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Musical Instruments

Agogo Bells – What Are They And Where To Buy Them

Photograph of the blog post author, Annika Hope

Annika Hope


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Agogo Bells are percussion instruments that are used as a rhythmic accompaniment in music. We will give you the lowdown on the instrument’s history, where to buy one etc. So let’s dive in and find out more. 

Agogo Bells

What Are Agogo Bells?

Agogo bells are a set of two or three small metal bells, usually made of steel, used in Latin American and African music. They are often played in pairs, with one bell higher-pitched than the other. They are used to provide a rhythmic accompaniment to the music.

Agogo bells are a type of percussion instrument originating from West Africa. They are made of two or more metal bells of different sizes that are attached to a wooden handle. The bells are struck with a stick, producing a unique metallic sound. Agogo bells are often used in traditional African music and can also be found in salsa, samba, and other Latin music styles.

The Agogo Bells originated in West Africa and were traditionally used by Yoruba people in Nigeria. They are used as an accompaniment to traditional African music and dance. The bells are made of two or three metal disks of different sizes, which are mounted on a metal rod and struck with a stick. They are often used in religious ceremonies and to mark the passing of time.

Even though they have been used around the world, their origins are in traditional Yoruba and Edo music and also in samba baterias (percussion ensembles). 

How Do You Play The Agogo Bells?

Each bell is a different size. This allows a differently-pitched note to be produced depending on which bell has been hit. Originally wrought iron, they are now manufactured in a variety of metals and sizes for different sound qualities. 

The most common arrangement is two bells attached by a U-shaped piece of metal. The smaller bell is held uppermost. 

Either bell may be hit with a wooden stick to make a cowbell-like sound or less commonly a clicking sound is produced by squeezing the two bells together. 

To play the agogo bells, you will need to hold the bells in each hand and strike them together. You can vary the tone and sound by striking the bells at different angles and with different amounts of force. 

You can also use a mallet to strike the bells for a louder sound. Experiment with different rhythms and patterns to create your own unique sound.

Where To Buy Agogo Bells

You can buy Agogo Bells in music stores such as Guitar Center or Sam Ash or online on Amazon or Kalango.  

Closing Thoughts

Are you ready to give the agogo bells a try and just what sort of music will you be able to create using this unique instrument? Only you can find out and so you need to give it a go.


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