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Article

Aangún  

Brian Diettrich

Nose flute from the islands of Chuuk, Micronesia. It is made from bamboo or mangrove root. Similar bamboo nose flutes have been documented for the atolls surrounding Chuuk, with instruments reported in the Mortlock Islands (there called áttik), as well as on Pollap, Polowat (...

Article

Gordon D. Spearritt

Water drum of the Iatmul people, Papua New Guinea. It is made of hardwood, similar in shape to an hourglass drum, but lacks a membrane and has a projecting handle at the top, carved as the tail of a crocodile. When plunged into a water-filled pit, it produces sound as it breaks the surface, the sound representing the voice of an ancestor such as a crocodile. It is used mostly in or near ceremonial houses at initiation ceremonies. The term ‘...

Article

Ae-be  

Raymond Ammann

Idiophone of the Loyalty Islands (off New Caledonia). It joins most of the choral singing that accompanies dances. The names of the instrument reflect ideas associated with unity or being struck. It is a disc-shaped parcel, 20 to 30 cm in diameter and 10 to 15 cm thick, typically of coconut fibres covered by leaves of the tree ...

Article

Aip  

Brian Diettrich

An hourglass-shaped, single-headed drum from the island of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. The body was made from breadfruit tree wood (Artocarpus altilis) or from the local tree topwuk (Premna gaudichaudii), and the head from shark or ray skin, or ray, or possibly a fish bladder. Drums were formerly of great cultural significance on the island; they were given proper names, associated with paramount chiefs, and played and cared for by men assigned the honorary title ...

Article

Aje  

Barbara B. Smith and Jessica A. Schwartz

Single-headed Hourglass drum of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia. Most descriptions indicate that it was introduced from Melanesia, possibly through Pohnpei, where the Aip resembles it in structure. The long-waisted body (about 65 cm tall, diameter at the ends 20 cm) is crafted from breadfruit wood. The head, made from the inner lining of the stomach or bladder of a shark, is tied over one end by a cord of fibrous plant material. The drum is held on the lap or under the left arm. Finger and hand strokes, and playing positions (centre or rim), are differentiated. One, two, or three ...

Article

Mervyn McLean

Rudimentary xylophone of Blanche Bay, New Britain, Papua New Guinea. It consists of two pieces of hardwood with fire-toughened ends, 75 to l m long, about 15 cm wide, flat, and unequal in length. The player first makes a hole (resonator) in the sand over which he sits with his legs apart. He then places the two sticks across his thighs and plays upon them with two short wooden sticks....

Article

Don Niles

Concussion (dilating or retreating) reed pipe of the Keraki (Nambu) people of Papua New Guinea. A 60-cm-long bamboo tube is closed at one end by a node and is open at the other. From the open end, a slit is made longitudinally down to the node. The player puts his mouth completely over the open end and blows, causing the split sides to vibrate and emit a harsh, shrill sound. ...

Article

Asis  

Hourglass drum of Kosrae, eastern Caroline Islands, Micronesia. Now obsolete, it was similar to the Aje drum of the Marshall Islands and is said to have been introduced from there. See E. Sarfert: ‘Kusae’, Ergebnisse der Südsee-Expedition 1908–1910, IIB, iv (Hamburg, 1920), 487.

Article

Raymond Ammann

Panpipe ensemble of northern Malaita, Solomon Islands. The instruments have in general ten tubes arranged in raft form with the longest measuring approximately 40 cm. Half of the instruments (called buli) have 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th etc. degrees of the equiheptatonic scale and the remainder (...

Article

Mervyn McLean

Stamping tube set of the ‘Are’are people of Malaita, Solomon Islands. Among the neighbouring Kwarekwareo they are called ‘au ni wado. A set consists of ten bamboo tubes 13 to 46 cm long, closed by a node at the lower end. Unlike the kiro stamping tubes which accompany singing, they are carefully tuned to a pentatonic scale. A single musician sits on the ground or on a low seat, legs spread. On the ground between his thighs he places a stone against which he strikes the tubes of his choice, held four in each hand. Between the two largest toes of each foot he wedges one of the two remaining tubes, which he strikes on smaller stones, one by each foot. Alternatively the tubes may be shared among two or three musicians, in which case the ensemble may increase to 12 with each player holding two tubes in each hand. The simultaneous and alternate striking of the tubes produces a sound like a xylophone....

