Talking drum

The talking drum is an hourglass-shaped drum from West Africa, whose pitch can be regulated to mimic the tone and prosody of human speech. It has two drumheads connected by leather tension cords, which allow the player to change the pitch of the drum by squeezing the cords between their arm and body. A skilled player is able to play whole phrases. Most talking drums sound like a human humming depending on the way they are played. Similar hourglass-shaped drums are found in Asia, but they are not used to mimic speech, although the idakka is used to mimic vocal music. Hourglass-shaped talking drums are some of the oldest instruments used by West African griots and their history can be traced back to the Yoruba people, the Ghana Empire and the Hausa people; the Yoruba people of south western Nigeria and Benin and the Dagomba of northern Ghana have both developed a sophisticated genre of griot music centering on the talking drum. Many variants of the talking drums evolved, with most of them having the same construction mentioned above.

Soon, many non-hourglass shapes showed up and were given special names, such as the Dunan, Kenkeni and Ngoma drums. This construction is limited to within the contemporary borders of West Africa, with exceptions to this rule being northern Cameroon and western Chad. In Senegalese and Gambian history, the tama was one of the music instruments used in the Serer people's "Woong" tradition; the tama drum, has Serer religious connotations. In the Xaat tradition, the tama makes up the fourth musical drum ensemble; the Serer drums played include: Perngel, Lamb and Tama. When the rooster crows, the Xaat will rest and sleep until the moment of circumcision, if he has been judged to be able to dance to the Woong, surrounded by four tam-tam; the Perngel, the Lamb, the Qiin and the Tama. From a historical perspective, the tama, was beaten by the griots of Senegambian kings on special occasions, such as during wars, when the kings wanted to address their subjects, on special circumstances in Serer country – a call for martyrdom, such as the mayhem at Tahompa and the Battle of Naoudourou, where the defeated Serers, committed suicide rather than be conquered by the Muslim forces or forced to submit to Islam.

Suicide is permitted in Serer religion. The word "Jom" means "honour" in the Serer language. Ayangalu is believed to have been the first Yoruba drummer. Upon his death he was deified, so now he is counted among the ranks of the Orishas, it is believed by followers of the Yoruba religion that he is the patron spirit of all drummers, that in the guise of a muse he inspires the drummers to play well. The word "Ayan" means drummer in the Yoruba language; this is why some Yoruba family names contain the prefix Ayan, such as Ayangbade, Ayanwande etc. This prefix marks its bearers out as hereditary custodians of the mysteries of Ayangalu; the pitch of the drum is varied to mimic the tone patterns of speech. This is done by varying the tension placed on the drumhead: the opposing drum heads are connected by a common tension cord; the waist of the drum is held between the player's arm and ribs, so that when squeezed the drumhead is tightened, producing a higher note than when it's in its relaxed state. The drum can thus capture the pitch and rhythm of human speech, though not the qualities of vowels or consonants.

The use of talking drums as a form of communication was noticed by Europeans in the first half of the 18th century. Detailed messages could be sent from one village to the next faster than could be carried by a person riding a horse. In the 19th century Roger T. Clarke, a missionary, realised that "the signals represent the tones of the syllables of conventional phrases of a traditional and poetic character." Like Chinese, many African languages are tonal. The Yoruba language, for instance, is defined by the tri-tonic scale, consisting only of the tonic sol-fa notes, do, re, mi, different inflections of which are used to convey different messages, the same principle applies to how the drum talks in all of the Yoruba's music and culture; the problem was how to communicate complex messages without the use of vowels or consonants but using tone. An English emigrant to Africa, John F. Carrington, in his 1949 book The Talking Drums of Africa, explained how African drummers were able to communicate complex messages over vast distances.

