Drums in the Americas [1 ed.]

The drive to create, perform and reproduce music is common to all mankind—a drive so basic that when a man cannot find a

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Drums in the Americas [1 ed.]

Table of contents :
DRUMS IN THE AMERICAS
Preface
Contents
I List of Text Figures
II List of Illustrations
III Introduction
CHAPTER 1 Drums in Retrospect
CHAPTER 2 Classification
CHAPTER 3 Construction
CHAPTER 4 Amerindian Music
CHAPTER 5 Amerindian Drums of North America
CHAPTER 6 Indigenous Drums of Central America
CHAPTER 7 Amerindian Drums of South America
CHAPTER 8 European-American Percussion
CHAPTER 9 European-American Drums
CHAPTER 10 African and Aframerican Influence
Parts A
Parts B
Parts C
IMAGE GALLERY
CHAPTER 11 Afro-American Drums
CHAPTER 12 Our Asiatic and Oceanic Heritage
CHAPTER 13 Asian and Oceanian-American Drums
CHAPTER 14 African Drums
CHAPTER 15 Rhythm and Drumming
CHAPTER 16 Drum Accessories and Auxiliary Instruments
CHAPTER 17 Drumlore
CHAPTER 18 Reflections and Projections
IV Glossary of Unusual Drums and Terms
V Bibliography
VI Notes
VII Index

Citation preview

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DR. JOSEPH H. HOWARD is one of America’s foremost authorities on drums. His personal collection of drums, accumulated over the course of many years in travel to the far corners of the earth, is one of the largest in the world. Dr. Howard, who lives and works in Los Angeles, is a graduate of Fisk University, the University of IIlinois, and the University of Southern California.

CHAPTERS

ON:

Drums in Retrospect Classification Construction Amerindian Music Amerindian Drums of North America Indigenous Drums of Central America Amerindian Drums of South America European-American

Percussion

European-American Drums African and Afra-American Influence Afro-American Drums Our Asiatic and Oceanic Heritage Asian and Oceanian-American

Drums

African Drums Rhythm and Drumming Drum Accessories and Auxiliary Instruments Drumlore Reflections and Projections

DRUMS

IN THE

OAK PUBLICATIONS

AMERICAS $15.00

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

DRUMS IN THE AMERICAS BY DR. JOSEPH H. HOWARD

(OO O”RF®

Qi D

li ES

OAK PUBLICATIONS, NEW YORK, N.Y.

FIRST

PRINTING

Book design by Jean Hammons © 1967 by Oak Publications 701 Seventh Avenue, New York, N. Y.

Library of Congress #67-15826

The drive to create, perform and reproduce music is common to all mankind—a drive so basic that when a man cannot find an instrument to suit him, he creates his own. I should like to dedicate this book to those

who prefer drums.

Acknowledgements I wish to convey thanks to all who made this work possible, those who

helped consciously and unconsciously, and these in particular: Ildefonso Pereda Valdez of Montevideo; W. Austin Simmons of Trinidad; R. H. J. Evertsz, who was particularly helpful in obtaining the musical instruments of Curacao; Jorge L. Mackay of Panama; T. F. Ramon y Rivera, Director of the Institute de Folklore, Venezuela; Mr. and Mrs. Sam Lookinghorse of Los Angeles, California; Paul de Paula of Brazil; Felix Fellove and Trinidad Torregosa of Cuba; Roy Harte of Drum City, Los Angeles, California;

Pablo Torres, Mike

all of Los Angeles;

Pacheco,

Rev. S. Kalange

Chino Pozo

of Nigeria and

and Vigilio Marti,

Nick

Dagodu

of

Ghana; Mrs. Laverne Williams of Haiti; Dr. C. C. de Rooy of Paramaribo,

Surinam; Sabu Martinez; Louis Kant; Johnny Rodriguez; Chester Washington; Khamis Elfino; Ann Polk, Helen P. Arcos, Maynard

Taylor and my wife, Mrs. Howard.

Smith, Ethel

Joseph H. Howard

Preface This book is an organological compendium

on drums found in the

countries of the western hemisphere, drums indigenous to the Americas (Amerindian),

those brought

influx of non-indigenous people.

in and

those which

developed

after the

The aim of this book is to name, localize and describe the major drums

played and seen in the Americas. The material presented is based on the information published in many varied sources: books, periodicals, booklets, interviews, travel records and personal experience. I have attempted

to cover, as nearly as possible, all of the different types of drums found in the Americas. An effort has also been made to pinpoint the ethno-

graphic origin and geographic location of the instruments.

A. A. Gerbrands offers this anthropological definition of art: “When a creative individual gives to cultural values a personal interpretation in matters,

movement,

result from his society, from, art.”’ “primitive” These terms

or sound

of such

a nature

that the forms

which

creative process comply with standards of beauty valid in then we call this creative process and the forms resulting thereIf we accept this definition, then there exists no hierarchy of music, “folk” music, “popular” music, and “classical” music. are mere labels to help us from confusing value with technique.

Contents Page

I TT TTT

Text Figures 20.0... ..000.00000ccceeceeeceeeeeeceeesecesceeeeeseeneees viii [llustrations 220.000.0000 cee cececeececeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeceseees xi Introduction ooo. ccecccceccecceceeccecetsecestesesstsees xiv

10

Drums in Retrospect............2..2..2::.::21ccsscecceeeceeeeseeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Classification ..............2:c.:ceecccecceceeeeeeeeeecseeesceeeeeceeeseeeeeeees Construction ..........0....02:-cc:cccecececeeecesececeeeeceeeeceeceeeeseeeeeeeetees Amerindian Music ......................:c.2:ccc:ceeeeceeecceeeseeeteeeeeeeeeees Amerindian Drums of North America ...................22....2..-++Indigenous Drums of Central America ..................-....2...---Amerindian Drums of South America ..................22......0-European-American Percussion .................22.2::2:00:001000+ European-American Drums ..................2.:.2::2::0s0000eeeeeseeees African and Aframerican Influence

CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Afro-American Drums ..................22..c2::cs:cceeeceeeceeeeeeeeneeeeees 160 Our Asiatic and Oceanic Heritage ..................22.0.eeeeeeeees 210 Asian and Oceanian-American Drums .............................-- 215 African Drums ..........0222.0.0...2ccccccceeccceeceeecceeeceetesceeecessecenace 226 Rhythm and Drumming ..............20.202202.ceeceeeececeee ete 233 Drum Accessories and Auxiliary Instruments ................... 247 1D 66) C0) ee 265 Reflections and Projections ................22..0.0:.ccsccccceeeceeeeeeees 276

OWN A NN SB W

HO

CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER

l 8 16 32 37 65 69 84 90

(Parts A, B, and C) oooooooo ooo cece ceeeceeecccceeeccncceceeeeccceeeeceee 102

IV

Glossary of Unusual Drums and Terms...................... 284.

VI

Notes oo... ceeecccceccecceececeeecocssseecesscecenseacensesecaceasesesaes 312

V_ Bibliography 22.0.0... 02.0.0 eecececcececeeceececeseceeeeseceseeeeees 294,

VIL

Undex

ooo. oeeeccoccccccececccecececceccecscececetssenteeseseceeeeeeseeseee 317

Text Figures Page Hollow Log. oo......eecceeceeeceeeeeeeceeeeceeeceeeeeceececeeeeceeeeesesceesceeeseeeseeeseeenecesseesseeeeeeeey Hollowed Log ..02...2.....2-cseeceeceeeccececeece ec ecee ce eeeceeeeeeeseceeecesseceeseeeseeseeeneeseeeensare Hollowed Log with One Skim «..002..2...222....2.c2ecccceccceeccceeccceeeeceeeeeeneceeeseseeeeeeees Hollowed Log with Two Skins ..00.............22.ce2sccceecceeecececccececeetececeesseeeeeseeeeeeees

Silbadores

..........ccecceccccccceccceseccceesseeeeceeseeecececeeceesesseeeeeesseceesesseeeceesssseeeeesseeeeees

2 2 2 2 3

Macuilxochitl-xochipilli _.....0.0.0.0.0.2.cccccecccececeececececeecceeeeceettecceseeeceeteceeeeeeeseetees 4 Aztec Dance Drums .......0.......22.....22..ccccecccceeceeeeeeeeeeeeceteeeseeeecseceetesseeeeesecseeeeeeeees 4 Cylindrical Drumm _o..............ceecceccccec cence cece eenceeeee ences eo seeeceececeeeseeeceeeeeeeceeeeessees 9 Barrel-shaped Drum ....0.....2..2..22...2cccesecesceeeceeeceeeceeeeseneeseeseeeseeeeeeesseeseetesneeesees 9 Conical Drvarm ooo... ccc ceecceecccccc cence cece ccenceeeeeeeeseeecesceeseeecseecesseeesecesseetenesees 9 Hourglass Drum ooo... oo... oee cece cceeecencececceeseceeeeceneeeeeeeeececeeeeeecessecetseesseeeeseeees 9 Footed Drumm «2.22.22... .0cccccccecc cee ccccescceccencceceeeeeecececenseceeceseeeeeseeesssseeensneeeeseees 9 Goblet Drv ooo... o.oo cece cece cc ceec cc ceec cence ecctceeceeneceneeeeetececeesesececeseeceesseeeeeees 10 Handle Dror .002...0.... 002... ccccccccececeeccceeecceceeeccseececeeeeceteaceceeeeecesececesseeeteseeesssees 10 Frame

Drum

0.22.2... 0.222. ecececence scene eee cecececeencteeceeccececeececcesseneaaeeeecenseetiseeeeeeess

Hemispheric Drum Ege-shaped

Drum

10

.....0...........22..cecccceececceeeceenceceneeeneeeeeecseececeeeseeeeseeeeeeeeeesees 10

.......2.......2.02.cccecccecceeceenececeneeseetecececeececeeeseeceeceesssesseeeeeseeesees 11

Deep Kettledrurm .........2....2..ccceeccee ccc cc cecececeeecececeeceeeeeceeceeeesscecsseceeeeesseesseeees Shallow Kettledrum .2.0.....0....0..0...00.cccccccecccecceeccceecceneeceecceeceeecseeeceeesseeseeecneeenseees Small Shit Drurm ooo... cece cece cece cece cence cee eee eeeeeeccececeeeeceeceaeeentecenteetens Suspended Shit Drum _oo.....2..0.0ceccccccccccecc cece ccecceecceeeccceceeceescececeseceneeessneeseeses Slit Drum in Stand ooo... cece ecceeececceee cece ceee cece ccc eee ceeseeececentsaeeeesessesees Tacked Drum Head -2.........0...000.cccccec cece cece eee sence ences eee settee cnt ececesetetssecenseeenseees Necklaced Head Drum 000.020.000.002. cccccccccescesseesccenceesctecsseseesseeseteceeeeeeetetenseeeses Laced Head Drum ooii..........oceccccceee cc ceececceeecevecececetseceteeececceeteecestsseeeeseeeessseecesees

1] 11 13 13 13 15 15 15

TEXT FIGURES

1x

Glued Head Drum ..........0....0.0.ocoececceeceeeeeeeeeeeeeeceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeceseseeececseeeecaneeeeees Braced Dart 00............22222.cceeecceeeeceececceeeeccecececccesseeseceeeeeceeeeceseeececesceeseseseceeeeeees Buttoned Head Drum ..00.0......0.2...ceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeceeeeeeeeeeceeeeeeeeee cece sence ceeeeeeeeeeeeeeees Staves oo... ccecccccecccecccececceecceeeececetecececerssestseeeteesetersestscecsteeeestesessesssseeeeesseeceseeeee Assembled Staves ...........2.2...2222c22sscceceeeeeceeeeeeeeseseseceeeeceseesesssecececeececeeeeeseeeeeeees

15 15 15 18 18

Windlass Open -....2..........2ceccceeccecceecceecceeeteceeeeeecetesceeeeeeeeceseseeeesseeeneeseeseteeseees 19

Windlass Closed .............000000cccccccceeeeeecceecceeeeeeeetsccececcecseesereeseesssescsceesseeeeseseeseees 19

Metal Hoops ............2...2sc-2cccececceecececcesccesseeeeeeeececseseceeseeecseseeseceeeeeeeeeeeneeseeesnseees 19 Shell Bath o0..........200000cc0cccceccceceeeeccccceeeeeeeececeeeeeccecceseesseeceesssseesesceceeeseeeeeeeseseeeees 19 Stave Section ..........0..cccccccccesecceeeeececeeccecececeesesseseceeececseecetseesssseecececeesessesesseseeeees 20

Sanding Lathe _..............c.ceeccccceceecceeeccencesnneeeeceseeeesceceneeeeaceceeceeneeeeeeenseseneeenees 20

Stave Shell .2.............coccccceeeccceeececeeececesecccececcceeeeeceecceeeeecceceecccescecscetececeeteeeeeeeecees 21

Bending Machine ...........2.....0....2....eccceccceescceeececeeceeeeecessceceeneeecceeeesececseeeesseensnees 21

Button Hole 20.22.22... 02... .ceccceceecceeeeceeceeeeeeeees eeeeeeceeceecececceeceeeeccseceeeeeeeceeceeseeceeeeeeees 24

Button Loop -o2.......-.esscesccecescceeseesceeeeceeeseeeceeneceeesceeeceseeescesseeeseceesesseseeeeeeeesees 24 Button Loop Twist _2...2.....2.....ccc-ccecccecceccecceesececneeeceeceeeseeeseececceneeeeeeeeceeseeseeeeress 24 Button Peg ooo... cccee cece csceecneeecsneeesncessnececeececsccessecececececseccesseecesseessesessecees 24

Hard Drumc-sticks .....................cccceececeeececeeeeeeeeeeeeccecceceeeeeacecececeececceeceeseececeeeeees Curved-end Stick 22.0........0000....cecsccccceeeeesececececesseeeececssscecceeseeeesesseceeesesessseeeeseees Rattle Drumestick .2.....0..000000000.cceeceeesececeeeceeceececceeceeeceseeseeeessecsececeecessescesssceeecs Semihard Drumcstick ........000.....0220000.22csssscscceceeeeeceeeeeeceeeeeeesessesceeeeeeeeceseseeeeees Soft Beater .2........00..cccccceececcceecseeccececeeeseseeeceneesesceeceeessesteceeseeeesssseseesesssssseeeeeeees Hammer Stick Curved 00000..........00.ccceccccceeececeeeececceeceeeeceesecessnceceeseecseeceeeeeesseseees Hammer Stick Offset ...00.0.0.000000000.ccccccceceeccceeeccceeececeeeeeeceesectereceesesteseeesseeeeseeeeees Ball Hammer Stick 200.0.00.00.00000cecccccececccceecccceececeeececeeecececseeeeetecesseeeeeeesesecseseeesecs Acute Hammer Stick .02....0........o.eecceeeeceeeeceeeececceeeeeceeececeeececetecerereceeteserseeeeseceeses Bow Stick 2.00... .......ccccccceeececeesseeceecsseceeessesecessceceeccaccceceeececcececeeceecceceeeseestesereneees Brush ooo. ...o..ccececccececccececccececccceeccceececceecccceeceseceececcesceseseceeeceesecenecseccssesesseeseseeees Cultural Areas .0......0..0..ccccccccccsssccccecceceeecsseeeccececcececeecersesececececececesteeseseceseceeeeeene

