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Article

Mireille Helffer

Cymbals of the Newari people of Nepal. In the Kathmandu valley the term designates a category of large-bossed cymbals made in three sizes. The largest is used mainly in the instrumental ensemble called dhime bājā.

S. Wiehler-Schneider and H. Wiehler: ‘A Classification of the Traditional Musical Instruments of the Nevars’, ...

Article

Geneviève Dournon

Idiochord tube zither of Madhya Pradesh (Bastar district), India. The instrument may be designated by several terms: the Maria people call it bhuyabaja in Halbi (the lingua franca of this region), or dumir in Koya (Gondi dialect), and Grigson (1938) mentioned it as pak dhol or veddur dhol, which literally means ‘bamboo drum’.

The bhuyabaja is made of a section of bamboo, cut between two nodes, about 50 cm long and 8 cm in diameter. The outer surface of the bamboo is excised in part and cut into thin strips to provide two or three strings, raised on small movable bridges, also of bamboo. The Maria treat the zither as a string drum, striking the strings with two sticks. It is made and used during certain seasons for agrarian rites, which explains why it is rare. The tube zither, probably of Malay-Indonesian origin, is found only among a few tribal populations in India. It is used mainly in Indonesia, in the highlands of Vietnam, and also in Madagascar ...

Article

Bi  

K.A. Gourlay

[bin]

Root term in the Benue-Congo language group for double-headed cylindrical drums found in the Jos Plateau and adjoining areas of Nigeria. The term bi is used by the Jaba people, bin by the Katav, Kagoro, Morwa, and Pyem, biyin by the Kaje, bing by the Birom, and ibin and ingonbin by the Jarawa people. In the Ada-mawa language group to the east the ‘b’ becomes ‘v’; hence the Waka vi, Kumba and Teme vim, Yendang vin, and Kugama and Gengle avim. All drums are of the ganga type, with cord and lace bracing, though not all have snares. The most common use is in pairs of larger and smaller drums, for example the Kagoro badang bin (‘large drum’) and shishio bin (‘small drum’), which are played as a rhythmic accompaniment to horn or flute ensembles for singing and dancing. An exception is the bi of the Irigwe of the Jos Plateau, a tall, open, single-headed drum, played standing with hands or sticks, and used as the solo instrument for paeans of praise for traditional warriors and slayers of wild animals....

Article

Bidi  

Alan R. Thrasher

revised by June L.F. Lam

Nose flute of the aboriginal cultures of Taiwan, notably high mountain dwellers such as the Bunun, Thao, Tsou, Paiwan, and Rukai, and plains peoples such as the Ami and Puyuma. The Chinese name, bidi (‘nose flute’), is a generic term for all flutes of this type; local terms include dibolo (Ami) and burari (Rukai). Structures differ regionally but are all basically end-blown bamboo duct flutes, with either a single or double pipes, the latter slightly more common. They are bound together with rattan, separated by a wooden support, or held together by hand. A plug inserted into the upper end (in some flutes a node may be partly pierced) forms a duct that directs the air against a sharp edge located at a small window in the back. Some players use a finger to block one nostril to increase the air pressure. While some flutes have three fingerholes, most double flutes have four in each pipe. Dimensions and tunings vary according to the individual taste of the craftsman and irregularities in bore configuration. An Ami four-holed double flute kept at the Academia Sinica in Taipei is 23 cm long, with a distance between each fingerhole of 2.3 cm, yielding a scale of ...

Article

Trân Quang Hai

revised by Nguyen Thuyet Phong

Set of Vietnamese bells formerly played in the imperial court. It consists of 12 bronze bells, identical in shape and size but of different thicknesses, hung in a frame and struck with a horn hammer. They produce a chromatic scale but are used for pentatonic music. The biên chung is used only for Confucian temple music, now performed only in China, Taiwan (...

Article

Trân Quang Hai

revised by Nguyen Thuyet Phong

Vietnamese lithophone. It consists of 12 L-shaped slabs of stone arranged in two rows chromatically from the lower right to the left, then from the upper left to the right (as one faces the instrument). This set was used only in court and in Confucian temple music similar to that in Taiwan (...

