Welcome to NOVICA's Musical Instruments page! Talented artists handcraft this unique collection of musical instruments.
Explore the world through music and the instruments that make it - discover African, Brazilian, Peruvian and Indian instruments including the Djembe, Cajon, Quena, Panpipe, Bougarabou, Charango, Khim & Andean flute!
"Though carving has long been regarded as the preserve of men, I am glad that I have been able not only to infiltrate but to also make an impact on the trade."
Artist and musical instrument maker Ernestina Oppong Assante has been featured in periodicals ranging from Red Herring Magazine to The Christian Science Monitor.
"I was born at in the eastern region of Ghana on July 23, 1968, and had my early education there. I trained in dressmaking but on completion of the course, I realized that the trade would not do well inm y town. I therefore decided to learn a popular trade like carving. I trained under one Kwame Duah and within three years I had perfected the skill and was developing woodcarvings on my own. Since 1995, I have been operating a workshop of my own with four people working under me. Fortunately, my husband David Assante also trained as a carver and so we combine our skills to design and carve the drums with perfection.
"From Nakese in the eastern region I acquire a type of hardwood known as tweneboa for carving the drums. For the pegs I use the odum tree. Other materials I use are animal skin, pieces of cloth, iron rods and strings. The wood is already carved into hollows before I buy it. I then carve in the Adinkra and other symbols and designs. The next stage is to have the apprentices smoothe the woodwork with sandpaper. The iron rings which are placed on the mouth of the drum are wrapped with pieces of cloth to prevent rusting. The animal skin is bought from the northern region of Ghana and its environs. It is soaked in water for about two hours to soften. The skin is firmly pulled through the iron rings to cover the mouth of the drum and this ensures that it comes out with a good sound. The drum is then left in the sun to dry after which it is tested for sound and tone quality.
"I love making drums. I believe that there are very bright business prospects for the African traditional drum. Though carving has long been regarded as the preserve of men, I am glad that I have been able not only to infiltrate but to also make an impact on the trade. For the years that I have been in this business, I have never had any regrets whatsoever. It is my fervent hope to carve more interesting drums for you to enjoy."
An instrument dating back to the Inca Empire, this panpipe features eleven reed tubes of graduated length are bound by colorful textiles. Known as a zampoña, this traditional Andean panpipe is handcrafted by Benito Tito.
An emblem of the Inca sun god graces this beautiful ronroco guitar by Benito Tito. Similar to the charango but larger, the ronroco with its distinctive shape and sound is a traditional Andean instrument. Tito shapes the piece from pinewood,....read more
Dionisio Quilla marks the beat of Peru's musical traditions with an elegant cajón drum. Quilla crafts the cajón from higuerilla wood featuring two cotton and copper strings that regulate the drum's reverberation. Known as bordoneras,....read more
The sweet melody of the quena flute evokes images of tranquil Andean highlands. Quena means "many-holed object" in the Quechua language and it is said to have entranced birds to soar above the person playing it. This may be no wonder, given that....read more
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