sangban music instrument

Sangban is a West African percussion instrument that is commonly used in traditional music from the countries of Mali, Guinea, and Senegal. It is a type of drum that is played with a stick and is often used in ensembles alongside other percussion instruments. In this article, we will explore the history and significance of the sangban as a music instrument.

History of the Sangban

The sangban drum has its roots in the Malinke culture of West Africa, specifically in the countries of Mali and Guinea. It is a cylindrical-shaped drum with a rounded head, and it is typically played with a stick. The sound of the drum is produced by striking the head of the drum with the stick, and different rhythms and patterns can be created by varying the speed and intensity of the strikes.

The sangban is often played as part of an ensemble of three drums, including the dundunba and kenkeni. The ensemble is commonly referred to as the djembe orchestra and is an important part of traditional West African music.

Significance of the Sangban

The sangban is an integral part of West African music and is known for its powerful and resonant sound. In traditional music ensembles, the sangban is used to provide a steady and consistent beat that drives the rhythm of the music. The instrument is often used to accompany dance performances, and its distinctive sound is instantly recognizable to fans of West African music.

In addition to its musical significance, the sangban also has cultural and spiritual significance in West African culture. In many societies, the drum is believed to possess a spiritual power that can be used to communicate with the gods and ancestors. It is often played during important ceremonies and celebrations, such as weddings and funerals.

Today, the sangban is used in a variety of music genres, including jazz, world music, and fusion. The instrument’s unique sound and versatility have made it a favorite among musicians around the world.


The sangban is a significant music instrument with a rich history and cultural significance. Its deep and resonant sound has made it an integral part of traditional West African music and has influenced many other music genres. Whether played in traditional music ensembles or modern music styles, the sangban continues to captivate audiences around the world with its unique sound and cultural heritage.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *