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Article

Monique Brandily

Wooden single-headed hourglass drum of the professional musicians of northwestern Chad. Like the small clay drum kollu, the head is fitted with snares. Two drums are always played together, held one above the other under one arm, and are beaten by hand, one of the drums having a ‘male’ and the other a ‘female’ voice. Two ...

Article

Balsié  

Sydney Hutchinson

[pri-prí]

Single-headed drum of the southern and eastern Dominican Republic. It is a hollowed log with a goatskin head attached by ropes tied to small bolts on the body or to a cord around the middle of the body. In the east, the head is affixed with bent nails and no ropes. Its size varies widely by region, from about 32 cm in diameter and 34 cm tall, to 26 by 51 cm for the balsié largo (long drum). The exterior is usually conical in the southwest but cylindrical in the east and south-central regions.

The balsié may be held between the knees, under the arm, or laid on the ground with the player sitting on top. It is used to accompany folk dances, often together with the pandero frame drum, and religious songs, together with other small percussion instruments. A glissando produced either by rubbing the head with the fingers or depressing it with the heel, depending on the manner of playing, makes the characteristic sound that gives it the alternate name of ...

Article

Bambam  

Article

John M. Schechter

[babulá, boulá]

Single-headed drum of black musicians of the French Antilles and Louisiana. It is about 60 to 90 cm long and 40 cm in diameter, open at the base, and played with both hands. In Guyana it is called babulá and in Haiti, Trinidad, and Grenada boulá. The etymology of the term is unclear. The ...

Article

Bandaw  

Small hourglass-shaped rattle drum of Thailand. It resembles the South Asian Damaru and is played in the same manner. The ball that strikes the heads is connected by a cord to the end of the handle (a tapered post 13-cm long affixed to the waist of the drum). It is used in some rarely seen royal ceremonies....

Article

Bandiri  

Set of two or more single-headed frame drums, with or without circular metal jingles, and a kettledrum used by members of the k’adiriyya Islamic sect of northern Nigeria. It accompanies the zikiri (creed formula by which a person acknowledges that he is a Muslim). The frame drum is held in the left hand and beaten with the fingers of the right....

Article

Bangu  

Alan R. Thrasher

Single-headed block drum of the Han Chinese. Ban here refers to the concept of ‘beat’; gu means ‘drum’. Other common names include danpigu (‘single-skin drum’) and xiaogu (‘small drum’). The thick body, about 25 cm in diameter and 10 cm deep, is constructed from wedges of hardwood glued together in a circle (or sometimes carved from a single block) and wrapped at the bottom with a metal band. The body is open at the bottom, and the interior tapers inward to the top, leaving a central circular opening (about 5 cm in diameter) called the guxin (‘drum heart’). This is covered with a piece of thick rigid pigskin or cowhide nailed in several rows around the outside of the body. The drum is supported in a three-legged stand in front of the player and struck on the guxin with one or two slender bamboo sticks. The tone quality is crisp, and the pitch is moderately high....

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Bankiya  

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Baraban  

Inna D. Nazina

[barabanka]

Double-headed drum of the eastern Slavs (Ukraine, Belarus, and western regions of Russia). It is known in Belarus in two forms: the drum alone and, influenced by Turkish fashion since the 18th century, with a pair of cymbals mounted on the shell. The baraban is held with the heads vertical and is struck with a wooden beater, often tipped with leather. It is traditionally used in folk ensembles (with violin, clarinet, dulcimer, and accordion) that play at weddings and dances. According to Russian chronicles the drum was used also as a military instrument from the 11th century. The terms ‘baraban’ or ‘ruchnoy baraban’ are also used for the Buben. The baraban of Circassia and Dagestan is struck by hand rather than with a stick.

Among Russians, Komi, and the Veps, the baraban is also a pastoral percussion beam made of birch and beaten with two sticks. It is used for signals and to accompany ...

