Tag: can

Tin Can Instruments – Ramkie

Tin Can Instruments – Ramkie

Music
When the British took South Africa from the Dutch in 1815, they imported technologies brand new to the Africans who lived there. The tin can, first patented in 1810, was especially well received – not only as a readily recycled container for food and water, but as a newer, louder, and more brilliant resonator for stringed instruments. The most noteworthy outcome of that revelation was the ramkie, a plucked or strummed instrument related to lutes, guitars, and ukeleles. The traditional ramkie is based on an oil can. Cooking oil? Motor oil? Who cares! If it has a pleasant "ping," it will do very nicely. Cookie tins, round or rectangular, are less traditional – but often produce a superior sound. Once the can has been selected, the builder must create a workable neck for the instrument.