Bajiao gu (‘octagonal drum’)
- Alan R. Thrasher
Single-headed frame drum of the Bai minority (Yunnan province) and the Han Chinese in areas of north China. Eight rectangular pieces of hardwood, each c5 cm long, are glued together to form the octagonal frame (width about 20 cm or less, about 6 cm deep). A head of python skin is glued around the top rim. The frame is often inlaid with bone decoration and has small jingles (ling), similar to those of tambourines, mounted in gaps through seven of the frame walls. The instrument is held by the eighth section, to which a decorative tassel may be attached. The drum is shaken or the head is rubbed or struck with the fingers. Introduced into China during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644 ce), probably from Central Asia, the drum came into usage among the Bai people in accompaniment of dance-songs, and among the northern Han Chinese in accompaniment of narrative and other songs....