Thursday, 18 May 2017

Goje Musical Instrument

The Violin (Goje)

The violin is an instrument used all over the world, especially in Europe.
This instrument is erroneously traced to Ancient Europe's Byzantine Empire. But this is far from true. According to historians, these traditional fiddles can be traced to Stone-Age Africa.

They were probably taken into Europe by the Moors when they ruled and occupied the Iberian Peninsula and planted their populations and culture in the European landscape from 711 AD to the 15th century.

The modern Violin

In Africa, the violin is popularly referred to as goje (Hausa name for the instrument). The goje is almost exclusively played by ethnic groups inhabiting the Sahel, Sudan and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Snake or lizard skin covers a gourd bowl. A horsehair string is suspended on the bridge, and the goje is ready to be played with a bowstring.

The goje is commonly used to accompany songs. It can also be played as a solo instrument, and it features prominently in an ensemble with other West African string, wind or percussion instruments.

The various names by which the goje is known include goge (Hausa, Zarma in Nigeria), gonjey (Dagomba, Gurunsi in Ghana), Ggonje, (Mamprusi, Dagomba in Ghana), njarka (Songhay in Mali), and n'ko (Bambara, Mandinka and other Mande languages in the Sahel Regions).

The goje is still in use in many parts of Africa.

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