Article

Jeremy Montagu

Aboriginal log idiophone of Arnhem Land in northern Australia. It is a naturally hollowed log about 1.5 m long and 20 cm in diameter, struck in secret ritual ceremonies reserved for initiated men. It is also known as banagaga and by other names.

Article

Balum  

Bullroarer of the Bukaua, Yabem, and other peoples, Huon Gulf, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea. The term is also used for a cult associated with secret flutes.

A.C. Haddon: ‘Migration of Cultures in British New Guinea’, Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Australian piano firm founded by Octavius Beale (b Mountmellick, Co. Laois, Ireland, 23 Feb 1850; d Stroud, New South Wales, Australia, 16 Dec 1930). Beale came to Australia with his family in 1854. Having been sent back to Ireland for schooling, he returned and was working in a hardware store in Melbourne at age 16. Later he became a partner with Hugo Wertheim in a hardware business that imported sewing machines and German upright pianos. In ...

Article

Bekuru  

Regis Stella

Term for both an idioglot bamboo jew’s harp (susap) and a musical bow of the Banoni people, Papua New Guinea. As elsewhere in Bougainville, the jew’s harp is a men’s instrument, the mouth bow a women’s. Men apply love magic to the jew’s harp to attract women. It is activated by jerking a string so that the player’s thumb strikes the base of the tongue. In a story a man named Marere learned to play it from a wild man. Women were so attracted to the sound that they would have sex with Marere instead of going fishing. Trying to escape from the women’s husbands, Marere dropped the instrument and turned into a stone; now other men can play the ...

Article

Obsolete bamboo jews harp of the Chamorro people of Guam in the Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia. It took the form of a bamboo stick in which a tongue was cut. The instrument was placed in the half-open mouth and its tongue set in motion by a finger....

Article

Raymond F. Kennedy

Musical bow of the Chamorro of the Mariana Islands, Micronesia. It is especially important on the island of Guam where it has become a symbol of early Chamorro culture. The bent stick of the belembau tuyan, made of a supple native wood (usually hibiscus), is about 2 metres long. A string made from wild pineapple fibre (wire in later forms) is stretched along the stick and fastened to it at both ends. A half gourd (or two half coconut-shells, one inside the other) is attached, opening outward, part way between the ends of the stick on the side opposite the string. The player reclines or sits, the gourd resting against his stomach, and fingers the string with his left hand while striking it with a piece of sword-grass held in his right hand (see illustration). When a wire string is used, protective cylinders are worn on the fingers of the left hand. Freely translated, ...

Article

Michael Webb

Both a struck aerophone (alternatively, an idiophone) comprising a set of three or five tuned bamboo tubes, and the name for an ensemble including these instruments. It was featured in popular music in the Solomon Islands (its place of origin) and parts of Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu for several decades from the 1970s. The primary instrument is derived from the handheld tuned stamping tube, and comprises a set of 7- to 9-cm-diameter bamboos, open at both ends and graduated in lengths of up to 2 metres, arranged in raft form. A band will include at least three sets; each set is commonly tuned (to a guitar) 1–3–5–6–8 (or 1–3–5), usually in a low register, to sound one of the three primary chords in a given key. With flexible paddles players vigorously slap in succession one open end of each bamboo in a boogie-woogie rhythmic-melodic pattern that outlines a triad; sets alternate according to changes in harmony. The ensemble includes guitars and accompanies harmonized singing. A related Solomon Islands ensemble without guitars yet employing Westernized tuning, involves multiple sets of panpipes, ‘pantrumpets’, and the rack-mounted bass ...

Article

Wooden clappers used under a wide variety of names by aboriginal Australians.

Article

Bora  

Bullroarer of the Borli people, Northern Province, Papua New Guinea. It is used during initiations and is represented to women and the uninitiated as the voice of evil spirits.

E.W. Chinnery: ‘Notes on the Natives of South Bougainville and Mortlock (Tahu)’, Territory of New Guinea Anthropological Report...

Article

Botgef  

Raymond Ammann

Panpipe of the island of Espíritu Santo in Vanuatu. It has six to eight graduated bamboo tubes and is used in ensemble for polyphonic performance. The names of the tubes correspond to the members of a family. For example, in the Morouas language the longest tube is called ...