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A mechanical instrument built by Johann Gottfried Kaufmann and his son Friedrich of Dresden about 1805. It sounded a trumpet fanfare by means of 24 free reeds (reportedly with resonators in the form of ‘reversed trumpets’) which could be played piano or forte; a crescendo and flourishes could be obtained on two connected kettledrums. A model that played all the regimental marches of the Prussian cavalry was built for the King of Prussia....

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Bembé  

Malena Kuss

Cuban drums of African ancestry. The term refers to a set of three drums of different sizes and registers, as well as dancing to these drums and to the celebration in which they participate. There are six types of bembé drums: (1) single-headed cylindrical, barrel-shaped, or conical open wooden body, with nailed head; (2) double-headed cylindrical or barrel-shaped body with heads fastened by rope in W pattern and reinforced by transverse netting; (3) double-headed cylindrical body with nailed heads; (4) single-headed cylindrical, barrel-shaped, or conical drum, with the head held by a hoop and stretched by rope fastened to perpendicular wedges on the upper half of the body; (5) single-headed cylindrical, barrel-shaped, or conical body, with the head fastened by a system of hoops and stretched by metal tension keys; (6) single-headed cylindrical or conical body, with the head held by rope and stretched by straps fastening it to a girdle held in place by wedges on the upper part of the body....

Article

Amanda Villepastour

Double-headed cylindrical drum of the Yorùbá people of Nigeria. One or both skins have snares and one head is struck with a curved stick held by the right hand while the left hand presses on the other skin to regulate the tone. The largest bẹ̀m̀bẹ́...

Article

Bende  

Margaret J. Kartomi

Small suspended bossed gong of Central and East Java, Bali, and Sumatra. It is made of heavy bronze, about 30 to 40 cm in diameter, and is beaten with a padded hammer on the boss, which is about 5 to 7 cm wide. Bende are used in the ...

Article

Bendre  

Rainer Polak

Kettledrum of Gur-speaking peoples (Mossi, Sisala, Mamprusi, and others) in Burkina Faso and northern Ghana. It is an almost spherical calabash with a small goat- or antelope-skin head, tuned with black adhesive paste at the center. It is beaten by the hands. The player either stands with the drum suspended from his neck or sits on the ground. Often metal plaques with rings along the edges are attached to the instrument creating a jingling sound. The ...

Article

Bentere  

Gavin Webb

Calabash kettledrum of northern Ghana whose use has spread to southern areas, including the Akan. The head is tensioned with rawhide thongs tied to a ring at the bottom of the shell. Players either sit or stand with the drum suspended from a strap around the neck and beat the drum by hand....

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 ...

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....

Article

Bi  

K.A. Gourlay

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 ...

Article

A Mirliton invented in 1888 by Bigot. A descendant of the Eunuch-flute, it was made of zinc or cardboard in various shapes, often in the form of orchestral brass instruments. Similar mirlitons were called Varinette, Jazzophone or Cantophone. Bigophones were given literary recognition by André Malraux in ...

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...

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

Ephemeral mirliton of Lithuania. It consists of some smoked sausage skin wrapped around a forked stick or a straw bent to form an acute angle. Children and shepherds played simple songs or dance tunes on the birbalas, either solo or with other toy instruments.

Article

Bocú  

Malena Kuss

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 ...

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

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 ...

Article

Bokio  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

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....

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Cylindro-conical drum with two laced heads, of the Zande people of the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

F.J. de Hen: Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Musikinstrumente aus Belgisch Kongo und Ruanda-Urundi (Tervuren, 1960), 113.

Article

Small Mongolian drum, used in ensembles.