There are other versions of this rhythm, both binary (in 4/4) and ternary (in 12/8 like this one), but this (which came from Vieux Bakayoko) is our favourite, and I've not seen it notated anywhere. One day I may also notate the 4/4 binary version, but until then see it in Mamady's book.Woima is played for the conjurers who travel from village to village performing their magic tricks. So we use the word 'prestidigitation' (meaning 'sleight of hand') to remember the tune.
>120bpm 12/8 1&a2&a3&a4&a ("One and a Two and a Three and a Four and a...") rlr rlr lr l Djembe 1 OOS.SSB.SB.S ("Ma-gic trick, prestidi--------gitat------ion!") lr lr lr lr Djembe 2 .BS.OS.BS.OS (" It's pink & blue It's pink & blue") 1 & a 2 & a ("One Two ") Bell x.x.x.x.xx.x ("One two three four and five and ") Bell x.x.x.x.xx.x ("-ble one one one dou-ble dou-") +Kenkeni ..K.....K... (" up up ") +Sangban G...G....G.. ("Down down, [rest] down ") Bell x.x.x.x.xx.x ("One two three four and five and ") Bell x.x.x.x.xx.x ("-ble one one one dou-ble dou-") +Dununba D...D.D..D.. ("One three four five ") 1&a2&a3&a4&a The dun duns can be played by one person on Sangban+Kenkeni and another on Dununba. Both parts have the same bell part, which plays all the strong notes of Djembe 1. (The counting up to 5 in the bell/dun parts is not the number of beats, just a convenient way to say it.) Djembe 2 is a tricky offbeat 12/8 accompaniment, basically a time-shifted version of "Round The Back"/"Pam-pi-tam" delayed by two notes, with an added bass note before. Although it's best to not think of it as "Round The Back", but a completely different rhythm, so you still know where the downbeat is. It takes skill to not be phased by Djembe 2 when playing other parts.
1&a2&a3&a4&a1&a2&a3&a4&a lr l rlr lrlrr l rlr lr Signal: BS.S.OOS.SSOOS.S.BOB.OB.. (Signal is called over the rhythm) over rlr rlr lr lrlr rlr lr Djembe 1 OOS.SSB.SB.SOOS.SSB.SB.. (Djembe 1 leaves off last slap) Bells x.x.x.x.xx.xx.x.x.x.xx.. (So do the Bells) +Sang+Keni G.K.G...KG..G.K.G...KG.. +Dununba D...D.D..D..D...D.D..D.. Break 1 rlr rlr rl lr l r l lr Djembes OOO.OOO.OS.SO.S.O.S.SO.. (Then everyone responds in unison...) Bells xxx.xxx.xx.xx.x.x.x.xx.. ("Come and play, come and play, +Sang+Keni GGG.GGG.GK.KG.K.G.K.KG.. don't let this too hard stuff +Dununba DDD.DDD.D...D...D....D.. put you off!")
1&a2&a3&a4&a1&a2&a3&a4&a Signal: S.OS (Short signal) * $ (Everyone stops dead at *) rlr rl rlrl r (Then at $ everyone responds...) Djembes OOS.SS...OOSS.S......... Bells x.x.x....xxxx.x......... +Sang+Keni G.K.G....GGGG.G......... +Dununba D...D....DDDD.D......... (Long gap then onto next line...) r l r r lr lr lr Djembes ..S.O.S.....S.OS.OS.OS.. Bells ..x.x.x.....x.xx.xx.xx.. +Sang+Keni ..K.G.K.....K.GK.GK.GK.. +Dununba ..D.D.D.....D..D..D..D.. (Then we return to the Main Rhythm) The long gaps in the middle are great when played silently without bells, shakers or ankle bells, just using our inner telepathic timekeeping. Notice that Break 2's Signal is the same as Djembe 2's offbeat part, so the leader must make it a clear Signal using body language, posture, dynamics, stopping playing beforehand, etc. And the response in the last line starts with a straighter rhythm: ..S.O.S. instead of ..S.OS in the Signal.
Key to notation
Traditional Guinean rhythm from
Vieux Bakayoko, taught by
Vitae Drum Circle.
(notated by Malcolm Smith on 2012-11-21 + 2014-09-02)