25 26 26 26 27 27 27 27 27 28 28 31

Frame Shell ..............0.00.0ccccccccecseeesececceceeceeeeeesscececeececerceececsecccececceseesessessececeeeese Drum Handle o0............cceee cece cc cececcceeesecececceecececececeecencccecceeeesesevertesssceceesesseeees Frame Groove. ............:.2.s2:1cccccccccveccccevecevsececsececeseeceeceesesscececececeesscesereecesseeeeeeees Horizontal Water Drum -20.....0.0......022.00...ceecesecceeceececccceeceecsnscccececersseeceeeeeseeees Vertical Water Drum -.............2...00cccccccceceeecececcceeeceeecensecececcecesceceescentsssceceecess

38 38 38 66 66

Seven Beat Rhythm Pattern _......0....0. 22. cecceee cece cceeecec seen ccecececeseeeenscesneesens 34 Five Beat Rhythm Pattern 22.0.2... ..ccee cece eee ceceececececseceeeecceneececeeeeseeeneeeeees 34

Idiophone Drums, Jivaro, Witoto, Andoke —................000..02:0cseecceeteceeeecees 76 Tongue Slit Drum 2202.22... ccccc ccc cc eccccc cece ceceee cen eee c eee ceeeseeesesneeeesscnteeeeetsesees 77 Slit Drum Cross Section ........0000.....cccceccccsseccccecceccecececeensceccecceceeecetsesetstesseceeess 77

Catuquinaro Plank Drumm .00022...00000.20ceccegececcecceceeccessceceesecessesseeeseeseesseeseveceeses 79 Afro-american

Musical Areas ............0.00.....c0cc2.cceccseeececeeeeecceceeesnteeceteeeeeceesenees 101

xX

TEXT

FIGURES

Liturgical Symbol -....2....2... 22. ..ccceccceeccceseeecceeccceeee cone eoseeeeeececeseseeeseeeeeeesseeeseeeess 106 Jamaican Rhythm Pattern 2.2... ..eccceeccceeeeeeceeeccceceeeeeeceeeeceeeeeeeseeeeeeeeneeeeee 189 Asian-american Areas |.................c2:.cccccccceeeceeceneeeesseseeecenseeeecesseeceesssceeeessseeeees 209

Tabla Head ooo... ..2..ccecc ccc ccceece cece cece ecesecceccenecencececenceecencceecenesensnecesseecesssneesseeeess 222 Banya Head ooo... cec cee ccceccccceeec cece cence ceseeececeecenecensececenessaecessseecseeesseeeseeceess 222 Tabla Sound Areas .....................cc2ccccececccesceceneeecenseeeseetteseacceseseceeeseeetsneeeseeeeeees 222 Clave Patterns 2.2.2.0... cece eee ceeeecceee ces ceeeceeeeccenececenseenscecesecenseeccaeeeseeerseseeaes 238 Single Conga Drum Rumba Pattern ©....0..22.2..00..00ccccc eee ceece cence cece eeeeeeeneeeseeees 240 Four Patterns on Two Drums ....00...02......0...ccceecccec cence ceeeceeeceeceeecenstettreceeneeeneees 240 Basic Conga Pattern «22.2.0... ..0.c.cccececccecccec ees ceceeecceeecceteescecetenseeeeceneceseeeseeeseeses 242 War Dance ooo... cece cece cence cece nent cs ennee sete eects ceeseeeceecesseeseecessensesetsesseessseess 243 Round Dance o.oo... cece cee ces cece scene ceceeneceneececeeeccenteecsceesceseseeetseeesecsseenssnseeeees 243 European March Notations ...0..........00..0cceccecceeccccceeccceeece cee cceeeeeeeeececeeseenecnneesees 244, Dixieland

Notations

.2................0...ccecccccceesccnteecceecceceeececestsestececctettececcettseeeeeees 244

Illustrations Page Plate Plate Plate Plate Plate

No. I—Amerindian Drums ......00000...0.. 202. ..2c cc oececeeecccecccecceccecececctececcecseeceees 36 No. II—European-American Drums ................00...2020..0222.ccceecceeeeceeeeeeeeceeees 89 No. IJ1]—Afro-Americam Drums .....00200.0.000. 002. c2cccseccceeceneecececeecececeeeceeeeceees 114 No. [V—Asian and Oceanian-American Drums .............2...00..202..cceeceeeeeeeeeees 214 No. V—Drum Sets and Batteries Picture No. 1—Cuban Battery _.20...00.....0oooc co ceccecececeececccceceeccccceececseteeeeeeeseeees 115 Picture No. 2—Haitian Petro Set. . .0. . 0 0.00... oceccceeccceeecccceeeccneccceceseeceecceecee 115 Picture No. 3—Parade Drum Set ...............0....02.2cccceecceneceeeeeceececeeeeeeeeeseeeeees 116 Plate No. VI— Picture No. 4—Mydol Drum Set.........0.0...00. 0.000 cecccceeceeeceeececeeeeeceeeceeeteeeeeteees 116 Picture No. 5—Cuban Congas Set .......... 0.2000. ...ccecccccesececceceecececeseeeeeeeeeeeeceeees 117 Picture No. 6—Cuban Bata Set -..........0......20c ccc ccccceccceeccceeccececcceeeeceeeeseceeneees 117 Plate No. VII— Picture No. 7—Timpano Set ..........0.00.....c00ccceeecceceeeeeeeeeccecceceeeececeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees 118 Picture No. 8—Shango Drum Set ............ 0.0022... .cececccceeecceceeeeeeeceeseeeeceeeeeceeaes 119 Picture No. 9—Surinam Battery .2o..000.. 0... occ. cececcceeccceeecceeeececccececeeeecececeees 119 Plate No. VITI— Picture No. 10—Early American Instruments, U.S.A. .........00000000000...00000 0020 120 Picture No. 11—Panamanian Drum Set .....0........20. 022. .c22.ccseceeeecceeeeecesececeeeeee 120 Picture No. 12—Rada Drum Set 20.20.02... 0oo coco c cco cc cee ce cece ence cece eeccecececececeseceees 121 Plate No. IX— Picture No. 13—Steel Drums .|...00.222.0. 0.0.0. ooo coco ceccecccnccceccceccnceceecececeteeseeeeees 122 Picture No. 14—Brazilian Parade Drum .....000..0........2...2ccccceccececceeeeeeeceeeeeeeee 122 Picture No. 15—Atabaqués .0...0...... 002.002 .cceecccecceeccceeecceeceeceueeseeseeceeseeecsaeees 123 Plate No. X— Picture No. 16—Modern Jazz Set ....0.....0...0. coco cccccccccecccccccecececcceccceececesssetees 124. Picture No. 17—Nanigo Drum Battery ............0....00....2c.ccccccccececcceeccceeeeeeeeeee: 124 Plate No. XI— Picture No. 18—Bolivian Parade ........0..00..0 0... 2occceccccecceeccccececececetecceceeseceeeee 125 Picture No. 19—Pasadena Parade .......................cceccceeeeccceeeeceeeeececececeeeccecess 125

xi

ILLUSTRATIONS

X11

Picture No. 20—Monevideo Parade .............. 02.0.2... ..cccceeeeeeecececcceeeeeeeeeeceeeees Picture No. 21—Marine Parade ................00.....00.cc.cccccccecececceteeccceteeeeecseeeeee Plate No. XII—Single-Headed Drums Picture No. 22—Giant Drums... ooo... ooo. oococc ccc eececeecccneeceecccceceeeeeccececeeeeeseees Picture No. 23—Tlapanhuehuetl ...200.0 00000... o o.oo. ooececeecccceccceeececeeecccccceecesseeeees Picture No. 24—Frame Drums .....0000.0... ooo... 002-ccecccccccccneceeeeeeececceceeteeteeeccceeee Plate No. XITJ— Picture No. 25—Banjo, Curbeta, Gumbe, Maracas ......2....o-.....occcceceeeecce eee ee

126 126 127 128 128 129

Picture No. 26—Cajero, Ka and Catalier.._.22........20222.ccccceceeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eens 129 Picture No. 27—Tumbilla, Balcié, Tambu and Mellicin...................00022.0....... 130

Picture No. 283—Tambu, Boku, Rabardage and Matrimonial......................... Plate No. XIV—Two-Headed Drums Picture No. 29—Tambora, Caja, Tambor, Guayo, and Tymale ....................... Picture No. 30—Tombe, Tinya, Maracas, Bomba, Caja ..............000000000....00.2Picture No. 31—Pang-Kou, Tao Kou, Dak Kou, Pong Kou .........0000.....22........ Plate No. XV— Picture No. 32—Tang Kou, Tibet Trumpet, Uchiwa, Pahuiti, Tau-Kou, Odieko, Dedjeridoo .................02....222eecceeeeceeeeeecceeeeeeeeeeeeceeeeee Picture No. 33—Dream Dance Drum ...............0....02...2.2.cceeeceeeeceeeeceeseceeeeeeee

131

131 132 133 133 133

Picture No. 34—Pow Wow Drum ........0..00...0......22ecceeseeeeeeeecceceeeseceeceeeeteeeeeeee 134.

Plate No. XVI— Picture No. 35—Musik Di Zumbi, Triangle, Benta, Cachoe ..............00.000200.... 134 Picture No. 36—Tambor and Pito _0....22.o..o.2ooe..ceeeeeeeeeeeeeceeeeececeeeeececeeeeeeeeeees 135 ec eeeeceeee eee ees 136 Picture No. 37—Taikos, Ok-Tsusumi .....00.... 00... .2..c2ce.cseeeeeeeeceeee

Plate No. XVII—

Picture No. 38—Chang Ko, Kubu, Dhol, Bongo .........00oo. eect 136 Picture No. 39—-Hand Drums (Amerindian) .........................0.22..00eceeeeeeeee eee 137 Picture No. 40—Sioux Hand Drum, Gourd Rattle, Tambor de Tloxcula, Deer Hoof Rattles ...22.2 2.00000. 2oec cic ccice cece cccecccecccececceececeeceecceeseceesceeseecceees 137

Plate No. XVII]—Kettledrums

Picture No. 41—Music Sticks, Pahu (Oceanic kettledrum) Puili, Bullroarer.... 02.2.2... .. 02.2. .ccccccccccececcceccececcccceecccececcccecsecceeeeececsceeess 138 Picture No. 42—Puhi Hula, Puhi, Puniu (Oceanic kettledrum) .................... 139

Picture No. 43—Tasas (Trinidad and British Guiana) ..........0000000...000020200000... 139

Picture No. 44—Kultrum, (Araucanion) Plate No. XIX— (Water Drums)

Chaco.............0.......02222.ccc0eeeeeecceeees 140

Picture No. 45—Potawatomi, Peyote and Timbal de Barro................0.2......... 140

Picture No. 46—Bastel drummer and Chapi player ......................00222222202000--- 141 Plate No. XX—Friction Drums Picture No. 47—El Coco de Efik Obuton., Ayotl .......02..00.0...cc cc ceececece cece cece 141 Picture No. 48—Kinfuiti, Cuica, Furruco, Basse, Puita......................00......... 142 Plate No. XXI—Skinless Drums

Picture No. 49—Tambor Semeistico (Manhuaré) ..........0...-.--ccccccccccee cece cee e eee 143 Picture No. 50—Basket Drom ooo... 2ooeeccececcceccceescccecccceceeeeceeeeececeeeeeeceeeee 144 Picture No. 51—Concha de Tortuga, Bastel ...0.0020.0-... ooo. cccoceecceceee cece ecceccceeeee 145

Plate No. XXII— Picture No. 52—Jicara de Agua, Raspador, Flute, Signal Horn..................... 145 Picture No. 53—Quinto Box, Bombam, Bongon, Bamboo Tamboo, Tatu, Cajita ooo one 146

ILLUSTRATIONS Picture No. 54—El Cata, La Guagua.........200

Plate No. XXITI—

xili 2.0 .oeec eee ee eecee cece eeee ccc eceeeeeeeeeeeees 146

Picture No. 55—Tepomaztli.........0.....oocccccceeceecceeeeceeeeneeceeeceececeeeecccesececceeeeees 147 Picture No. 56—Tuilis, Lali, Ipu, Touette .....0...0002 0002. eee cele eee ence eee neces 147 Picture No. 57—Mokugyo ©2020... 0.2... c2ecccceeccecceececcceeeeecceceeceeeeeecceceeececeeeeeees 148

Plate No. XXIV— Picture No. 58—Stamping Tube, Ipu Hula.........2...2... ec eeeeeeeeeeeeee eects 148 Picture No. 59—Kalookock ................... ceseneecscceeeseceenscaceeseceeeeeceeeeeseeeeeeneeeeees 149 Picture No. 60—Pechu di Calumba, Tambour Maringouin (mosquito Crum) .oooo.. ooo. eeceeeecececeececccccccceceeeeceeceseceesceeeeeecceceeeeeeceeeee 150

Plate No. XXV—Drum Accessories

Picture No. 61—Atcheré, Chocalho, Cabaca, Asson ...............0.0...2222-00220e-20ee- 151 Picture No. 62—Sansa (mbira or thumb piano) Marimbula,

Stamping Tube, Flute, Vaccine .....................22..-00ceeeeeeeceeeeeeeececeeeeeeeeeees 151 Picture No. 63—Claves, Akoge _..................ccs2cccccceeeececeeccceeeeceeeceeeeeeeceeeeeeeees 152 Plate No. XXVI—

Picture No. 64—Brake Drums, San Martini, Chapi, Gonkogui, Agan, Gangarria, Agogo, Cymbal, Triangles...........0.0...0022222.000022..e. eee 152 Picture No. 65—Drumsticks: Asian-American, European-American,

and Afro-American .................--0--s---ceecceeeecceccccecececeececseeesceceecesceeeceeececes 153 Picture No. 66—Amerindian Drumsticks ......2..0.00...........ceceeeeeeceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees 153

Plate No. XX VII—Rattles

Picture No. 67—Turtle Shell Rattle, Maracas and Cha Cha ..........-000..2.....2... 154 Picture No. 68—Guayo, Wiri, Rasp-sticck, Giiiro and Reco-reco.................... 155

Plate No. XX VIJI—African Drums Picture No. 69—Ndango, Ngoma, Ngalabi, Ndere (flute), Bambala, Ndingidi (fiddle) _...0...0.0...2.oo oo oocc cc eececcceceeccccececececeeeeceeeeeceeee 156 Picture No. 70—Tamalee, Brekepe and Dundun .................2.2.....22-2ececee000e00-- 156 Picture No. 71—Odomankoma, Atsimevu, Mpentima .......................-22....------ 157

Plate No. XXIX—

Picture No. 72—Turo, Gwa-ini, Bongon, Kettledrum, Darabukkas,

Trough Zither, Mbira (Sansa) Ngoma and Ser Tehen.................---..--.-+- 157

Picture No. 73—Pedi Moropa, Haitian Mortar, Acoli Lace Drum,

African Motar, Lujongo (Tugbard of Uganda) ................... eee eeeeeeeee ee 158 Picture No. 74—The Ntumpane (Talking drums of the Ashanti)................ 159

Introduction Musical sounds are everywhere present for human observation: birds sing, a taut bow-string produces a tone, a hollow trunk resounds; curiosity,

experimentation, and chance may well have suggested the possibilities of sound production to man.” From the earliest days of history, he has sought

sound-producing instruments to express his emotional and esthetic drives. Music and the instruments chosen to express it vividly dramatize the

emotions and passions of men. Their study can thus shed light on the

historical, sociological and economic development of a people.

