This directory includes sounds from various African cultures. Currently, almost all of the soundfiles within this directory were taken from the Heart of Africa compact discs. A few soundfiles in the sflib/perc directory, including the xylo1 soundfiles, also were derived from these compact disc recordings. DAT copies of this complete Heart of Africa set are available for sign-out, and contain many additional sound sources beyond those included in the sflib/africa directory, including ambient sounds, animal noises, crowd scenes and much more.

I. Vocal Sounds

  • Male choir, exclamations and short melodic fragments: 5 mono soundfiles: choir.hey, choir.mum, choir.voogah, choir.oowah and choir.oomayo
  • Male choir whispered vowels: 5 soundfiles in stereo as well as mono versions: whisper.ah, .ay, .ee, .oh and .oo

II. Aerophones

  • conch shells : 2 soundfiles, pitched c4 and c5, in stereo as well as mono versions
  • kuduhorns, 3 mono soundfiles and 3 stereo versions; kuduhorn.1 is pitched at g4; kuduhorn.2 glissandos into and out ofc4; and kuduhorn.3 includes pitches at g2 and d5
  • pigmypipes : 8 soundfiles, pitched g3 through g5

III. Chordophones

  • berimbaus : the timbre resembles that of a steel-stringed guitar; 7 soundfiles:
  • 2 undamped tones: berimbaus.b2 and berimbaus.cs4
  • 5 damped tones, all on cs3, ordered from hardest pick, brightest timbre (berimbaus.cs.1) to softest pick, mellowist timbre (berimbaus.cs3.5). The timbres here are similar to the halam soundfiles.
  • halam : 5 stringed guitar-like instrument ; 7 soundfiles: 5 multisamples of individual tones, pitched ds3 through fs4 2 additional soundfiles: an F# major triad (halam.Fsmaj) and an octave fs3/fs4 (halam.fs.oct)

Percussive Sounds

IV. Membranophones

  • sangba : large, bass drum-like instrument (similar to burundi); 10 mono and 9 stereo soundfiles, arranged in 3 groups:
    4 normal hits: sangba1 through sangba4
    2 hard hits: sangba.hard1 and sangba.hard2 4 short, "dry" hits: sangba.dry1 through sangba.dry4
  • Within each of these 3 groups, the soundfiles are organized from hardest and brightest (sangba1, sangba.dry1, sangba.hard1) through "softest." ST (stereo) versions are available for all of these soundfiles except for sangba4
  • burundi : large, bass drum-like instrument (similar to sangba); 10 soundfiles 7 hits, arranged in order from the hardest hit (burundi1) to the softest hit (burundi7) 2 rolls (burundi.roll and burundi.roll.lo) and a flam (burundi.flam)
  • ST (stereo) versions are available for all of these soundfiles except burundi.flam and burundi.roll
  • bekiseraba : African medium pitched membranophone (somewhat like a tumba or conga drum) 3 pitched strikes (g2, b2 and e3), and a damped strike of the lowest drum (bekiseraba.g2.damp) ST (stereo) version are available for all 4 of these soundfiles
  • haircut : unpitched membranophones, 7 soundfiles: 5 hard hits: haircut1 through haircut5, ordered from lowest pitched (haircut1) to highest pitched (haircut5) 2 almost identical-sounding soundfiles with softer hits (haircut.soft1 and .soft2)
  • djembe : more resonant quasi-pitched membranophones; 5 soundfiles (.lo, .hi, .snap, .flam and .dryflam)
  • talkdrums (membranophone hits, most with glissandi) : 13 soundfiles : 11 hits, ordered from lowest to highest pitch, and 2 rim shots

V. Idiophones

  • pitched idiophonic sound sources:
  • kalimba : thumb piano, 6 soundfiles, pitched b2 through f4
  • (see also likembe and sansa)
  • karinya and karyina.damp : the pitch is cs6
  • likembe (very similar to kalimba but shorter in duration) : 9 soundfiles, pitched cs3 through g4
  • logdrums : 2 groups:
  • logdrum1 : hard attacks, bright timbres, 5 soundfiles, pitched c2 through c4
  • logdrum2 : soft mallets and attacks, more delicate timbres, 5 soundfiles, pitched e3 through gs4
  • claypots : 7 soundfiles
  • 5 pitched tones : d2, f2, a2, c3 and f3
  • one damped tone (.d2.dmp) and one roll (.f3.roll)
  • 3 gankogui soundfiles: timbre is similar to pitched (but "out of tune") cowbells
  • sansa : thumb piano, buzzy timbre, 4 soundfiles, pitched g3, c4, g4 and c5
  • slit drums : 14 soundfiles, pitched c3 through b4
  • quasi-pitched idiophonic sound sources:
  • gankogui.lo (pitch is approximately af4); gankogui.med (pitch is approximately c5, but flat); and gankogui.hi (pitch is approximately f5, but sharp)
  • dumbek : 4 soundfiles (dumbek1 through dumbek4), with hard attacks and approximate pitches of c3, b3, c4 and d4
  • unpitched idiophonic sound sources, short single hits:
  • guiro : 3 soundfiles : guiro, guiro.short and guiro.dbl (double scrape)
  • stick.1 and stick.2 ; riverpods ; fingersnaps (ST versions are available for all 4 of these soundfiles)
  • rainsticks and STrainsticks (8.31 second sustained, "tremolo" sound produced by continuous hits)
  • foot stamps by the bulawayo tribe : 2 mono and 2 ST soundfiles
  • windhoek.stamp and STwindhoek.stamp : a sharp, low-pitched, resonant slap

VI. Metallophones

  • Pitched metallophones:
  • bellbalafon ("dry" bells) ; 4 soundfiles, pitched g4, c5, g5 and c6
  • Unpitched metallophones:
  • anklebracelets : 3 soundfiles (hi, lo and lo.dry)
  • mouth rattles : 2 mono soundfiles (mouthrattle and mouthrattle.long) and stereo versions
  • dancebells : 4 soundfiles (.lo1, .lo2, .hi1 and .hi2)

VII. Miscellaneous Percussive Sounds:

  • Shakers from Ghana and Ethiopia:
  • 16 short, individual shakes, arranged in 3 groups by general pitch register (.lo, .med and .hi). Within each of these 3 groups, the soundfiles are ordered from shortest (.lo1, .med1 and .hi1) to longest.
  • sustained, continuous shakes: shaker.ghana, eth.metal.shake and eth.metal.shake.long ; ST (stereo) versions also exist for these 3 soundfiles
  • 2 shekeres with chiffy, shaker-like attacks, pitched at a1 and a2