This is Part 1 of a three part series which showcases videos of traditional musical instruments from around the world. This series of posts was formerly published as one page on Jambalayah's sister website,

Click for Videos of Traditional Instruments D-N

Click for Videos of Traditional Instruments O-Z

The purpose of this series is to showcase videos of and share information about traditional musical instruments.

In the context of this series, my definition of "traditional musical instruments" - with a few exceptions such as pan ("steel drums"), and vuvuzelas- are those instruments that were created prior to 20th century and which are largely unfamiliar to people in the general public (including me).

This series does not purport to include examples of all of "traditional musical instruments" worldwide.

My thanks to the musicians and vocalists featured on these video and to all the uploaders of these videos.

-Ms Azizi Powell
Latest revision - August 8, 2012

All videos embedded on are from Videos are posted on this site for educational, entertainment, aesthetic, historical, and folkloric purposes. All rights to these videos remain with their respectful owners.

I sincerely thank all the video uploaders whose videos I have reposted on I also sincerely thank for helping to make these videos available to the general public. If an uploader of a video sends a request to for me to remove his or her video from, I will do so. Please note that links to YouTube videos or to other online resources may not remain viable.

Viewer comment sections for these videos which can be read through the links provided may contain comments that don't meet the standards of Please be aware that comments posted on YouTube viewer comments threads may not be suitable for children.

Disclaimer: I consider myself to be a community folklorist. I love listening to music & I enjoy watching music videos. Unfortunately, I don't play any musical instrument and I've never studied ethnomusicology anywhere but informally online. I definitely am not an expert on the subject of traditional musical instruments. I'm passing on information that I've gleaned mostly from online sources.

I very much welcome information and corrections from visitors to this page. Comments about these featured videos as well as suggestions of other YouTube videos of traditional musical instruments that may be featured on this page can be sent to Thanks!

Or if you on on facebook, you can befriend me or send me a private message under my name cocojams jambalayah.



Akayaure (metal ankle ornaments)
video under "calabash")
Azakalabo (calabash floating on water)
Bilma (Australian clapsticks)
Calabash (Tumbuude ; Azakalabo Fulani names for gourds played as percussion instruments)
Cow bells (agogo)

(Videos are presented in alphabetical order using the first letter of the featured instrument. The name of the featured instrument is given in capitol letters. The names of additional musical instruments in the video may be given in brackets under the name of the featured instrument. Other videos in this series of posts may also include that instrument or instruments.)

A, B, C

*shown & played only in the beginning of the video

Jamaican National Anthem 2009

vfxwolf | January 09, 2010

Opening with a call from the Maroon "Abeng" horn, this contemporary version of the Jamaican National Anthem showcases the beauty, people, art, athletics and cultural diversity of our island home, Jamaica. ..

"Abeng is an African word meaning conch shell. The blowing of the conch called the slaves to the canefields in the West Indies. The abeng had another use: it was the instrument used by the Maroon armies to pass their messages and reach one another"


Here's a viewer comment from "The Jamaican Maroon Slave" which is another video that briefly shows the abeng:

owusuwaa24- "Abeng is a Horn.. abeng is a twi word...Accompong maroons I have no doubt are directly linked to the Ashant tribe of Ghana west africa"

ACCORDIAN- See several videos in this series of posts, including those posted in the "r" section for the musical instrumeny called a "rubboard" ("frottoir") .Also, see the entry for "melodeon".

AGOGO-See several videos posted in the "c" section for "cowbell"

Also find an eample of the African cowbell in the video "Ayan Bisi Adeleke - Master talking drummer - drum talks" that is posted under "d" for "dundun".

AKAYAURE (metal anklets);
AZAKALABO Azakalabo (calabash floating on water)
Niger - Etran Finatawa

[Musical instruments- [instrument names from the Fulani language] Tumbuude (regular calabash), ,guitars, drum; handclapping]

idamawatu | November 21, 2008

This video is also reposted on

Via I learned that Etran Finatawa is a group that is composed of musicians who are Tuareg and Wodaabe-Fulani from the West African nation of Niger Their group name means "‘the stars of tradition’.

