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James W. McKinnon and Robert Anderson

(Lat.; Gk., usually plural, kroupezai or kroupala)

Ancient percussion instrument consisting of foot-activated clappers (it is classified as an idiophone). It took the form of a sandal with a thick wooden sole hinged to a similarly shaped block of wood on the ground. To each of the wooden parts hollowed clappers of varying materials were attached.

The Hittite word h̬uh̬upal may refer to some such instrument, which was comparatively rare in Greece but became relatively prominent in Rome with the general expansion of instrumental usage there. It found a place in the orgiastic music of Dionysiac festivals, but it was most commonly used by a tibia player to emphasize dance rhythms when accompanying a group of pantomimi, or acting as leader to such a theatrical instrumental ensemble (see also Greece §I 5., (i), (b)). This player was called the scabillarius, and the Roman organization of theatrical musicians, the collegium scabillariorum, was named after him. The scabellum appears also with some frequency in Roman representations of cult music....