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Article

John M. Schechter

revised by J. Richard Haefer

Single-headed cylindrical drum used by the Garinagu (black Carib) people of the Punta Gorda region of Central America. It is made from a log of cedar or mahogany, sometimes slightly tapered to the bottom, 50 to 75 cm long with a diameter of 30 to 50 cm. The deerskin head is held on by a hoop and lace assembly; short sticks inserted between adjacent laces are twisted to tighten the head. It is beaten with one or both hands. It accompanies Christmas and secular dances.

Two other drums, called garawoun, are used by the Garifuna: the primero (lead drum) and the segunda (supporting drum). They are double-headed cylindrical drums with heads of deer, goat, or peccary skin held on with double hoops laced together with short sticks inserted to tighten the heads. A snare of nylon, metal, or cotton string runs across the top head. These drums are used in the ...

Article

Patricia Matusky

Article

Geduk  

Jack Percival Baker Dobbs

revised by Patricia Matusky

Double-headed barrel drum of Peninsular Malaysia. The body is usually made of jackfruit wood. The cowhide heads are secured by up to 30 wooden pegs, set about 7 cm from each rim. Two wooden or bamboo struts are affixed close together near the upper head and diverge to their furthest extent about 15 cm beyond the lower head. When the drum is set upright in playing position, these struts incline the body towards the player at an angle of about 30°, the upper head facing the player. An iron ring is affixed to the body of the drum so that it can be lifted. The geduk is normally played in a pair comprising a geduk ibu (‘mother geduk’) and a geduk anak (‘child geduk’), the latter being slightly smaller. The usual dimensions of the geduk ibu are about 27 cm in maximum diameter, and about 40 cm long. The drum is beaten with a pair of unpadded wooden drumsticks....

Article

Jack Percival Baker Dobbs, Margaret J. Kartomi and Patricia Matusky

[gedombak]

Drum of northern Malaysia, East Sumatra, and Riau islands, Indonesia. It is carved from one piece of jackfruit wood in the shape of a goblet on a hollow pedestal or foot, open at the bottom. In peninsular Malaysia the gedumbak usually appears in pairs, called ibu (‘mother’) and anak (‘child’). The mother stands about 45 cm tall, with a single head about 23 cm in diameter; the child is about 2 cm smaller in both dimensions. The head, normally of goatskin, is attached to the body by rattan laces that are sewn into the skin and extend down the body to a metal ring that encircles the top of the foot near the middle of the drum. The drum is placed across the player’s left thigh and struck with the right hand while the left hand supports the foot and can also close the open end to change the timbre. The head is struck with the entire hand and also with the fingers in certain areas to obtain specific timbres associated with various rhythmic patterns. Two large loops of rattan are sometimes affixed round the waist allowing the drum to be carried. In the Malaysian ...

Article

Genang  

Patricia Matusky

[geneng]

Drum of Sarawak, Malaysia. Its slightly conical wooden body is about 30 cm long. The single head, about 25 to 30 cm in diameter, is attached by narrow rattan laces to a rattan hoop that encircles the body some 6 to10 cm below the top rim. Small wooden wedges are inserted between the hoop and the body to tauten the head. The ...

Article

Genda  

Andrew C. McGraw

Frame drum of the central Wolowaru area of Flores, Indonesia. The wooden frame is about 38 cm in diameter and 10 cm deep. The single head, of deer- or goat-skin, is affixed with leather cords attached to a counter hoop. The genda is held under one arm and played with a wooden stick in each hand. It often accompanies the FEKO transverse flute....

Article

Alastair Dick

(from Sanskrit gharsa: ‘rubbing’). Medieval barrel drum of India, played partly by friction. It is described as similar to the hu ḍukkā. It was played with much ‘booming’ (go ṃkāra): the thumb and middle fingertips of the right hand, smeared with beeswax, rubbed the skin; the left-hand fingers struck the skin and the thumb pressed it. The modern ...

Article

Jonathan Katz

Indian pot drum. It is made from an earthenware pot with monitor lizard skin tied with string over the rim of the circular neck opening; the diameter of the head is about 20 cm. A smaller opening left uncovered at the base is manipulated to change the tone. The drum is laid on the lap, suspended from the player’s neck, or tied to the waist and struck with the hands and fingers to accompany folksong and dance in Goa, west India. Often two or more ...

Article

Göndra  

Margaret J. Kartomi

revised by Andrew C. McGraw

[gödra]

Double-headed drum of Nias, Indonesia. It consists of a hollowed tree trunk, up to 1 metre long and 75 cm wide, with goatskin or deerskin stretched across both ends by means of rattan hoops and ropes. Sometimes two lengths of rattan, with several small sticks laced between them, are stretched on to the head that is not played, acting as a kind of snare. Traditionally the drum is played by one or two players using rattan sticks with a loop at the head. Several göndra may be hung on the rafters of the front room of a traditional house. Today the instrument is often placed horizontally in a high stand and is played by two musicians, one on either side, striking the heads with bamboo sticks. In this circumstance one musician maintains a steady pulse while the other improvises with syncopated patterns. In modern contexts the drum is played in an ensemble with the ...

