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date: 02 April 2020


  • Andrew C. McGraw


(1) Bamboo ensemble of the central Sikka region of Flores, Indonesia. A single performer plays two bamboo stamping tubes (boku) 40 to 50 cm long, one tuned slightly higher than the other. The tubes are closed by a node at the bottom and sounded by hitting them against the ground in alternation. Meanwhile three performers play bamboo idiochord tube zithers (toda), each about 60 cm long and 11 cm in diameter with one string, as in the Balinese guntang. One musician plays three todas; a second musician plays two; and a third musician plays one. They strike the idiochord with thin, unpadded sticks, performing complex interlocking rhythmic patterns. A cracked piece of young bamboo, called a waning ana, is sometimes added to this ensemble, and is struck on the beat with a wooden stick.

A similar ensemble involving four todas, each with its own player, and two drums (...

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