There is about the sound of drums a strange and mysterious quality. Perhaps this quality is one reason why all musical cultures have somehow been influenced by drums. In a world of diverse musics and instruments, drums are universal; all countries and races have had drums of

some kind.

During the last thirty or forty years, the study of the folk music of

the Americas has received a strong impetus in all its areas of influence: European-American,

Amerindian,

Afro-American,

and Asian-American.

Several American governments, the United States, Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti, and others, have been instrumental in the furtherance of this

work by the appointment of individuals and committess to preserve, by

written word, recording, and collection, their musical folk heritage. As a

result, much American

aboriginal and folk music, rapidly disappearing

under the pressure of contemporary civilization, has been rescued. The material now accumulated is surprisingly large, but scattered in governX1V

INTRODUCTION

XV

mental reports, museum journals, periodicals, publications of various learned societies, records of travel, and books of miscellaneous nature. The music and instruments of the Americas are still in the making. From

a fusion

of European,

Amerindian,

African,

and

Asian

musics,

American music has come to express an originality which is obvious to the

most casual observer. The result, therefore, is American, distinct from anything else: a musical culture which owes all to everyone, and thus, in a broader sense, nothing to anyone. It is the object of this work to describe and discuss the more popular

drums in the Americas, both past and present.

The organization of materials shown by chapter headings is by sub-

ject, but the subdivision, within the chapters, generally refers to musical or

cultural areas. A.cultural area, according to Clark Wissler, is a geographi-

cal area occupied by a number of peoples whose cultures show a significant similarity to one another and a disimilarity to peoples of other areas.’ The Amerindian drums are grouped by the areas, outlined by George Peter Murdock in his Outline of World Cultures. European-American drums, as well as Asian and Oceanian drums, are limited in variety. To avoid

repetition, they are grouped according to type, and local names are used

when they differ from the traditional names.

Many instruments mentioned in this book, are known by different names, depending on the area or language used. An attempt has been made, to use the local name of the instrument by which it is best known. In some instances, the spelling is phonetical, and all of the authorities

do not agree. The pronunciation within a group or country varies, creating additional orthographic problems.

The study of musical instruments, in its fullest sense, cannot be separated from the study of the man who plays them. Thus, both man and his instrument are the subjects of this story.

] DRUMS

IN RETROSPECT

The history of musical instruments may be traced as far back as the Stone Age. Late Stone Age man began to use clay in the construction of musical instruments. He made clay drums in the shape of cups and hourglasses and sometimes even provided them with eyelets for the lacing of the skin. No doubt long before, he had noticed a dif-

ferent sound from a growing tree. It was natural that man treated the hollow log with respect. Primitive societies the world over have attached

great importance to the sound that emanates from hollow wood and all

of them have given spiritual or religious meaning to these sounds.

Man was and is a superstitious being, a great believer in signs. He noticed, but could not understand, the path of the sun and the moon

through world

the sky and all the changes

about

work of some

him.

All mysterious

unseen

that took place in the natural

things

were

regarded

as the special

spirit, for a natural law was quite beyond

his

power of understanding. He imagined that the forest and the very air were peopled with spirits that in some way had power over nature. He attempted to communicate with these spirits by making noises. Every strange sound in nature which he could not understand was to him the source of the spirit world: so, in turn, he attempted to win favor in this manner.’ In all probability the first drums were merely fallen trees whose cores had rotted. Later, man developed tools and did his own excavation of the core or allowed insects to bore it out for him as the Austra-

lian aborigines do today, by placing a stick in an ant hill and, when 1

2

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

the insects eat away the core, removing the stick and using it as a musical instrument. Dedjeridoo, a trumpet. (See Pl. XV—No. 32) In the

Hebrides

Islands

in the Pacific

“drum groves’: — huge trees whose the natives and used as drums. They sea animals, which they use in their which stand twelve or more feet high,

of the modern slit drum.

Ocean,

There have been many theories propounded

musical

instruments.

The

drum

and

there

can

be found

centers have been hewn out by also fashion the trees into strange religious rituals. The tree drums, are thought to be the forerunner

the

flute

(or

about the evolution of whistle)

are

consid-

ered to be the first developed by man. The evolution of the wood drum is thought to have followed this order: orn

;

ew

cre

4. Hollowed

ee

aT

RS

log with two skins

DRUMS

IN RETROSPECT

3

Many Amerindian clay drums have been excavated in the Americas, although skins and tensors, being animal products, deteriorate quickly. However, the prehistoric instruments that have survived to be excavated are of extremely durable material: bone, stone or pot-

tery. These instruments are simple in shape, probably originating from utensils — the

more

Most of the of their music. drums with two fastened on with In the tomb

advanced

barrel

shapes,

etc., are relatively

recent.

great civilizations of the world have left some record Cave paintings and carvings of ancient India show heads and a slightly bulging body. The heads are thongs laced crosswise in “X” form. of Rameses III of Egypt, there is a painting of a

harpist accompanied by two drummers, one playing a large drum and

the other, a small one. In Peru, similar artistic representation of musical instruments testifies to the existence of music. Whistling jars, excavated in Peru, depict double-emembrane drums which were in use 1,500 years

ago.

(SILBADORES)

Peruvian vessels, more than 1,500 years old, of Mochica (pre-Inca) style, in which is represented a humanized bird with a little drum called, in the Inca language, “tinya.” They are still used by the highland Indians in Peru today.

(Courtesy of Peruanistica)

The Aztecs employed professional scribes who recorded, in pictorial epics painted on “amatl” or bark paper, the great festivals of

their day, which depict many musical instruments.

DRUMS

MACUILXOCHITL-XOCHIPILLI, (Redrawn

(Codex

IN THE

AMERICAS

God of Music, playing Huehuetl.

from Codex

Borbonicus)

AZTEC DANCE Florentino XXIII — 19 Musicians)

DRUMS

IN RETROSPECT

5

A gigantic bass drum is shown on a Sumerian vase of the third millennium B.C. Drums have been found by archaeologists in a Neolithic

stratum in Moravia. A Mesopotamian vase, made around 3,000 B.C., shows a man striking a frame drum. Other Mesopotamian works of art indicate that at least four different drum types were used. Babylonian

excavations, dated to 3,000 B.C., have revealed several statuettes show-

ing both men and women playing frame drums with their hands. One of the best literary sources of information on music

and

musical instruments is the Bible. It not only mentions specific instruments, but also describes occasions on which music was played. The

tambourine, or toph, seen frequently in Moorish Spain, North Africa and

Asia,

is mentioned

in the

Bible.

Egyptian drums before 1 A.D. consisted of three types: l. The hand drum, a bimembranophone

of parchment, two to three

feet long, with a shoulder cord for support (allowing the hands

to be free).

2. The barrel-shaped drum, also bimembranophone, the heads en-

circled by catgut (which is a means of tuning), played with sticks. 3. The earthen Darabukkeh,* a one and one-half foot long goblet-shaped monomembranophone, held under the arm and played with hands.

4. The Tambourine type drums (Egyptian after 1 A.D.), a)

b)

round — similar to the modern type;

oblong — slightly curved at sides, barred in middle (making

two tambourines);

c) square — square frame with a stretched skin and four catguts across.°

The Oriental drum was introduced into the Western world through Greece — where the use of the tymponan or tamborine was restricted to the orgiastic cult of Dionysus and Cybele— and from Greece to medieval Europe. An English twelfth century miniature shows a juggler dis-

guised as a bear striking a barrel drum suspended from his neck. Around 1300, Arabian kettledrums, called ‘“nagarah,” were intro-

duced

modern

into

Europe.

tympani.

Used

About

in pairs, they

the

same

time

were

the

the forerunners

tabor,

*Darabukkeh; also known as Daraboukkeh, and Darabukkas.

a cylindrical

of the drum,

6

DRUMS

appeared in Europe. Drums dle Ages, strange as it may At the beginning of peared in Europe. It was

IN THE

AMERICAS

were not used in Europe earlier in the Midseem. the thirteenth century the jingle frame apcalled “temple” in Provengal, “timbre” in

French and “timbrel” in English, while Germany termed it “rotumbes.” In modern

times it is called ‘“‘cembalo” in Italian and “‘tambourin”’ or

‘tambour de Basque” in French, “tambourine”

in English. “pandero”’

in Spanish and “pandeiro” in Portuguese.’ It was only during the reign of Edward VI (1547-1553) that the drum masters were added to the English army. By 1591 the “master

drummer” had become the “drum major.” It was also the duty of the drum majors to: have apparatus for punishment. It was customary

to hold courts-martial at the drum head and the drum major would superintend the flogging of soldiers; instruct and train drummers; fur-

nish the drummers for various regiments; and keep the drum equipment in order. Later the drum major became commander of the band, having authority over the music and By the fifteenth century, marching) drums, had been of their military equipment.®

musicians. the kettledrums, as well as the side (or adopted by the armies of Europe as part By the seventeenth century, these armies

advanced to the sounds of bagpipes, fifes, trumpets and drums. If the enemy kettledrums were captured, the battle was won — for there were no longer the means of signaling the forces.

The kettledrum remained restricted to the military until it was introduced into the orchestra about 1670. John Locke with his opera Psyche

(1673)

and Lully with Thesie

(1675)

are rivals for priority.

It re-

mained for Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frederick Handel to give them a permanent place in rhythmic accentuation in the orchestra.’

The tabor, a Moorish drum brought to England following the Crusades, is still used there today, in a dance which is traditionally called

the “Morris

(Moorish)

Dance.”

It is a small,

two-headed

drum,

about

a foot in diameter and six to seven

inches deep, the two heads

being

ord

notes

laced together across the body. History has been kind to us concerning Africa, having left its recin the diaries of travellers

and

of geographers.

By

sifting

these leaves, an interesting deposit of information about African music can be obtained. John Ogilby’s well-known “Africa,” published in Lon-

DRUMS

don

IN RETROSPECT

in 1670,

7

states that when

a drummer

died he must

not be buried

or thrown into a sea or river, but was to be sealed into a hollow tree;

for they imagined that his entombment in the earth or sea would make them

fruitless and

barren.

In life, the drummer

was

at the social level

of the European beggar or more accurately, the itinerant jongleurs (jug-

gler-musicians) or vagabond fiddlers, and not unlike them in conditions. Drums in the Americas fall into four groups: 1) preconquest instruments: instruments seen in early paintings, writings of the first missionaries, relics and instruments excavated from ruined temples and tombs, etc.

2) contemporary

Amerindians,

distinct

indigenous

instruments:

those

of

present-day

from

3) imported instruments: those borrowed from or constructed by European, African, or Asian peoples in the Americas. 4)

modern

instruments:

those which have evolved from the above

groups. The musical tradition of the Amerindians was so strong and deeply

rooted that European

colonization could not destroy it. Eventually, the

tradition

but European

was

altered,

music

and

instruments

were

them-

selves altered in the process. Long before the conquest, there had flourished great civilizations

in several parts of the Americas. When the conquistadors, the adventurers, the sailors, the geographers, and the traders first explored American soil, they were already in a “drum society”: the Amerindian had a well-established drumming tradition. The percussion instruments

later brought by the Europeans included only membranophones, entirely familiar to the Amerindian. Moreover, the Indians had idiophone drums,

unknown

to

the

European,’®

and,

during

the

seventeenth

and

eighteenth centuries the Africans and, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,

the Asians

recreated

their instruments

in the Americas.

2 CLASSIFICATION In

1914,

Curt

Sachs

and

Erich

Van

Hornbostel

collaborated

on a

classification of musical instruments, generally based on acoustical principles. Under this system drums fall into two classes — membranophone

and idiophone.

Membranophones

are percussion

instruments

that produce

sound

by means of vibration of a tightly stretched membrane by striking or rubbing.

There are thus single-headed

drums — monomembranophones

— and double-headed drums — bimembranophones. (It is interesting to note that, while single-headed drums are extremely varied, the shapes of double-headed drums are limited to a very few types.)

Idiophones are percussion instruments made from sonorous materials. They produce sound without the addition of a stretched skin. string or a vibrating air column. This category may be subdivided into two categories, depending on how the sound is produced. Percussed idiophone drums are struck and friction idiophones are rubbed or

stroked."!

Another

method

of drum

classification

includes

the shape

of the

body, or sound chamber. If the solid part (body) is a tube, it is called

a tubular drum; a deep tubular drum if the body is longer than the diameter of the drum head, shallow, if the body is shorter. Tubular drums may be of several shapes:

CLASSIFICATION

9

(a) Cylindrical drums

(b) Barrel-shaped drums

(straight sides)

(bulging sides)

(c) Conical drums (tapered sides)

(d) Hourglass or “waisted” drums (smallest diameter in the middle)

(e) Footed drums (non-portable drums, the body supported by a carved pedestal)

10

DRUMS

(h)

Frame

Kettledrums shapes:

IN THE

AMERICAS

drums

(diameter of head is greater than height of drum)

have

vessel-type

(b) Egg-shaped drums

closed

bodies

and

come

(largest diameter below the top)

in several

CLASSIFICATION

lJ

(d) Shallow kettledrums

(bodies shorter than the diameter)

The materials from which drums are constructed are often used for classification. They include wood, gourd, bamboo, clay or pottery, metal,

bone and shells of all kinds— animal, plant and mollusk. The Alaskan Eskimos use the intestines of sea animals and some tribes of Amerindians in the Caribbean use the craw of the pelican for heads. Animal bones were used as drum-sticks by Amerindians and Afro-Americans, and the skin of victims was at one time used for membranes by the Aztecs of Mexico.