Here is some information about this video, song, and instruments from a YouTube commenter:

VraiDiouf -"The song is in a mixture of Fulani language (Fulfulde) and Tamasheq (Touareg language). Surbajo in Fulani language means "girlfriend" or "petite amie" if you speak French. The song is is talking about the virtues of a good woman, that even a man would do anything to impress or keep a good woman."

Here is additional information about Fulani instruments from that same poster, He is responding to questions I asked about this video: Mamou Sidibé - Foulbé - Music of Mali : That video & selected viewer comments can be found at

VraiDiouf -..."That is actually not a drum but a calabash which is common in Fulani music. There are two main types of Calabash used in Fula music. The Tumbuude (regular calabash) and then the Azakalabo (calabash floating on water). I am glad you like the music."

VraiDiouf- "@Azizip17 I also see a Djembe drum being used (we don't have a name for that in Fulani language since it is originally a Mandé instrument) and the Sekere I believe is originally a Yoruba instrument. Most Traditional Fulani music do not involve these instrument. Fulani music usually uses Fulani flute (Sembeendu or Odiirou), One string Violin (Nyanyeeru), Calabash (Tumbuude or Azakalabo), Hand Claps, and..."

VraiDiouf- "if you are Mbororo from Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, etc. Akayaure a bell like thing worn on the feet/legs to produce a jingling sound. like you saw in that Etran Finatawa video"


For another video featuring the gourd drum see the entries for "Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba" on this page under calabash and also under "ngoni"


Akonting playing by Joe Diatta. Dakar. 07-2006

UlfJagfors | September 29, 2006
Joe Diatta (Jatta in english) plays an old Jola tune on the three string gourd lute Ekonting (Akonting). The name of the tune is Ampa Youtou, Child of Yuotou, a village in southern Senegal.The Akonting is one possible West African forerunner to the New World banjo.


See other plucked string African instruments such as the donso ngoni, kamale ngoni, kora, and xalam on this page.


Yesterday (The Beatles) - Angklung

sebastian3o | August 25, 2007
Orchestra of Angklung of basic secondary school nº 171 "Argentina - Indonesia Damai" Integrated by young people of 12 to 15 years. Director: Sebastián Núñez.
constructor of instruments: Saung Angklung Udjo (Terima Kasih)


Here's an excerpt from
"Angklung is a musical instrument made out of two bamboo tubes attached to a bamboo frame. The tubes are carved so that they have a resonant pitch when struck. The two tubes are tuned to octaves. The base of the frame is held with one hand while the other hand shakes the instrument rapidly from side to side. This causes a rapidly repeating note to sound. Thus each of three or more angklung performers in an ensemble will play just one note and together complete melodies are produced. Angklung is popular throughout Southeast Asia...",


Rihanna "Umbrella" - Angklung/Bamboo Version

KageFurqaan90 | September 21, 2007
Toy Angklung.
Live at Anugerah Era 2007 [ASTRO RIA].


Autoharp - Wayfaring Stranger

gfharper | April 11, 2007
Noodling around with my Ron Wall Mountain Harp

AZAKALABO (calabash instruments) (Niger)

Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba in Timbuktu- "Jonkoloni""

bbcafrica | January 21, 2010 | 52 likes, 0 dislikes
Bassekou Kouyate and his band Ngoni Ba made one of the best received African albums of 2009. "I Speak Fula", released in September followed the hugely successful 2007 Segu Blue album.

From a posted comment from one of this YouTube video's viewers- TheKopEnd011-..." there singing juru nani which means play your four strings, the song is in praise of segu's most renowned warrior bakari jan kone."

Another video of clip of Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba is posted Part 2 of this series under "ngoni".


Scottish Bagpipe Band

HenryRoot | November 12, 2006
A Scottish Bagpipe band playing in Beauly near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands.

Awesome Talent with Bagpipes

nicedudetim2000 | May 31, 2006
Taken in Scotland March 2003


Adama Diabaté - balafon [Mali?]

Posted by fababobo | February 08, 2008 | 3:41
"Adama diabaté au Balafon 20 pentatonique pour BaraGnouma."

