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Article

Aoko  

Konin Aka

Scraper of the Baule and Agni-Morofwe peoples of Ivory Coast. A serrated stick passes through a hole pierced in a nut; the right hand moves the nut along the stick against which the left hand occasionally presses a small resonator. The instrument, played only by women and young girls, is used for rhythmic accompaniment to singing for amusement....

Article

Mervyn McLean

(‘ground bamboo’)

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

[págugu]

Stamping tube of Cuba. Of Yoruba origin, it is used in funerary rites for high-ranking Santería dignitaries to awaken or evoke the spirit of the deceased. It is more than 1 metre long and can have a small carved head at the top, symbol of the Égún or collective spirit of the dead....

Article

Bandai  

Patricia Matusky

Gong of Sarawak, Malaysia. It is also called bebendai or bandil (among the Iban and other groups in Sarawak) or selegai (among the Kajang groups). The gong is 40 to 50 cm in diameter or slightly smaller, with a rim about 3 cm deep or slightly deeper. Sometimes the area around the central boss is decorated with geometric and dragon designs. It is usually suspended and struck on the boss or rim with a wood beater. This gong is found in the large hanging gong ensembles of the Kayan, Kajang, and Bidayu groups and also in the ...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Lamellaphone of the Mabadi and Bandia peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has five to 12 wooden tongues and a trough-shaped bark resonator. Similar instruments are the Mangbele marombe, Mbuja ekwongolia, and Zande modeku.

F.J. de Hen: Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Musikinstrumente aus Belgisch Kongo und Ruanda-Urundi...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

José Maceda

[pattung]

Wooden percussion bar of the Ifugao people of the northern Philippines. It is yoke-shaped, wider in the middle, tapering towards the ends. Two holes are bored through the upper part at the middle, through which a rope handle is tied. Dimensions and exact shapes differ from maker to maker (usually the player). It is held by the left hand as the right hand strikes one side of the bar with a wooden beater, producing a ringing tone. A set consists of three bars, each played with a different rhythm. Hundreds of ...

Article

Ivan Mačak

Percussion idiophone of Slovakia; the name means ‘miner’s clapper’. Like the sklárska klepačka (glassmaker’s clapper), it was a narrow, long wooden board that was struck with a wooden hammer. It usually signalled the beginning of work but was also used to signal fires, mining accidents, danger to the town, the burial of miners, and times of celebration. The first record of the miner’s ...

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Banja  

Article

Banká  

[ekón, ekóng]

Bell used by the Afro-Cuban Abakwá people. Two pieces of iron are shaped and joined with rivets or by forging or soldering, and a metal handle is attached. The joined edges are flattened so that the bell’s cross-section is somewhat oval and about 10 cm wide. Hitting it in different places produces different tones; the striker is commonly a hardwood stick....

Article

Arvydas Karaška

(pl.: barškučiai)

Shaken rattle of Lithuania. It consists of an inflated dried animal bladder or a bird gullet filled with peas or small stones. The bladder is suspended on a cord stretched between the forks of a Y-shaped stick with a handle. Such rattles were usually made for babies. Barškučiai were also made of baked clay containing stones, by children and shepherds. They were either shaken by hand or rolled on the ground. Home-made ...

Article

Bartāl  

Pair of large, heavy metal cymbals (36 cm in diameter) of Assam, India. Each has a large boss, and when clashed their deep resonant tone resounds for more than 15 seconds. The bartāl is used in bargīt (devotional singing and dancing) and also as an accompaniment to various acrobatic dances. For generic discussion of South Asian cymbals, ...

Article

Basoko  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Batil  

Patricia Matusky

Struck idiophone of the Illanun in the Muslim Kota Belud area of Sabah, Malaysia, and of the Malays in Peninsular Malaysia. It is an upturned brass bowl, struck by a small stick or the fingers of the right hand. In Sabah it accompanies pantun singing, formerly a courtship ritual, performed throughout Malaysia. In the state of Kedah and Perlis in northwest Peninsular Malaysia it accompanies the singing and speech rhythms of the ...

Article

Baza  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Xylophone of the Gobu people in the Ubangi region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has 5 to 10 bars lying on braids of vegetable fibre that isolate the bars from the frame, which is made from two boards linked by a semi-circular wooden bar that forms a handle. The calabash resonators can have a hole in the side, covered by a thin membrane (mirliton) of fish bladder, spider web, or cigarette paper to add a buzz to the sound, a magical practice by which the player contacts the gods....

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Bazara  

Article

Bebende  

Andrew C. McGraw

Suspended bronze gong of Bali. It is found in the gamelan gong gede, gamelan beleganjur, and gamelan gong kebyar ensembles. Examples range from 40 to 50 cm in diameter with a 25-cm-deep flange and a low, central boss 12 cm in diameter. The boss is surrounded by a slightly sunken ring, so that the top of the boss is about level with the face of the instrument. The depressed boss decreases decay time and produces a muted tone with an indistinct fundamental. The ...

Article

David P. McAllester

Rattle consisting of small pieces of flint of ritually prescribed shapes and colours used by the Navajo people of the southwestern USA to accompany songs in the Flintway ceremony. The flints are cupped in both hands and shaken to produce a jingling sound. They symbolize the restoration of fractured or dislocated bones as well as the renewal of vitality in general....

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 bekuru. The women’s musical bow, now obsolete, consisted of a string stretched between two ends of a strip of bamboo, about 45 cm long.

R. Stella: Forms and Styles of Traditional Banoni Music...