In some

instances, the skin was not that of a victim, but the

skin of someone who had made provision to “live on in the sound of the drum.’?? Human skulls have been used in Tibet as drum shells. Methods of playing are also used in classification. Instruments that

are

struck

are

classified

as percussion

instruments.

Those

that

are

rubbed or stroked are called friction instruments. Drums of European origin are generally played with sticks. How-

ever, the tambourine is the only European drum in the Americas that

is traditionally played with fingers and hands. In the Americas the playing of drums with bare hands is generally considered to be of African

12

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

origin. Very popular in Latin America today, this method was in use in the United States until the twentieth century, but gradually disappeared. Interestingly, it is growing again in popularity with the influence of Latin-American music. The codices Beker and Florentino of the Aztecs imply that they used this method of playing, but it disappeared from the Americas with the decline of their culture.'* Bare-hand drumming in the Americas is, therefore, doubtless an Aframerican technique although Africans and Aframericans also use the sticks or stick-and-hand combinations. Playing positions of drums are as varied as the drums themselves. They may be held in one hand and struck with the other, as with the tambourine. They may be held horizontally or vertically. They may be placed on a stand so that they can be struck from a standing position; some Amerindian and Aframerican drums have carved feet which permit

the drum to be placed on the floor or ground. Idiophone drums or barrel slit drums are generally supported in some way to allow the body to vibrate. The large slit drums are suspended by cords or ropes, while the smaller ones are sometimes supported by a small block underneath each end.

CLASSIFICATION

13

14

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

There is much cross-cultural overlapping in the methods of playing drums in the Americas. Nonetheless, the position of the drummer is in many cases a key to the instrument’s ethnic origin. The method of straddling the drum, with the head protruding from between the legs, is

of African origin; neither the Amerindian nor European uses this style. The construction of the drum may be used in classification. Most of the drums constructed in the Americas before the stave barrel were hewn

from

solid blocks

of wood

or a tree trunk.

This is particularly

true of Afro-American and Amerindian drums. Today we find more and more drums being made from staves of a barrel, boxes and commercial containers of all types.

A frame drum, or tambourine type drum, is placed in a separate

group because it has a shallow body less than one-half the diameter of the head, or a wooden ring.

Finally, the method of attaching drum heads may be used to classify drums. Heads are glued, nailed, buttoned, laced, necklaced and braced onto, as well as suspended above, drums, depending on the drum

type and local custom. The technique of gluing

the head

is found

generally

on ceramic

drums in Amerindian culture. Nailed-head drums are popularly found among Asians and Aframericans, being naturally limited to wood drums and the technique is thought to be Asian in origin.

The practice of cutting holes in the head and looping them over pegs inserted in the body of the drum is called or referred to as “but-

toned” head, a practice of African origin. A “necklaced”

drum

is one with

cords

running

circumferentially

around the head to secure it to the drum. A drum with metal braces

attaching the head to the body is called a “braced” drum. This method of attaching a drum head is a twentieth century western innovation. The drum ‘can thus be tuned, eliminating the necessity of heating the skin to raise the tone. Laced drum heads are attached to the body with cords or thongs of leather. They may be attached to the body directly or by being attached to the opposite head or to pegs, indirectly.

CLASSIFICATION

15

Necklaced

nly

Laced

°

Braced

i

Yu

Buttoned

Classification of drums with regard to ethnic origin is on the basis of construction, method of playing and prevalence in particular ethnic

groups. American drums may be on the highest level, divided into four groups according to ethnic origin: (a)

Amerindian

(b)

European-American

(indigenous to the Americas }

(c)

Afro-American

(introduced

from

Europe)

(d) Asian-Oceanian American. In many cases it is possible to state only the geographic placement of certain

instruments.

There

are, of course, drums

rooted

in the tradi-

tions of Europe; there are instruments showing vestiges of pre-Columbian rituals and ceremonies with origins buried in the legends of the indigenous Indians of America; there are the African drums from the Congo and Guinea; and there are drums from Asia. Most drums of the Americas, however, like the people, are not pure specimens, but hybrids, containing only a few scattered examples of pure ethnic origin.

3 CONSTRUCTION Drums are made by skilled craftsmen with meticulous care, based on traditions which emerged from a thorough understanding of the ma-

terial used and the function intended. These traditions must include-a working knowledge of what is required for a resonator to produce the desired sound. Drums are composed of one or two components: (body) and a membrane (skin). Some instruments

a sound chamber are composed of

both components and others of only one. Some Amerindian tribes have

a custom of rolling up a hide and beating it with sticks; this might even

be classified as a ““bodyless” drum. Idiophone drums, hollowed-out solid blocks of wood, have no skin — only a sound chamber.

Body or Shell: A drum shell is not merely

a wooden

cylinder;

it is a resonator

designed to obtain maximum sonority from the vibration of the head. In our modern society this is accomplished by shaping the drum in conformity

to known

laws

of acoustics.

In less advanced

ever, the same effect is accomplished by other means.

societies,

For centuries drum shells were hewn from logs. In some

the Americas

where

labor

is cheap

and

tradition

how-

areas of

well established,

this

procedure is still followed today, particularly in Afro-American and Amerindian cultures.‘ Preferred woods include mahogany, which is resistant to pests; avocado, which is easy to work; maple, which lends itself to

a smooth

finish;

and

cottonwood,

worked. 16

which

is both

light

and

easily

CONSTRUCTION

17

In boring the log, in Cuba

diameter,

and Haiti, a hole, about six inches in

is started in the top with a cold chisel and mallet. When

carried halfway through, the log is reversed and the procedure repeated. When the log is bored, the top is widened to within two inches

of the final outside diameter and the inside tapered down to two thirds

the top diameter. In some cultures, the bottom one third is stuffed with

wet rags and the top two thirds then soaked wth lamp oil, and the interior burned out to the desired thickness. After the inside is hewn or burned away, the drum is laid on one side and rings are grooved around it. Carving is begun by chipping wood from between these rings. When the correct outside form has been

obtained, the inside is finished by filing. Generally, no shell will be over one and one-half inches thick at any point;

the center or widest part

will average one-half inch; however, the foot may be up to two and onehalf inches thick. With the carving of the body completed, the entire drum is, for several days, treated with oil, which is allowed to soak in to

prevent cracking. The shell is now ready for heading. With the nineteenth century’s enforced coexistence of Afro-American

and Amerindian society with an industrial economy in North America,

in many areas the lengthy traditional procedure of drum making was replaced by the expedience of discarded wooden boxes, kegs, barrels, and other types of wooden containers. When industry found wooden barrels too expensive and started to use metal drums and cartons, a few unemployed coopers turned to making drum shells. Most congas in the

United States today were, in fact, made makers).

by coopers

(keg or barrel

Stave Drums: Stave drum shells are fast replacing the log drum shells in most areas. The manufacture of stave shells is faster and the wood is easier to obtain.

Moreover,

the

instrument

is more

easily

repaired,

is lighter

and thus more portable. Ideally, these shell staves are made of grade “A” lumber, free from knots, with the staves cut along the grain. Woods preferred are white oak, black walnut, hard fir and mahogany. Construction of Stave Shells: Step One:

For a thirty-one-inch high shell, eleven-inch head and a seven-inch

bottom, twenty to twenty-one staves are cut on a jointer machine or from a pattern. Each stave is thirty-one inches long, two and one-half

18

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

inches wide at the middle and one and three-quarter inches wide at the ends, with the length gradually tapering from middle to ends.

Step Two: The staves are assembled within a hoop. A metal ring is driven down on the staves pressing them tightly together.

METAL RING

Step Three: Now the staves are turned upside down, with the metal ring in place, and a cable is wound to a windlass.

around

the loose end

of the staves, then attached

CONSTRUCTION

19

Step Four: By turning the windlass the staves of the loose end are pulled together.

Step Five: A metal ring is placed over the staves and the cable is released.

Step Six:

The shell is now soaked in hot water for a half hour. This helps to relieve the internal stress on the wood, created by bending.

Step Seven: When the water has cooled, the shell is removed and placed in the sun to dry. The staves thus become “‘warped” into the desired shape.

20

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

Step Eight: Now the staves are numbered and both rings removed. The shell falls apart, but each stave retains its shape. Step Nine: The staves are jointed and cut to the proper shape and size. The

sides of each stave are bevelled and the ends are cut from one and one-half inches to one inch, the middle from two and one-half to one and

three-quarter

inches.

Between

the

ends

and

middle.

the

tapering

is

retained. a

CRO$$ Step Ten:

The

staves are reassembled,

SECTION

metal rings replaced,

and the shell

put over a hot plate (kiln) to drive out moisture. Step Eleven: When the shell is thoroughly dry, the top ring is removed and glue placed between the staves. The top ring is replaced and the procedure duplicated on the bottom. Step Twelve: After the glue has dried, the metal rings are removed and the shell is placed on a lathe and sanded. a

oo

—— as

~-.,



__ .

|

.

.

;

__

ee _

——_—

SS ee

ee

—_



CONSTRUCTION

21

Step Thirteen: Steel hoops are tightened over the shell to reinforce it. The shell is now ready for heading.

The U.S.A. drum manufacturers have found that while wood makes the best shell, large drum shells often do not hold their shape. It was found that since plywood seems to overcome this difficulty, most U. S.

manufactured shells are now made of three-ply veneering: the upper and

lower layers are made from maple, which, being very dense, lends itself to a smooth finish; the middle layer is of poplar, which is tough and strong. The veneering is glued in flat sheets and run through a “bending’ machine. After leaving the bending machine, the shell is reinforced with an inner hoop of maple and, finally, with a counter hoop.

Small snare-drum shells have been found to be better when made of .18 gauge spinning brass. Drum

heads are made

from animal peritoneum

(or internal skin),

outer hides, lizard and fish skins, plant fibers, cloth, certain leaves, bark

and plastics, depending on the size of drum, the material available, local custom and the way the drum is to be played, e.g., a drum to be beaten with a stick needs a tough hide head. Like other solids employed for musical purposes, membranes vi-

22

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

brate both horizontally and transversely. Their frequencies vary as the length,

width,

membranes

and

thickness

of

the

membrane

vary.

In

the

circular

most frequently used for drums, the higher frequencies, or

“overtones,” come close together and are nonharmonious. The sound is

thus indistinct and noisy. In the case of the kettledrum, the scientifcally shaped resonator and the mechanically adjustable head make it possible to tune the instrument to a definite fundamental.

Drums

pitch — they

without specific devices for tuning are never the same.

Heating

do not have

a fixed

and wetting the skin raise

and lower the pitch, but a specific tone cannot be maintained.

The method of treating a rawhide to be used for a drum head varies in different localities, but on the whole, the procedures are similar: after the hide is removed from the animal, it is scraped to remove fat and

connective

tissue,

then

soaked

in a lime

solution

or buried

in

ashes to loosen the hair. (The southwest Amerindian simply stretches his skins on the drums and allows them to dry in the sun.) After the hide has soaked

for several days, it is laid flat, and

the

hair removed by rubbing in the direction of growth with a rough stone or a serrated wood block. The skin is then washed and laid out flat or

tacked to a frame to dry. When the drying is complete, a circular piece is cut to the desired diameter, allowing three inches to overlap the shell. The hide is now ready for use, but it is very important that, before it is stretched over the shell, it should be soaked

least twelve hours before placement.

in water

at

The head is placed wet on the

body of the drum. Occasionally, a head is, for decorative purposes, placed on a drum without removing the hair; the hair is then removed from the playing surface with glass or a very sharp knife. When a tanned skin Amerindian water drums,

is to be used as a drum head, the skin must be smoked until

as with the it is a dull

brown. Such heads are generally played wet because cured skin draws

taut when wet.’ There are certain treatments and preventive measures used in connection with preserving the life of a skin that are often necessary. On damp

days, when

the drum

becomes

dull and

muffled,

yeast, palm

oil,

water proofing (shoe wax) or beeswax is rubbed into the skin to prevent quality change, just as the Chinese shellac their drum heads for

similar reasons.*’ Some individual drummers seem to like the smooth, even surface of sanded drum heads untreated.

CONSTRUCTION

23

Drummers have very definite and often strange ideas concerning drum heads: Amerindian drummers of Peru employ male hides on one side and female on the other; white mule is popular with drummers of

Cuba

and some

prefer the skin of an animal

killed in a certain way,

made

from calf-hides five to six weeks old. These

some Haitians claiming, for example, that the skin of an animal killed by a blow on the head will last longer than one that has bled to death. In the United States, Anglo-American drum heads are traditionally are thin and strong

but easily affected by weather. In the past few years, a plastic allweather head has begun to be used by many drummakers. The method of placing a skin on a drum is vital. It can mean the

difference

between

a flat

sound

or

a brilliant

one.

First,

the

skin

is

soaked from three to twelve hours until it is soft and pliable. The next

step depends on how the skin is attached.

Laced Heads:

The skin is attached to a thin ring of metal, rawhide,

rattan, cord,

wood hoop or rope, referred to as a “flesh ring.” The flesh ring is generally a little larger in diameter than the shell. The wet skin is placed

on the shell and the flesh ring is then put over the skin. The ends of the skin

are pulled

up

over

the ring, then holes are made

through

both

layers of skin and the lacing is run through these holes above the flesh ring.

In most Anglo-American drums, a counter ring is used. After the skin is placed with the flesh ring on the top, the ends are folded up and a second ring is placed on top of the folded up ends. This forms a lock between the two rings with the skin in between. Most often, holes are made in the wooden counter ring or clamps placed over it. The laces run through these holes or from the clamps.

In rare instances the counter ring is nailed to the body. (See Pl. XIII — No. 28.) Tacked Heads: The

shell is placed

upright

and the skin is placed over the shell

with the hair side up. It is then folded over the sides of the shell and tacked approximately one inch from the top on one side. The skin is then pulled from the opposite side and tacked approximately one inch from the top. This is repeated all around the drum, until the tack heads are not more than three-quarter inches apart. Then the membrane is allowed to dry slowly. Drying requires about three or four days, de-

24

DRUMS

pending

on

the

thickness

of the

head.

Before

the

IN THE

drum

AMERICAS

is tested,

the

tacks must be driven farther in, for the drying skin shrinks and draws taut, raising the tacks slightly.” Buttoned Heads: The wet head is placed on the shell, and five to nine holes are punched through the skin in the shell. The number of holes is determined by the diameter of the shell and by custom. The skin is removed — the holes made a little larger and incomplete loops cut around these holes. The strip cut is approximately one-quarter inch in width and attached at the top. Moving downward, slanting holes are made in the shell. Pegs are made to fit these slanting holes. The skin is then dampened again and placed back on the shell. The loops are turned over and the pegs driven into the holes. After the head is dry, the skin can be tensed by driving the pegs in farther. Buttoned heads are used on some small drums in Haiti.”

