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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. ...


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....



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...



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...





Ferdinand J. de Hen



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...


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, ...



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....


Steven Ball

Considerable evidence suggests that the use of tower bells in North America was somewhat widespread by at least the last quarter of the 17th century, if not before. The bells themselves, as well as the ringing traditions associated with them, were imported by European missionaries and settlers. The earliest bell founders working in this country were John Pass and John Stowe, whose first bell was the recasting of the “Liberty Bell” (originally by Whitechapel Foundry of London) in 1753 for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

A basic division has always existed between the use tower bells as a signal for secular or sacred functions, with the former more customarily being hung stationary and the latter tending to be swinging bells. By the turn of the 17th century stationary civic bells and clock chimes had developed in the Low Countries into the art of the traditional carillon, while the swinging church bells found across continental Europe evolved in England into the practice of change ringing. Handbells, developed in the 18th century for practicing change ringing indoors, have found wide use and popularity as a musical art form quite apart from their original association with tower bells....




Malena Kuss

Cuban drums of African ancestry. The term refers to a set of three drums of different sizes and registers, as well as dancing to these drums and to the celebration in which they participate. There are six types of bembé drums: (1) single-headed cylindrical, barrel-shaped, or conical open wooden body, with nailed head; (2) double-headed cylindrical or barrel-shaped body with heads fastened by rope in W pattern and reinforced by transverse netting; (3) double-headed cylindrical body with nailed heads; (4) single-headed cylindrical, barrel-shaped, or conical drum, with the head held by a hoop and stretched by rope fastened to perpendicular wedges on the upper half of the body; (5) single-headed cylindrical, barrel-shaped, or conical body, with the head fastened by a system of hoops and stretched by metal tension keys; (6) single-headed cylindrical or conical body, with the head held by rope and stretched by straps fastening it to a girdle held in place by wedges on the upper part of the body....


Amanda Villepastour

Double-headed cylindrical drum of the Yorùbá people of Nigeria. One or both skins have snares and one head is struck with a curved stick held by the right hand while the left hand presses on the other skin to regulate the tone. The largest bẹ̀m̀bẹ́ ensembles comprise the ìyáàlù (‘mother drum’) lead instrument, accompanied by the atẹ̣̀lé (‘the one that follows’) and the hourglass drums related to the dùndún ensemble, the kẹríkẹrì, ìṣáájù, and gúdúgúdú. The agogo bell and ṣẹkẹ-ṣẹkẹ or ṣẹ̀kẹ̀rẹ̀ rattles may be added. In palace orchestras, a kàkàkí (long trumpet adopted from the Hausa) may be added. Yorùbá bẹ̀m̀bẹ́ drums were likely adapted from the Hausa gàngaa, a double-headed cylindrical snared drum of similar construction. The bẹ̀mbẹ́ can be used for a range of life-cycle celebrations and in the worship of Yorùbá deities. The bẹ̀mbẹ́ is now most prevalent in Ọ̀ṣun worship in Ọ̀ṣun State. The bẹ̀m̀bẹ́...


Michael Webb

(Tok Pisin for ‘bamboo band’).

Both a struck aerophone (alternatively, an idiophone) comprising a set of three or five tuned bamboo tubes, and the name for an ensemble including these instruments. It was featured in popular music in the Solomon Islands (its place of origin) and parts of Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu for several decades from the 1970s. The primary instrument is derived from the handheld tuned stamping tube, and comprises a set of 7- to 9-cm-diameter bamboos, open at both ends and graduated in lengths of up to 2 metres, arranged in raft form. A band will include at least three sets; each set is commonly tuned (to a guitar) 1–3–5–6–8 (or 1–3–5), usually in a low register, to sound one of the three primary chords in a given key. With flexible paddles players vigorously slap in succession one open end of each bamboo in a boogie-woogie rhythmic-melodic pattern that outlines a triad; sets alternate according to changes in harmony. The ensemble includes guitars and accompanies harmonized singing. A related Solomon Islands ensemble without guitars yet employing Westernized tuning, involves multiple sets of panpipes, ‘pantrumpets’, and the rack-mounted bass ...





Margaret J. Kartomi


Small suspended bossed gong of Central and East Java, Bali, and Sumatra. It is made of heavy bronze, about 30 to 40 cm in diameter, and is beaten with a padded hammer on the boss, which is about 5 to 7 cm wide. Bende are used in the prajuritan theatre ensemble in the mountains south of Semarang, Java; usually four or more different pitches are played together with a derendeng (frame drum). Some bende are suspended so that they can resonate freely, while others are held by the rim in the left hand to produce a damped sound. The bende is used also in the kelenongan ensemble in Lampung, Sumatra, in the Balinese gamelan gong, and is traditionally used by Javanese military officers for signaling or giving commands to their troops. It is a very old instrument, being mentioned in two 14th-century Old Javanese poems.

See also Derendeng ; Gamelan .

J. Kunst...



Rainer Polak

[bentere, binderi]

Kettledrum of Gur-speaking peoples (Mossi, Sisala, Mamprusi, and others) in Burkina Faso and northern Ghana. It is an almost spherical calabash with a small goat- or antelope-skin head, tuned with black adhesive paste at the center. It is beaten by the hands. The player either stands with the drum suspended from his neck or sits on the ground. Often metal plaques with rings along the edges are attached to the instrument creating a jingling sound. The bendre is considered sacred and noble by the Mossi of Burkina Faso. At the court of Tenkodogo several bendre join gangaogo and lunsi drums in an ensemble that accompanies declamation of the history of the rulers. Alternatively, a single drum can be made to ‘talk’ while a declamator translates the words. At Koupéla the drum is known as binderi, cognate with the bentere of Ghana. In Mali and western Burkina Faso, the Bamana, Bobo, Senufo, and others use a similar calabash drum without tuning paste, called ...



Ferdinand J. de Hen


Laurence Libin

(b Bronx, NY, Oct 22, 1946). American luthier, notable for handmade archtop jazz guitars. In childhood he learned woodworking from his father, a skilled cabinetmaker, and music from an uncle, a violinist; his grandfather had worked for Steinway & Sons. A visit to the Gretsch guitar factory in Brooklyn fueled his interest in the instrument; he played a Chet Atkins model 6120 guitar from 1960 to 1968. Upon discharge from the US Air Force in 1968 he started to make his first guitar and began repairing Gibson, D’Angelico, and New York Epiphone instruments. At the time he was the youngest and least experienced archtop maker of a group that included William Barker, Carl Barney, Roger Borys, James D’Aquisto, Sam Koontz, and Philip Petillo. In the 1970s jazz guitarists such as Bucky Pizzarelli, Chuck Wayne, and Martin Taylor began to use and endorse Benedetto’s instruments. He incorporated his business as Benedetto Guitars, Inc., but in ...