WHEN DRUMS WERE OUTLAWED
In parts of the antebellum South ,
black slaves were barred from banging drums
slowly or other wise .
" What ever master or overseer shall permit
his slaves, to beat, blow horns or loud Instruments , "a 1755 Georgia colonial
shall forfeit 30 shillings Sterling's for every such offence . " There were similar
elsewhere in the South ".
Of course , the prohibition had nothing to do
with noise pollution .
In the U.S. as In their native Africa , blacks
beat out long - distance messages to one another on drums , and often these messages
were calls to revolt .
Indeed , state militia units were sometimes
able to quash rebellions - in the making after
receiving advance warning from the telltale
drum calls .
To be sure , African drum music was an effective means of long - distance communication
For one thing , It was far more complex in it"s rhythms and structures than
western music and thus difficult for whites to " OVERSTAND ".
For another, drums could approximate the tones and pitch of human speech, so
slaves actually were able to " talk " to each other
and thus convey intricate messages - not
just code - like signals .
The drum statues were not easy to enforce , nor did it keep blacks from communicating musically in other
ways - - such as clapping or stamping their feet .
Along with most slave laws , the drum statues were repealed during the reconstruction era .
"Don"t believe the hype ", the force of the
drum is still revealing it"s self .
( Papa gede nibo bey - Hugan Huntor }