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Abume  

Article

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

J. Richard Haefer

[atecuculli]

Conch horn of the Aztec or Nahua peoples of central Mexico, and other pre-Contact cultures. It was called puuaqua in Tarascan and paatáotocuècheni or paniçatàopáni in Zapotecan. The Aztecs called this the instrument of the ‘Wind God Quetzalcoatl; he who breathes life into a void’. It was usually played in pairs, and the shell was about 15 to 20 cm long.

The tecciztli [tecziztli, tezizcatli] was a similar instrument made from the Strombus gigas shell (about 12 to 18 cm long) though examples of clay or bone have been found. It was a priest’s instrument played ceremonially with the quiquiztli and teponaztli to please the ‘Sun God’. Traditionally it was played at midnight to awaken the priests to prayers.

The quiquiztli, made from the larger Fasciolaria gigantea shell (30 cm long or longer), was used for signalling in battle as well as for priestly functions including the sacrificial flaying of men and before the death of slaves....

Article

Atuamba  

K.A. Gourlay

revised by F.J. de Hen

[tuambi]

Bullroarer of the Kuma of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. It consists of a slightly concave ellipsoidal piece of wood measuring 30 × 10 cm along the axes. The instrument is whirled by a cord attached to one end and the sound produced is said to resemble the growling of a leopard. The bullroarer has associations with spirit voices and secret ceremonies such as circumcision, and has restrictions against women and non-initiates seeing it, as is customary for other bullroarers of the Congo. The varied names collected by de Hen suggest an onomatopoeic derivation, for example, the Adoi, Amanga, Andebogo and Andowi kundrukundru, Aimed kunzukunzu, Bagbwa and Mamvu egburuburu and arumvurumvu, and Bangba and Mayogo mbirimbiri. This pattern is not always followed, as with the Mbole inano, Nyali upa and Zande gilingwa.

F.J. de Hen: Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Musikinstrumente aus Belgisch Kongo und Ruanda-Urundi (Tervuren, 1960), 171ff...

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

Bailol  

Jeremy Montagu

Mouth bow of the Fula and Tukulor peoples of Senegal and the Gambia. The left hand presses the string with a small stick to alter the pitch of the fundamental, while the right hand taps the string with a second stick. Overtones are selected by altering the shape of the mouth....

Article

Baka  

Mouth bow of the Gbande people of Liberia. The player taps the string with a stick in his right hand while regulating the vibrating length with a stick in his left. The string passes between his lips; by altering the shape of the oral cavity he can produce different overtones. ...

Article

John M. Schechter

revised by J. Richard Haefer

(Sp.: mocha, ‘to cut’)

An ensemble of gourd (puro) trumpets of various sizes, used in the Chota river valley of Imbabura and Carchi provinces of Ecuador. Formed in the late 19th century by Afro-Ecuadorians without access to Western military band instruments, the ensemble includes several puros (calabazas) and pencos (cabuyos) along with other instruments. Puros, about 30 to 60 cm long, are made by cutting a rectangular blowhole near the stem end of a dried gourd and opening the distal end to form a sort of bell. Various sizes provide lead, alto, and tenor ranges. Pencos are made of hollow agave stems about 30 cm long and 7 cm in diameter, with a blowhole cut near one end on a side. The similar chile frito, an ensemble of central Guerrero, Mexico, consists of imitation band instruments made of assembled sections of gourds.

C.A. Coba Andrade: ‘Instrumentos musicales ecuatorianos’, ...

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

Bandaw  

Small hourglass-shaped rattle drum of Thailand. It resembles the South Asian Damaru and is played in the same manner. The ball that strikes the heads is connected by a cord to the end of the handle (a tapered post 13-cm long affixed to the waist of the drum). It is used in some rarely seen royal ceremonies....

Article

Natalie M. Webber

Name once used in Sri Lanka for the mandolin. It probably was imported by the Portuguese, absorbed by the artisans of Ceylonese-Portuguese extraction, and used to play their characteristic dance music. The name is now obsolete, but a flat-backed mandolin with four double strings, known in Sri Lanka as the ‘English mandolin’, is still used as the melody instrument for ...

Article

Bandiri  

Set of two or more single-headed frame drums, with or without circular metal jingles, and a kettledrum used by members of the k’adiriyya Islamic sect of northern Nigeria. It accompanies the zikiri (creed formula by which a person acknowledges that he is a Muslim). The frame drum is held in the left hand and beaten with the fingers of the right....

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

John M. Schechter

Mandolin widely used as a folk instrument in Latin America. The instruments of the mestizos and Quechuas in highland Ecuador have a teardrop-shaped body with a flat back and a circular sound hole and are made from cedar, pine, and other woods. They have five triple courses of metal strings and are played with a plectrum. Several tunings are found; in the region of Cotacachi, Imbabura Province, one tuning is g–e♭″–c–g–e♭″; a more popular tuning is eee–aaa–ddd–f♯″f♯′f♯″–bbb″. The latter tuning is often varied in the fourth course to gg′g″ to facilitate guitar-like chord fingerings. In the Andean region the bandolín, together with the rondador and the charango, accompanies sanjuanito...

Article

Bangali  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Bangia  

Lyre of the Berta people of southeastern Sudan. It has a wooden bowl resonator, a soundtable of hide into which two soundholes are cut, and a small wooden bridge. The five strings, formerly made of gut, are nowadays made of steel. Each string is fastened to a strip of cloth wound around the yoke and can be tuned by twisting the cloth. The ...

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 ...