The Gankogui marks the beat in drum ensemble music of Ghana and other parts of West Africa. The beat is not a steady pulse but a particular rhythm that the ensemble is following or linking up with. This post and presentation provide examples of the 'bell rhythm' in West African drumming and how the rhythms can be heard in Caribbean traditional music such as Santeria and popular Latin music. 

Listen to an example of Agbekor music from Ghana:

Click here for specific information about the gankogui (And click on "Drums & Drumming" at the link for additional information)

Listen to another example of Agbekor. The bell rhythm is very clear in this example:

Notation example -

Click here for information about the routes slaves travelled from West Africa to the Caribbean.

Listen to an example from Santeria practice:

Click here for information about Santeria

Now listen for the 'bell rhythm' (called clave here) in this example from Cuba:

You can even hear the rhythm we learned in this performance with Celia Cruz!

Be the first to respond!

Leave a comment:



Access liner notes and bios for Kathryn Woodard's Journeys CD at the link - our current radio promotion.


Visit the new Chinese Galleries at The Philadelphia Museum of Art and hear Qin Qian & Friends in performance on August 24!


Gamelan Semara Santi's next concert at Swarthmore on Sunday November 17!



Check out the video pages for the Anthology of Turkish Piano Music:

Volume I

Volume II

Volume III 


Listen to "Center of the Universe" by Don't Idle Engine


Listen to an excerpt of "Aegean Spring" read at the Midwest Clinic Orchestra Reading session here!


View one of our featured titles, "Victory March," here.


Sheet Music Audio

Follow us

YouTube -- LinkedIn -- Facebook --