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Article

Supe  

J. Richard Haefer

Flute of the Kuna Indians of the San Blas Islands of Panama. It is an end-blown instrument of cane, about 60 cm long and 2 cm in diameter with an external duct. The supe is played in male/female pairs; the male or ‘primary speaker’ has four fingerholes and one thumbhole and is shorter than the female or ‘secondary speaker’, which has one or two fingerholes. The female instrument provides obbligato notes between the melodic notes of the male instrument, imitating the sounds of birds. The related dolo is a single external-duct flute with four fingerholes and one thumbhole, similar to the kuizi and used for improvising melodies.

The Kuna have four end-blown internal-duct flutes: gorgigala, mulagala, sulupgala, and uasgala, all made from the ulna bones of birds (eagle, pelican, or vulture). They are used for puberty ceremonies and sometimes hang from a cord around the neck of dancers. Other Kuna flutes include the ...

Article

Aaron S. Allen and Laurence Libin

Term encompassing issues of respectful management of natural resources and corresponding ecologies so that they endure. Unsustainable depletion of resources through excessive use or misuse, habitat destruction, climate change, and associated cultural and ecological pressures increasingly concerns instrument makers, consumers, and preservationists, leading them to realign values and practices. Sustainability has become an existential problem for societies that rely on vanishing resources, and for plants and animals that interact in ecosystems, which in turn encompass humans. While cultural aspects of sustainability have been considered in many ethnographic and organological studies, ecological implications require further attention.

Many kinds of instruments have traditionally incorporated materials from now-endangered or threatened species. These animal and plant materials have been exploited for their tonal properties, durability, or other physical characteristics, and for decorative, symbolic, or economic reasons. The efficacy of instruments played in religious or magical rituals, displayed as regalia, or worshipped in their own right can depend on the use of these rare substances, and the value of collectible instruments is enhanced by their presence....

Article

Tambe  

Mary Riemer-Weller

revised by J. Richard Haefer

[taàbè, tembe, tombe]

Double-headed drum of the Tewa Indians of New Mexico. It is made from a hollowed cottonwood or aspen tree log and is roughly cylindrical. A drum of average size is 30 to 40 cm in diameter and 55 to 73 cm deep. The heads, usually made of calfskin for smaller drums and cowhide for larger ones, are stretched tightly over the ends of the log while wet. The heads extend about 12 cm over the sides and are laced together in a W pattern. Two hide handles are fastened to the lacing, near the top and bottom, one directly below the other. During a ceremony, the drum is carried or, if very large, suspended on a wooden stake by the handles. It is played with a padded beater (tambefe) held in the right hand. The instrument is used to accompany songs associated with numerous ceremonies. The heads are painted with contrasting natural colours and the sides of the log may also be painted....

Article

J. Richard Haefer

Collective name for the duct flute and drum used by the Yoeme Yaqui Indians of Arizona and northern Mexico. It is played when both the maso (deer dancer) and pahko’ola (pascola) dancers are dancing at the same time. The flute, called kusia or cuzia, has two fingerholes and a thumbhole. It is made from cane that grows in the Yaqui river basin. Two sections of cane, each 20 to 25 cm long, are joined at a node by carving one end so it can slide inside the other tube; the V-shaped toneholes are in the lower section. A mouthpiece is formed by undercutting the proximal end of the cane and inserting a smaller piece of cane beneath, held in place by a peg to make an internal duct to direct the airflow against a V-shaped lip cut in the upper surface of the top section.

The drum, called ...

Article

(Omaha: ‘deer hoofs’)

Suspension rattle of the Omaha people of the central plains of the USA. It is made from a cluster of deer hoofs fastened by short leather thongs to the top of a beaded stick 20 to 25 cm long. The lower part of the stick forms the handle, which is often further ornamented with a long tassel of buckskin thongs. Similar rattles were commonly used in the men’s warrior societies of the Great Plains and in rites and ceremonies of some native Californian peoples....