Orodara Sidiki [Mali?]

benlefab | March 25, 2009 | 6:56
orodara sidiki joué pour un mariage à bobo dioulasso par seydou dembélé et une des team de bolomakoté


Video Description: A roadside musical performance in Mali. [?]

Note that "djun djuns" (sometimes given as dunduns) are different than the Yoruba talking drum that is also called "dun dun". See the information about "djun djun" in the "d" section beneath the video "west african drums - senegal".


Banjo Music "12th Street Rag"

wyatturban | November 12, 2007
Jim Robinson (88) plays "12th Street Rag" on tenor banjo at Banjos International Rally in Eureka Springs, ARK, September 2001.

Carolina Chocolate Drops performing "Cornbread and Butterbeans"

knoxnews | May 12, 2008

Visit to find another reposting of this video & to read selected comments about this video from YouTube viewers.


Yoruba Bata: A Living Drum and Dance Tradition from Nigeria

debraklein | August 29, 2007
Introduction to Yoruba Bata Performance as practiced in Erin-Osun, Nigeria. Featuring Lamidi Ayankunle, master Bata drummer from Erin-Osun.

La Fuerza del Tambor (The Power of the Drum) (Cuba)

La Fuerza del Tambor

Posted by tinamatanzas /June 06, 2007

"The Power of the Drum" offers 8 examples of live drumming ceremonies in the home of Alfredo Calvo (Matanzas, Cuba) featuring bata, güiro, and the Bembe Macagua drums. The DVD also includes interviews and drumming demonstrations. 90 minutes, all regions.


Zerfu Demissie (Ethiopia)

terprecords | July 23, 2007 Begena Music + singing from Ethiopia
Traditional 10-string harp, the harp of King David
Very old religious music played during Lent.


Here are several viewers' comments about this instrument:
janster200-"This sounds the same as the Sumerian lyre. There are some videos here on YouTube where the reconstructed Sumerian lyre is being played. The two instruments look different but they sound the same. In Ethiopia, they just never stopped playing it."

Klezfiddle1- I am increasingly fascinated by the similarilty between the Begena, and the replica ancient Jewish Kinnor Lyre which I play!Does anyone out there know if is there also a TENOR version of the begena, which would be more similar in pitch to the ancient Jewish Kinnor; the orginal "Harp of David"?

manofchange83- But Kirar and Begena are complitily diffrent when you play kirar you get exiteing music but when you play begen the sound is very depressing .that is why it is used mainly on the fasting season of HUDADE which lasts for two months and ends on Easter day ,the music they play with begena is always about the suffering of Christ.


Música de capoeira

canguru50 | April 06, 2007

Berimbau Solo Instrutor Bae 2

baeoficina | September 13, 2007
Instrutor Bae breaking on the berimbau at Grupo Internacional Oficina da Capoeira's 2nd "Festival Axe e Felicidade" in Bogota Columbia


Bodhran Demonstration

exit8babe | February 21, 2007
The bodhran is the traditional Celtic frame drum. The cross braces and laminated rosewood strengthen the shell of this goatskin-covered drum. With a rich deep sound, these drums are great fun even if you have not mastered the traditional playing.

The Corrs- Toss The Feathers [Ireland]

piperh066 | May 23, 2007


Bomba in Loiza, Puerto Rico #1

gyenyamesankofa | August 09, 2008
This is one of several videos that I will be posting from my trip to Puerto Rico in July 2008.

This clip features Bomba drummers and dancers at Raul Ayala's house in Loiza, during La Fiesta de Santiago Apostol.


"Bomba is one of the folk musical styles of Puerto Rico. it is a largely African-derived music. The rhythm and beat are played by a set of hand drums and a maraca. Dance is an integral part of the music...Bomba is described to be a challenge between the drummer and the dancer. The dancer produces a series of gestures to which the primo drummer provides a synchronized beat. Thus, it is the drummer who attempts to follow the dancer and not the other way around...

The traditional drums used in bomba are called barriles, since they have long been built from the wood of barrels. The high pitch drum is called "subidor" or "primo", and the low pitch drums are called "buleador" and "segundo"."


How to Play Bones with Dom Flemons

Uploaded by musicmakerfoundation on Sep 5, 2010

Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops shows us how to play the bones!


