You’ll love its shape…and its diverse sound!
The udu didn’t begin life as a drum. Over the course of many centuries, the udu evolved from simple water jug used by the Igbo people of Nigeria to exotic percussion instrument used around the world. The udu name itself translates to vessel or pottery. That explains why the drum’s unique shapes and designs are reminiscent of the handmade clay vases Igbo women would carry to the river and fill with water. Early udus were also played by the women during tribal ceremonies and rituals.
The modern udu drum produces a diverse range of sounds and is widely used by percussionists in all types of music to establish bass beats and rhythm tones. It is both an aerophone (percussion sound is produced by vibrating air) and an idiophone (sound is produced by the vibration of the instrument). Play any part of the drum with your hands or fingers, either tapping it on the sides or moving your hands away from the hole that lets sound escape. If the drum has any texturing on the surface, you can also rub it to create interesting tonal variations.