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Article

Bayi  

Article

Baza  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Xylophone of the Gobu people in the Ubangi region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has 5 to 10 bars lying on braids of vegetable fibre that isolate the bars from the frame, which is made from two boards linked by a semi-circular wooden bar that forms a handle. The calabash resonators can have a hole in the side, covered by a thin membrane (mirliton) of fish bladder, spider web, or cigarette paper to add a buzz to the sound, a magical practice by which the player contacts the gods....

Article

Bazara  

Article

Bazuna  

Slightly conical wooden horn from the Kaszuby region of Poland. The name possibly comes from German Posaune. It is commonly made from alder or spruce in two rejoined halves in the manner of an alphorn, about 1 to 1.5 metres long, and produces four to eight harmonics. It is traditionally played by shepherds and fishermen. Similar Polish instruments include the ...

Article

Bbare  

Article

Bęben  

Zbigniew J. Przerembski

Term for different types of Polish drums struck with drumsticks. The main types are a single-headed frame drum with jingles or small bells attached (also known as the bębenek, ‘small drum’), widespread in Poland; and a cylindrical two-headed braced drum found largely in the Kalisz region, where it was formerly made from a hollowed log. Such drums are used in various kinds of ensemble, usually with fiddles, in some regions with the bass fiddle but at least since the 19th century never with bagpipes....

Article

Bebende  

Andrew C. McGraw

Suspended bronze gong of Bali. It is found in the gamelan gong gede, gamelan beleganjur, and gamelan gong kebyar ensembles. Examples range from 40 to 50 cm in diameter with a 25-cm-deep flange and a low, central boss 12 cm in diameter. The boss is surrounded by a slightly sunken ring, so that the top of the boss is about level with the face of the instrument. The depressed boss decreases decay time and produces a muted tone with an indistinct fundamental. The ...

Article

Margaret J. Kartomi

Hornpipe of the Gayo in the Takengon area of Central Aceh, Sumatra. Its rice-stalk pipe, about 3 mm wide and 20 cm long, has an idioglot single beating reed cut near the top and a horn-shaped bell made of wound strips of green pandan palm leaf attached to the lower end. As its pitch and tuning are not fixed, the four to six fingerholes are not uniformly placed. Circular breathing (...

Article

Bedok  

Patricia Matusky

[beduk]

Drum of West Malaysia and Sarawak. The usually cylindrical wooden body, sometimes longer than one metre, bears one head of either cow or water buffalo hide, depending on the size of the drum (buffalo hide is thicker and stronger and lasts longer). The head is attached with laces and struck with a pair of wooden sticks. The ...

Article

Beḍug  

Margaret J. Kartomi

Large double-headed barrel drum in the Central Javanese Gamelan. It is about 74 cm long and 40 cm wide and is suspended in a decorative wooden frame. The heads are tacked to the shell and one head is beaten with a heavy mallet. It emphasizes dramatic effects in some gamelan works, especially in the theatre and plays the role of the ...

Article

Article

Beeba  

Catherine Ingram and Wu Zhicheng

Lute of the Kam (Dong) minority people of southwest China. Names vary with dialect and instrument size; examples from Sanlong region, Southeast Guizhou province, are beeba ning (‘small beeba’; c68 to 92 cm long, c11 to 20 cm wide at the soundbox) and beeba lao (‘large beeba’; more than 114 cm long, 25 cm wide at the soundbox). The name beeba might be a loanword of the Han Chinese pipa. The pegbox, neck, and thick oval- or heart-shaped soundbox bowl are carved from one piece of fir or other locally available wood. Five or more soundholes pierce the thin wooden soundtable. The instrument is sometimes painted and/or decorated. The Sanlong beeba has four strings (commonly banhu strings) attached to lateral wooden tuning pegs and hitched to the tail by looped wires. Nut and bridge are about 5 mm tall. The fingerboard is fretted with two or three inset lengths of wire. ...