Article

Gorosu  

Henry Johnson

Japanese double-headed cylindrical drum. It is used in chindonya street entertainment as one of several accompanying instruments. The term gorosu is a Japanese interpretation of the French word grosse (‘large’) and in this context is an abbreviation of grosse caisse (bass drum). The gorosu has a diameter of about 48 cm. The heads are tightened by a rope ligature or by screw tensioning. The drum, often played by a woman, hangs about waist-height in front of the player from straps around the player’s body, with the heads horizontal or nearly horizontal. It is played with one or two beaters....

Article

Gu  

Alan R. Thrasher

Categorical name for Chinese drums. A prefix is usually attached to specify type. While of a wide variety in size and usage, most indigenous Chinese drums have a barrel-shaped body with two heads of oxhide tacked on (rather than laced together), and are struck on one head with two beaters. Pictographs from the Shang dynasty (c16th–11th centuries bce) and archaeological finds of two barrel-shaped drums (dating between the 13th and 10th centuries bce) attest to the appearance of such drums by that time. The excavated drums are made entirely of bronze (including their heads). They rest horizontally upon four short legs and are decorated with raised saddle-shaped images on their upper sides. One drum, found in Hubei province, is about 45 cm long, with a head diameter of about 40 cm; the other, now in a Japanese collection and of unknown provenance, is smaller. Historically known as ...

Article

Gugucu  

Carol M. Babiracki

[gūgūchū]

Small pyramid-shaped or conical hollow earthen mirliton of the Uraon tribal group of southern Bihar, India; it was known in the early decades of the 20th century. The narrow end of the instrument, which stood 15 to 22.5 cm tall, was covered with a spider’s web and the players sang through an opening in the opposite end. The ...

Article

Gumbé  

Laurence Libin

Frame drum of Jamaica and Cuba (where it is unnamed), consisting of a single head stretched (and nailed) over a square wooden frame or stool, raised off the ground by four legs and held between the player’s knees. It is tuned by means of an adjustable internal frame that presses against the head. The gumbé was mentioned in Jamaica by the English planter Edward Long in 1774 and again in Freetown in the 1820s. It appears to have African provenance though its origin is uncertain. In Africa the type is known as gome (Ghana), gube (Mali), goumbe (Côte d’Ivoire), kumbeh (Nigeria), maringa or malinga (Congo), and so on. In Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Trinidad it is called gombe, gombay, goomba, gamby, gumb, ‘bench drum’, and so on. The gumbé is a powerful cultural symbol formerly associated with prognostication and the invocation of ancestors. In the 18th century it was used to communicate messages and to warn of attacks by the British. The ...

Article

Alastair Dick

Clay goblet drum of Andhra Pradesh, southern India. A long-necked waterpot has an opening about 5 cm wide excised at the base; this is covered by a skin, braced on an iron hoop, and laced by cotton cords. The drum is played horizontally, the right hand on the skin and the left closing the mouth of the neck for varied resonance....

Article

Guwel  

Margaret J. Kartomi

Frame drum of the Gayo people in the Takengon area, Central Aceh, Sumatra. Typically it has a goatskin head about 41 cm in diameter bound with rattan, and a thick, circular, slightly tapering wooden frame about 13 cm deep. About 20 lengths of rattan lacing pass through the binding and extend down to a rattan ring beneath the frame. Ten small wooden tuning blocks fit between the ring and the frame....

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

Huagu  

Alan R. Thrasher

Small barrel drum of the Han Chinese, found especially in areas of North China. The name huagu (‘flower drum’) refers to the use of flower motifs in its body decoration or on a colourful brocade wrapping. In construction and size, the huagu resembles both the larger yaogu (‘waist drum’) and the bofu drum used in court rituals. On all types, both ends are covered by a tacked head and struck with slender beaters. Sizes vary, the huagu measuring roughly 33 cm long, its heads about 12 cm in diameter; the yaogu, up to 49 cm long, with heads of about 20 cm. Both drums are held at the player’s waist, suspended from the shoulder by a silk band attached to two rings mounted on one side of the drum.

The huagu is used in a dance-song tradition which started in the Fengyang district of Anhui province during the Southern Song dynasty (12th–13th centuries ...

Article

Huḍko  

Mireille Helffer

revised by Gert-Matthias Wegner and Simonne Bailey

Hourglass drum of West Nepal, Kumaon, and Garhwal. The body, up to 30 cm tall and 20 cm in diameter, is of turned wood or metal. The waist is pierced by a small hole which is described as allowing the instrument to breathe. The two goatskin heads are wrapped over circular hoops and laced together in a V or Y pattern. A cord or strip of fabric around the lacing regulates the tension of the heads to change their pitch and timbre. A shoulder strap affixed to the fabric strip and bearing several small bells is placed over the left shoulder, and the left hand is slipped under the lacing to grasp the waist of the drum and pull it forwards so that the upper head can be struck by the right-hand fingers.

Huḍko players are usually members of the Huḍkya subcaste of the Damāi tailor-musicians. The drum is used in western Nepal to accompany ballads and dances; in Kumaon, it is sometimes accompanied by a little gong, and participates in ...

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

Idedjai  

Ferdinand J. de Hen