Spectral and Mathematical Music Theory Analyses of the Ikoro Drum Using Visualizations and Sonifications of Beat-Class Theory
Proceedings of the ICA congress
The Ikoro, or Ekwe, is a wooden slit drum of the idiophone family. The Ikoro, which by virtue of its functions and its predominance in the eastern parts of Nigeria with the Igbo tribe, plays an important role in the Igbo musical culture and settings. The Ikoro produces a very deep rich bass sound, which can be heard from a distance, and has a sustained reverberation important in rendering a background beat to music or as a sound of warning. This paper provides a multifaceted look at the
... look at the features of Ikoro drum sounds. The historical importance and constructional process of the Ikoro are presented. A traditional frequency domain analysis is shown that indicates the sustained reverberation. In addition, the isomorphism between Ikoro music and mathematics are investigated by applying the narrative of mathematical music theory developed by Richard Cohn (Yale). This work explores how the rhythm, meter and pitch of Ikoro music, can be represented through using various techniques such as visualizations and sonifications, by applying Cohn's beat class set theory with Andrew Milne's (WSU) instruments of mathematical music theory, the cyclic graph XronoBeat, and SkiHill apps. These analyses provide a deep understanding of the distinct sound of the Ikoro.