201-220 of 269 results  for:

  • Traditional, Folk and Indigenous Musics x
  • Membranophones (Stretched Membrane Percussion) x
Clear all

Article

Nafa  

Mervyn McLean

Drums of Polynesia.

(1) Slit drum of western Polynesia. It was present in Tonga in pre-Contact times, and in 1784 Captain Cook reported it as between 90 and 120 cm long, twice as thick as a man and entirely hollowed with an 8 cm slit running its full length. It was beaten to accompany dance with two sticks about 30 cm long and ‘as thick as the wrist’. It produced a powerful sound and different notes were obtained by beating the drum in the middle or near the end. By the 1970s the nafa was used only to accompany the me’etu’upaki dance; for other purposes it has been displaced by the lali. In Samoa it was rare by 1897 and is now obsolete; it is thought to have been a medium-sized drum played with two sticks like the Tongan nafa. In other places the nafa resembles those of Tonga and Samoa. In Tikopia it is a short trough of carved wood, beaten as a sounding board to mark the rhythm of the dance. In Tuvalu it is a rectangular slit drum about 120 cm long with a narrow slot. It is beaten, like the smaller ...

Article

Namaddu  

Peter Cooke

Article

Mireille Helffer

revised by Gert-Matthias Wegner and Simonne Bailey

Double-headed wooden barrel drum of the Newar people of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. It is 35 cm long, and both heads are 19 cm in diameter. The higher-pitched head is made of goat skin and the lower-pitched head of cowhide, both with a tuning paste on the inside made from crushed caster seeds, mustard oil, and resin from the sāl tree. The lower head has beeswax added to produce the sound ‘’ when the wetted fourth finger tip of the right hand is rubbed across its surface. For other strokes the lower head is played with a heavy stick. The higher head is played by the flattened left hand. The nāykhĩ is named for the people of the butchers’ caste (nāy), who play this drum during funeral processions. Other Newar castes use the nāykhĩ during Buddhist processions and performances of the navabājā (‘nine drums’) ensemble. The drum is accompanied by ...

Article

Ndugu  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Tronco-conical drum of the Tsogho people of Gabon. The long wooden body has a glued head and two rings carved on the side around the circumference at about ¾ of its length. It lies horizontally on the floor with the player sitting on it. It is part of an ensemble including an ...

Article

(from Omaha ne’xe: ‘water vessel’; and gaku: ‘to beat’)

Water drum of the Omaha people of the central Plains area of the USA. It is made from a hollowed log partially filled with water and with a head of buffalo skin. The drum is tuned by tipping it to wet the skin, then partially drying it near a fire to produce the correct sound. As with the Ojibwa ...

Article

Nehara  

Jack Percival Baker Dobbs

revised by Patricia Matusky

[nahara, negara]

Hemispherical kettledrum of the nobat (court ensemble) in Kedah, Peninsular Malaysia. Related and nearly identical instruments include the nenggara of Trengganu and the nengkara of Perak court ensembles. The kettle-shaped body of the nengkara, traditionally made from a special kind of wood, is about 45 cm tall with a head about 41 cm in diameter, while the nehara in Kedah is about 20 cm tall and 37 cm in diameter at the head. In both drums, the body sits on a short base, and when it is placed on the floor for performance it is tilted slightly towards the player, who strikes the head with a pair of very light sticks. The head is made of deer or goat skin and is attached to the body with cords or rattan laces.

The nenggara in the Trengganu nobat is a large footed drum about 38 cm tall, heavily encased in silver and decorated with delicate foliated designs. The goatskin head, slightly wider than the height of the body, is tuned with 15 silver tuning keys about 18 cm below the rim. The drum is tilted slightly forward and struck with strips of rattan. In storage all ...

Article

Nghomba  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Single-headed drum of the Tumbwe people in the Shaba region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The head is nailed to the 30-cm-long body, which is decorated with geometrical incisions and zoomorphic, painted incisions. A similar istrument is the mufukula of the Tabwa in the same region. When the nghomba is played during dances, the (usually professional) drummers hold the instrument against their chest. It is played by the hands and sometimes one hand presses the head to raise the pitch....

