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Article

David P. McAllester

Rattle consisting of small pieces of flint of ritually prescribed shapes and colours used by the Navajo people of the southwestern USA to accompany songs in the Flintway ceremony. The flints are cupped in both hands and shaken to produce a jingling sound. They symbolize the restoration of fractured or dislocated bones as well as the renewal of vitality in general....

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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 bherī, but it is different from that so described in medieval Indian texts....

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Alan R. Thrasher

Bronze clapperless bells associated primarily with Chinese Buddhist temples. They are commonly called zhong, though properly fanzhong (‘Buddhist bells’). Most are large bells, with circular cross-section, moderately convex profile, and a dome-shaped crown typically smaller than the rim, which is often waved or scalloped. The fanzhong is suspended vertically from a heavy beam or frame by a decorated loop on its crown. It is struck by a thick, horizontally suspended post which is swung against the bell. Dating from about the 6th century ce or earlier, fanzhong of less than 1 metre tall gradually increased in size during the imperial period. A 14th-century fanzhong is more than 2 metres tall, with a rim diameter of 1.3 metres. The largest of all Chinese bells, an early 15th-century bell hung in the Beijing Bell Tower is about 7 metres tall, with a rim diameter of about 3 metres. It is inscribed with Buddhist sutras. Buddhist bells are used in signaling, marking times of the day and for worship purposes. (For bibliography see zhong.)...

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Gangana  

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(fl Russia, mid-16th century). Russian bell and cannon founder. Of unknown origin, Ganusov might have come from Germany or the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to Moscow, where in the mid-16th century he worked at the court of Ivan the Terrible. A very large bell cast at the Moscow cannon foundry in 1550 has been tentatively credited to him; it has not survived. Presumably before 1564 he moved to Smolensk, where a cannon bearing his name or names of his apprentices survived into the 19th century. Ganusov is not named in documents after the late 1560s. His apprentices included Bogdan Andreytokhov, Yuri Bochkaryov, Semyon Dubinin (who moved to Pskov), Nikita Tupitsyn, and most famously Andrei Chokhov (Chekhov) (c1545–1629), whose castings in Moscow included many famous pieces of artillery and other massive bronze armaments as well as bells. Boris Godunov donated two of Chokov’s bells, cast in ...

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Gshang  

Mireille Helffer

Tibetan shallow bell, sounded by Bön-po monks and by certain mediums. It has an internal clapper and a widely flared mouth, and somewhat resembles a small, thick cymbal to which a clapper has been added. Various types of gshang are distinguished by their sizes, which range from about 7 to 20 cm in diameter. A leather handle passes through a central hole in the top of the dome ( pho-brang) and is affixed to a wooden clapper that hangs inside the bell. The inside is often decorated with the five syllables of the Bön-po mantra: am, om, hum, ram, and dza. When used alone the instrument is held in the right hand; when played with a drum (rnga or damaru) it is held in the left. In either case it is sounded with an upward movement.

M. Helffer: Mchod-rol. Les instruments de la musique tibétaine (Paris, 1994)....

Article

Gule  

Konin Aka

[goule, ule, kule, kwi]

Ceremonial slit drum of the Guere, Niabua, and Wobe peoples of the Ivory Coast. In the music of the secret kwi (‘spirit’) society the player holds a mirliton in his mouth and conducts a dialogue with the gule, which is later used for purely rhythmic accompaniment. The Guere also play the ...

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J. Richard Haefer

(Apache: ísal, ‘pot’ or ‘bucket’; ‘bucket bound around’)

Water drum of the Apache people of Arizona and New Mexico. A large iron pot or kettle with the handle removed is partially filled with water and sacred materials (corn pollen and ash). A buckskin head (or nowadays sometimes rubber from a truck tire inner tube) is lashed tightly over the opening with buckskin thongs or strips of cloth or inner-tube rubber, with the excess skin or rubber draped around the pot. Historically a large pottery vessel was used; there is no evidence for use of a wooden vessel. The drumstick, of pine, is wrapped in buckskin at the distal end.

The drum accompanies singing, secular and religious (na-i-es, girl’s puberty ceremony; edotal, diagnostic; gojital, curing). It is usually played in groups of four with the performers standing and holding the drums under the left elbow, but in the curing rites it is held in the lap of a seated player. The earliest representation of the drum is a painting by George Catlin of ...