Article

A. Dean Palmer

(‘The Templar and the Jewess’)

Grosse romantische Oper in three acts by Heinrich August Marschner to a libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrück after various plays, themselves based on Walter Scott’s novel Ivanhoe; Leipzig, Stadttheater, 22 December 1829.

After reviewing a performance of J. F. von Auffenberg’s play Der Löwe von Kurdistan, based on Sir Walter Scott’s The Talisman, Marschner decided – with his librettist Wohlbrück – to write an opera based on one of Scott’s novels. They chose Ivanhoe. By eliminating non-essential characters and simplifying the plot, Wohlbrück developed the libretto from J. R. Lenz’s play Das Gericht der Templer (Breslau, 7 May 1824), which Lenz had based on one or more of several English plays, particularly W. T. Moncrieff’s Ivanhoe! or, The Jewess (London, 24 January 1820), that were performed in England after the publication of Scott’s book.

Universally considered during the 19th century as Marschner’s most popular opera, Der Templer und die Jüdin...

Article

Richard Keeling

Strung rattle of the Maidu and other native peoples of California. The Hupa call it k’ixulo’. It is a cluster of deer hoofs or dewclaws tied to a wooden or bone handle 30 to 45 cm long. When shaken, the hoofs create a sharp clicking sound. Among tribes of northern California and the San Joaquin Valley, it is used in the girls’ puberty ceremony. Luiseño hunters shook the rattle for luck before setting out for deer. Other southern California tribes such as the Chumash, Fernandeños, and Gabrielinos used it in mourning ceremonies....

Article

J. Richard Haefer

[tenovarim]

Cocoon rattles worn by Yoeme (Yaqui) Indian maso (deer dancers) and pahko′ola (pascolas) in Arizona and Northern Mexico. Saturniid moth cocoons, about 5 cm long by 3 cm in diameter, are filled with small pebbles and laced together in strings up to 200 cm long. The strings are wrapped spiral-fashion around the legs of the dancers from ankle to knee. The rustling sound of the rattles, arising from the intricate footwork of the dancers, evokes life in the desert and signifies to the moth that even though the larva is dead, his spirit is alive and his home occupied. The neighbouring Mayo Indians in Sonora use the variant name ...

Article

John M. Schechter

revised by J. Richard Haefer

[quiringua, tepenahuasqui, teponagua, teponahuaztli, teponaxtle, tinco, tunkul]

Slit drum, one of the most important instruments of the Aztecs and still in use in several regions in Mexico. It is called a tunkul by the Mayo in the Yucatán, a tinco (or teponahuaztli) in Chiapas, a quiringua in Michoacán, a tepenahuasqui in Jalisco, and a teponaztli in Tepoztlán (Morelos), Xico (Sierra de Puebla), San Juan Atzingo (Mexico), and Huehuetla (Hidalgo). Large examples are known as teponagua. The instruments are thought of as common property: they are never lent or sold, and are carefully guarded. Often carved with human or serpent shapes, like the huehuetl the teponaztli was thought to be a god temporarily forced to endure earthly exile. Both instruments were therefore often treated as idols.

The teponaztli is made of a section of tree trunk (though pre-Contact stone instruments have been found) 18 to 40 cm thick and 35 cm to 1 metre long. It is placed horizontally and hollowed through a rectangular opening in the bottom side. Opposite this opening a basically H-shaped incision forms two tongues, which are tuned to harmonics (octave or 3rds) of the resonant pitch of the drum cavity, or to an interval of a minor 3rd, major 2nd, or perfect 5th. The tongues are struck with rubber-tipped mallets (...

Article

J. Richard Haefer

Percussion plaque of the Aztec people of pre-Contact Mexico. The disc-shaped instrument, commonly made of copper (gold, clay, and stone were also used), was suspended by ropes and played reportedly sometimes in pairs, with metal or wood beaters, for royal dances. It was also called a caililiztli (chililitli) and reportedly played with the ...

