Friday, 11 November 2022 09:13

Kenyan Indigenous Musical Instruments - Music CBC Grade 6 Notes

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String Instruments
Parts Of A Fiddle And Their Functions
Tuning A Fiddle
Care And Maintenance Of String Instrument
Techniques Of Playing String Instruments
Making Of A Fiddle(project)
Playing In An Instrumental Ensemble

String Instruments

  • Are musical instruments that have strings.
  • Produce sound by
  • Plucking
  • Strumming
  • Rubbing the strings
  • String instruments can have one, two or more number of strings.
  • A string instrument with one or two strings is called fiddle.
  • There different types of string instruments found among the Kenya communities.
  • Each instrument has specific community of origin.
      String Instrument  Community Of Origin 
     Shiriri or ishiriri or silili   Abaluhya
     2  Litungu   Abaluhya
     3  Limoyi   Abaluhya
     4  Ongengo   Abagusii
     5  Obokano  Abagusii
     6  Nderemo   Agikuyu
     7  Wandindi   Agikuyu
    8  Entono   Abakuria
    9  Ekegogo   Abakuria
    10  Iritungu   Abakuria
    11  Orutu   Luo
    12  Uta  Mijikenda
    13  Uta wa wathi  Akamba
    14  Mbeve  Akamba
    15 Adeudeu  Iteso
    16  Mwazigizi or zeze  Taita
    17  Kimengeng  Kalenjin
    18  Pukan  Pokot
    19  Chepkongo/chemonge  Kipsigis
    20  Nyatiti Luo Luo


    Fiddles are string instruments that have one or two strings

      Fiddle Community
    1  Orutu Luo
    2  Mbeve Akamba
    3   Ekegogo  Abakuria
    4  Mwazigizi or zeze  Taita
    5   Ageregeret  Iteso
    6   Ishiriri  Abaluhya
    7  Wandindi  Agikuyu
    8  Kimeng’eng’  Kalenjin
    9  Ong’eng,o or Otete Abagusii

Parts Of A Fiddle And Their Functions

  1. Arm/neck - for holding and supporting the instrument when playing it.
  2. String -it is plucked or strummed to produce sound.
  3. Resonator - makes the sound louder.
  4. Membrane/skin - used to cover the resonator.
  5. Bridge - used to make the sound clearer by separating the string from the skin or membrane.
  6. Tuning peg - used to loosen or tightening the strings to produce the desired sound.
  7.  Bow - used to play the instrument.


Tuning A Fiddle

  • Tuning is the process of adjusting the pitch of one or many tones of a musical instrument or getting it ready so that it is played it will sound at the correct pitch.
  • String instruments are tuned to produce the desired sound.
    To tune a fiddle, identify the string and also identify the sound that you desire to produce.
  • A fiddle can be tuned by
    1.  Loosening the tuning peg
    2.  Tightening the tuning peg

Care And Maintenance Of String Instrument

  1. Dust the parts of the instruments using a piece of cloth. Handle the string with care
  2. Always use the arm of the instrument when carrying it.
  3. Always check your string instrument before playing it
  4.  Replace word out or damaged parts of a string instrument
  5. Store it in a dry place free from dust and moisture
  6. Keep your instrument away from dust by putting it in a protective bag
  7.  String instrument can be stored by hanging them on a wall or placing them in a cool and dry place where people cannot step on them.
  8. Avoid storing your instrument near walking paths because people passing by may knock them.
    NB: when string instrument are cared for and maintained well, they last longer and produce good sound.

Techniques Of Playing String Instruments

  1. Bowing
    Rubbing the instrument using a bow.
    Bow: is made using a sisal thread tied on both ends of curved stick.
    Types of musical bow
    • Groud bow- eg. Nderemo by Kikuyu
    • Mouth bow- eg Obokano by Kuria
    • Hunters bow- eg Entono by Kuria
  2. Plucking
    • Involves pulling and releasing the string using the fingers.
  3. Holding
    • Every string instrument has a specific way in which it is held when playing.
    • When a string instrument is not properly held when playing, it may not produce the desired sound.

Making Of A Fiddle(project)

  1.  Collect tools and materials
  2. Making the arm or neck
  3. Fixing the tuning peg
  4. Preparing the resonator
  5. Fixing the arm or neck to the resonator
  6. Fixing the string
  7. Preparing the bridge
  8. Preparing the bow
  9. Tuning and play to test

Appreciating The Role Of A String Instruments

Playing In An Instrumental Ensemble

  • An ensemble is a group of people who performs instrumental or vocal music together instruments being played together
  • An instrumental ensemble consists of a group of instruments being played together
  • An instrument can be percussion instruments, winds instruments or string instruments

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