This instrument is popular in the Buganda, Busoga, Ankole, Kigezi, western Nile, and Acholi regions. It consists of a single string, which is attached to a flexible stick and will sometimes have a resonator. Unlike other single-string instruments, it is played with a bow

Tube fiddle-endingire- akadingidi- endingidi
This tube fiddle is variously called also endingire, akadingidi, endingidi, esiriri or shilili in the different Bantu dialects; and it is called arigirigi, rigirigi by the non-Bantu tribes. This instrument takes its name from the blowing action and the kind of sound that the instrument produces. It is a solo instrument with voice and can also be played as duo, trio or together with other instruments.

Endere  flute – wind instrument
The endere of the Baganda people, the omukuri of the Banyankore and the Bakiga people, the akalere of the Basoga and the alamaru of the Iteso people are similar in their production as well as use. An ensemble consists of the largest flute (kiwuwa), the middle (enkoloozi); the third largest (entengezi); and the smallest one (entengo). In the Busoga region it is a dominant instrument played in combination with other wind or percussion instruments. The Iteso people use this flute mostly solo, or they accompany it with an akogo (finger piano). It is played both as a solo and accompaniment instrument.

Enkwanzi panpipe – wind instrument
The enkwanzi or oburere is a panpipe that comes from the Busoga region and is made from elephant grass or bamboo. They are stopped flutes, meaning that the node of the plant stops the hollow tube and thus determines the pitch of the pipe. The tubes are arranged from lowest to highest and laced together with string. The open rim at the top of each tube is cut at a right angle to the tube so that the player may blow across the top, like blowing across a bottle. This panpipe has at least five pipes. The melodic possibilities of the panpipe and other sets of flutes perhaps influenced the development of flutes with fingerholes.

Agwara side blown horn-wind instrument
These come from the Lugbara and Kebu tribes of the western Nile region and are played in groups of seven or more. These side-blown horns sometimes have a single fingerhole, which is used for grace-note ornaments.

The instruments of the Iteso and Karimojong people are made of cow horns and have only one mouthpiece; they are only used for communicating or giving signals.
Instruments, which produce sound through a vibrating column of air, are called aerophones. Horns are a type of “brass” or buzzed-lip instruments.

Akadinda – Embaire – Entaara – Amadinda-xylophone – percussion instrument
The xylophone is a very popular instrument in the Bantu region. The keys are separated by either long sticks (among the Baganda people) or short ones and are placed on banana stems. The Bakonzo and Basoga use both short and long sticks. The keys are tied in place by threading a string through small holes in the wood.
The amadinda has two “shoulders” carved on the bottom so that the keys, which are not otherwise fixed, will not move when placed on the banana stems.

Akogo – Likende – Akadongo – Sansa – Mbira – Akalimba-thumb piano – percussion instrument
Many different names exist for this instrument; kalimba, sansa, and mbira are the most common ones. In Buganda the instrument is known as “akadongo kabaluru” or “little instrument of the Alur tribe” from the northwest Nile region. The Mbuti pygmies in Amba use rattan cane keys and a straight bridge. In Uganda the instrument is usually played solo, perhaps to relieve a traveler’s solitary trek or a night caretaker’s long watch. The instrument accompanies a repertoire of “songs for thought,” or laments, sung by both men and women.

Engalabi long drum – percussion instrument
This traditional drum has a head made of reptile skin nailed to a wooden sound body. The engalabi from the Buganda region has an important roles in ceremonies and in theater. It is called “Okwabya olumbe”. This is the installation of a successor to the deceased, thus the saying in Luganda (in Buganda a Bantu dialect) “Tugenda mungalabi”, meaning we are going to the engalabi, that is, long drum. The Engalabi is played using bare hands. Instruments, which produce sound through the vibration of a stretched membrane or skin, are called membranophones.

Engoma- Drums – percussion instrument
Drums in African tradition bring the power that drives a performance. Music is not merely entertainment, but is ultimately bound to visual and dramatic arts as well as the larger fabric of life. Drums may be used for “talking,” that is, sending information and signals by imitating speech. Drumming music and dance are almost always an accompaniment for any manner of ceremony; birth, marriages, funerals.

Ensaasi- Enseege shakers – percussion instrument
Shakers are made in pairs from gourds or shells, sometimes with stick handles, and are used to accompany other traditional instruments in Uganda. The central and northern (Alpaa) regions have shakers that produce a continuous sound as beads move from side to side in the gourd or shell. Generally, these shakers produce sounds by many small objects, such as pebbles, rattling together inside the body.

Akacence – shakers – percussion instrument

Endege ankle bells – percussion instrument
Dancers frequently have metal jingles tied on their ankles to articulate their movements.

Agwata- percussion gourds – percussion instrument

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