Article

Henry Johnson

[nidaiko]

Drum of Japan. The term refers to the way it is held: ninai (carry); daiko/taiko (drum). The wooden body, about 40 to 60 cm long and 50 to 80 cm in diameter, is cylindrical or very slightly barrel-shaped, with two cattle-skin heads attached to iron rings and tension ligatures. The drum hangs from a horizontal bar about 2.4 meters long and resembles a small dadaiko, except that the flame decoration sits atop the suspension bar rather than being attached to the drum itself. The bar is carried by two people during gagaku processional music (michigaku). The player walks beside the drum, on its right side, and strikes one head with padded beaters. This type of moving instrument has been known since at least the 9th century. The oldest example is preserved at Atsuta shrine in Aichi prefecture. As with the dadaiko, ninaidaiko are made as a pair, with only one instrument being played at any one time....

Article

Nswezi  

Peter Hoesing

[eŋoma dh’enswezi]

Term referring to drums associated with nswezi rituals among the Soga people of southeastern Uganda. These rituals feature a type of spirit possession called kusamira or kubandwa in which participants use music to facilitate and maintain connections with ancestral spirits. So central is this activity to possession ritual that the Lusoga verb for performing such a function is okukubira enswezi, literally ‘to beat the nswezi.’ Nswezi practitioners (baswezi) use these drums, along with gourd idiophones (ennengo) and buzzing aerophones (bugwala), to accompany ritual songs.

Nswezi drums, like the ubiquitous Uganda drum, have hide bottom heads, thinner skin batter heads, and twisted hide tension cords that bind the heads tightly over open-ended cylindrical-conical shells. Tuning is effected by adjusting the cords. A nswezi drum differs from a typical Uganda drum in that the lower, conoidal portion of the shell is concave rather than convex. As a result, these drums sound different from drums of neighbouring areas (e.g., Buganda)....

Article

Nūpur  

Alastair Dick

[nūpura, noopur]

South Asian name for various jingles, either hollow rings with metal pellets or strings with attached small spherical pellet bells. They are worn on different parts of the body—ankles, waist, wrist, or finger—in song or dance accompaniments (as well as serving as a woman’s ornament). The term has been in use for roughly two millennia. The hollow anklet with pellets is especially common in rural music and dance: it is used, for example, by the Baul musicians of Bengal (east India and Bangladesh). It is known by other names in different regions, including ...

Article

Peter Cooke

[mugaabe, omugalabe]

Single-headed drum of the Soga people of Uganda. It is open-ended and the head, usually of lizard skin (occasionally of a small mammal such as duiker), is affixed with glue or, less often, nails made of thorns or hard wood. It is played by the hands, usually in ensemble with other drums. In shape it resembles the Ganda ...

Article

Mireille Helffer

revised by Gert-Matthias Wegner and Simonne Bailey

Drum of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. It is derived from the Indian concert drum pakhāvaj. The double-conical body has two goatskin heads laced in a zigzag pattern. The centre of the higher-pitched skin, on the longer section of the body, is coated with black tuning paste made from iron ore, overcooked rice, resin, and other ingredients. The lower-pitched head is tuned with flour dough which is removed after each performance. Small blocks of wood under the lacing can be moved for tuning. The drum is struck by the hands and is played along with shawms and cymbals in various Newar ensembles, for example to accompany dance....

Article

Paigu  

Alan R. Thrasher

(‘row drums’)

Set of barrel drums of the Han Chinese. Five or six medium-sized drums, each with two heads of differing diameters (ranging from about 20 to 40 cm), are arranged in a single row of adjustable frames. They are pre-tuned using Western-style tension rings, and are struck with wooden sticks. The drums can be rotated 180 degrees in their frames to allow use of both heads. Thus, ten pitches are available on a five-drum set. The ...

Article

Palwei  

John Okell

Burmese internal/external duct flute. It is made of bamboo and end-blown. An internal node directs the wind out of the tube through a small hole; then a strip of leaf (nowadays more often a piece of photographic film held over the hole by a rubber band) directs the wind back into the bore. There is usually also a small hole between the mouthpiece and the topmost fingerhole, covered with onion skin or spider egg-case membrane to form a mirliton. The standard flute has seven fingerholes and a thumbhole, and is about 25 cm long, with g′ as its lowest note. There is also a deeper flute, the palwei-gyì, corresponding in range to the hnè-gyì, which is about 35 cm long, with c′ as its lowest note. A rarely encountered variant is the wun-tha-nú palwei, with the lowest note g. Players have also experimented with six-hole and four-hole flutes, but the seven-hole version is standard....

