Wabash Blogs Immersion 2008: Ugandan Madinda Masters

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Heaven for a Mathematician and Musician

Friday, May 23—For breakfast today we had fried lumonde (sweet potatoes) and fried muwogo (cassava). I also had African tea again (chai tea with hot milk instead of hot water)

Today we went to Kyambogo again and learned from the ingenious Ssebuwufu. To meet him, you would never think that this was one of the true masters of the madinda, and he had performed all around the world in every venue imaginable!

We practiced the madinda songs we had learned yesterday, and then we did something amazing. We played enyana ekutudde on the giant 22-key kadinda! The style is very different, and for me considerably more difficult. I can only do it when I am at full attention, never when I am tired, but I was able to do it. It was incredible, the way that the rhythms interlock is mind boggling. As a mathematician and a musician, I was in heaven. The kadinda itself is an amazing instrument. I learned later that it was brought out especially for our visit.

Here are all the words for Enyana ekutudde:

Enyana ekutudde
Ekusamba n’etekulinya


Today the weather was cloudy for the first time since I have been here.