Soso song

Ethnomusicological sound recording made by Cootje van Oven. Soso song, accompanied by two balangi, one bote, one baba and one yimbei. The performers and instruments can be seen in the photograph. The meaning of the song is "Everybody likes benefit". While it is usual for this type of orchestra to hold back a bit when soloists are singing, and it is in fact done on a number of occasions in this song, there are other occasions when particularly the second soloist finds it hard to make herself heard. The balangi is a xylophone with calabash resonators. The two in this item have 19 and 18 slats respectively. (In the one with 18 slats, it looks as if one slat is missing, and the slat next to that is rather loose). The instrument is played with mallets that have leather heads. The bote us a bowl-shaped wooden drum with one skin played with one hooked stick, the baba a two-bladed piece of metal suspended from the index finger by means of string and knocked with rings on the thumb, ring finger and little finger. Bote and baba are nearly always played by the same person. The yimbei is a conical wooden drum with one skin played with the hands. Measured along the bottom frame which rests on the ground, the length of the first balangi is 41", its width tapers from 13" at the end where the longest slats are to 7" at the opposite end. The mallets are 12" long, Second balangi: length 43", width tapering from 12" to 8". Height of the bote, measured round the instrument's curve, is 12", diameter of its drumskin 13". Height of baba 8". Height of yimbei 21", skin diameter 10".

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Further Information

  • Type: Sound Recording, Musical instruments
  • Object: Soso song
  • Materials: No Data / Other
  • Culture Group: Soso
  • Dimensions: No Data
  • Production Date: 1977.09.28
  • Associated Places: Kukuna, Bramaia Chiefdom, Kambia District [Place Recorded] [Origin of item]
  • Associated People: Cootje van Oven [Sound Recordist]; Pa Sorie Kargbo [Sound Recordist]; Yele Modu Sillah [First singer/dancer]; Sara [Second singer/dancer]; Yele Baba Suma and Luseni Kamara [Balangi]; Suriba Kamara [Bote and Baba]; Momoh Yanssaneh [Yimbei]
  • Museum: Cootje Van Oven Collection
  • Accession Number: CVO:425

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