Using low tones referred to as male and higher female tones, the drummer communicates through the phrases and pauses, which can travel upwards of 4–5 miles. The process may take eight times longer than communicating a normal sentence but was effective for telling neighboring villages of possible attacks or ceremonies, he found that to each short word, beaten on the drums, an extra phrase was added, which would be redundant in speech but provided context to the core drum signal. The message "Come back home" might be translated by the drummers as: "Make your feet come back the way they went, make your legs come back the way they went, plant your feet and your legs below, in the village which belongs to us". Single words would be translated into phrases. For example, "mo


Istabraq is a retired Irish Thoroughbred racehorse, most famous for his hurdling. He won the Champion Hurdle on three occasions, he was owned by John Patrick McManus. Jockey Charlie Swan rode him in all of his 29 races over jumps. Istabraq was bred for the flat, being by the outstanding champion sire Sadler's Wells, who won the Irish 2,000 Guineas over 1 mile and being three parts brother to an Epsom Derby winner, Secreto. Istabraq was tried unsuccessfully over a mile and failed to please his handlers and owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Shadwell Racing and a partner in his family's Godolphin Stables; the horse was sold to John Durkan, an assistant to John Gosden with the Baring Bingham Novices' Hurdle as the target for the Cheltenham Festival. Durkan started training the horse but was diagnosed with leukemia and suggested that Aidan O'Brien train Istabraq while he was ill; the agreement was. However, he died. O'Brien continued to train the horse afterwards, Durkan remained in the thoughts of the horse's connections.

When riding the horse back after his 1998 Champion Hurdle win, jockey Charlie Swan said,'This one's for John,' in an interview with Channel 4's Lesley Graham. On 16 November 1996 Istabraq made his hurdling debut and lost by a head to Noble Thyne at Punchestown. Before his next race Istabraq was gelded, he won his next three races prior to the Cheltenham Festival. There he won the Sun Alliance Novice Hurdle from Mighty Moss. Istabraq won the first four races of the season. In his fifth race of the season he started as favourite for the 1998 Champion Hurdle. Last years winner Make A Stand was a notable absence but the runner up Theatreworld returned as one of the 18 runners. Istabraq moved to the front three out; the Champion Hurdle became a procession in the home straight, as Istabraq won by 12 lengths from Theatreworld. The conditions for the Aintree Hurdle were heavy in places with Istabraq the favourite; however Istabraq came second to Pridwell to end Istabraq's 10 race winning streak. This was Istabraq's last race of the season.

Like last season, Istabraq won his first four races. In his fifth race of the season he started the 1999 Champion Hurdle as favourite, he won by ​3 1⁄2 lengths from Theatreworld to win his second Champion Hurdle. In the next race he beat French Holly at the Aintree Hurdle, he won his last race of the season at the Punchestown festival. Istabraq had his first start of the season in October at Tipperary in the John James McManus Memorial Hurdle, he beat Limestone Lad by 7 lengths. There was a rematch for Istabraq's second start of the season in the Hattons Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse; this time Istabraq came second losing by ​5 1⁄2 lengths to Limestone Lad in soft conditions. Despite the loss Istabraq started the 2000 Champion Hurdle as favourite, he won by 4 lengths from Hors La Loi III. This victory was Istabraq's fourth straight win at the Cheltenham Festival; this was his last race of the season. He made his reappearance at Leopardstown for the December Festival Hurdle, he battled with Moscow Flyer.

This was the first time. The race was won by Moscow Flyer. After the race winning jockey Barry Geraghty said "I thought I had Istabraq beat going to the last, I was the only one going in the right direction." Istabraq's jockey Charlie Swan however said "He was tired but he always finds something, however, he's always been vulnerable in those sort of conditions. He felt well and as good as during the race." On his next start, Istabraq won. In Istabraq's next start, Istabraq again fell with Moscow Flyer the winner. After Istabraq won the AIG Europe Champion Hurdle near the end of January he was the odds on ante post favourite for the 2001 Champion Hurdle; however before the 2001 Cheltenham Festival, cases of foot and mouth disease started to appear in Britain. The festival was therefore abandoned. Istabraq reappeared the following season to defeat Bust Out by a head in the December Festival Hurdle. In the 2002 Champion Hurdle Istabraq was the favourite of the 15 runners; however Swan pulled him up after 2 hurdles.