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Andrew C. McGraw

Priests’ bell of Siberut island, Mentawai, Indonesia. Traditional jejeneng accompany chant and dance and are made of buffalo horn with a clapper either of bamboo or the pincers of a crab. Nowadays priests often use metal bells, also called lonceng, to accompany urai kerei (shaman’s song). The bells are thought to encourage a sick person’s spirit to return to its body....

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Kading  

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Beverley Diamond

revised by J. Richard Haefer

[kalluraq, kalluak, kaylukuk, kotlookuk]

Ceremonial box drum associated with the Messenger Feast of the Iñupiaq-speaking people of Alaska. It is a rectangular wooden case (usually made of poplar), 45 to 90 cm tall by 18 to 30 cm long and wide. A fur-padded rail, attached along one side with a strip of black whale baleen, is struck with a thick, short stick while the drum is suspended from the ceiling of the ceremonial house. The drum is played by a seated drummer (usually male) wearing the tuutlik, a loon-skin headdress. A soundhole can be cut in the bottom of the drum and a handhold attached to one side. The drum is decorated with a zigzag pattern on the top edge and with eagle feathers. In the native cosmology that explains the origin of the feast, the drum is said to represent an eagle’s heartbeat.

The Tlingit people call the box drum lákt gaaw. Such instruments are often decorated in red and black stylized raven patterns....

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Kochnak  

Jonathan McCollum

[gochnag]

Handheld percussion bar of Armenia. It was similar to the semantron and was made of wood or iron, but is now obsolete. It was used to signal the hours of prayer and summon the faithful to church. The kochnak was approximately one metre long and could be either straight or semi-circular. When not in use it was suspended by chains at the top of the church interior....

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Muyu  

Alan R. Thrasher

(‘wooden fish’)

Woodblockof the Han Chinese, used primarily to accompany Buddhist chant. It is carved from a block of mulberry, camphor, or other wood in the abstract shape of a fish—squat and wedge-shaped—often with stylized tail and scales. Its hollowed interior and frontal slit (extending 180° around the instrument) form the mouth. The instrument is usually lacquered red, but occasionally left unlacquered. It is struck with a padded or unpadded beater. Length and width range from about 5 to 60 cm, 7 to 16 cm being normal, but examples as large as 85 cm are found in some temples. Small muyu are carried in one hand during processions, while larger instruments rest on cushions set on special tables. At Buddhist temples in Beijing, Xiamen, and elsewhere, elongated carved representations of fish (100 cm long or longer) are suspended near the entrance and used for signalling.

The muyu was first described in the ...

Article

Ogán  

John M. Schechter

[ogã]

Iron bell used rhythmically in various drum ensembles of Afro-Cuban and Haitian vodun cults. In the hun ensemble of the Afro-Cuban Arará cult, it is a single inverted bell with an external beater. A double ogán (two bells joined by an iron loop) serves for mourning music in Matanzas Province. Instead of the loop handle some double ogán have straight handles forged together. The ogán is now rare and is being replaced by various metal objects, including blades from agricultural tools and chain links; these also are called ogán or ...

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David P. McAllester

revised by J. Richard Haefer

Small vessel rattle used by singers during ceremonies of the Native American (or Peyote) Church. It is a gourd about 8 to 9 cm in diameter containing pebbles, pierced by a straight wooden handle about 25 to 30 cm long that passes through the gourd and projects slightly. A circular stopper on the handle prevents the stones from falling out. A tuft of dyed horsehair, representing the peyote cactus blossom, is tied to the projecting end. The handle, which may be carved or beaded at the base, symbolizes the arrow or the riding crop used in war but now used in peace. The beadwork may show various symbolic designs: rainbow for beauty of life, red–white–blue for war veterans, fire, or water. 12 tassels cut from a bow string (so it can never be used on a bow again) decorate the end of the handle to symbolize the months or yearly cycle. The user shakes the rattle with one hand and holds the peyote staff (symbolic of the broken bow) in his other hand. The stopper can be of wood or even a coin; it does not touch the edge of the gourd. Friction of the end of the handle projecting at the top (symbolic of the arrow head) holds the handle to the gourd. The rattle pebbles may have individual significance such as turquoise for an Apache, salt, ant, or ocean pebbles, and so on. The outer surface of the rattle may be decorated in patterns related to the peyote ceremony or patterns important to the owner such as stars, moon, fire, eagle; older rattles often had patterns scratched into the surface....