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Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Henry Stobart

(1) Onomatopoeic and generic name for various forms of large, double-headed frame drums ( see Drum §I 2., (vi) ) of Spain, Portugal and South America. Two main types of construction are common: (a) large diameter heads (e.g. 50–70 cm) and a relatively shallow body, such as the military or orchestral bass drum, where the skins are secured and tensioned using cords connected to wooden hoops (see illustration), and a long cylindrical body (e.g. 50–70 cm) and (b) small diameter heads, such as the Argentine bombo of Pan-Andean urban folklore ensembles, with or without cords and hoops for tensioning the skins.

Both large diameter and cylindrical forms are found in Argentina, the former referred to as bombo chato and the latter as bombo tubular. A further conical shaped instrument, of probable African origin, is also played in Argentina for the dance form candombe. Unlike other forms of bombo, which are usually played standing, walking or seated (see illustration), the player sits astride the instrument which he plays with his hands or two small sticks. ...

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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

Bongolo  

F.J. de Hen

Article

Bongos  

James Blades

revised by James Holland and Thomas Brett

[bongo drums]

A pair of Afro-Cuban single-headed drums with conical or cylindrical hardwood shells, joined together horizontally. The shells are of the same height but of different diameters; the drumheads (animal membrane or plastic) are generally screw-tensioned and tunable, usually tuned to high pitches at least an interval of a 4th apart. The bongos are usually played with the bare hands, the fingers striking the heads like drumsticks. Created in Cuba around 1900 to answer the needs of small ensembles, bongos remain integral instruments in Latin-American dance bands, rumba bands, and jazz and pop bands. Bongo players usually position the large drum on the right, a common practice in the history of drumming. Great virtuosity of playing technique is possible, the players obtaining subtle shades of timbre, as well as glissando effects, by varying the amount of pressure applied by the fingertips, flat fingers and butt of the hand.

While bongos have played a less important role in jazz than the conga, to which they are related, there have been some prominent bongo players in Afro-Cuban jazz: the conga player Chano Pozo played bongos occasionally in Dizzy Gillespie’s orchestra (...

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F.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 ...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Scraper of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Various types of scrapers bear this or a similar name. The Lia and Oli peoples call it bonkwasa and the Nkundo call it bonkwata. The Konda and Kala know it also as bokwese. Typically it is a bamboo tube with one or several slits notched on both edges or sometimes only on one edge. Wooden ones are rare and mostly confined to the Lower Congo. Here variant forms exist, such as a wooden box with a grooved stick attached to a board; an anthropomorphic body covered with skin; or a box shaped like a goat, with a notched bamboo tube replacing the vertebrae and scraped with two sticks, one solid and the other partly slit. Lemba-type wooden slit drums sometimes have the sides of the slot notched to serve also as scrapers.

F.J. de Hen: Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Musikinstrumente aus Belgisch Kongo und Ruanda-Urundi...

Article

Boobams  

James Blades

A series of small tunable drums introduced in the 1950s in the USA; they are classified as membranophones: struck drums. Boobams have a distinctive ‘dark’ tone quality. In the original form of the drum, a membrane drumhead about 11 cm in diameter was secured to the top of a long open stem of bamboo (hence boobam) which acted as a resonator. Later the heads and resonators were made of plastic and a three-octave chromatic range was available (Cc″). The pitch is governed by the frequency of the air column in the resonator and by the tension on the drumhead.

Boobams are played with timpani or vibraphone mallets or with the fingers. They are used in many types of music, usually in chromatic form, but sometimes as a set of four or five drums with definite or indefinite pitch. Henze used two octaves in Tristan (1974) and one octave in ...

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Bote  

Bowl-shaped kettledrum used in northern Sierra Leone by Susu, Mandingo, Yalunka, and Koranko musicians. It is approximately 40 to 50 cm in diameter and is played suspended at waist level. The player strikes the head with his right hand, while clapping together metal rings (baba) on the thumb and two fingers of the left hand. ...

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Ferdinand J. de Hen

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Boy  

Generic term for drum, used by the Dogon people of Mali. The term also refers to the rhythm beaten for the dance and to the dancing place itself (boy yala). The large and small double-headed cylindrical drums, boy na and boy dagi, respectively, have laced skins; they are played in a slanting position (the ...

Article

Bozhozh  

Jonathan McCollum

[pozhozh]

Small spherical pellet bells of Armenia. Strings of them hung around animals’ necks and women’s ankles served as noisemakers to ward off evil. They have been discovered at various sites in Armenia, some dating back to 2000 bce. In the Armenian Apostolic Church, the bozhozh is shaped like a large hazelnut (about 15 mm in diameter) with two holes, enclosing a small piece of iron. These bells are affixed on the chains of censers (...

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Branok