Direct Laced Heads: In several areas in the Americas, such as Panama, the United States, Trinidad and British Guiana, holes are made in the head and the

skin is laced directly to the drum shell or to the opposite type of lacing is found frequently on Indian drums.” Head Tensors: Drum

tone

is sometimes

not

maintained,

even

when

skin. This

the

head

is

correctly placed, owing to broken fibers in the skin from wear, loosening of the lacing or dampness in the air. Many contrivances have been cre-

ated to overcome this problem. Such procedures and devices are called

tensors:

(a) (b)

Heating the head to raise the tone just as wetting lowers it. This is true of most Amerindian drums. Blocks, bolts and nuts tightening the head against the shell;

CONSTRUCTION

25

used by U. S. drum manufacturers. (See Pl. VII (c) “Ears” placed between the lacings. (See Pl. XVI (d) Pegs inserted through the head into the shell (See Pl. VIII — No. 12.) (e) Pegs or blocks placed between the lacing and also as tensors of the skin.

(See Pl. IX —

No.

— No.7.) — No. 35.) at an angle. the shell act

15.)

Certain drums call for specific drum-sticks, owing in part to tradi-

tion, but more because experience has shown that certain varieties serve

better to bring out the desired tonal qualities. There are hard, semihard and

soft beaters;

long,

short,

straight,

circular

and

crooked-end

drum-

sticks. All may be classified according to the density of the beating end, the length, shape and flexibility of the shafts. Most

drum-sticks

are

made

of

strong

hardwood

cut

into

a long,

slender shape. The Amerindians use white oak, hickory, ironwood, ash, elm and soft pine cut from the trunk of a young sapling (trunk wood is much stronger than branch wood). The length of their drum-sticks is determined by the diameter plus one hand width. Leather thongs are frequently used on the handles of the drum-sticks to prevent slipping.

The thongs form a loop long enough to be wrapped around the second

and third fingers comfortably. To the Amerindian, drum-sticks are personal possessions and are thus made according to his personal likes and dislikes. The Afro-American, on the other hand, shows little preference as to the material of his sticks.

Hard Drum-sticks:

Long, slender sticks with little or no padding on the tip. They produce a sharp, clear sound and are capable of the precise rhythm necessary for dancing and marching. This type of stick is used with most

Amerindian hand drums, Aframerican and Anglo-American snare drums. Pissle tt

sticks

ttod

ya"

tnt

oth

A

i

While the Anglo-American

(attaching no importance

CO,

gasps

eee

bat

Ahhitsss

and Aframerican rarely decorate drum-

to these tools other than their func-

tional value), the Amerindian attempts to create artistic implements that stimulate the imagination.

He uses buckskin

and paints to adorn his sticks.

covering, tassels, fur, beads

Curved-End Sticks: Found in use among the Amerindian, these have great rebound and

26

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

resiliency. They are used for elaborate hand drums and dance drums. Constructed from one piece of wood, their shafts are soaked in water until pliable, then removed, bent, and tied with rawhide.

at

fA

hot

|

Rattle Drum-sticks: Used on hand drums and dance drums of some North American tribes, the rattle sticks are uniquely Amerindian. They are made by curv-

ing the end of a long drum-stick, covering the curved end with rawhide and enclosing pebbles inside. The rattle from these pebbles can be heard distinctly when the stick is used on a dance drum.” However, it is also used as a dance rattle.

Semthard Drum-sticks:

The semihard sticks are made by adding a

little padding to the end

of the stick—felt, buckskin with strips of cloth or hair underneath, and leather being appropriate materials for this purpose. This type of stick is used with both Anglo-American and Amerindian drums.

a

phestttle

hhh

us

tihLi

tetii£

CONSTRUCTION

27

Soft Beaters: The soft drum-sticks are generally used with large instruments. The padded ends can be used most effectively in coloring, muffling and con-

trolling the sound of the drum.

: i

k

ehh A ast

hd

eernmsmlietliatntntt hdd

os

yy,

q

Y

‘4

we ‘Ss

° .

gt

raue 6

. e



: o

Curved Sticks:

The drum-sticks used with water drums are of a different type from

those of any other American drum. Usually curved sticks, each about three-eighths inches in diameter (See Pl. XXVI— No. 66), they are made of hardwood, preferably oak, from nine to twelve inches long. These beaters are distinguished by the knob on the end, slightly larger than the rest of the stick.

Hammer

Sticks:

Hammer sticks are used by some Afro-Americans and are made from thin hardwood tree branches. A branch is chosen that has another

branch growing off at an acute angle; it is cut just ahead of the joint and approximately twelve inches back of the joint. The angle branch is cut to a two- or three-inch length. The bark is stripped away and the

ends rounded off. When

the stick is dried out, it is waxed and ready Ph

28

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

for use. This type is very popular in Haiti and Brazil, and is an exact reproduction of the type used in West Africa. (See Pl. XXVI— No. 69.) The Bow Sticks: Used

in

Haiti

on

the

rada,

seconde,*

the

bow

stick

is a small

bow made from a hardwood twig about a foot long. The ends of this twig are rounded off and pulled into the shape of a bow and tied with a string. These drum-sticks seem to be limited to the Haitian Seconde drum, traditionally used in voodoo rites.

The Brush: This is a wire fan of 100 to 150 thin steel wires that telescope

into a protective, thin, light-weight metal cylinder. Approximately twelve and one-half inches long, it started out as a “fly swatter,’ > used in the late twenties and early thirties for special percussion effects. It was popularized by the late “Chick” Webb; today it is standard equipment for all jazz drummers. (See Pl. XXVI — No. 65.) Va,

——__

dbasslia.

At

tise

in)

——&

_

ess

--

———

Other

objects

used

traditionally

in the

Americas

as drum-sticks

have included deer antlers for the “turtle drum,” and sheep shank bones

on the casks of the early Afro-Americans, but such types are limited to small areas. One

must

remember

*Rada, Seconde—The

that

Amerindians,

Afro-Americans,

second of a set of three drums used by the Rada

and

cult of Haiti.

the

CONSTRUCTION

29

Asian-Americans have not always been Christians, nor are they all Christians today. Many of them still cling to their traditional forms of wor-

ship. This reflects in their drum construction and procedures.

Since not every drum proves to be satisfactory to its maker, the Afro-American craftsman often seeks to ensure the cooperation of hidden forces, and resorts to occult power for help. Drums constructed under these conditions may be referred to as “cult drums.” We find many dad,

such drums in the Americas: Surinam

and

Cuba,

Brazil, Haiti, Jamaica,

Trini-

other countries.

Aframerican cult drum construction is accompanied by rites and precautions which bespeak the drum’s sacred nature and at the same time help to augment its supernatural quality. In fact, an early ceremony endows

the drum

with a soul.

Even

before

the axe

has felled the tree,

the cult priest performs a ritual to the god who will answer the drum’s

call when the instrument is finished. Before the drums are absorbed into

acts of worship, they are consecrated with special baptismal rites. For this occasion, they are arrayed in “robes” with the colors of the god, and named in the presence of “‘godfathers” and “godmothers.” The religious beliefs of the Amerindian and those which the Afri-

cans brought to the Americas were astonishingly similar. This is par-

ticularly evident in their occult activities. In both Aframerican and many Amerindian religious traditions, a single creator-deity existed, supported by a pantheon of divinities of the elements. In both systems the manipulation on a magical level involved fetishes (magical charms) that sought to focus metaphysical forces with the aid of ancestral spirits or

such elemental forces as rain and fertility. In both, the relationship between humans and nature was expressed in a concept of metamorphic power, for example, the ability of gods to change from human to animal form.

Moreover,

worship

of metaphysical

forces

was

ritualistic,

rather

than meditative, involving for both peoples the idea that the metaphysical forces had to be sustained by feeding or sacrifice, and their benediction maintained by propitiation. Ritualistically, the major faith ordeal

of both systems was related to fire and, in both, the service of suppli-

cation involved drums and collective dancing.” The similarity of these two systems of belief presaged a strong incentive toward assimilation — and confusion: as demonstrated by the ‘“‘Black Caribs”’ of Honduras.

30

DRUMS

Cult

instruments

are constructed

by

prescribed

IN THE

AMERICAS

procedures

that

take the form of rituals. Many Afro-American and Amerindian twoheaded drums contain fetishes. A characteristic drum fetish might be composed of snatches of animal hair, pebbles from the sea, paraphernalia used in making hunting charms, and other objects, depending on the intended use of the instrument. Among the Cherokee and the Shawnee, a fresh skin was secured every spring for the drum used at religious dances. This skin was taken

from the first deer killed on a ceremonial hunt preceding the Spring

bread dance, the skin being tanned immediately on the hunt, brought back to camp, and placed on the shell. Rada cult drum shells of oak are cut on the rising moon in Haiti. If they are not cut at that time, it is believed that the shell will become

infested with worms. The entire procedure is opened with a ceremony of dedication to a god. Bata drums of the Cuban made by a cult priest.

Lucumi

cult must be

A painted skin on a drum usually indicates it is of either Amer-

indian or Asian origin. If the head is painted with geometric designs, it is Amerindian; if there is writing or pictures, it is Asian. Afro-American and Anglo-American drum heads are not normally painted. Occasionally, Afro-Americans leave a ring of hair on the skin for decoration,

but even this is rare. The Amerindians make the most elaborately decorated heads in the Americas. They prefer natural colors and use them effectively in painting symbolic designs on their drum heads. A people who are close to the soil, they are partial to earthen colors, using watermelon green, strawberry red, turquoise blue, charcoal black, chalk white and pumpkin yellow predominantly in their symbolic head designs. Paint is applied before the head is completely dry, generally with a sharp stick, feather, or brush. The only elaborately carved drum shells made in the Americas are found in Surinam among the “bush Negroes” (who use snake designs), certain Amerindian tribes of Mexico, Hawaiians (Polynesian), and the

handles of Eskimo drums (Alaska). (See Pl. VII — No. 9.)

The Afro-American prefer their shells plain and shellacked. In Haiti, the tradition of painting the shell with the colors of the “loa,” or deity, to whom the drum is consecrated, is popular. A “vever,”’ or cult symbol, is also painted on the shell. The cult drums are also dressed

CONSTRUCTION

31

with scarves bearing the colors of the saints and the names given the instruments at the consecration ceremonies. The Bata drums of Cuba are decorated only with bells. Amerindians paint their shells, and use fur, horns, tassels, beads, bits of metal, sea shells, and cloth in decorating the body of their instru-

ments. The Anglo-Americans make use of high glossy finishes, metals and tassels in decorating the shells of their drums in all the Americas. Afro-American drums, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, were often highly carved and decorated, but with the constant cleric-inspired drives to wipe out these instruments as a remnant of savage elements

in American

life, drums

spent in decoration.

became

more expendable

O

ww

OW

Ww

WH

DN

DDN

NN

ND

PO t

pee ed ed bed Pd

fred reed ed eed reed UN BW SOD NIANRWNHOODNIA

. Arctic Coast . Mackenzie- Yukon . Northwest Coast

Oregon Seaboard

California . Peninsula Basin Plateau . Plains . Midwest Eastern Canada . Northeast . Southeast . Gulf . Southwest . North East Mexico . Meso-American . Isthmian . Colombian . Peruvian . Chilean

. Fuegian

. Pampean . Chaco

. Paraguayan

. Eastern Lowlands . Atlantic

. Goyaz . Para

. Xingu . . . . .

Bolivian Montana Jurua-Purus Amazon Loreto

. . . . .

Savanna Guiana Orinoco Caribbean Floridian

ww

ww

. Caqueta

Western

Hemisphere

and less time was

4 AMERINDIAN

MUSIC

The music of the American Indian is the only true native music in the Americas. Amerindian* music has remained distinctive and indi-

vidualistic; little of the European and African music has been absorbed.

into it. Dancing is to the Indian his highest art form — surpassing singing, ceremonial crafts, and legendary lore.”* In most Amerindian music, however, dancing, singing, and drumming are combined to make one art. Through the dance, the Amerindian worship with rhythmic movement and the dance takes on deep religious significance. Drums are represented at many occasions: celebrations, storytelling of exploits and medicinal rituals, as well as exclusively religious ceremonies. Although Amerindian music is by no means homogeneous, some generalizations may be made concerning it as a whole. Musical instruments of the Amerindian have appeared in considerable variety, all being generally used for singing accompaniment. Since this accompaniment was wholly of a rhythmic nature, there was little or no attention to pitch. Rhythm was more prominent than melody because most songs were sung not contemplatively, but for public rituals and dances. Indian

accompaniments

are

thus

dominated

by

flutes,

rattles, and

*To avoid confusion with the people of India, we use the term “Amerindians”, including in this classification all native American peoples from the Seri of the Gulf of California, who represent a simple technology on the American continents, to the Mayas, whose approach to a phonetic system of writing and architecture represents the high-water mark

of Amerindian achievement. The Amerindians thus comprise many tribes, each with its own language, customs and traditions.

32

AMERINDIAN MUSIC

30

drums. Generally, the singers sit or stand around the drums, beating time lustily as they sing. In only a few songs or ceremonies does the drum fail to play a vital part. Pure instrumental music, however, is practically unknown. Preconquest Indian music seems to have revolved about religion; even recreational art forms were connected with a central theme of worship. Religion, far from being isolated from art, was integrated with it in society. Music was thought of in relation to gods rather than in relation to men. That is, music function was solely religious rather than social. Indian tribes may vary individually in the treatment of the sick, but music in some form appears in the customs of most tribes. Sometimes the Indian physician may simply beat a drum or shake a rattle, but more often he sings a song which comes to him, he believes, in a

dream. It is not the song itself that cures, but the power emanating from the song. Medical Uses:

The Sioux medicine man has an elaborate musical-medical system, with a song for nearly every ailment. As he sings, he beats a drum or shakes a rattle in a rhythm, possibly designed to invigorate an exhausted

patient and sooth the nervous patient although Mrs. Frances Densmore, scholar of American

Indian music, found in her study of healing songs

of many tribes that the medicine man sang to soothe and quiet and not

to stimulate the patient.2* Many songs give suggestions similar to those used today in medical hypnosis. In some tribes, the doctor administers material remedies and sings to give them effectiveness, while in others, he depends entirely upon the power of the songs.

