97/100 Nanuma – 4-part round

This is a traditional African round – you can find it in all sorts of places and song books.

Here is one version – sometimes the top note is a B flat, sometimes it is a B natural. It is a lovely thing to sing. I saw it done once in an inset, where everyone chose which line they wanted to sing, and wandered around the hall until they found other people singing the same line, and formed “clumps”.


When we sing this, a note closer to B flat sounds more “natural”, giving a C7 chord (now there’s a thought for ukulele groups). I’m going to use it with my beginner keyboard ensemble, so we will play a B natural for simplicity. Last term I managed to reach a point where most of the children were able to identify and play CDEFG by the last session. I realise that I will be starting again from the beginning, after a gap of several weeks over Christmas, so I will start with just playing the rhythm, below (probably on “sound effect” or “drum-kit” – that will provided endless amusement)

nanuma-chords-and-rhythm-onlyI‘ll then introduce the first phrase, as notes ( C C C C E D    C C C ) and fingering (1 1 1 1 3 2     1 1 1)

Once that is reliable, I’ll show them how the tune repeats itself, just starting on E, and then G (introducing the notion of the tonic triad of C along the way…)

When everyone is playing the tune in unison, we can set off on the adventure of a two, three, even four-part round. With ostinato accompaniment based on the tonic triads of C major and D minor, maybe?

I taught it this way before, years ago, and hopefully it will be a useful way back into ensemble playing for these youngsters. The couple of more experienced players (one of them has piano lessons) can add LH chords or ostinato accompaniments.


This entry was posted in Class Teaching, Keyboards, Lessons that have happened, Songs and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.