Bata Ballet Ku

I learned this rhythm from a Ghanaian guy called Peter, who says he got it from some Senegalese drummer while he was studying out in Africa. But it has so much in common with Sorsonet as to be almost identical, most likely a case of "Chinese whispers". The lyrics and the Song melody and the Break are too similar to be independently created songs. But we like the simplicity of these parts (which are different) and how they fit together. It makes a nice beginners' rhythm while still maintaining interest for other players. We added a shekere counting four as a nice cross rhythm.


Call:       Bata ballet ku ye
            Bata ballet ku na
            Bata ballet ku na yo ma
            Bata ballet ku ye

Response:   [same four lines as above]

Intro/Outro/Break Section

            | 1&a2&a3&a4&a | 1&a2&a3&a4&a |
Djembe call | sSS.sSS.sSS. | BBB.BBB.BBB. |   (play x3 for Break, x2 for Outro)
Djembe resp |              | BBB.BBB.BBB. |   
Bell respons|              | |
Duns respons|              | DDD.DDD.DDD. |
Shekere     | X..X..X..X.. | X..X..X..X.. |

Main Rhythm

120bpm 12/8 | 1&a2&a3&a4&a |   ("One and-a Two and-a Three and-a Four and-a...")
Djembe 1    | B.B.OOB.B.OO |   ("Burning, London's burning, London's")
              r r rl

Djembe 2    | s.OOB.s.OOB. |   ("Not difficult! Not difficult!")
              f rlr

Bell 1      | |   ("No, (bell) it's not difficult!")
+Sangban    | G.....G..... |
+Dununba    | ....D...DDD. |

Shekere     | X..X..X..X.. |


  1. Song
  2. Intro call & response x3
  3. Main rhythm
  4. Break call & response x3
  5. Main rhythm
  6. Break call & response x3
  7. Main rhythm
  8. Outro call & response x2

We sing the Song first, then the leader signals the call, to which everyone responds in unison. This Intro is played three times altogether, then we go into the Main Rhythm. Then each time the leader signals, we go round the Break again. To end, the leader doesn't call the third time in the Break, so we stop after two repeats. So an echauffement is not required but could be put in to build everyone up.