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Article

Andrew Alter

[bhauṅkar]

Trumpet of parts of Uttarakhand, North India. It is a straight tube of copper with integral mouthpiece and is usually found in pairs at ritual occasions associated with festivals and processions. Most are approximately 150 cm long and remain narrow for most of their length before slightly flaring at the distal end. Water is poured through the instrument before playing it. The instrument is not tuned to any specific pitch, and only two or three different pitches in the higher register are used. It is not used to play melodies or to accompany songs. The instrument is first sounded while the bell is pointing towards the ground and then it is swung rapidly upwards as if to throw the sound into the air.

J.K. Petshali: Uttarāñchal ke Lok Vādya [The Folk Instruments of Uttaranchal] (New Delhi, 2002) A. Alter: Dancing with Devtās: Drums, Power and Possession in the Music of Garhwal, North India...

Article

Bher  

Alastair Dick

Very large metal kettledrum of Sind, Pakistan. It is played standing, with two sticks, as part of the ceremonial band naubat found at the shrines of some Sindi saints (e.g. that of Shah Abdul Latif at Bhitshah). ‘Bher’ doubtless derives from the old Indian drum name bherī, but it is different from that so described in medieval Indian texts....

Article

Carol M. Babiracki

[bheir, bhẽṛe, turhi, turi]

Long straight trumpet, with integral mouthpiece, played by tribal and non-tribal musicians of Chotanagpur, India. It is made of copper or tin, in several sections, and can be from 95 to 148 cm long. For about four-fifths of its length the tube is thin-walled and narrow in bore, with bosses at regular intervals. At the end is a flared bell.

The player holds the trumpet just below the mouthpiece with the right hand, supporting the embouchure. The instrument is supported by a bamboo pole to keep it horizontal; with the left hand the player holds one end of the pole at a slant against the abdomen, and the distal end of the trumpet hangs suspended from the opposite end of the pole by a short length of rope. The bhẽr, also called turhi (turi in Orissa), is found most commonly as part of an ensemble including the ḍhāk (cylindrical drum), ...

Article

Bherī  

Alastair Dick

Indian drum name that occurs in Sanskrit texts from the epic to the medieval period. The term has often been translated as ‘kettledrum’, but there appears to be no evidence for this type of drum in India before the Middle Ages. The bherī is described in medieval sources as a double-headed drum, probably barrel-shaped, about 72 cm long and 48 cm in diameter at the heads. The body was made of copper, the heads stretched on creeper hoops laced by rope, with a central cross-lacing. The drum was beaten on the right head by a stick and on the left by the hand. It was described as a battle drum with a majestic sound. Drums of this type are found in ancient Indian sculpture, sometimes borne on a pole carried on the shoulders of two men.

See also Ḍhol.

C. Marcel-Dubois: Les instruments de musique de l’Inde ancienne (Paris, 1941)...

Article

Bhuang  

Carol M. Babiracki

[buang]

Single-string plucked stick zither of the Santāl people of Orissa, Bihar, and West Bengal, India. The body is a long bamboo tube with a flexible stick inserted in each of the two open ends. A hemp playing string is tied to the free ends of the sticks, arching them inwards; the string is held parallel to the tube and about 20 to 25 cm away from it. Alternatively, the playing string can be attached directly to one end of the tube and at the other end to a long stick peg affixed perpendicularly into the tube. In both versions a long bamboo basket resonator is attached to the underside of the tube at its centre, with the open end facing downwards. The basket is covered with decorative paper and streamers.

The player holds the tube in one hand and plucks the playing string with the other. The instrument adds rhythm and a drone of indefinite pitch to the instrumental ensembles accompanying Santali communal dances....

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 ...