It has been found that fast music tends to increase metabolism, muscular energy, heartbeat, and blood pressure, while soft music has an

anaesthetic effect (in Bellevue Hospital psychiatric ward, Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria” has been employed to quiet violent patients). Subtle chemical

changes

take

place

also

in

muscles

and

glands.

Shrill

music,

for

example, played near an egg for half a minute, will spoil it. The music used in treating the sick in Amerindian society was nearly always soothing, often played with repetitive rhythms that were

hypnotic in effect. Perhaps it simply lulled the patient, leaving him more

susceptible to suggestions. More likely, music was used primarily in treating other than purely organic diseases and for anaesthetic purposes.”°

34.

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

Social Uses:

The drum is to today’s Indian a great speaking spirit; its uses are manifold: to call councils, frighten away supernatural enemies, stir men to bravery, treat the sick, attend marriage and courtship, announce birth

or death, signal, and accompany ceremonies. It is coexistent with tribal life, since every public ceremony and every of a male has its accompaniment in song. pean civilization however, many customs have tribes, ancient songs are now used for purely Training:

important event in the life With the impact of Eurobeen retired. Among some social dances.

Drumming, on the whole, is taught by an apprentice system. A child

who shows promise today is taken under the wing of a “lead”? drummer and taught the songs, the drum

patterns, and the dances;

further his education.* There held among the drummers.

are also drumming

when

his skill

and

contests

has reached a certain level, he is allowed to sit at pow-wows and thus games

The Sioux “lead” drummers function as choral directors, leading and rehearsing all special songs and determining generally what song is appropriate to what occasion. Songs are sung only when needed, (e.g. a prayer song for rain is sung only during a drought). In the Sioux

nation, a “lead” drummer is appointed every year for the tribe, chosen for his drumming

known).

and singing ability

He must have

a good

memory

(drumming

without

song is un-

as well, for he must be able to

sing many songs. He must keep perfect time, a more serious and difh-

cult requirement than it seems. He should have a high voice; judgment of a voice seems to be based on the range he or she has, rather than on quality. Indian drumming is unison drumming. If there are twelve drummers, they must keep time as rigorously and accurately as if only one person were playing.

All songs are introduced with the drum. The “lead” drummer signals for the beginning, end, and internal sections (nearly all songs have two distinct parts), generally by three loud drum strokes. Songs are classified as war songs, general patriotic (or “flag”) songs, social songs, ceremonial songs and prayer songs; many of these with vastly different meanings may have the same beat pattern.* * *A pow-wow is a social gathering and dance. **e.o., A seven-beat pattern might be oo

oo

1234567

a

five

heat

one, Je d 12345

AMERINDIAN

MUSIC

35

Drum Types:

In the excellent drum classifications suggested by Dr. Clark Wissler in

his “American

Indian,’* we find:

1. Tambourine type — found in the plains areas and northward to

Alaska. 2. Single-headed, water-tune type — found in the eastern maize area (prairie), continuous through the West Indies and South America.

3. Double-headed

type — seen in the southwestern United

States

southward into Mexico. 4. Log drums — found in Central and South America. 5. Pottery drums—found in the southwest of the United States and in Mexico,

sometimes

water filled.

6. Other miscellaneous types found in North America include: (a) Iron kettles, popular among the Kiowas, found in the west central states;

(b) Tubs and kegs, sometimes of enormous size, used by the (c) (d)

Sioux; Turtle shells or half gourds, found among Mexican Indians; Baskets of closely woven grass, uncovered and inverted, popular with the Yuma, Pima and Papago of southern Ari-

(e)

Water drums, found in North America.

zona;

In the Southwest, drums were painted with gay designs and consummate care was exercised in their making. The turtle, a highly respected warrior, was frequently used as a decoration

was

thought

to

command

courage.

Eagle

on war drums — his efhgy

feathers

similarly

inspired

bravery. Likewise, much symbolism went into the construction and deco-

ration of drums; even greater care was taken with the drum-sticks which were often decorated and feather-padded with small pillows on the end. Certain instruments were thought to be of divine origin and were

treated accordingly. The “Teponaztli”

(See Pl XXIII — No. 55)

and the

‘“Tlapanhuehuetl” (See Pl. XII — No. 23) of Mexico, for example, were held to be gods temporarily forced to endure earthly forms. In the Orinoco region of Brazil, all drums were sacred. The “Bo-tu-tu”’ was the idol drum of the Orinoco region.”” The Mayans have a sacred drum called the “‘Tunkul,” a kettledrum.

36

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

In the Americas, one might get the impression that all Indian tribes had drums; there are, however. certain rare tribes and even areas that. as far as can be determined, had no drums. California, generally a drumless region, did have idiophone drums, associated with the Kuksu cult area near the California-Washington border: a hollow log, stamped

on by dancers; also present in some northern California tribes was a plank which was danced on. The Tule of Panama were a drumless culture.

PLATE

I — Picture No.1 Amerindian Drums Panhuehuetl (Modern) Ke-l-you (Sewyak) Teponaztli (Modern) Drone Flue... Hilevas de Tenabaris Chief Drum (Hand Drum)

Picture No. 2 (COURTESY

OF

E. H.C.

Cajas QUITO,

ECUADOR)

o AMERINDIAN DRUMS OF NORTH AMERICA ARCTIC

COAST

The Eskimos of Northern Alaska could be grouped in three major ecological patterns: the people of the land, whose life is developed around the caribou; the tareumiut people of the sea, whose orientation is toward sea mammal hunting; and those Eskimos who have been attracted to military installations and recent urban developments for employment. The cultures of the various Eskimo groups are marked by a high degree of sociability. Social activities are not centered in the homes,

rather in the Karigi, house.

the quasi-ceremonial

gathering

place

or dance

It would be unreasonable to look for many instruments among the Eskimos; their natural surroundings preclude any but the simplest forms. Moreover, the intense cold makes the use of any kind of wind instrument nearly impossible since the breath would condense on the mouthpiece. Drums in Eskimo society are purely social instruments which are used by the tribes for singing and dancing but never for signaling or hunting, as with many North Americans. In day-to-day life, through the ownership of certain drums and songs, the “anatqut” or “Shaman”-priests control many activities of the people. These “Shamans” or holy men of the Eskimos deliver incantations to the spirits for good weather, success in hunting and health; 37

38

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

magical songs are bought and sold along with physical charms; songs are even owned and inherited. The Eskimos have in music a harmless method of settling arguments and grudges. The antagonists meet by appointment for a duel of satirical songs before an audience. The winner is chosen on the basis of the most public laughter provoked at the expense of his opponent.” The drum accompanies many occasions, whether secular or religious. Eskimo rhythms of slow songs tend to be asymmetrical and complex. Most of these songs are accompanied by beating of drums or of some part of the body, this indefinite rhythmic pattern often producing a complex rhythmic poly-phony between voice and beats. While other instruments

today

include

rattle, accordion,

concertina,

and

violin,

two

types of drums are traditionally predominant: the frame drum and the idiophone drum. In Greenland the frame drum is referred to as “ aelyau,”

and

at Point

Barrow,

“‘kelyau,”

and

among

the central

Eskimos.

it is called “‘kilaut.” In Alaska it is called ‘“sewyak”’ or ‘“‘Savvit.” These frame drums may vary in size but remain consistent in construction. Sewyak (Savvit): (See Pl. XII — No. 24) also varies in size throughout Alaska, but its method of construction is fundamentally the same, with variations occurring, for example, in the method of tying the handle to the frame. The body or frame is one to three inches wide, and three-eighth inch to one-half inch thick, usually made of spruce or willow. This frame is bent to form a circle eight to thirty inches in diameter. The ends of the frame are beveled and fitted into a bone or tooth handle the same width as the frame. The handle is then joined to the frame with wooden pegs or rawhide. Over one side of the frame is stretched a piece of thin skin, a sheet

‘PEGS

4

FRAME [ Coetnssinsi— tT

BONE

——_] —4 GROOVE SIOE

VIEW

HANDLE

AMERINDIAN

DRUMS OF NORTH AMERICA

39

of the peritoneum from a whale, walrus, seal, or even reindeer or moun-

tain sheep. This membrane is secured to the frame by means of a rawhide or sinew cord wound over the stretched membrane in a sunken groove cut in the frame. The six-inch-long handle, often carved to repre-

sent the whale or walrus, loon or albatross, may be made from teeth, bone, horn or wood, and is held in place by sinew laced around or

through holes in the handle. The completed drum may be painted with

vivid stripes or decorated with pictographs. The instrument is tuned by

wetting and heating, although pitch is not of great importance. The musician holds the instrument away from his body. The drum

is struck with a thirty-six-inch long thin drum-stick

(Kentun)

on the

wood rim, the player rotating the drum to meet each stroke alternately hitting left and right on the rim. Eskimo rhythm is generally duple or quadruple, being set by a leader with a small decorated baton. Kalookock (Kalluyaq): Box Drum —- The “kalookock (See PI. XXIV — No. 59) is a rectangular box drum hung from a pole so as to swing along the path of the sun. It is used in the Wolf Dance as well as the Messenger Feast. In use, it is swung from side to side and struck on the bottom. A new box drum is constructed each year for the Messenger Feast and retired afterward, since there is a new host each year, who must, for his own prestige, be responsible for everything. The Messenger Feast,or Messenger Dance,is the most elaborate social-ceremonial occasion in the culture of the North Alaskan Eskimos, the principal social event of the year, lasting four days. In contrast to the Whaling Feast and Caribu Feast, the main religious events, the Messenger Feast has few if any religious implications. Its basis is the enhancing of im-

portant individuals, social status, more specifically the status of “Umealit,” men

who

owned

boats and headed

whaling crews. The Umealit

of

one community invite the Umealit of another to attend and to engage in an economic exchange. The feast offers an opportunity to reinforce ties

of kinship, intercommunity

solidarity and cultural uniformity.

not incidentally accents the social status of the men sponsor the feast.” Skinless Drums:

The “Kalookock”

It also

of substance who

is an idiophone

(skinless)

type

drum. Other types in the category in North America include basket drums, plank drums and the teponaztli-type drums.* *See also Idiophone Drums of South America.

AO

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

Man discovered early that hollow objects when struck produced louder and different types of sounds than those objects that were solid. Beating of clubs against hollow logs became a common and widespread method of producing loud sound and rhythmic percussion. The highest development of log drums was reached in the New Hebrides Islands, where upright tree drums stand eighteen feet high and are two feet in diameter. They are hollowed out to a thin shell through a narrow slit on one side four inches wide, from the bottom to two thirds of its length. MUSIC

OF

THE

SOUTHERN

ESKIMOS

The Copper Eskimos of Northern Canada use poplar wood frames and deer-skin heads for their frame drums, using a heavy twelve-inch skin covered drum-stick to correspond to the thick, heavy head.

There are two types of dances among the Copper Eskimos — the

‘“pisik” and the “‘aton.” In the pisik the dancer drums as he dances, while in the aton, the drumming is furnished by another. Among these people, the drum is considered to be communal property. Women drum as well as men and at least one drum is found in a community.” Farther south heavier drum heads are found: young moose rawhide and tanned moose hide among the Dease River Kaska, for example, being used on frame drums fifteen to sixteen inches in diameter. These Indians also use hoofs and horn rattles with their drums.

The Indian drums of Alaska are similar to the Eskimo drums in construction as well as in material used for their construction. Both

Aleut and Alaskan Eskimos have been influenced by the culture of Siberia on the west and northwest coast culture on the southwest. But unlike the Eskimos, the Indians strike the skin while the Eskimos strike the drum frame.

Tungtungix (Aleut frame drum): Among the Aleuts of Alaska we find a single-headed drum consisting of a wooden rim covered with

a membrane of seal stomach, which is held in place by cords. The drum

is played by grasping, with the left hand, cross-cords inside the instrument, and beating with a drum-stick in the right hand, the drummer

skillfully keeping the drum vibrating and accompanying with motions

of the body; at intervals drums are interspersed with song, while the women continue their own songs throughout the whole performance.*!

AMERINDIAN

DRUMS

OF NORTH

AMERICA

4.1

MACKENZIE-YUKON The Nahane

Indians of northern Canada, which embraces the Tahl-

tan, the Tsetsaut, and the Kaska, use the drum in gambling. The Kaska might use a frying pan, a tambourine drum or an oil tin as a drum, beaten with a plain piece of thick willow. For dancing and singing they use a violin and guitar. The tambourine drum is a standazd musical instrument with heads made from young moose rawhide, sometimes three feet in diameter. The Dease River Kaska use a semi-tanned moose-hide, averaging about fifteen or sixteen inches in diameter, undecorated.”

NORTHWEST

COAST

The Amerindians of the northwest coast of North America are well known

for their decorative

musical

instruments,

which

are carved

and

painted most elaborately in totemic designs.* The most important uses

of the drum

are for their many

pantomimic

dances

dances of the Shaman. In this area drumming is an intrinsic part of the be separated from them. The rhythm of the tunes is plex; but the most striking characteristic is the fact beat is used.* Gau: The Tlingit Indians of Alaska refer to all

and

the special

songs and cannot exceedingly comthat a syncopated drums

as “gau.”

They use three types. Two are the idiophone types—the wooden box decorated with carvings and paintings of totem symbols, the floor board which is beaten with a carved wand at feasts for birth, hunting, death and

other occasions, and the frame drum.** Hand Drums: The Nootka Amerindians,

in the northwestern

tip of the U.S.A. and in British Columbia, have two classes of drums, hand drums and idiophone drums. The hand drum is a special type

of frame drum, well known among Amerindians, and often called ‘‘war drum,” “chief drum,” or “medicine drum,” depending on locale.

It may be either single or double headed, round or square. The round hand drums are shallow. (See Pl. XVII — No. 39). The body is made from a narrow wooden frame or hoop and is

usually less than four inches high and about eight inches across.

The deer-hide heads are generally laced to each other across the body. Used by medicine men, they are painted with ritualistic symbols. Rattles are put inside and out to impart special powers. In *The designs favored are representations of “hooyeh,” the raven; “hdrta” the bear, wild duck, eagle, whale, walrus, human effigies, skulls and others.

42

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

some cases these are fetishes of some type or strings of beads or

small sticks that strike the skin when the head is struck, producing their own sound. A piece of wood from the north side of the cedar tree

(thus

free from knots) is used for the body. A wood strip is soaked for twenty-four hours, then bent; this overlapped and tied with rawhide through holes made with red-hot metal or stone. By heating,

each drum has its own characteristic sound. The hand drum is found

more frequently in North America

than in South America.

