The apentemma is an open single-headed goblet drum on a base. The drum is approximately 60 to 70 cm in height and has a diameter of 40 cm at the top. At the bottom it narrows to approximately 15 to 20 cm in diameter at about 15 cm from the bottom. It has a clear sound and is suited to playing ostinato figures and repetitive rhythmical patterns. The apentemma also lends itself to being used as a talking drum within an instrumental ensemble.
The apentemma drum is played with a wooden stick and the palm of the hand alternately. It is sometimes adorned with decorative elements but often in contemporary ensembles it is painted with a coat of grey or blue paint or covered with a piece of linen fabric, which may bear decorative symbols. The apentemma is related to the larger operenten drum. The combination of the petia, operenten, apentemma and the adedemma belong to the ‘shrine drums’ of the Ashanti people (Nketia 1957,p103).
© RMCA/Dominik PHYFFEROEN