Article

Bika  

Hungarian friction drum. It can be made of a wooden or metal bucket with the open end covered by a stretched membrane, usually of sheepskin. A horsehair cord passes through a hole in the skin and is tied to a small rod underneath. The cord is rubbed by wetted hands to produce a deep bellowing sound. The bika is used by the Csángó (a Hungarian ethnic group living in Romania) mainly for New Year rituals, and is identical to the Romanian Buhai of Moldavia....

Article

Bilbil  

Ardian Ahmedaja

Whistle of Albanians. About 10 cm long, it is made mostly of willow or similar wood in the spring when the bark can be pulled without breaking. One end has a beaked mouthpiece, and there is only one fingerhole. A pebble or seed is sometimes put in the hollow to produce a rolling sound. Other names are cyli in Kavajë (central Albania) and pipi in Kosovo. Bilbil are also incorporated into the handles of wood spoons, called lugëfyllka (spoon-flute) in southeastern Albania, and in the top of a shepherd’s crook.

A variant called stërkalca is known in Peshkopi (north Albania). Its hollow is bigger and is filled with water, which sprinkles (stërkat) while the instrument is blown. In Korçë (southeast Albania) whistles are made in the shape of earthenware jugs, shtambushka or bardhaçkag; these have a hole on the body near the beginning of the spout and are played with or without water. In southeast Albania this type has been produced in the shape of birds, cocks, lambs, sheep, and more....

Article

Article

Bili  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Double-headed drum of the Logo people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The wooden body is tall and slightly conical. The antelope-skin heads are tied together with leather thongs and beaten with sticks. It is played with other drums, but never with the larimva.

G. Knosp: Enquête sur la vie musicale au Congo belge...

Article

Bilil  

Monique Brandily

End-blown idioglot clarinet of northern Chad. The tube is made from reed, and the number of fingerholes varies according to the area—four in Tibesti and five or six in Kanem. The length varies between 20 and 25 cm. The reed is cut in the side of the tube close to the top. The instrument takes its name from a piece of repertory of the double clarinet ...

Article

Bilim  

Double-headed cylindrical drum with laced heads, of the Mundang people of Chad. The drum is placed on the ground and each head is beaten by one hand of the drummer. The drum has been recorded providing rhythmic accompaniment with an end-blown trumpet and gourd vessel rattle for a women’s dance at the funeral ceremony of a woman healer....

Article

Article

Bimbi  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Alastair Dick

Hybrid fretted stick zither used in north Indian or Hindustani classical music in the 19th and early 20th centuries; it is now rarely played. It is similar in construction to the Hindustani , with a long wooden neck or stick, bilateral tuning pegs, and two large gourd resonators attached below; its neck, however, is constructed like that of the sitar—a long hollow stick, semicircular in cross section, covered with a thin fingerboard. The ...

Article

Bināyo  

Mireille Helffer

revised by Gert-Matthias Wegner and Simonne Bailey

[kom mikalā, khaprāṅg]

Bamboo Jew’s harp of Nepal. It is about 6 cm long and 1.5 cm wide, narrowing halfway along its length. An idioglot tongue is cut following the outline of the frame and free at the narrow end. The bināyo is used by the Rai and Limbu people of East Nepal and other ethnic groups. The Thakali of the Annapurna region call it ...

Article

Binga  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Article

Bion  

Article

Bipa  

Robert C. Provine

revised by François Picard

Pear-shaped fretted lute of Korea, corresponding to the Chinese pipa and Japanese biwa. The body and neck are typically made of chestnut wood, the soundtable of paulownia. The five-string hyang-bipa (‘native bipa’, also known as ohyeon, ‘five strings’), together with the geomungo and the gayageum, was popular during the Unified Silla dynasty (668–935), which reportedly inherited the lute from the Goguryeo dynasty. The number of frets increased from five to ten during the Joseon dynasty; modern examples can have 20 frets or more, extending far onto the soundtable past the soundholes. The four-string dang-bipa (‘Chinese bipa’) was supposedly introduced during the Silla dynasty although it is documented only from 1076 in the history text Goryeo-sa; modern types have 12 frets or more and a range exceeding three octaves. Although considered defunct after about 1930, both types have been revived in the 21st century.

The hyang-bipa, according to the treatise ...