The Nootkas have three types of idiophone drums: a plank laid across short sticks or across the laps of the drummers and beaten with short hardwood billets; a box used as a drum by beating the bottom with a fist wrapped in shredded cedar bark; and hollowed-out cedar logs beaten with sticks or the heel of the right hand. Other northern instruments include the wooden rattle, usually carved in the form of a bird; the Shaman’s rattle, of baleen or moun-

tain-sheep’s horn; strung pecten shells; whistles; bull-roarer and dance skirts hung with bird beaks, deer hooves or claws.*

CALIFORNIA Musically, this area extends through the Yuma of Arizona, but excludes a few of the Northern California tribes.

Percussion instruments, in addition to rhythmic accompaniment, provide brief introductions and conclusions for the songs. The rhythm instruments include foot drums, baskets (beaten or scraped), frame

drums, rasps, rattles, and split-stick clappers. The container rattles are made of gourds, turtle shells or cocoons, fitted with pebbles. The deer-

hoof rattle is also common. Flutes, tubes with reeds and whistles are their wind instruments. Whistles are sometimes bound together to pro-

duce a multiple-tone instrument. * The foot drums are better known in California than skin drums.

Foot drums are planks, boards or floors that are danced on or kicked to produce rhythm for singing. Tsilo (Kuksu): The Pomo California drum is the most important and characteristic feature of the Pomo dance house. It is played by stamping on it with the bare feet. It is made from a section of a large oak log and measures approximately six feet in length by twentytwo inches in width. The bark is removed and it is carefully hollowed

AMERINDIAN

DRUMS

OF

NORTH

AMERICA

43

out and reduced to a uniform thickness of about two and a half inches. A trench, the same width as the log and about eight inches in depth, is dug and near each end two short stand stakes are driven so they come

about even with the surface of the floor. Heavy grapevines are then used to form a support for the shell between the stakes. The drum is placed on these supports with the cured

side up. The

trench

forms

an excellent

resonating

chamber;

a

space of about twelve inches in length is left in front of the drum for the passage of the sound waves. This drum produces a deep, booming

tone as the drummer stamps upon it, steadying himself against a stake set firmly in the ground near the front right-hand corner of the drum. Two drummers (“‘tsilo gauks”) are used alternately. They are considered important officers, second only to the fire tenders.*’

Drums were used chiefly in the Ghost Dance and in the other re-

ligious ceremonies. However, each tribe has its own customs and traditions in'the use, construction, playing, and naming of their foot drums." (For

example,

the Maidu

tribe

calls their foot

drum

the

“kile.”)

The

men who make this instrument have to spend some time in the “sweathouse,” a purification hut for preparation of those to do the job. Kile: An Amerindian foot drum, it was made from a huge log and found among the Maidu tribe of California. The kile was made from

the

sycamore

tree,

a hard

wood.

After

the

tree

was

felled,

a section

about five or six feet long and two feet in diameter was cut from the trunk. This was split lengthwise and the best side selected. The center section was burned and scraped out, leaving a half-moon section in the

two ends. This operation left the half-log looking like a water trough.

The entire operation was carried out by the river and no one was allowed to see the drum until it was brought to the village where the feast was

to take place. A shallow trench was dug in the ground was placed over it, hollowed side down. The instrument was played in two ways. One was three men stand on top of the drum and dance in time The secouu method was to have two or three men stand

and the drum

to have two or to the singing. and pound on

the drum with a heavy club. The clubs were lifted and dropped in time with the singing. The Yurok

today use a cracker box, covered with horse-hide, with

*Ghost Dance—A religious movement that spread from the Great Basin—which taught that all Indians, living and dead, would return and live happily forever without misery and death. (1890)

44.

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

their gambling songs. There are stories of hollow logs being at one time used as drums by the Ykuts of California, but on the whole, California could be classified as a skin drum bare area.*® The

simplest

musical

GREAT BASIN

style

on

the

North

American

continent

is

found in the Great Basin. Percussion instruments include rasp, rattle, and drums. The drums found are the frame and the kettledrum (a skin

stretched over a pottery vessel, partialy filled with water), the whistle,

true flutes and musical bows. The non-religious music includes songs in

animal tales, songs connected with gambling games and lullabies.

The rattles are of the container and jingle types; deer hooves are

quite

common.

A

notched

stick,

two

feet

long,

rubbed

with

stick, is frequenty seen.*® Witu-A: A Paiute frame drum about sixteen inches in The frame was made from chokecherry or juniper. The head with the hair surface facing in, was stretched tightly over the skin was held by six thongs radiating toward the center and a handle. Each thong was slit a short distance from the end

a small

diameter. of hide, top. The acting as and was

put through the hole in the skin head. The body of the thongs was then brought through its own end slit. The six thongs converged in the center, their fastening hidden by several rows of a cotton cloth, wrapped

and stitched. The drum-stick was short and hide wrapped on one end.“ PLATEAU The Columbian plateau region is difficult to characterize because its culture

exhibits

influences

from

both

plains

and

the

northwest

coast,

but the drums in this area are similar to those found in the northwest

coast, more or less. The Salish (Sanpoil) Indians of Washington state used a frame drum about three and one-half inches deep and eighteen and one-half inches in diameter. Many were painted with geometric or realistic de-

signs. The drum-stick had a padded end with deer’s hair enclosed in

skin. Drums and drum-sticks hooves and feathers.*!

are

sometimes

ornamented

with

deer

PLAINS In the Central states, South, East and West, on plains and prairies, are the remnants of the Comanche, Winnebago, Crow, Dhegiha and Osage), Pawnee and Gros Ventre cultures.

(Omaha

AMERINDIAN

DRUMS

OF NORTH

AMERICA

45

The percussion instruments include frame drums, membrane drums of rolled rawhide, the two-headed drums, rasps of wood, hide, and bone,

and rattles and jingles made of gourd, animal hooves and rawhide. Music in the plains is mostly functional and most of it is associated with dancing. Four distinct types of music are found among the plains Indians: love songs, lullabies, general sacred music, and the Ghost

Dance ritual music.” The Comanche of Texas have two types of drums:

headed dance drum, POW-WOW DRUM a dry skin stretched of many types. (See Nexe-Gaku

(Gaku

The large Omaha

partially

the large, two-

which up to six older men beat in unison (See PI. XV — No. 34) and a hand drum, a hoop with over it. They also used the bull-roarer and rattles Pl. XVII — No. 39.) meaning

“to

beat”):

drum was made from a

filled with water

containing

Nexe

water

vessel



section of a hollowed-out tree,

charcoal.*

Skin,

dressed

or un-

dressed, was stretched over it.

The drum

was tuned before being used

(and, if necessary, again

during the ceremony). Tuning was done by tipping the drum and wetting the skin from the water within, then drying it before a fire until it yielded the desired pitch. These drums were beaten either with a single strong stroke or with a rebounding strong stroke followed by a light one

43

Nexe-Gaku-Bthacka

(Bthacka meaning

“flat”): This small Omaha

drum was made by stretching a skin over a small hoop. This drum was

used by “doctors” attending the sick and in some rituals. It was beaten with a stick. The drum was the most popular musical instrument among the Omaha. It was generally used to accompany most songs, both secular and religious. Jan-Nexe-Gaku: A wooden box drum, which has not been seen in use

in many years, was also an Omaha drum. The Osage had three drums:

a double-headed

dance drum, accommodating four or five drummers;

frame drum;

a large

and a water drum

(a caldron, covered with a damp skin). They also use the gourd, several types of rattles and a whistle.“ The Gros Ventre tribe of Montana also used three drums: a large, suspended, two-headed dance drum, a rawhide drum, and a feathered *Charcoal was to add fire.

46

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

pipe drum. Four drum-sticks went with each drum, one for each player.

The drum head was painted half blue and half yellow. The sides of the

instrument are skirted with the same color combination. The bodyless rawhide drum, held in one hand and beaten with a stick, was rarely seen this far west. The feathered pipe rite has a six-

teen-inch drum with a painted head of red with a blue thunderbird.* On the plains of North Dakota, the Mandan Indians had a turtle drum,

large

dance

drum,

wooden

drum,

hide

drum,

and

hand

drum.

The hide drum was merely a buffalo skin, rolled in a cylinder and beaten with sticks. Among the Mandan there were companies or clubs in which membership was purchased for a price. One could progress from one

club to the next higher. Each group had its distinctive dress. rattle, drum, whistle pipe and dance step.” Hakkowpirus (“breathing mouth of wood’’): A Pawnee drum made

from a section of a tree hollowed out by fire and chipping. The skin was stretched over the open ends of the log and secured. The Pawnee also had

a buffalo-hide drum, similar to that of their neighbors, the Mandan. Water drums were used by the Red Lance society. In the Wolf Dance, they used pieces of rawhide for drums. The One-Horn Dance was held to teach the men how to act in battle and to remind them that there were beings who watched over them and gave them courage. The dancers of the One-Horn

carried a hand drum, sometimes referred to as

the “pahukatawa” drum. It was made from a water willow tree trunk, planed, soaked, and bent over with the ends fastened together with sinew. Four flints were tied inside the shell, which was then headed with buffalo-hide, when available, but more frequently with cow-hide. When dried,

the heads were painted black and the rim was painted with four buffalo

skulls drawn on the side.*’ The gourd rattle, among

the Pawnee,

was sacred;

the flute, used

primarily for courtship, was made from bone or reed. Whistles were

also used. Peyote Drum (Cheyenne): A water drum used by the plains Indians in the United States, to be employed only at Peyote cult ceremonies. The Peyote cult is a North American Indian cult, believed to have begun in Mexico, religious in nature. They make use of the peyote plants in the ceremonies. Peyote is a hallucinogen (consciousness expanding) drug from the cactus (lophophora williamei) — it produces illusions and delirium.

AMERINDIAN

DRUMS

OF

NORTH

AMERICA

The Peyote drum is made from a

47

cast iron or copper three-legged

kettle. It stands from eight to ten inches in height and six to ten inches

in diameter. The head is made from buckskin and attached to small pebbles.

The

head

is attached

to the body

by a cord which

around the pebbles and body of the instrument. Before the head is attached, charms

(medicine)

is laced

and charcoal, sev-

eral Peyote buttons and water are placed inside the kettles. The cord for the skin is so laced that it forms a star at the bottom of the drum.*

The drummer

sits with his legs crossed, usmg

one drum-stick of hard

walnut wood, unpadded and about fourteen inches long.

Water is put onto the skin frequently throughout the night of the Peyote meeting to keep the instrument tuned. Peyote is passed around

to those who wish to partake of it. It produces dreams and peculiar

mental reactions. At the end of the meeting the “tea” or water in the drum is drunk by anyone who feels it would do him good. (See PI.

XIX — No. 45.)

Midwest: Palawatomi Water Drum: Carved from a cedar log, twelve inches in diameter and similar to the Midi drum in construction. The rectangular

buckskin head is held in place by a hoop of white cedar wrapped in cloth, (See Pl. XIX — No. 45), sparingly decorated with red, blue, and yellow stripes painted around the bottom and head. The drum-stick is curved and

knobbed on the end.

The

Ojibwa

EASTERN CANADA (Chippewa) of Ontario include

the Saulteaux,

the

Bungi, Missisauga, and the Ottawa, all of whom have interesting drumming traditions. The drums used only for singing are the hand drums,

consisting of a piece of rawhide stretched over both sides of a hoop

and laced together on the outer edge of the hoop. These hand drums are often supplied with cords inside like snares with small pegs tied

and twisted about them,

causing a vibration against the head when

beaten. It is also commonly called a “Moccasin Game Drum.” The same type drum, with a bone two inches in diameter “snared” in the center of the drum, is used by the Shaman. The

drums

used

in

the

ceremonies

are

called

‘‘Kimicomisanan,”

meaning “our grandfather,” a term explained as due to the fact that it is one of the oldest things known to the Chippewas.”

48

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

The Midi Drum: The instrument used in the ceremonies of the Midiwiwin and by members of that society when singing their songs in private is called a Mitigkwakik, meaning “wooden kettle.” It is commonly known as a “water drum.” The Water Drums: The water drum in the Americas is pre-

dominantly

an Amerindian

contribution to American

percussion. The

Amerindians believed that water in the drum produced a greater spiritual carrying power, as it certainly changed the tone. Heard close at hand, the water drum produces a dull thud, pleasing and yet peculiar in its quality. Some distance away its sound volume increases. There are three types of water drums found in the Americas: The Potter (Metal Vessel) — A late innovation, this kettledrum

is found in the southwest United States and Central America. The shell is one-quarter filled with water. The Log Water Drum — Found

Amerindians,

nent. We

drum;

centers

around

find this type among

and the Chippewa

the

north

among

the woodland

central

the Chippewa,

area

of the

North conti-

used as a medicine

claim that this instrument has unusual

potency.

The Gourd Water Drum — Played with hands or sticks, consists of a half gourd floating cut side down in a container of water.

It is found in Central America, the northern areas and the West Indies.* The drum of the Midi is made by hollowing out a wood log. A wooden disk is fitted to the lower end of a small hole drilled in one side. Heavy tanned deer-skin,

of South America

sixteen-inch bassthe cylinder and eighteen inches in

diameter, is wet, wrung out, laid over the top of the shell and stretched by pressing around it a willow hoop. The hole and plug make it possible to pour and remove the water without removing the head.

This drum is decorated with colored bands indicating the owner’s status in the Midiwiwin. The drum-sticks, (“bagakokkwan”), are said

to be more valuable than the drum and frequently older. Some sticks

are carved to represent loons and owls; those carved to represent loons are regarded much more highly, however. The Midi drum is used to invoke sacred spirits when seeking ad*Water drums, while indigenous to the American continent, were and are today known in Africa. The Korand Hottentots, according to Kirby, had a water drum called Khais, a wooden jar or pot, covered with deliaired goat-skin which was secured by a rim. In this

rare instance, the drummers were women, who played the instrument with bare hands in a

sitting position.

AMERINDIAN

DRUMS

OF NORTH

AMERICA

49

vice or aid for the sick, and at the initiation of new members or the advancement of a Midi from one tribal degree to a higher one.™ Two other drums similar to the Midi drum are the Chippewa water drum and the Palawatomi water drum; the only differences are in decoration. Ogiteida-Dewe-Igun (Drum of the Brave): This Chippewa hanging war drum, approximately seventeen inches in diameter, is made of wood,

with a metal rim, and decorated with representations of lightning and

turtles. Lightning is a picture of the dream of the man who invented the

use of the drum among the Amerindians —- Wenabago sent a turtle as his

messenger. The drum-stick has a crossbar near the end which, when struck against the drumhead, produces a slapping sound.51 The old Chippewa drums were the Midi and hand drum, but in recent years, a large flat drum has come into use. For this purpose, modern bass drums are sometimes utilized or occasionally, converted

washtubs.