Armando Peraza solos on congas and bongos

martincongahead | January 29, 2007
Legendary Cuban percussionist, Armando Peraza performs solos on congas and bongos.


Ithikon Akmeotaton- Pente Ellines ston Adi (live)

ithikonakmeotaton | October 22, 2006
Acoustic Session. Recorded 16.10.2006 live at at Octalogic Studio (GER)


Here's a viewer's comment from that video's thread:
Zeuxis5511 ...."This is Greek tradition and heritage to the entire world. You must be Greek to understand the depth of this song.
This is a Bacchic Zeus dance for life. Zeimpekikos.
Bravo an excellent performance of Giannis Papaioannou's original song."


"The bouzouki (gr. το μπουζούκι; pl. τα μπουζούκια) (plural sometimes transliterated as bouzoukia) is the mainstay of modern Greek music. It is a stringed instrument with a pear-shaped body and a very long neck. The bouzouki is a member of the 'long neck lute' family and is similar to a mandolin. The front of the body is flat and is usually heavily inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The instrument is played with a plectrum and has a sharp metallic sound."...


Cajon Solo David Kuckhermann

kurt | June 12, 2006
David Kuckhermann - Ballhaus, Berlin, 29.04.2006

Samuel Torres performs on cajon and Colombian maracas

martincongahead | October 11, 2006
Award winning, Samuel Torres performs a solo piece on Cajon and Colombian maracas as part of the Profiles in Greatness series

Here's some information about the "cajon" from :

" cajón (Spanish pronunciation: [kaˈxon], "crate," "drawer," or "box") is a kind of box drum played by slapping the front face (generally thin plywood) with the hands...The cajón is the most widely used Afro-Peruvian musical instrument in the 20th century.

Slaves of West and Central African origin in the Americas, specifically Peru, are considered to be the source of the cajón drum; though the instrument is common in musical performance throughout the Americas. In Cuba, the cajón is associated with the Afro-Cuban drum/song/dance style known as rumba, while in Peru it is associated with several Afro-Peruvian genres."


Live beiaard concert / Carillon Concert Live in Mechelen

quasimodo2 | July 26, 2006
Jo Haazen is playing Prelude II of Matthias Vanden Gheyn on the Carillon of the Sint-Rombouts Tower in Mechelen (Belgium/Flanders). His cabin is about 80 meter high and he is surrounded by 49 Tuned Bronze Carillon Bells.


Guajira Castanets and Guitar

FlamencoForSchools | November 28, 2007
María José García plays Guajira a flamenco piece for Castanets and Guitar.


Rumba in Havana Vieja 3

rqshquesada | September 21, 2006
This is another song from the same day Rumba in Havana Vieja. Here you will see them start and then stop. It began to rain a few minutes later and that's when I made it into the owner's house. ..


"Claves are a pair of solid, wood sticks, each about seven inches long and an inch in diameter, and usually made of rosewood. One clave is cupped loosely in the hand and is struck with the other. The clave are used widely in Latin America, and most popular in Cuba. The rhythm usually played on the clave is called 'clave'."


This video also includes the following "traditional" instruments that begin with the letter "c": conga drums, cajon, and cowbell.

Rumberos De Cuba Cuban Music

CubaCheChe | October 26, 2007
the Rumberos de Cuba 2008


This video includes clips of rumba dances and Santaria dances (orisha Egun & Osun)


Pedro "Pedrito" Martinez sings song, accompanies on conga

martincongahead | October 22, 2006
Award winning percussionist, Pedro "Pedrito" Martinez sings song and accompanies himself on conga

Click for more information & comments about this musician and this video.

Also see the entry "Tito Puente y Charlie Palmieri - Jam En El Barrio" that is posted under "t" for "timbales".

This completes Part 1 of this three part series on traditional musical instruments worldwide. Thanks for visiting this page.

Click for Videos of Traditional Instruments D-N

Click for Videos of Traditional Instruments O-Z

Viewer comments, additions, and corrections are welcome and can be sent to Visitor's emails are never posted or shared.

Or if you are on facebook, I can be contacted there through my facebook name cocojams jambalayah.

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