Sounou

Sounou (Sunu, Sunun) is a rhythm from the Kassouke-people from the Kayes-region in Mali.
"It is played as competition-dance-rhythm for young men" (Mamady Keïta).
"It 's a popular rhythm dating from the pre colonial era. In that period once lived a pretty girl called Sounou Mamady in the village Sagabari. She was know for her dancing qualities and participated on any dancefestival that was organized. The rhythm is made by the Djembéfola from her village honoring this girl Sounou Mamady. The dance is presented after a good harvest. The girls can practise their grace, beauty and sometimes seduction. For the young men (especially Kaarta) a opportunity to show their strenght and vitality while making all sorts of acrobatic jumps" (Serge Blanc).
Now Sounou is a rhythm often played all over West Africa. No wonder there are many interpretations and variations. Some people speak of the "Guinea-Sounou"and the "Mali-Sounou". The difference could involve the placing of a bass-drum-hit on the 7th (Guinea) or 8th (Mali) pulse.
Although patterns for the duns can be found for different bassdrums, the melody of these bassdrums together characterize the Sounou melody . In Mali usually only two drums are in used, so the Kenkeni is often added (by the Malinke, who in some areas play with three drums) and in different patterns possible to play.

Sources:
Lessons: Martin Bernhard, Jaco Benders, Mamoudou 'Delmundo' Keïta
Written material: Mamady Keïta (/ Ushi Billmeyer). Åge Delbanco, Serge Blanc, Stephan Rigert, Paul Janse, Larry Morris, Rafaël Kronberger, Michael Wall
CD: Mamoudou Konte, Rainer Polak

WAP-pages / Paul Nas / Last updated on 02-08-2005



Call (not standard)
T . T T . T . T T . T . T . . .
f . r l . l . l r . r . r . . .

Source 1: Ushi Billmeyer: "Mamady Keïta, A life for the Djembé"
Kenkeni
O . . . O . . . O . . . O . . .
x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x .

Sangban
O . . . . . O . O . . . . . O .
x . x x . x x . x . x x . x x .

Doundoun
O . O O . . C . . . C . C . . O
x . x x . x x . x . x . x . x x

Djembé 1
T . S S . . S T T . S S B . S T
r . r l . . r l r . r l r . r l

Djembé 2
S . . S S . T T S . . S S . O O
r . . l r . r l r . . l r . r l

Source 2: Jaco Benders / Martin Bernhard during Fankani workshops in '95
(for a group of starting doundoun players)

Kenkeni 1 (high)
O . . . O . . . O . . . O . . .
x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x .

Kenkeni 2 (low)
O . . . . . O . O . . . . . O .
x . x x . x x . x . x x . x x .

Sangban
. . . . . . O . . . O . O . . .
x . x x . x x . x . x . x x . x

Doundoun
O . O O . . . . . . . . . . . O
x . x x . x x . x . x . x x . x

Source 3: Serge Blanc in the "Le Tambour Djembé"
Kenkeni
. . . . O . O . . . . . O . O .

Sangban / Doundoun combination
S . . . . . . . O . . O . O . . .
D O . o O . . . . . . . . . . . O
x . x x . x . x . x x . x x . x

Djembé 1
T . S S . B S T T . S S b B S T
r . r l . l r l r . r l r l r l

Djembé 2
. . T T . . S S . . T T . . S S
. . r l . . r l . . r l . . r l

Source 4: Mamadou Konte on CD "Drums of Mali"
Sangban
O . o O . O . O O . O . O . . O
x . x x . x . x x . x . x x . x

O . . O . . C . . . C . C . . O
x . x x . x x . x . x . x x . x

Source 5: Personal Analysis of CD "Bamakofoli" from Rainer Polak
S O . . . . . . O . . C . C . . O
D . O . O . O . . . . . . . . . .
x x . x . x . x . x x . x x . x

Source 6: Age Delbance in "Traditional West Africa Rhythms" (from Fred Simpson)
Kenkeni
O . . . O . . . O . . . O . . .
x . x .. x . x . x . x . x . x .

