Table 3. Musical roles of instruments

  • bell: Sounds the “time line” (see Nketia 1974), that is, a recurring phrase that distinctively molds phenomenal time into a systematic musical temporal structure (see Pantaleoni 1985) and serves as the timing referent for each other facet of the performance.
  • rattle: Confers specific configurations of phrasing and time feel upon the relatively more mutable nature of the bell phrase.
  • high-pitched drums: Manifests fast-moving rates of pulsation with short figures set to offbeat moments within the temporal structure.
  • response drum: Responds to the calls of the lead drum with phrases that confer temporal design to the ETC.
  • lead drum: Calls to the response drum, interacts with other instruments in all combinations, and changes overall accentuation and composite effect of the ensemble.