The talking drum is an hourglass shape from West Africa, whose pitch can be regulated to mimic the tone of human speech. This is indeed an interesting instrument to share with children and adult alike. I had tried saying “No…boo…” with a diatonic tune and my class went hilarious especially the children below the age of three.
The pitch of the drum is varied to mimic the tone patterns of speech. This is done by varying the tension placed on the drum head: The opposing drum heads are connected by a common tension cord The waist of the drum is held between the player’s arm and ribs, so that when squeezed the drum head is tightened, producing a higher note than when it’s in its relaxed state; the pitch can be changed during a single beat, producing a warbling note. The drum can thus capture the pitch, volume, and rhythm of human speech, though not the qualities of vowels or consonants.