Sangban
O . . C . . . O O . . C . . . O
x . x x . x . x x . x x . x . x

Doundoun (bels a little adjusted)
C . . O O . O . O . O . O . . O
x x . x x . x . x . x . x x . x

O . O O . . . . C . . . . . . .
x . x x . x . x x . x . x . x .

Djembé 1
T . S S B . S T B . S S B . S T
r . r l r . r l r . r l r . r l

Djembé 2
S . . S S . T T S . . S S . O O
r . . l r . r l r . . l r . r l

Source 7: Michael Wall in internet discussion through Dlembe-l mailinglist
High Doun
C . . O . O . O . . . . O . O .
x . x x . x . x x . x . x . x .

Low Doun
O . O O . O . O . . C . C . . O
x . x x . x . x x . x . x x . x

Source 8: Michael Wall's analysis of the CD "Donkili, Festival Music Mali (no bells!)
Sangban
O . . . O . . . O . . O . . . O

Doundoun
O . O O . O . O O . C . C . . O

Source 9: Stephan Rigert: "Djembe Rhythmen aus Mali"
Kenkeni
O . . . O . . . O . . O . . . O

Sangban
O . O O . . . C . . C . C . . O
x . x x . x . x x . x . x x . x

Doundoun
. . . O . O . O . . . . . . . .

Sangban variation 1
O . O O . O . O . . C . C . . O
x . x x . x . x x . x . x x . x

Sangban variation 2
O . . O . . . C . . C . C . . O
x . x x . x . x x . x . x x . x

Sangban variation 3
O . O O . . . C . . O . O O . O
x . x x . x . x x . x . x x . x

Some more found Djembé patterns:
Djembé 1
T . S S . B S T T . S S B . S T
r . r l . l r l r . r l r . r l

Djembé 2
T . S S . B S T T . S S . B S T
r . r l . l r l r . r l . r l r

Break 1
. . . . . . . . . . B S T T S B
. . . . . . . . . . r l r l r l

3x
B . B B . T T T S . . S S T . B
r r l . 2 r l r . . l r l . l

B . B B . T T T S . . . B S S S
r r l . 2 r l r . . . l 2 r l

S S S . T T S T T S . . S T T S
r l r . r l r l r l . . r l r f

. S . S . S . S S . . S T T S .
. f . f . f . f f . . r l r f .

T T S T T S T T S . T S T T S .
r l r l r l r l r . r l r l r .

Djembé solo 1; use phrases A - D
A . . . . . . . . . . . B S S S S
. . . . . . . . . . . l 2 r l r

S S . T T S T T S . T S T T S B
l r . l r l r l r . r l r l r l

B . S S . . . . S . T . S . . B
r . r l . . . . d . r . d . . l

B . S S . . T T S . T S T T S B
r . r l . . r l r . r l r l r l

B B . S S . . S S T T S . S . . B
r . r l . . r l 2 r l . r . . l

C T S S S S S S S S S S S S S S T
r l r l r l r l r l r l r l r l

D T T S T T S T T S . T S T T S . S
r l r l r l r l r . r l r l r . f

Break (with Douns)

T . T T . T . T T . T . T . . .
f . r l . l . l r . r . r . . .
D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O

D O . O O . . . O O . O . O . . O

D O . O O . . . O O . O . O . . O

D O . O O . . . . . . . . . . . .
S . . . . . . O . . . O . O . . .

Break to end (with douns)

T . T T . T . T T . T . T . . .
f . r l . l . l r . r . r . . .
D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O

D O . O O . . . O O . O . O . . O

D O . O O . . . O O . O . O . . O

D O . O O . . . . . . . . . . . .


index | legenda (nl) | legend (en) | inleiding (nl) | introduction (en)

Thanks for taking notice of this interpretation of this rhythm but please consult some real authority's (like Famoudou Konaté and Mamady Keïta) or genuine TEACHERS for further study. Check also the other SITES WITH RHYTHM-NOTATIONS on West African Percussion on the Internet. And share your knowledge and ideas to these WAP-pages and to others.