Quadruple Bell


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 681

Wooden quadruple bells with multiple clappers are unusual and not well documented. Judging from the decoration, this example was probably made in the Calabar region (Gabon, Cameroon, and the southwestern coast of Nigeria).
Instruments made of sonorous materials (idiophones) comprises the largest and most widespread type in sub-Sahara Africa. Names of identical instruments change from region to region. Some instruments and the music linked to them have traveled beyond the African homeland to North and South America and the Caribbean. Idiophones are sounded by shaking (rattle, sistrums), beating together (iron clappers), or striking (xylophones, slit gongs, bells). they reinforce the rhythmic foundation of a piece, provide a melodic line, signal by imitating spoken languages, or perform rhythmic, melodic and communicative roles simultaneously.

Quadruple Bell, Wood, Gabonese

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