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Article

A (i)  

Robert C. Provine

Obsolete Korean barrel drum considered to be of Chinese origin. As described in the treatise Akhak kwebŏm (1493), the a was a brightly decorated bulging barrel drum with small heads. It was 146.8 cm long with a circumference in the middle of 64.4 cm and a head diameter of 18.1 cm. The player lifted the instrument with both hands by means of two cloth loops tied to metal rings in the middle of the body and then pounded it against the ground.

The a was used only as part of the mumu (‘military dance’) ensemble and only in ritual music (aak). With the sang (drum) and the ŭng and tok (both idiophones) it was played after the regular sounding of the large drum chin′go, that is after every four-note phrase in the very slow melody.

Sŏng Hyŏn, ed.: Akhak kwebŏm [Guide to the study of music] (Seoul, 1493/...

Article

Ābzem  

Jeremy Montagu

Double-headed hourglass drum of the Reddi people of Andhra Pradesh, southeastern India. It is 75 to 90 cm long. Each head, less than 30 cm in diameter, is tensioned separately with cords and wedges through a rope ring around the nearer end of the long cylindrical waist. It is suspended across the body by a neck-strap and beaten with the hands, one hand on each head....

Article

Afiw  

José Maceda

Idioglot Jew’s harp of the northern Philippines. Most are made of bamboo, but some are of brass or bronze with a slender triangular tongue cut through a small sheet of metal, the tongue remaining fully enclosed but attached only at the base of the triangle. Among the Bontok people it is known as the ...

Article

Alastair Dick

[Āghāṭí]

A Sanskrit term found in the older, Vedic literature of India (c1500–500 bce). It has often been translated ‘cymbals’, probably by association with the distinct word āghāta (‘percussion’; from han: ‘strike’); the root of āghā ṭá might connect better with gha ṭṭ, suggesting rubbing, friction. The Ṛgveda...

Article

Article

Aguang  

Gini Gorlinski

Bronze bossed gong of Minangkabau communities in western Sumatra, Indonesia. It varies in size and pitch but typically measures about 50 cm in diameter and provides a low-pitched rhythmic foundation for various ensembles, particularly the talempong duduak (‘sitting talempong’) gong chime ensemble. Depending on local tradition, the aguang may be suspended from a rack and struck with a wooden or metal beater, or placed on the ground or on the thigh of its seated player and struck with a stick. Its sound commonly marks the initiation of various rituals (often signalling that a water buffalo has been slaughtered) and other formal events. The ...

Article

Agung  

José Maceda

[ageng, agong, egong, egung, gong]

Suspended bossed gong of Mindanao, Sulu, Palawan, Mindoro, Sarawak, Sabah, Brunei, peninsular Malaysia, Kalimantan and other parts of Indonesia. There are various sizes. Larger gongs measure approximately 60 cm in diameter, with a boss about 8 cm high and a rim about 24 cm wide. The degree to which the rim is turned in also varies, as do the instrument’s profile, weight and thickness. The smallest agung are those of the Tiruray people of Mindanao; they have a diameter of about 27 cm and rims about 4 cm wide.

Among several cultural groups in insular South-east Asia instruments of the agung type are important in rituals of possession. The Magindanaon people of Mindanao and the Modang of east Kalimantan use it in curing ceremonies, and in Palawan island it is played in wine-drinking rituals. The Iban of Sarawak use the agung at feasts (gawai) related to rice cultivation, at weddings, at the making of a new house and in curing the sick. In east Kalimantan the gong is a semi-sacred object and a symbol of honour and prestige....

Article

Ajaeng  

Robert C. Provine

Bowed long zither of Korea. Two main versions are in current use: the ajaeng, which has been a member of court music ensembles for many centuries, and the smaller sanjo ajaeng, invented in the 1940s and used for folk music and accompaniments.

The older version is about 160 cm long and 24 cm wide, has seven strings of twisted silk and is bowed with a long (65 cm) resined stick of forsythia wood. The instrument itself is made of paulownia wood and is played propped up at the bowing end (performer’s right) on a small four-legged stand. The strings run from a gently curved bridge on the right across seven small movable wooden bridges (‘wild-goose feet’) to another curved bridge on the left; the sounding length, from the right bridge to the movable bridge, is different for each string and readily adjustable for tuning purposes. The ajaeng has the narrowest range of the Korean string instruments: in court music it normally operates within a 9th or 10th, a typical tuning being ...

Article

Akum  

Geneviéve Dournon

End-blown horn of Madhya Pradesh (Bastar district), India. It is a cow horn 26 to 30 cm long with the end cut out to form the embouchure. The different Bastar tribal populations of Muria and Maria have two kinds of horn: one end-blown and made of horn, the other of bronze and side-blown. They designate them either by the Gondi name ...

Article

Article

Alastair Dick

The old South Indian Tamil name for a double-headed hourglass drum. Its name appears to derive from the Sanskrit āmanrikā (‘summoning’). The drum was held in the right hand and played with the left. It was covered with cowhide and has been equated with the i ṭakkai; it was probably of variable pitch....

