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Article

Gŭm  

[geum]

Long zither of Korea, the equivalent of the Chinese guqin. It has seven silk strings, and inlaid marks on the soundtable indicating finger positions to obtain harmonic overtones. Nowadays, as with many other traditional Korean instruments, it is used only in Confucian ritual music. Various modern Korean zithers use many more strings; for example, the North Korean ...

Article

Irén Kertész Wilkinson

The music of itinerant groups, predominantly found in Europe but also in other areas, such as the Middle East and South Asia. Most often classified as ‘Gypsy’ – once a derogatory term but more recently the source of political pride – these groups also have their own ethnonyms. The main focus of this article is the music of Roma/Gypsies in Europe, with the aim of underlining similar patterns in their musical practices and processes, that reflect their shared values and ethos. For the music of non-European Gypsies, see under the appropriate country article.

‘Gypsies’ comprise many different groups, but these can be classified into two main categories: the Indian-originated Roma (and Sinti) and the indigenous peripatetic Traveller groups of particular countries and areas. The Roma, whose name is derived from the Romani word man, are also known in different places as Romen, Romani, Rom or Romanichals. Roma is the term implemented by Roma politicians to avoid non-Gypsy derogatory terms such as ‘...

Article

Victoria Lindsay Levine

Double-headed snare drum of the Choctaw people of Mississippi, USA. Presumably modelled after a European instrument given to or captured by the Choctaw during the 1700s, such drums are made from black gum, cyprus, hard pine, poplar, or sweet gum wood and are about 31 cm tall by 25 cm in diameter, although sizes vary. The heads are made of goatskin, sheepskin, or deerskin and are attached to the body by hoops made of hickory wood. The hoops are laced together with strips of deer hide in a V pattern. Two additional strips rest on the unplayed lower head, acting as snares. The male drummer uses a pair of hickory drumsticks about 30 cm long. The drum is played to accompany processions such as dance troupes entering or leaving an arena or ballplayers taking or exiting the field. The Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), and Yuchi (Euchee) had similar snare drums in the past....

Article

Hirukis  

J. Richard Haefer

[hirukiam]

Rasp or scraper of the Yoeme Yaqui Indians of Arizona and Northern Mexico. A hardwood stick about 4 cm wide by 50 to 60 cm long has a series of small grooves cut into the bottom two-thirds. The unnotched part of the stick serves as a handle when the distal end is placed on top of half a gourd about 20 cm diameter, inverted in a pail of water which acts as a resonator. The rasp is scraped by a second stick in time with the singing of the ...

Article

Mary Riemer-Weller

revised by J. Richard Haefer

[u’us hikiat, hiokat]

Scraper of the Tohono O’odham (Papago) Indians of Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico. Two types are used by the O’odham. The hiwculdakuḍ (‘thing with which one rubs’) is made from a stick of hard wood (u:pad [catclaw, Acacia Greggii] or ho’idkam [ironwood, Olneya tesota]) about 50 to 60 cm long and 3 to 5 cm diameter, with 10 to 12 deep notches cut widely apart along the length. The distal end is placed on an inverted basket on the ground that serves as a resonator, and the notches are rubbed with a short stick of the same material, producing a sound like blowing wind and rain. It is used to accompany curing and other ritual songs.

The u’us hikiat (‘jagged wood’, Densmore’s hiokat) is made from segoi (greasewood, Sarcobatus vermiculatus) or kui (mesquite, Prosopis velutina), softer woods yielding a lighter sound. The thin stick has shallow cuts spaced closely together. Though it can be played without a resonator, most performers nowdays use a basket resonator. It is used to accompany ...

Article

Hnyìn  

John Okell

Small mouth organ of Burma. It consists of bamboo pipes (their number varies) with free reeds, mounted in a long-necked gourd or pottery windchest; the neck serves as the blowpipe. A typical example has ten curved pipes in two rows of five, ranging from about 13 to 56 cm exposed length, affixed to the gourd with a dense paste. Holes near the lower ends of the pipes are opened or closed by the fingers to sound the pipes. The ...

