Djembe and Mande Music 
(last revision 02/02/00)

Rainer Polak 
Liner notes to the CD:


Figure 1:

Jenbe player Jaraba Jakite performs for a namegiving festival (denkundi) one afternoon in August 1994, Badialan, Bamako.
Photo: R. Polak

The liner notes of this CD are available as either a series of separate pages (to make uploading easier):
Field Recordings at an Urban Bamana Wedding Festival: Part I
Field Recordings at an Urban Bamana Wedding Festival: Part II
Studio Recordings made in Bamako
Ordering Information

or as a single page:
Bamako Foli Liner Notes
Tracks: 1) Bamana-fòli / Tisanba
2) Sunun
3) Wasulunka / Kirin
4) Bamana-fòli
5) Bamana-fòli / Tansole
6) Tègèrè Tulon / Pès
7) Jina-fòli
8) Jina-fòli
9) Woloso-dòn / Jòn-fòli
10) Komo
11) Jina-fòli
12) Mendiani
13) Wasulunka / Kirin
14) Dununba
15) Tègèrè tulon
Total time: 48 min.
Drummers: Jaraba Jakite (lead jenbe)
Madu Jakite (accompanying jenbe)
Solo Samake (dununba variations)
Fasiriman Keita (dununin accompaniment) and 
Jeli Madi Kuyate on #7
Yamadu Bani Dunbia (jenbe) and 
Draman Keita (dunun) on #8-11
Brahima Samake (lead jenbe )
J.M. Kuyate (jenbe accompaniment) and 
M. Jakite (jenbe accompaniment) on (#12-14)
Singers: Sita Ye Jabate (lead #1, #3)
Mamanin Kante (lead #2, #6, #15)
Fatumata Kulibali and Na Kulibali (lead #4, #5)

Recordings, text, c+p 1999: Rainer Polak

1. My orthography makes use of the conventional one used in Mali. It differs from phonetic spelling concerning three peculiarities of Manding languages. First, Manding languages are tone languages; that means that pitch of syllables can transport semantic or grammatical meaning. Differences in tone are transcribed by phoneticians, but not by my simplified system.

Secondly, Manding languages have seven vowels instead of the five available in the Latin alphabet. There are two (one closed and one open) "e" sounds and two "o" sounds. The closed "e" is transcribed "e" by me; in most cases it equals "é" in French. The open one is transcribed "è" and equals "è" in French. The pronuniciation of "è" is between the following sounds of English: "less" and "sat". However, it is better to remain closer to the sound in "less" than to that in "sat". The closed "o" is transcribed "o"; the open one is transcribed "ò". Pronunciation of "ò" is like in "short", but SHORT!!!, like in "hot". The sound is similar to the one in "wash", but it is less open than "wash".

Thirdly, there is quite some variety of nasals in Manding. "ng" stands for the velar nasal; this is the same as in English ("sing"). The only difference is that it also occurs at word initial position in Manding. "ny" for palatal nasal "ny" is identical to the sound in the Spanish word for "Mister": "señor", or for the French word for "to win": "gagner". The drum here refered to in Mali is written "jenbe" (Bailleul 1991: 159; Kone 1995: 78). Francophone persons often spell it "djembé", English speakers "jembe".
(see also Charry:

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