Apologies - work in progress

music-making for everyone

Kenkeni - bamboo - 14" diameter, 40cm high


This is the smallest of the classic set of 3 drums in a dundun set and it's suitable for junior, secondary, club and professional use. It's approx 35cm in diameter and 40cm high and is made from bamboo for minimal environmental impact, light weight and great value. The heads are extra-thick goatskin and each set comes complete with a double-ended beater (wood and padded) to give an even wider range of sounds.


N.B. For SEN settings - please put a note with your order to indicate that it's needed for an SEN setting, so that we know to include the relevant materials.


How it's Played

There are two primary playing styles for dununs. The traditional style has each player using a single drum resting on its side, either on the floor or on a stand, and striking the head with one mallot and a bell mounted on top with the other. A melody is created across the interplay of the three dununs. For the other style, known as ballet style as it is used in the National Ballets, one player has command of the three dununs standing on the floor, allowing a more complex arrangement for the dance.

In some regions of Guinea the dunun is played with no bells, or only two dunun are played. In some regions of Mali up to five dunduns are played at the same time. In Hamanah, (Guinea) three dununs with bells are played. This style is one of the most known in the west, due to the influence of Mamady Keita, Mohamed Diaby, Bolokada Conde, and other players from Guinea. It is formed of three dununs of different sizes; the kenkeni (smallest), sangban (medium) and dununba (largest). The kenkeni has the highest pitch and usually holds the rhythm together with a simple pattern. The sangban typically has a more complex part which defines the rhythm. The dununba often serves to add depth with deep, widely spaced notes. These drums provide a rhythmic and melodic base for the djembe ensemble.
In Bamako (Mali), a style of playing with two dunduns developed. Both so called konkoni, have goat skin and are played without the bell. The konkoni with the highiest pitch keeps the accompaining rhythm and the konkoni with the lowest pitch keeps the lead melody and solos.
In the Khasonke, region of Mali, the biggest of the dunduns has the leading role - making solos and leading the song.


A Dunun (also known as dundun, doundoun, or djun-djun) is the generic name for a family of West African Bass Drums that developed alongside the djembe in the Mande drum ensemble. It is related in construction to the gungon or brekete bass drums of northern Ghana, except that the gungon uses a single snare on the drum face to produce a buzzing sound absent in the dunun. There are different sizes of dunduns, ranging from 25 to 60 cm. Basing on the size, construction technique and tuning, there are different names for each type of dundun. Some of the most often used names are konkoni, kenkeni, sangban, dununba, djeli-dun, etc.

What it Goes Well With
To Top Of Page

Tell a Friend