The race was won by Hors La Loi III. After the race Swan said "I jumped the first and his action went. I jumped the second and thought he might get a bit better but he didn't and I just thought, for the good of the horse, to pull him up". Istabraq was found to have pulled muscles in his back. Istabraq was retired after the race. After retirement Istabraq was moved to Martinstown home of owner JP McManus. Note: b. = Bay, br. = Brown, ch. = Chestnut Through his dam he is inbred 4x4 to Princequillo. This means. Repeat winners of horse races Istabraq's pedigree and partial racing stats Istabraq - The Quest for Greatness Racing Post Istabraq file

Castle Road

The Castle Road is a theme route in southern Germany and a small portion in the Czech Republic, between Mannheim and Prague. It was established in 1954. In 1994 it was possible to extend it to Prague, it leads through the Neckar valley, the Hohenlohe Plateau, the Franconian Heights, Franconian Switzerland, the Fichtelgebirge and the Kaiserwald. The Castle Road has a length of over 1,000 kilometres; the Castle Road at the moment passes, from west to the following places and landmarks. D-Mannheim – Mannheim Palace D-Schwetzingen – Schwetzingen Castle D-Heidelberg – Heidelberg Castle, Old Inner City D-Neckargemünd – Bergfeste Dilsberg D-Neckarsteinach – Schadeck Castle, Hinterburg Castle and Vorderburg D-Hirschhorn – Hirschhorn Castle D-Eberbach – Eberbach Castle D-Zwingenberg - Zwingenburg D-Neckargerach - Minneburg D-Binau - Dauchstein Castle D-Obrigheim – Neuburg Castle D-Mosbach – historical town centre D-Neckarzimmern – Hornberg Castle D-Haßmersheim-Neckarmühlbach – Guttenberg Castle D-Gundelsheim – Horneck Castle D-Bad Rappenau – Heinsheim Castle, Ehrenberg Castle, Rappenau Water Castle D-Bad WimpfenKaiserpfalz Wimpfen D-Heilbronn – city itself D-Weinsberg – Weibertreu ruins D-Jagsthausen – Götzenburg D-Öhringen – Öhringen Castle D-Neuenstein – Neuenstein Castle D-Waldenburg – Waldenburg Castle D-Schwäbisch Hall – Comburg D-Kirchberg an der JagstKirchberg Castle D-Langenburg – Langenburg Castle D-Rothenburg ob der Tauber – Rothenburg ob der Tauber, medieval town D-Ansbach – Margravial Residence and Hofgarten D-Romantic FranconiaColmberg Castle, Veste Lichtenau, castle of the Teutonic Knights, Wolframs-Eschenbach D-Abenberg – Abenberg Castle D-Roth – Ratibor Castle D-Nürnberg – Nuremberg Castle D-Franconian Switzerland – Kaiserpfalz Forchheim, Mark Wiesenttal, Egloffstein Castle, Gößweinstein Castle, Waischenfeld Castle, Aufsess Castle, Schloss Greifenstein D-Ahorntal - Rabenstein Castle D-Bamberg – Altenburg Castle, New Residence D-Rentweinsdorf - Schloss Rentweinsdorf D-Ebern - historic old town, Schloss Eyrichsdorf, Rotenhan Castle ruins D-Pfarrweisach - Lichtenstein Castle D-Maroldsweisach - Altenstein Castle D-Heldburg - Heldburg Fortress D-Coburg – Ehrenburg Palace, Veste Coburg, Callenberg Castle D-Lichtenfels – Lichtenfels Castle D-Kronach – Rosenberg Fortress D-Kulmbach – Plassenburg D-Bayreuth – New Palace Old Palace, Eremitage CZ-Cheb – Eger Castle CZ-Lázně Kynžvart – Königswart Castle CZ-Loket – Elbogen Castle CZ-Bečov nad Teplou – Petschau Castle CZ-Teplá – Teplá Abbey CZ-Švihov – Svihov Castle CZ-Nezvěstice – Nebilovy Castle CZ-Šťáhlavy – Kozel Castle CZ-Hořovice – Hořovice Castle CZ-Zdice – Žebrák Castle, Točník Castle CZ-Křivoklát – Křivoklát Castle CZ-Karlštejn – Karlštejn Castle CZ-Prague – Prague Castle There exits a Cycleway "Burgenstraßen-Radweg".

Arbeitsgemeinschaft "Die Burgenstraße": Burgenstraßen-Radwanderführer. Hrsg. Arbeitsgemeinschaft "Die Burgenstraße", Heilbronn. J. Fink-Kümmerly + Frey Verlag GmbH, Ostfildern Hans Konrad Schenk: Hohenlohe vom Reichsfürstentum zur Standesherrschaft. Swiridoff-Verlag Künzelsau, 2006. ISBN 3-89929-080-1 Official site in English Castle Road from Mannheim to Waldenburg