Drums hold a special place in the history of Africa. In western culture, the idea of drumming is nearly always associated with entertainment or just to add to the musical quality of a song. In Africa, drums hold a deeper symbolic and historical meaning.
Drums are almost always an accompaniment for any ceremony – births, deaths, marriages – together with a ritual dance. The vicious sound of many drums pounding together is also a necessary instalment to stir up emotions in a battle or war as it inspires excitement and passion.
In much of Africa, certain drums symbolise and protect royalty and are often housed in sacred dwellings. In fact, you could say the drum was actually the first form of the telephone! Tribes would communicate with other tribes who were often miles away, using drums. These were often used to signal meetings and impending danger.
The talking drums of Africa imitate the pitch patterns of language and transmit messages over many miles.