This project is an introductory workshop in traditional Tuareg songs and musical instruments. Traditional instruments such as the Inzad (traditional monochord fiddle), the Tendé (mortar), calabash and djembe will be made available for participants. A look at the practice of this repertoire to date will be evoked by an illustration on acoustic guitar. More specifically, this project aims to introduce learners to Tuareg instruments from yesterday to today.


> Traditional vocal and instrumental repertoire (Love songs “Tarhanine“, Peace “Alhèr“)> Sacred repertoire of the vocal and instrumental desert (Ancestral songs “Imeslane Ténéré” and devotions “Tehanguimite“).


During the two days beneficiaries will be trained to:

1 – Different techniques:> Vocal techniques: learning “Taglilite” (reserved for women) and “Teguerite” (reserved for men)> Instrumental techniques related to each instrument presented and made available (bow technique)> Rhythmic techniques: body percussion (hands, chest and feet),
Calabash (use of rings according to rhythm), Tense  (water level management, modulation and skin selection)> Improvisation techniques: rhythmic and melodic changes

2 – Learning songs and pieces:> Songs
related to the practice of Tendé – Traditional> Songs “Tamiditine” (My essence) – Traditional “Tarhanine”> Love song (Timiditine)> Song of peace (Niger Akalnine)> Ancestral song (Imeslane Ténéré)> Devotion (Achak)

3-Presentation of instruments

> Presentation of the Tendé instrument
Le Tendé, as its name suggests in Tamasheq, it is a utilitarian object, a traditional mortar made by craftsmen to cope with the need to grind grain. It is this object whose orifice is covered with tanned skin. It is played during ceremonies in Tuareg midfield. Ancestral and unifying music of nomadic peoples, the Tendé is played for entertainment but also serves to strengthen cohesion between populations during reunions, weddings or baptisms. The manufacture of this traditional instrument is done with objects used in the household. “It is this object whose orifice is covered with tanned skin. Then, we put on each side, large sticks on which we sit after having tied and connected it.

> Presentation of the Inzad instrument
The imzad, amzad, inzad, or anzad   is a vièle  monochord traditional of Berber music, especially of the Tuaregs, nomads of the Sahara. It is made and practiced exclusively by women. The Imzad is mentioned in Charles de Foucauld’s Tuareg-French dictionary as “the favourite, noble, elegant musical instrument par excellence”; it is he who has all the preferences, which is sung in the verses, after which one sighs when one is far from the country, of which he is like the symbol and of which he recalls all the sweetness;  the imzad is the  usual companion of  the elegant Ahal; it is played to the  guests we want to honor; playing the imzad well is a rare and sought-after quality in a woman, “the perfection of distinction and elegance … “. It is traditionally played seated, by women who accompany men’s poems and songs to music, with the evocation of warrior honor, courtly love, and nomadism in the case of Tuaregs. The imzad is played with a bow and has only a horsehair string.

Presentation Tuareg acoustic guitar
The Tuareg guitar defends the culture  of the Kel Tamasheq, “those who speak Tamasheq“, the language of the Tuaregs spoken………………….Bibi Ahmed is a Nigerian singer of origin from Agadez in northern Niger. In an authentic concern to explore their respective musical universes, they deliver a unique blend of rock, blues, folk and Tuareg tradition, amplified by electric guitars with psychedelic accents that make it incomparable. At the crossroads of current and traditional music, a hypnotic blues as an antithesis of formatted “world music”.

Presentation of the calabash
The calabash (music) is the fruit of the calabash, it is used in several musical instruments with strings or percussion and has existed for millennia in Tuareg culture. To beat the calabash, wearing large rings on the fingers or rifle casings (bullets already used) are essential. Each ring has its specialty and unique sound. Hence the need to master the fingers and sound. Generally, the know-how is bequeathed from father to son generation after generation. The rings are ordered from blacksmiths either from the family or an heir to the ancestral know-how guardian of the tradition.

Presentation of the Djembe

The djembe is an African percussion instrument composed of a wooden barrel in the shape of a chalice on which is mounted a goatskin usually in the Tuareg culture chosen from an early age. The goat is maintained and followed to have a soft thin skin and according to tradition it must be refined by a woman mother of twins. Tense thanks to a system of tension that is played with bare hands and whose very wide sound spectrum generates a great richness of timbre. The flared shape of the barrel would come from that of the mortar to pound the grain.


Open to singers and musicians with basic singing (just singing and having a good ear), percussion and/or guitar. It is recommended that guitarists come with their instruments.



Created in 1996 by Nigerian guitarist Bibi Ahmed, Group Inerane (Sublime Frequencies label) has become emblematic of the revolutionary Tuareg music that sweeps the Sahara Desert. Their music is a political weapon, inspired by rebel musicians in Libyan refugee camps in the 1980s and 1990s. Eager for encounters and innovations, the members of the group evolve over time. As part of a creative residency in Marseille in 2014, at the initiative of L’Embobineuse for the recording of an album, a new formation was born: BIBI AHMED 4TET *.

It brings together two members of the Groupe Inerane – the enigmatic guitar hero Bibi Ahmed and his accomplice Ikali Adam – and two musicians from Marseille, drummer Ahmad Compaoré and bassist Aurélien Arnoux. In an authentic concern to explore their respective musical universes, they deliver a unique blend of rock, blues, folk and Tuareg tradition, amplified by electric guitars with psychedelic accents that make it incomparable. At the crossroads of current and traditional music, a hypnotic blues as an antithesis of formatted “world music”.

BIBI AHMED & IKALI ADAM: electric guitars, vocals

A Tuareg musician of Nigerien nationality, Bibi Ahmed created Groupe Inerane at the age of 17, revisiting the rich tradition of songs written in Tamasheq for the new generation. In line with the great Tuareg music ensembles (Tinariwen, Terakaft, Tamikrest), the formation is very active in the Sahara and West Africa. While their journey is inseparable from political turmoil and personal tragedies, their music still resembles what it was in its early days: social music for dance and rejoicing, with exuberant trance-like songs, embodying the Tuareg message of hope and equality. Representatives of a thousand-year-old culture, an integral part of the heritage of humanity, Bibi Ahmed and Ikali Adam are bearers of a wealth that must be communicated to all those capable of grasping its unspeakable treasures. And the public is numerous today in France and Europe to want to taste this authenticity forged by the winds of the desert …


Of Egyptian-Burkinabe origin, Ahmad Compaoré confirms his singular talent alongside Fred Frith, Marc Ribot, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Barre Phillips, Camel Zekri and the Egyptian choreographer Karima Mansour. In a permanent concern for exploration and discovery, he shares his creativity between dance, theather and cinema. Twice winner of Culturesfrance “Hors Les Murs”, he has stayed in India and Japan as part of creative residencies. Outside of any compartmentalization, he conducts the most extreme experiments in experimental music, jazz and fusion. Involved in many projects, he is currently a drummer in Lucky Peterson’s quartet.

AURÉLIEN ARNOUX: electric bass

Passionate about free jazz and blues, Aurélien Arnoux trained at The New School in New York following his meeting with improvising bassist Barre

Phillips. Back in Marseille, he obtained the First Prize of the Jazz class at the National Conservatory of Region. He is involved in multidisciplinary projects (music, dance, theatre) with the companies Les Bancs Publics, Incidence and La Force Molle. He has collaborated with Raphaël Imbert, Rez Abbasi, Philippe Renault, Marion Rampal and Mama Ohandja or groups of the experimental scene such as Das Simple, Oust! and Manuchello.

* Created with Jules Bernable on bass.