Article

Paṟai  

Alastair Dick

revised by Zoe C. Sherinian

The ancient south Indian Tamil name for circular drums, primarily of the frame drum type, found in literature of the 1st millennium ce. The name derives from paraidal (‘to announce’) and reflects the drums’ function in village culture to announce weddings, temple festivals, funerals, women’s life-cycle events, and to lead processions for these events. The drum had different names according to its function. These include por parai (war drum), munda parai (the king’s announcing drum), and sa parai (funeral drum). Each function or event had an associated rhythmic pattern (adi) recognized as an announcing code. Other types included the nāḻikaip-paṟai (played to indicate the time of day) and the smaller cirupaṟai (with a head of uṭumpu lizard skin), which has been compared to the modern kañjīrã. The parai is nowadays also called tappu (more common in Andhra Pradesh and related to dappu and daf) and kottu (literally ‘to beat’, a more derogatory vernacular). In Tamil Nadu the instrument is played primarily by the Paraiyar outcaste ...

Article

Judith Becker

revised by Gavin Douglas

[hsaìng-waìng]

Drum chime of Myanmar. It consists of 21 tuned drums suspended from the inside of a circular wooden frame. The drums are made of wood with two laced heads and are 12 to 40 cm tall. They encompass more than three octaves. The wooden frame is approximately 1 metre tall and is often ornamented with inlaid glass and painted gold. The player sits on a stool in the centre and only his head and shoulders are visible from the outside. The drums hang vertically within the frame so that the musician plays on the upper heads only. Each drum is tuned with a paste (pat sa, literally ‘drum food’) made in the past from rice but nowadays largely synthetic; it focuses the pitch to a clean tone with few overtones. The paste is applied before each performance and removed after playing. During performance the player will retune several times (while the other instruments in the ensemble take the melody) through the application or removal of ...

Article

Alastair Dick

Elongated barrel drum of ancient and medieval India. The name occurs in Sanskrit from epic and classical times, and is probably of non-Aryan origin. Ancient references are to a loud drum, in contexts of war, public announcements, and so on, often compared to thunder by the classical poets, and also used in palaces and in temple worship. The dramaturgic treatise Nātyaśāstra (early centuries ce) classes the paṭaha among the secondary (pratyaṅga) drums of the theatre, not precisely tuned, and used for their sound effects and associations.

By medieval times, however, though still of this loud nature, the paṭaha had clearly become of greater musical importance; the encyclopedic Sangītaratnakara (early 13th century) gives it first place among drums, and by far the greatest space to its techniques and repertory. This work discusses two types of this drum, the larger mārga paṭaha and the smaller deśī, or regional, one. The former name connotes the ‘high tradition’ (it is used both in recital music, ...

Article

Terry E. Miller

[pay a]

Oboe of Cambodia. The cylindrical body, about 30 cm long, is of wood or bamboo and has a large double reed about 8 cm long inserted into the upper end. Above the seven fingerholes, there is often another hole covered with a membrane of the thin inner lining of bamboo to add a buzzing effect (mirliton). It is used exclusively in village ensembles for spirit ceremonies and weddings. The Chinese ...

Article

David P. McAllester

revised by J. Richard Haefer

Water drum used in meetings of the Native American (or Peyote) Church. The standard drum consists of a well-soaked buckskin head stretched over an iron kettle about 25 cm deep. The best skins are said to be ‘brain tanned’. The head symbolizes the former war shield, now a spiritual shield. It is attached by an intricate tying method that has symbolic import. Symbolism and rules may vary from fireplace to fireplace with some ideas common throughout the religion. Seven stones or marbles indicating the seven days, the seven sisters (constellations), the seven senses (orifices) of the face, or, for the Sioux, the seven council fires, are tied to the head. The rope tying the head represents the rope used to tie enemies, the reins of war horses, or blood veins. The kettle is half-filled with water, which represents rain or the water of the earth; the sound of the drum represents thunder. Live coals (four to 12 depending on the fireplace) symbolizing lightning are put in the water before the head is attached. The skin is kept moist during meetings by vigorously shaking the kettle between songs or by a quick shake during a song when the sound begins to change. At some fireplaces the drummer will suck or blow on the edge of the drum to force water onto the head, while at others this is prohibited....

Article

Pirai  

Alastair Dick

Pair of small, head-worn drums of Tamil Nadu and Andhra, southeast India. The drums are of the frame- drum type, but have an unusual structure, each consisting of a small, but heavy, metal ring that continues into a stem, bent at a right angle and attached frontally to a flat, curving metal strip. In one of the pair the ring is circular (...