Twa Tanbou (TTBB)

For TTBB Chorus, unaccompanied
Duration: 3:30 minutes
Published with GIA Publications/Walton Music
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Original Version (SATB)



The central theme of Twa Tanbou: In order for a team to reach the optimal result, each member must play his or her own part as a team. There is no room for self-obsessed glory; this ultimately brings down the team. True leaders are those who put their team’s collective well-being before themselves. The text of Twa Tanbou uses this philosophy, applied to three drums: the big Boula (the loudest), the smaller Tanbouren (the most beautiful sounding drum) and the little Kata drum, arguing that if everyone works together, there will be beautiful music!

Translation of Haitian Creole text:

Three drums

Three drums are having an argument
A great Sunday morning
On their way back from Guinea

A little Kata
A little Tanbouren
A big Boula

 Boula declared
That he can hit the loudest
Boula declared
“I can hit the loudest!”

Tanbouren said “I have the most beautiful sound”
He said “when I perform, keep quiet and listen!”

Kata who was hearing all this became angry
He could not comprehend how two fellows
Who are dressed with the same outfit
And are children of the same mother
Are sitting around making a scandal

One fine Mardi-Gras day, Kata started to “zouk”
Every single person there began to dance…
Tanbouren and Boula who were there listening
To make the party more exciting, they started a great throng
That day,
They all sang a song that I’ll never forget:

All drums that are dispersed
Let’s put our shoulders together
To make life more beautiful

Click Here for complete text and English translation
Click Here Traducción al Español



Twa Tanbou – recording 1:
University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club – Twa Tanbou ( TTBB version )

Twa Tanbou – recording 2 :
University of Miami Frost Chorale ( SATB version )
Jo-Michael Scheibe, conductor


Perusal Score



 Performance Video