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date: 14 November 2019


  • John M. Schechter


Caribbean ground harp (ground bow). It is called tumbandera in rural eastern Cuba and tingotalango in the Trinidad region. A thin section or leaf of royal palm, some 40 cm in diameter, is stretched over an open pit in the ground and held at the edges by forked sticks hammered into the earth. Nowadays a pigskin might be used to cover the hole. At about a metre distance from the covered hole, a flexible stick is thrust into the ground, the top bent over about a metre above the centre of the pit. To its tip is attached a cord or fibre, the opposite end of which is secured beneath the centre of the stretched covering; the flexible stick maintains tension on the string. The string may be plucked, struck, or bowed. Although not common, the instrument is not extinct.

F. Ortiz: Los tambores xilfónicos y los membranófonos abiertos, A a N...

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