Article

Hoa  

Mary Riemer-Weller

revised by J. Richard Haefer

[tamoa]

Idiophone scraper and drum of the Tohono O’odham (Papago) Indians of southern Arizona and northern Mexico. A common household woven basket about 25 to 45 cm in diameter and 10 to 15 cm deep is inverted and held in the crook of the left arm. It is scraped with a stick across the basket’s ribs during the first part of a song and beaten with the stick in the second part. Older baskets woven from willow branches are preferred over the modern baskets woven from yucca fibre over a bear grass foundation. Densmore indicates that the basket was inverted on the ground and played by several singers simultaneously. Nowadays it is usually played by one person. Russell wrote that among the Akimel O’odham (Pimans) the hoa made from willow branches could be beaten softly with the hand at the beginning of songs instead of being scraped. The Pimas sometimes substitute a cardboard box if a basket is not available....

Article

J. Richard Haefer

Cylindrical drum of the Aztec (Nahua) people of pre-Contact Mexico. The body was open at the bottom and had a single head of jaguar skin or deerskin pegged to it and beaten with bare hands to accompany songs, the player either sitting beside the drum or on top of it. Along with the teponaztli (wooden slit drum), it was one of the most important instruments of Aztec culture, frequently inscribed with symbolic carvings. The name huehuetl is derived from the name of the tree ahuehuete (Pinus sabiniana), which supplied the wood from which the instrument was made, though examples of oak and walnut exist (earlier ones might have been made of precious metal or clay). It was tuned by heating the interior with live coals to dry and tauten the head. High and low pitches were produced by striking near the rim and centre of the head, respectively. Drum patterns were apparently learned by reciting the syllables ...

Article

John M. Schechter

revised by J. Richard Haefer

In modern Nahutl, a generic term for an Aztec flute. Traditionally it was a ceramic globular vessel flute. Stanford equates it with the flute çoçoloctli. Clay huilacapitztli have been found up to 20 cm in diameter and with five to eight tone holes. More developed examples are found throughout Central America. It was played together with the tlapitzalli by ‘Adonis’ (the Aztec sacrificial young man) as he ascended the steps of the pyramid for sacrifice.

The tlapitzalli is an Aztec end-blown flute, usually made of clay but sometimes of wood or bone. It is found in various shapes (straight, curved, Y-shape) and sizes from 15 to 35 cm long. The proximal end has a duct mouthpiece and the distal end is often flared. It can have up to four bores which can be blown together or separately. The body might be painted with images of Aztec dieties or decorated with three-dimensional figures. Traditionally it was blown by priests at solemn ceremonies, and Montezuma is said to have been entertained by one while eating. Adonis played the ...

Article

Alan R. Thrasher

Mouth organ of minority cultures of southwest China, notably the Yi, Lahu, and Lisu in Yunnan province. Hulu sheng (‘gourd mouth organ’) is a Han Chinese name. Local names include ang (Yi), nuo or naw (Lahu), and maniu (Lisu). The instrument is constructed from a dried bottle gourd (hulu) with its narrow neck serving as the blowpipe and its enlarged rounded bulb as the windchest. From four to seven (usually five) bamboo pipes of graduated length (c20 to 45 cm) are vertically inserted through holes in the upper and lower walls of the gourd and secured with beeswax. The pipes are open at their top and bottom ends, the bottoms sitting flush with the outside wall of the gourd where their openings serve as thumbholes. Enclosed within the gourd, a free reed assembly of bamboo or bronze is attached to each pipe with hardened beeswax. The reed frame is rectangular, but the reed can be rectangular or triangular. Above the windchest, each pipe has one fingerhole in its side. The reed is activated upon closing its fingerhole (which couples the pitch of the reed to that of the pipe) and alternately exhaling and inhaling through the blowpipe....