Article

David P. McAllester

Rattle consisting of small pieces of flint of ritually prescribed shapes and colours used by the Navajo people of the southwestern USA to accompany songs in the Flintway ceremony. The flints are cupped in both hands and shaken to produce a jingling sound. They symbolize the restoration of fractured or dislocated bones as well as the renewal of vitality in general....

Article

Beganna  

Ronald Lah

revised by Stéphanie Weisser

[bagana, bägänna, begenna]

Lyre of the Christian Amhara of central and northern Ethiopia. The most carefully crafted of Amhara string instruments, the beganna is noteworthy for its ornately sculpted crossbar and engraved arms. Its soundbox (gebeti) is either a square-face wooden bowl or an open box shaped as a truncated square pyramid, made of plywood in recent instruments. The open face is covered with untanned cattle skin sewn at the back of the soundbox. The ten sheep- or cattle-gut strings are bound with tuning levers and twisted around the crossbar. Their opposite ends are attached to a tailpiece held by two leather strips inserted through incisions in the skin head and fastened inside the soundbox. A hole, often shaped as a cross, pierces the back of the soundbox. The beganna is typically about 120 cm tall and the crossbar is about 45 cm wide.

Small U-shaped bits of leather (enzirotch...

Article

Bekuru  

Regis Stella

Term for both an idioglot bamboo jew’s harp (susap) and a musical bow of the Banoni people, Papua New Guinea. As elsewhere in Bougainville, the jew’s harp is a men’s instrument, the mouth bow a women’s. Men apply love magic to the jew’s harp to attract women. It is activated by jerking a string so that the player’s thumb strikes the base of the tongue. In a story a man named Marere learned to play it from a wild man. Women were so attracted to the sound that they would have sex with Marere instead of going fishing. Trying to escape from the women’s husbands, Marere dropped the instrument and turned into a stone; now other men can play the bekuru. The women’s musical bow, now obsolete, consisted of a string stretched between two ends of a strip of bamboo, about 45 cm long.

R. Stella: Forms and Styles of Traditional Banoni Music...

Article

Bel  

Article

Bele  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

[belémban-bátchot]

Obsolete bamboo jews harp of the Chamorro people of Guam in the Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia. It took the form of a bamboo stick in which a tongue was cut. The instrument was placed in the half-open mouth and its tongue set in motion by a finger.

G. Fritz...

Article

Raymond F. Kennedy

[belémban-túyan, belenbaotuyan]

Musical bow of the Chamorro of the Mariana Islands, Micronesia. It is especially important on the island of Guam where it has become a symbol of early Chamorro culture. The bent stick of the belembau tuyan, made of a supple native wood (usually hibiscus), is about 2 metres long. A string made from wild pineapple fibre (wire in later forms) is stretched along the stick and fastened to it at both ends. A half gourd (or two half coconut-shells, one inside the other) is attached, opening outward, part way between the ends of the stick on the side opposite the string. The player reclines or sits, the gourd resting against his stomach, and fingers the string with his left hand while striking it with a piece of sword-grass held in his right hand (see illustration). When a wire string is used, protective cylinders are worn on the fingers of the left hand. Freely translated, ...

Article

Belikan  

Gini Gorlinski

Lute of the Iban people of Sarawak, Malaysia, and the Maloh group of peoples in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. It was rare in the late 19th century and virtually unknown by the 21st. The resonator and integral, unfretted neck are carved from a single block of wood. The neck constitutes up to nearly two-thirds of the instrument’s total length of roughly 80 to 90 cm. The resonator is hollowed from the top and covered with a thin wood soundtable, perforated with several small soundholes. The end of the neck is often ornamented with the carved head—sometimes including the preserved beak—of a hornbill, a bird emblematic of Iban culture.

The belikan has two strings, made of rattan, that pass through small holes in the neck to two tuning pegs, which pierce the neck laterally. At the other end, the strings are affixed to two small pieces of wood that are inserted into a wooden block raised from the soundtable. The left hand fingered a melody against the neck of the instrument, while the fingers of the right hand plucked or strummed the strings....