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Article

Cloch  

Peter Crossley-Holland

Clapper-bell of ancient and medieval Wales. Several types were known, all with suspension loops. They include one quadrangular and one circular bell of Romano-British (La Tène) type, found in the Vale of Neath, and Celtic ‘saints’ bells’, including a long quadrangular bell now in the National Museum of Wales. Historical references to the cloch date from the 12th century, but the traditional performing practice has not survived....

Article

Alastair Dick

The most ancient known drum name of India, found in Sanskrit texts from the late 2nd millennium bce to about the 13th century ce. Its type has not been identified with certainty, but references throughout the period indicate a loud drum connected especially but not exclusively with war. The name is doubtless onomatopoeic....

Article

Alastair Dick

Sanskrit term that appears in the earlier Vedic literature of India (Ṛg- and Atharvaveda, c1000 bce). It has been translated by Indologists as ‘lute’, but without justification; it might have been a musical bow played by scratching and resonated by a bottle-gourd or a pot (a later available meaning of ...

Article

Kuḻal  

Alastair Dick

Ancient Tamil name for the transverse flute, found in the literature of south India in the 1st millennium ce. Another name was vankiyam. Descriptions suggest the flute was about 38 cm long and 9 cm in circumference; it was generally made of bamboo, but bronze, sandalwood, and rosewood are also mentioned. The left end was closed and ringed with thin bronze. The embouchure was about 4 cm from the left end and there were seven fingerholes, with an eighth hole (...

Article

Alastair Dick

Old south Indian Tamil name for a clay pot drum with a narrow neck covered with skin and found in texts of the 1st millennium ce. It was sounded as a ceremonial instrument together with the cankam (conch) and kombu (trumpet) and presented as a prize by the king to warriors; it also appeared in the dance orchestra....

Article

Muracu  

Alastair Dick

Old South Indian Tamil name for a large cylindrical drum of state, sacred to kings, in texts of the 1st millennium ce. It was kept in the palace on its own cot and carried out on an elephant to announce proclamations, battles, and the dawn. Its sound is compared to thunder. The Sanskrit ...

Article

Alastair Dick

The ancient south Indian Tamil name for cymbals, found in texts of the 1st millennium ce. They have been equated with kancatāḷam (and were therefore probably of bronze), and were used in the dance ensemble and in hymn-singing.

S. Ramanathan: Music in Cilappatikaaram (diss., Wesleyan U., 1974)....

Article

Alastair Dick

Elongated barrel drum of ancient and medieval India. The name occurs in Sanskrit from epic and classical times, and is probably of non-Aryan origin. Ancient references are to a loud drum, in contexts of war, public announcements, and so on, often compared to thunder by the classical poets, and also used in palaces and in temple worship. The dramaturgic treatise ...

Article

Alastair Dick

Old south Indian Tamil name for a wooden barrel drum, equated with mattalam and found in texts of the 1st millennium ce. It had two skin-covered heads, the right being tuned with a paste (mārcanai, i.e. Sanskrit mārjanā) of powdered charcoal and cooked rice. It was the leading instrument of the dance orchestra, controlling the level of the other instruments and filling in for continuity (as does the ...

Article

Zvans  

Valdis Muktupāvels

Cast and forged metal bells of Latvia. Small cast bronze bells are known from the 7th century, found by archaeologists attached to shawls, belts, and other parts of female costume, usually grouped in threes. The diameter of the opening is 15 to 30 mm, and the clapper in a form of a lamella is attached inside. Cast church bells are known in Latvia from the 12th century. The bell was hung in a church tower or a separate bell tower and rung for ecclesiastic rites, for special events such as weddings and funerals, and also to sound alarms. The church bells were thought to offer protection from evil influences....