Saturday, May 24, 8504

Funj Sultanate, Sudan (c. 1504) - North & South

Sudan is the largest country in Africa and tenth largest country in the world by area. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, Kenya and Uganda to the southeast, Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west and Libya to the northwest. The country's name derives from the Arabic Bilad-al-sudan, literally "land of the blackened."

Although Sudan lies within the tropics, the climate ranges from arid in the north

to tropical wet-and-dry in the far southwest

The Funj Sultanate of Sinnar, also Sennar, was a sultanate in the north of Sudan, named Funj after the ethnic group of its dynasty or Sinnar (or Sennar) after its capital, which ruled a substantial area of northeast Africa between 1504 and 1821.

Sudan - Halima (Rebaba Lute)

[Khartoum, capital of Sudan, at the bend of the Nile]

Historically, the north of Sudan has closer ties with Egypt and is predominantly Arab and Muslim

while the south is predominantly a mixture of Christianity and Animism.

Thumb Piano Solo

The African thumb piano is a musical instrument, a type of plucked idiophone often classified as a lamellophone, and which is common throughout Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa.

Thumb pianos in Africa usually consist of a wooden board to which staggered metal keys are attached, occasionally fitted into a resonator.

Lamellophone ("Lamellaphone"), also referred to as linguaphone (from "tongue", i.e. a long thin plate that is fixed only at one end) describes any of a family of musical instruments. The name comes from the Latin root "lamella" for "plate," and the Greek root "phone" for "sound."

The name derives from the way the sound is produced: the instrument has a series of thin plates, or "tongues", each of which is fixed at one end and has the other end free. When the musician depresses the free end of a plate with a finger or fingernail, and then allows the finger to slip off, the released plate vibrates. A tongue may be plucked either from above or below.

In the original Hornbostel-Sachs classification of musical instruments, lamellophones are classified as a category of plucked idiophones, related to various forms of Jaws Harp and the European mechanical music box

A large number of lamellophones originate in Africa, where they are known under different names including mbira, sanza, kisanji, likembe, kalimba, and kongoma.

They were reported as early as the 16th century, but there is no doubt they have a much longer history.

[8505 Tallis / 8504 Funj Sultanate Sudan / 8500 Susato]