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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

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

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

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

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

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

Arvydas Karaška

Article

Bocú  

Malena Kuss

[bokú]

Single-headed drum of Cuba. It is tall, relatively thin, and open at the base. One of the oldest drums from eastern Cuba, it is a creole instrument blending elements of African and European ancestry and shares musical functions with the tumbadora. There are three types of bocúes: (1) cylindrical or conical wooden body, with nailed head; (2) conical wooden body with the head held by a hoop; and (3) conical wooden body made of staves, with the head fastened by a system of hoops and metal screw tuners (modern).

Traditionally, the body was made from a log or staves, preferably of cedar, although pine and other woods were also used. The oldest drums were cylindrical and carved from a log, with a nailed head; the conical shape resulted when staves from food barrels were reused, being thinned only at the lower end to glue them together. Goatskin was preferred for the head, although bovine, deer, horse, or calf skin could be used. Height commonly ranges from 65 to 95 cm, head diameter from 20 to 27 cm, and base diameter from 10 to 19 cm. The tallest ...

Article

Bofu  

Alan R. Thrasher

Barrel drum of the Han Chinese. The wooden body is about 40 to 45 cm long, with two tacked heads between 20 and 25 cm in diameter. It rests horizontally on a low rectangular frame. As with other instruments used in imperial Confucian rituals, its body is usually lacquered red, a colour associated with ritual and ceremony, and it may be further decorated. The ...

Article

Bokenza  

K.A. Gourlay

[bonkenza, bonkenja, bonkendja]

Cylindro-conical double-headed drum of the Konda and Nkundo peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Konda drum is about 58 cm tall and the Nkundo about 44 cm. The cone is narrow and elongated, giving a goblet-shaped appearance without a supporting base, and the upper head is fastened by parallel cords which, at the point where the cylinder gives way to the cone, take the form of a net covering the cone. Traditionally the bokenza was a war drum, beaten in battle to encourage the warriors. The drums have leather carrying straps and often contained small rattling pebbles. The Lia lokiru (116 cm) (cf. Nkundo lokiro and Sengele lokilo) was of the same type and served the same function. The Nkundo term for a large drum (140 cm) of this type, bondundu, would appear to be cognate with the Yembe and Konda ndungu and the Dia and Sakata ...

Article

Bokio  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[bonkeli]

Single-headed drum of the Kota and Kutu peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The footed wooden body is about 80 cm tall. The head can be of antelope, snake, or crocodile skin, usually laced to the body with leather thongs. It is beaten by the hands.

O. Boone...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Article

Burmese double-headed barrel drum. It is suspended horizontally across the chest of the musician who strikes both ends with his hands. Bon-gyì are usually played in pairs, for rice planting festivals, or for pagoda festivals. The term also refers to the ensemble in which these drums are played. This consists of a ...

Article

Bồng  

Nguyen Thuyet Phong

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Kettledrum of the Mbwanja and Eso peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The head is usually made of an elephant ear, affixed to a clay pot resonator by fibre or leather thongs. It is known among the Ngando as ebondza and by the Nkundo as ilonga.

See also...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Bonkeli  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

J. Richard Haefer

Largest, lead drum in a set of hand-beaten drums and other percussion used in Afro-Cuban Akubua dance music. The drum set can also include the binkome or biankome (highest drum), eroapa (high drum), kuchiyerema or kotchierima (medium-size drum), and obiapa or opiapa (low drum; the lead drum in the Abakua three-member ...

Article

Bonkolo  

Rainer Polak

[bon, bonjalan, sogolon]

Conical drum of the Bamana, Boso, and Somono peoples of Mali. The hardwood body is 50 to 70 cm tall and 25 to 30 cm in diameter. A single head of goatskin or antelope rawhide is sewn to a rope lacing affixed to small holes near the bottom. The head is beaten by one bare hand and with one light stick, which produces a sharp cracking sound. The drum can be tuned by screwing short sticks into the staggered lacing. Ensembles usually consist of two to four bonkolo, one as the lead drum, the other(s) for ostinato accompaniment. Ensembles are complemented by a gangan (cylindrical drum of the dunun type) and a kettledrum (cun) up to 70 cm in diameter, which produces powerful bass lines. The most prominent focus of bonkolo-led drum ensemble performance is masquerade and puppetry of the Ségou region in central Mali. Bonjalan and ...