Article

Rachel Chacko

[Western gamelan]

Term for modern ensembles of percussion instruments inspired by Indonesian gamelan models. Growing American interest in Indonesian music in the mid-20th century, fostered in part by commercial recordings and burgeoning academic ethnomusicology programmes, prompted efforts to fashion gamelan-type instruments locally to enable performance of traditional Indonesian and new Western compositions. Dennis Murphy (1934–2010) has been credited with the first such effort while he was a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison about 1960. He was followed by Barbara Benary, Paul Dresher, Daniel Schmidt, and others, who created home-made gamelan-type metallophones and related instruments from readily available materials (typically scrap aluminium and iron) and tuned them according to individual preferences. Most prominently, beginning in 1971 the experimental composer Lou Harrison (1917–2003) and his partner William Colvig designed and constructed three sets of gamelan-inspired instruments, the first of which was named ‘An American Gamelan’ (and later dubbed ‘Old Granddad’); two later ensembles were destined for schools in California where Harrison taught (Mills College and San Jose State University). These later gamelans were modelled on traditional Javanese instruments but tuned in just intonation. The San Jose State ensemble, Gamelan Si Betty, was bequeathed to composer Jody Diamond and in ...

Article

Natalie M. Webber

Double-headed cylindrical drum of Sri Lanka, now rare. It is a small version of the daula, about 30 cm long and beaten with one hand and a stick. It was used to play ana-bera, a drum pattern played by a public crier to draw attention to a proclamation about to be made. As late as the 1980s the services of a crier were still occasionally needed in villages, when the ...

Article

Añafil  

Mauricio Molina

(Sp.; Port. anafir)

Term for the Arab and Persian nafīr, a straight trumpet. It was introduced to Iberia by the Moors during the Middle Ages. The añafil is commonly represented in Iberian art from the 10th century to the 13th with banners and in the context of battles, and thereafter throughout medieval European iconography....

Article

Alastair Dick

revised by Jeremy Montagu

[gubgubī, khamak]

Variable tension chordophone of Bengal (east India and Bangladesh). Ānandalaharī (‘waves of joy’) appears to be a literary name; in the countryside the instrument is more often called by the onomatopoeic names gubgubī or khamak. The body is a wooden cylinder open at both ends and somewhat barrel-shaped or tapering inward towards the top. The lower opening is completely covered by a skin and the upper by a skin with the centre cut away; both skins are laced to plaited leather hoops and braced by cord V-lacings, each having a metal tuning-ring, giving an inverted Y-shape. (Older models had only a lower skin, glued on.) A gut string is looped through two holes and a protective button (or piece of bamboo etc.) in the centre of the lower skin, passing up through the body as a single or double string to a hole in the bottom of a small brass pot, where the string is attached with another toggle. The body is tucked into the left armpit and the string tensioned by the left hand gripping the small pot; the right hand plucks the string with a small plectrum of bone, plastic, or other material. The tension of the string, and hence its pitch, can be greatly and instantly varied by the left hand to produce a dramatic accompaniment for song or dance; it can play both rhythms and melodies, with swooping portamento leaps within about an octave. The ...

Article

Andelu  

Jeremy Montagu

Rattle used by ballad singers of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is a pair of hollow metal rings about 4 to 5 cm in diameter, open all around the outer circumference and containing metal pellets. The rings are worn on the thumbs or fingers. It is similar to the gaggara of Mysore used by devotional singers....

Article

Margaret J. Kartomi

Tuned bamboo sliding rattle of Java, Madura, Bali, South Sumatra, Central and South Sulawesi, south-western Kalimantan, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. It is especially popular in West Java. Its two or three bamboo tubes, tuned to as many octaves, are closed with a node at the bottom. A tongue-shaped segment is cut out of one side of each tube, the size of the segment determining the pitch (see illustration ). The tubes sit in small troughs cut in the base of the square bamboo frame; attached to narrow vertical tubes tied with rattan, they slide to and fro when shaken. They are normally played in groups of three or more, each instrument being shaken sideways by one person, and traditionally in an interlocking, hocket-like manner, sometimes together with an oboe (the Tarompet in West Java, the selompret in Central and East Java), drums and gongs to accompany dances. The angklung...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Transverse flute of India. It was invented by the surgeon and inventor Chintamani V. Mehendale, M.D. (1928–2008) and first played publicly by him at the University of Mumbai on 25 Oct 1977. Instead of fingerholes producing a limited number of discrete pitches, it has a sliding, spring-loaded external sleeve of canvas covering a channel in the tube. Sliding the sleeve allows a glissando over the full range of pitches, as well as inflections of pitch, similar to those achieved by pulling the strings on the sitar, which are impossible to produce on ordinary flutes....

Article

Laurence Libin

[angkuoch, kangkuoch]

Jew’s harp of Cambodia. It is a thin, narrow, tapering slip of bamboo about 24 cm long, with an idioglot tongue tuned with a blob of beeswax. The bamboo can be decorated with a painted design. It was traditionally used as a voice disguiser in courting and sometimes played for recreation by herders. Nowadays it is available commercially and played by children. Reportedly the name also denotes an iron jew’s harp with heteroglot tongue, also tuned with wax....

Article

Apang  

Geneviève Dournon

Variable tension chordophone of Rajasthan, north India. It has a cylindrical body, originally of wood or gourd but now commonly a tin can with ends removed. A skin is stretched over the lower end. A straight wooden neck about 60 cm long, affixed along the body, has a large movable peg through its upper part. A metal string extends from the peg to the centre of the skin. The musician plucks the string with one hand, using either fingers or a plectrum, and with the other hand turns the peg to vary the pitch. The apang provides rhythmic support for devotional songs. It is used in the Udaipur region, notably by the Bhil, a tribal people of the Aravalli hills (southwestern Rajasthan). See also Ektār.

K. Kothari: Folk Musical Instruments of Rajasthan (Borunda, 1977) B.C. Deva: Musical Instruments of India (Calcutta, 1978), 147ff C.J. Adkins and others: ‘Frequency Doubling Chordophones’, ...