Article

Tito  

Carl B. Schmidt

(‘Titus’)

Melodramma in three acts by Antonio Cesti to a libretto by Nicolò Beregan ; Venice, Teatro di SS Giovanni e Paolo, 13 February 1666.

Beregan probably formed the outline of his plot from Flavius Josephus’s account of the Jewish War and C. Suetonius Tranquillus’s account of Emperor Titus in The Lives of the Twelve Caesars. The opera deals with the future Roman emperor’s conquering of Jerusalem in ad 70, and his subsequent love for the conquered Palestinian princess Berenice. After numerous complications, woven into the plot by a cast of 15 characters, Polemone, whom Berenice has claimed as her brother, is revealed to be her husband, and Titus abandons his quest for love in favour of his former militaristic ways. Three characters, Titus (soprano castrato), Berenice (soprano) and Domitian (soprano castrato), are drawn from history and another, Polemone (tenor), portrayed as the King of Licea, is probably the equivalent of Polemon, the priest-king of Olba in Cilicia. The fictional character Martia Fulvia (soprano) may have been inspired by the historical Marcia Furnilla, daughter of a noble Roman family, whom Titus married but subsequently divorced. The remaining cast of generals, servants, pages and sorceresses remind us of Racine’s famous dictum ‘Toute l’invention consiste à faire quelque chose de rien’....

Article

Andrew C. McGraw

[trompong misi bruk]

Rare xylophone of Bali. It has bars of wood or bamboo suspended over individual resonators made of coconut shell (beruk). The instrument typically has eight bars tuned to either the slendro or pelog tuning system, although slendro appears to be the more common. It is played by a single player with two unpadded wooden mallets in the manner of the more common bronze ...

Article

David P. McAllester

revised by Charlotte J. Frisbie and J. Richard Haefer

[‘atsázooł cisǫ́•s]

Whistle used to represent bird calls in ceremonies of the Diné (Navajo) people of the southwestern USA. It is made from a reed stalk or the femur of an eagle and is about 15 cm long. A notch is cut into the upper side of the tube about 3 cm from the top. The tube is blocked at the notch with pitch and a rolled section of corn husk is placed over the opening to direct the air into the lower section. Some sources say the distal end is closed with pitch, but more often the whistle is played with the distal end underwater so that bird-like trills are produced. In the Shootingway ceremony, songs of the last four days are accompanied by the whistle with a beaver- or otter-skin collar attached to it, together with a basket drum (ts’aa’ náhideesh ghał). The whistle is also used in Lightningway, Mountainway, and Nightway ceremonies and those of the Native American Church....

Article

J. Richard Haefer

[tsii' edo'a'tl] (Apache: ‘wood singing’) [Apache fiddle]

Single- or two-string ‘fiddle’, technically a bowed tube zither, of the White Mountain and San Carlos Apache peoples of Arizona. Its origin is unknown. A 30- to 40-cm length of a dried flower stem of the agave plant (Agave angustifolia) about 5 to 7 cm in diameter is cut in half and the pith removed except for a 3-cm section left at each end to stop the tube and strengthen it. The two halves are glued back together with pine pitch and wrapped at intervals with sinew or baling wire. A lump of pinyon pine pitch might be melted onto one end to provide rosin for the bow. One string (seldom two) is attached at the proximal end and runs over two low bridges to a long tuning peg inserted laterally through the tube. One or two small soundholes, often triangular, are cut near each end. Old museum specimens are usually shorter than modern instruments, but the maker Chelsey Goseyun Wilson claims that earlier examples were made not only from the stem but also from the heart of the agave and were up to 55 cm long and 15 to 20 cm in diameter at the proximal end....