Article

Nguyen Thuyet Phong

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Barba  

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Batá  

Malena Kuss

Set of three Afro-Cuban double-headed hourglass drums of Yoruba origin. Batá are the sacred instruments of the religious system of Ocha/Ifá (Santería). The largest and lowest-pitched drum, which carries the main oratorical role, is called iyá (‘mother’) because other drums are born from the sacred presence within it. The smallest and highest-pitched batá is known as okónkolo, a term denoting its size, among other names. The term itótele for the medium-size drum refers to the order in which it enters the rhythmic locution of patterns and strokes (toque), following the iyá. The batá ensemble retains the West African disposition of timbric functions that assigns virtuosic locutions to the lowest-pitched drum, while the higher-pitched instruments perform more stable and reiterative patterns.

Batá are the drums of Changó, the spirit-god of fire, lightning, thunder, war, dance, and music, but they are played for all the orichas (saints). The ceremonies in which ...

Article

Bàtá  

Rainer Polak

revised by K.A. Gourlay and Amanda Villepastour

Set of double-headed conical drums of the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria and neighbouring Benin. The heads, of different sizes, are fastened with leather straps and small bells may be attached to the drums. An ensemble normally includes the lead drum ìyáàlù (‘mother drum’, the largest), the ‘female’ accompanying drum omele abo (medium-sized) and the small accompanying drums omele akọ and kúdi. The latter two are often strapped together as a single instrument. A typical ìyáàlù is 70–75 cm long, with heads about 24 and 14 cm in diameter. The omele abo is 50–60 cm long, with heads about 22 and 12 cm in diameter. The omele akọ and kúdi are 23–33 cm tall with heads about 15 and 11 cm in diameter. The ìyáàl̀ù and the omele abo are held horizontally. The smaller head is beaten with a rawhide thong, producing a sharp, high sound. The larger head is tuned with black paste, which allows the bare hand to produce a deep open tone, a slightly higher muffled tone, and a slap tone. The ...

Article

John M. Schechter

revised by Amanda Villepastour

Drum of the Ẹ̀cgbá Yorùbá people of Nigeria. It is constructed from two large gourds strung together (koto is a Yorùbá word for ‘deep gourd’). One end is then cut open and covered with a skin head. The bàtá koto ensemble consists of the ìyáàlù (mother, lead drum), two omele (accompanying drums), and a sẹ̀ckẹ̀crẹ̀c (gourd rattle). There is also a Cuban batá kotó of the Lucumí people, which is a long, single-headed cylindrical drum with a nailed head. It resembles the Cuban arará drum, which has Fon (Benin) antecedents and was formerly used in Cuba as a war drum. In spite of its name, the bàtá koto is unrelated to the batá/bàtá drum family of the Lucumí and Yorùbá people; these are double-headed, hourglass or conically shaped, closed drums laced with rope (in Matanzas) or hide (in Nigeria and Havana). The Cuban batá-kotó is played with curved sticks (...

Article

Batta  

K.A. Gourlay

Term used by the Gunga and Duka peoples of northwestern Nigeria for a calabash drum. The Duka drum is also known as kworria. The Gunga batta is almost spherical and measures about 55 cm in diameter. The goatskin head, about 25 cm in diameter, has a large piece of tuning wax. Metal jingles are attached to the lacing. The drum is beaten by hand and is usually played with the smaller stick-beaten ...

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Bāz  

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Bęben  

Zbigniew J. Przerembski

Term for different types of Polish drums struck with drumsticks. The main types are a single-headed frame drum with jingles or small bells attached (also known as the bębenek, ‘small drum’), widespread in Poland; and a cylindrical two-headed braced drum found largely in the Kalisz region, where it was formerly made from a hollowed log. Such drums are used in various kinds of ensemble, usually with fiddles, in some regions with the bass fiddle but at least since the 19th century never with bagpipes....

Article

Bedok  

Patricia Matusky

[beduk]

Drum of West Malaysia and Sarawak. The usually cylindrical wooden body, sometimes longer than one metre, bears one head of either cow or water buffalo hide, depending on the size of the drum (buffalo hide is thicker and stronger and lasts longer). The head is attached with laces and struck with a pair of wooden sticks. The ...

Article

Bedon