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The udu is both an African plosive aerophone (in this case implosive) and an idiophone—not a drum—used by such peoples as the Igbo of Nigeria. In the Igbo language, udu means vessel. Actually being a water jug with an additional hole, it was played by women for ceremonial uses. Usually the udu is made of clay. The instrument is played by hand and produces a special and unique bass sound by quickly hitting the big hole. Furthermore the whole corpus can be played by fingers. Today it is widely used by percussionists in different music styles.
Several instruments, traditional and modern, are derived from the udu. These include the utar, in which the udu is elongated, flatter, and disc-like; the kim-kim which has two chambers and two holes; and the zarbang-udu which adds a skin membrane along with the open holes, developed by Persian percussionist Benham Samani. The membrane and the holes can be played with one or two hands at the same time. This is a hand percussion instrument.
- "Schlagwerk percussion website". Schlagwerk. Retrieved 2 August 2012.