Article

David P. McAllester

revised by Charlotte J. Frisbie and J. Richard Haefer

[tsindi’ni’, cin diǹi’]

Bullroarer of the Diné (Navajo) people of the southwestern USA. It is a spatulate flat blade of wood about 20 cm long by 3 to 4 cm wide and 75 mm thick, made from lightning-struck ponderosa pine or oak, with the growing tip of the wood forming the point of the instrument. A hole is bored in the opposite end and a length of mountain sheep hide, a buckskin thong, or a cord 150 to 180 cm long is attached. It is swung by the cord to produce the sound. The wood can be painted a solid colour or with designs; it can also be decorated with three small pieces of turquoise or white shell attached with pitch on one side to create eyes and a mouth. The bullroarer is used to represent thunder, the voice of the Flint People, or supernatural noises in curing ceremonies such as Shootingway, Windway, and Red Antway. It is also used in the ceremonies of the Native American Church....

Article

J. Richard Haefer

Duct whistle of the Comanche people of Oklahoma. It is called by other names among many Plains and neighbouring Indian peoples, e.g. the Ute gusau-ōka, and the Choctaw o’skula. The whistle is made from an eagle, turkey, or goose wing bone about 10 to 18 cm long. Marrow and fat are removed and the proximal end opened for blowing. A V- or U-shaped mouth is cut on the side of the bone about a quarter of the length from the proximal end. A plug made of pitch is inserted in the bone to form a duct directing the air toward the lip of the mouth. The bone may be decorated with incised designs or covered with bead- or quill-work; white eagle feathers are usually attached near the proximal end. A leather thong is attached to the bone so the whistle can be worn around the neck of the player. Bone whistles are used for signalling and in Native American Church ceremonies and are required for the Sun Dance. In some cultures they were and may still be part of a medicine bundle....

Article

Tumank  

John M. Schechter

revised by J. Richard Haefer

[tsayantur]

Mouth bow of the Shuar (Jívaro) people of the Ecuadorian Oriente region, made from guadúa cane-bamboo. It is plucked with the fingernails; the player’s mouth serves as a resonator. It is used in courting to accompany love songs at sunset. The paruntsi is a similar instrument made from a bent cherry-wood sapling with a string of gut or ...

Article

Mervyn McLean

Mouth bow of Hawaii. It is reputed to be the only indigenous Hawaiian string instrument. It usually has two, or sometimes three strings, traditionally of plant fibre (later of horsehair or gut), stretched over a flexible wooden stave 3 to 4 cm wide and 40 to 60 cm long; the strings are attached in notches or holes at one end and wound around a fishtail-like carving at the other. The upper surface of the stave is flat and the under surface slightly convex. The wood (typically kauila or ulei) is held at one end between the lips and the strings are plucked with the fingers or a plectrum made of the midrib of a leaf; the player might chant while sounding the instrument. Most specimens have small bridges inserted to keep the strings from touching the stick. Three-string instruments are tuned to tonic, 3rd, and 4th, or tonic, 2nd, and 4th. Most two-string instruments have strings a 3rd or 4th apart. The ...

Article

Zaneta Ho‘oūlu Cambra

Hawaiian vessel rattle. It is made from a single small gourd receptacle containing seeds, fitted with a fibre handle surmounted by an artistically designed flat circular disc fringed with feathers. In 1779 Captain James Cook and his men witnessed the hula ‘ulī’ulī (gourd-rattle dance) at Kealakekua, Hawaii. The male ‘ōlapa...

Article

Laurence Libin

Hawaiian spinning rattle, played for instance by a hula dancer while dancing or chanting, or by children as a toy. It consists of three laamia gourds mounted axially on a stick, two of them large and spherical flanking a smaller, somewhat oblong gourd that serves as a grip. The outer gourds, which often contain rattling seeds, spin and whizz when a cord wound around the stick is pulled quickly through a hole in the middle gourd. When released, the cord winds again around the stick in the manner of a yo-yo. Similar instruments elsewhere include the Turkish ...