In ancient days, when a finished drum was not available, the circle

of drummers would each hold a rawhide with one hand and stretch it between them, slapping it with the other hand. Or they might drive stakes into the ground, forming a two-foot circle and stretch the skin over them. Today,

huge,

tub-shaped

dance

drums

are

used

by

widely

scat-

tered tribes. Whether among Chippewas, Menomini, Winnebagos, Sauk-

Fox or other tribes of the north central forests, these dance drums, both secular and religious, are much alike in detail of construction and deco-

ration.”

Pow

Wow

Drum

(“Everybody’s

Drum”):

A

two-headed

instru-

ment, designed for any kind of common-place group dance where the rank and file of the tribe or tribes are present, this drum has tremendous volume. It is a counterpart of a European bass drum and in many cases

the European drum is used. The dancers move clockwise around the drum, fifteen feet or more away; four or more drummers sit around the instrument, hitting it in unison. This instrument is generally the

central object in the community, symbolizing community spirit and soli-

darity—hence the name “everybody’s drum.” The body is hewn from a solid log, twenty to twenty-six inches in

diameter, or made from a large wooden tub; cedar is generally chosen.

It is covered with cow or deer rawhide, laced across the body, allowing

50

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

three inches to overlap the body. Seldom are these drums painted or decorated. They are suspended from four stakes placed in the ground. (See Pl. XV — No. 34.)

Dream Dance Drum: This drum is reserved for the Dream Dance, a colorful ritual of Messianic nature that developed among the northern woodland Amerindians at the same time that the Ghost Dance became popular in the plains. Many ceremonies have grown up around

this drum because of the Amerindians’ affection for the instrument. For example, during the month of July, some plains tribes exchange drums as a sign of friendship and peace.” The

presented

drum

is constructed

in

strict,

ritualistically

pre-

scribed tradition and “dressed” in a beaded skirt. As a part of the ceremony, which lasts for four or five days, there is much dancing and festivity. The

appropriate

songs are taught to those who

are going to

receive the drums. After the drum is decorated, it is carried with great ceremony to the dance ground.

The Dream Dance drums have stripes several inches wide running

across the head directly through the middle. When the drum is properly placed on its stand, the stripes run east to west, representing the path of the sun. The center stripe is yellow and an inch wide, and there is

a quarter-inch green stripe on each side. The “north” half of the head

is painted blue to represent the heavens to the north and the “south” half painted red to represent the warmth of the south. The instrument is

dressed in a skirt of bright colors (corresponding to the colors of the head) and decorated with a fur rim and a beaded necklace or belt. The drum is hung in a decorated stand. (See Pl. XV — No. 33.) This drum is thought to have special powers, harmful as well as good. It is played and housed by the chief or his delegate. The Chippewas believe that the sound of the drum reaches the ears of the gods;

thus, anyone misusing the instrument will bring the gods’ wrath upon his family or the whole tribe. Therefore, the drum is never left alone.

Tewehigan:

On

Montagnais-Naskapi

the

show

Labrador

Peninsula

constructional

the

resemblance

drums

of

to the drums

the

of

the Eskimo and Asiatic forms. Ranging from fourteen to twenty-four inches, they are built on hoops three to six inches wide made of birch or poplar. Caribou skin is stretched taut over a wooden ring to fit out-

*It is told that many generations ago the Sioux gave to the Chippewa a large drum, taught them the “songs belonging to the drum” and told them the tradition of its origin. This gift resulted in peace between the two tribes.

AMERINDIAN

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ol

side of the hoop, covering the body of the drum. When there are two heads, they are laced together with red painted thongs; when one head is used, it is laced to the body. All of these drums have a “‘snare,”’ in the form of a stretched sinew

to which bones or goose quills are tied. This device produces a sustained

buzzing

sound.

Single-headed

drums

have

two

snares,

at right angles

to each other. Drum-sticks are often made from carved caribou antlers. A wooden stick with a wide end is also common. When the Tewehigan drums are played, they are hung from tent poles or house rafters, level with the drummer’s head. The drum is held close to his face to muffle the words so no one in the audience can learn his song.

The drum is used magically by the tribe in the hunting ritual. Some

small object is placed on the skin and watched to see in which direction it moves when the drum is beaten. In this way they use the drum to

find direction where game may be found.»

The Micmacs of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick use a box drum made from birch bark, which they strike with the fists. They also use as a drum, a piece of folded birch bark, which they strike with sticks at festival dances, accompanied by singing. There are also relics of skin drums among the Micmacs. One specimen is four inches deep, twelve inches across, with a single deer-skin head, held in place by a double-laced thong. The twelve-inch drum-stick

has the hitting end covered with leather.

NORTHEAST On the Atlantic seaboard the most predominant musical cultures are the Iroquois which includes the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, Tuscarora, and the Creek confederacy. The most dis-

tinctive musical feature of this area is antiphonal singing. Rhythms are simple, with a steady beat pattern, although extended rattle tremolos are sometimes heard. Percussion

instruments

include

the

frame

drum,

double-headed

drum, and the wood or pottery kettledrum. Rattles are made of gourd, turtle shell, hollow horn and bark cylinders. Deer-hoof rattles were common in the past. A musical rasp was also used but the bow, as an instru-

52

DRUMS

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AMERICAS

ment, is not reported in the Eastern area. Most tribes played tube reeds and

whistles.

True

flutes were

used

in sacred

and

offcial

secular

cere-

monies.

Powuni’-Gum (Paukandi-kan): The hide drum is made of dry deer-skin, rolled or folded and bound with cord, that fastens two long

wooden slats about the width of lath strips. It is approximately thirtytwo inches in length, and stuffed with grass.

During the first eight nights of the annual ceremony, the drumsticks are plain bars of oak, sixteen inches long, with no markings except a figure ““X” carved on one side. This figure is said to symbolize

crossroads on the pathway of the soul. On the ninth night, these plain sticks are put aside and replaced with sacred sticks called “Paukandi’-

kan-lax-usi-lei-k” (meaning “forked ones’). These have, on the upper side, carvings of the human face, one stick representing a male and the

other a female. These carvings are in high relief, with symbolic red and

black paint. The female stick also has carved representations of the female breasts. Forked ends are also cut in the sticks, which are carved

from oak.*’

Ga-No-Jo-O: The Iroquois water drum was an object of distinc tion both musically and functionally. It was the only drum used throughout the dance rites among the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga and Oneida

communicants

of the Long House religion.**® This drum was small in

comparison with those of other eastern tribes, seldom more than five or six inches wide. The body of the instrument was made of sections of wood fitted tightly together in the fashion of a pail. The skin was held taut by a snug hoop. Drummers are extremely particular in tuning to

the required pitch necessary for the accompaniment to the voices of the singers.

The drum-stick is carved to fit the thumb

and forefinger and has

attached a small wooden ball which provides an “echo” beat. The stick is balanced between the fingers of the drummer and bounced upon the moist head. At one time, water drums

were made

from wooden

vessels covered

with woodchuck skin, but, today, they are made from butter tubs and

painted kegs. The vessel is made water-tight with vegetable gums and the amount of water used determines the tone. A small bunghole in the

side allows water level to be regulated.

AMERINDIAN

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OF NORTH

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53

SOUTHEAST The Creek of Alabama

and Georgia formerly used earthen pots as

water drums; then a cypress tree stump was cut close to the ground and covered with damp bear-skin. More recently, they too resorted to a keg

partially filled with water and covered with buckskin.

SOUTHWEST the

We find three musical styles in the southwestern states: The Pueblo, Pima-Papago and the Navajo. Rhythmic accompaniments range

from steady beats to definite rhythmic designs independent of those of

the melody. The instruments used are of wide variety. The drums include double-headed hide drums, pottery kettledrums, foot drums, and basket drums.

Rattles

include

the

domestic

gourds,

turtle

shells,

sections

of

hollow horn, pottery, sleigh bells, animal hooves and jingle type rattles. Whistle tubes with ribbon reeds, musical bow and true flutes are also found in this area. The music is predominantly religious, but, work songs, gambling songs and lullabies are found as well. Songs are sometimes organized in sets and elaborate cycles, lasting days, and indicating musical specialization of a high order. The drum, as we usually consider it—-a permanent percussion instrument — does not exist among the Navajo; their drum is impro-

vised at the time it is needed. The probable reason is that the drum’s

powers make it dangerous to keep. Since the pottery drum is feared, it

is constructed, used, and disposed of with special care. Evil influences gather in drums and, once they are confined there, they are released

and blown out of the smoke hole.®

Asa-Dadi-Ohi: The Navajo pottery drum, used in the War or Squaw Dance, is simply a skin placed on a pot. The instrument, once

dedicated,* is usually hung in a place where it will not be used by mis-

take, a tree or an empty shed. Every two years it is coated with pinon gum to preserve it.

For a group dance, water is poured in from the cardinal points

through four minute holes in the head of the drum. Four men work together on the drum—the leader facing east and holding the drum by *Once it has been used as a drum, the vessel car never be used as a cooking is believed by the Navajos that the food would make anyone ill.

utensil;

it

54.

DRUMS

the handles. Holes for the eyes and mouth are also head for each new use.” The drum-stick is made of a piece of bent wood, used by the Pueblo people. The drum-stick can be made oak or wild cherry, a long twig, carefully bent into a tied. The

flat end

of the loop

is used for beating.

IN THE

AMERICAS

punched

in the

similar to that of cedar, scrub looped end and

After the ceremony,

the stick is again straightened out and deposited, with pollen, under

the bark of a cedar. (See Pl. XX VI — No. 66.) Ca: A basket drum of the Navajo, is an inverted basket. It is also found among the Mojave, Papago, Yuma, Diegueno and Maidu. The Navajos use a sacred basket. It has a red band in the middle, with black serrated edges. The colored band is intersected at one point by a narrow line of uncolored wood. This line is formed to assist in

the orientation of the basket at night, in the medicine lodge, when the fire burns low and there is little light: the ritual requires that the basket be turned in a certain direction in relation to the universe. The weaving of this basket has a prescribed ritual procedure when

the basket is to be employed by the medicine man. The helix of the basket, the butt of the first twig used and the tip of the last twig used

radially must lie due east and west. If this border becomes worn or torn in any way, the basket is unfit for sacred use. These basket drums are used in the night chants which last five nights. They are played with yucca drum-sticks* and only on the western side of the lodge house. A small Navajo blanket is laid on the ground with its longer dimension extending east and west. An incomplete circle of meal, open to the east, is traced out on the blanket with other figures.

The inverted basket is laid on the blanket with the drum-sticks

which are made from the leaves of the yucca by the shaman. New sticks are constructed for each ceremony, just before the singing begins. The leaves of these sticks must come from the same plant; all must be of the proper length and free from worms, stains, and blemishes and are chosen with deliberate ritual. The baskets themselves are of tightly

woven roots and grass, hemispheric in shape and about the size of a

large mixing bowl. When the rites are done, the basket is given to the shaman, who

*The Pima and Yuma tribes’ basket drums are struck with the bare hands by two or three drummers who sit around the drum in a “cobbler” position,

AMERINDIAN

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39

disposes of it. In any case, it must not be used for serving food. When the basket is raised from the ground, it is fanned with the hands to drive out the evil influence of the songs collected under the basket during the singing.”

Each tribe using this instrument has its own traditions and procedures. The basket drums are more or less confined to the Amerindians

of the U.S.A.

(See Pl. XXI — No.

50.)

The Navajos use three types of rattles: the wild gourd, obtained

from the Pueblo Amerindian; hide and hoof rattles. The bull-roarer, flute, and whistle are also used. Gweltilkomid: The two-headed drum found among the plateau Yumans (Havasupai) of Arizona. It is made from a section of a

hollow cottonwood log about eighteen inches high, twelve inches in diameter, and with the hide ends laced together.

It is carried slung under

the left arm. This drum formerly was a clay vessel water drum. The drum-stick (gweltilkomidii) is of the looped type. Made from a willow handle ten inches long, it terminates in a double loop four inches in diameter, which is bound in cloth and painted red.® The Cochiti of New Mexico are famous for their drums and drummaking is an important economic pursuit. The drum heads were formerly made from deer-hide; but, with the decline in the number of deer killed each year, cow-hide is now used in their construction.

The mountain cottonwood is the wood

of choice for drum-shell

making. When the cottonwood dies, the center rots away, making the hollowing process easier for the drummaker. The logs are cut into

about ten-foot lengths and loaded on wagons to be taken to the village,

there to be stored until worked. The log sections vary from three to four inches for small souvenir drums, to two feet or more for the large

dance drums. Hides of various animals are prepared in a similar manner. The

hide is split up the belly and removed in one piece, although the hide of the

head,

tail

and

lower

limbs

are

seldom

used.

The

skin

is then

soaked in a mixture of brains, oak bark and roots of mountain mahogany. Then, after being soaked and partially dried, it is scraped with a blunt instrument to remove the hair.

The larger drums are kept for the Amerindians and the smaller ones sold for the tourist trade. O-Ya-Pom’-Potz: Drums of the Cochiti are from twelve to

56

DRUMS

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AMERICAS

thirty inches in diameter and the same range in height. The drum-sticks are called “o-potz.”’ The old, commercial

snare

drum,

used

on the feast

day of Santiago’s Day, is called “o-ya-pinitz.”” The large dance drum is referred to as “paiyat-yama”’ meaning “youth” or “‘young gentlemen.” The

drummers,

who

are

called

“kiyapom-potz,”

are

chosen

by

a

council as the official drummers of the society. Four or five drummers are chosen and they form their own organization. Drums used in the ceremonies are never practiced upon; they are stored by the drummers. When the drums are to be usd, it is a ceremony carried out by the drummers. The drums are heated to get the right “voice,” and corn meal is “fed” to the drums as a form of blessing and request for prayer. After the dance the singers toss a pinch of meal onto the drum, inhale

from

the

head,

and

rub

meal

on

their

throats,

thereby

ing the continuance of their own voice and general well-being.

assur-

Old drums are not discarded, but, rather, they are retired. This instrument is two toned because one head is heavier and larger than the

other, but only one head is played at a time. Tepehan: A Zuni vase-shaped pottery drum, carried in the left arm and beaten with a looped drum-stick in the right hand. The mouth is curled and the head is retained with rope. They are white or cream and are generally decorated with cougars, bears and snakes which

are represented in combat.

The Zuni also use wooden

drums not more than twenty inches high,

held between the knees and beaten with a padded stick. A rectangular drum and a bundle drum (made by wrapping a bundle of clothing very

tightly in a strong buckskin) have been reported. Rattles, flutes, notched

sticks and whistles are used on occasion for accompaniment.” Tombe:

An

Amerindian

drum,

common

in the

of the United States, played with one drum-stick.

southwest

region

The body is hewn from a dead cottonwood shell where the center

has decayed. The center is burned and scraped out until a shell of one

to one-half inch in thickness remains. The outside is wrapped in wet rags to prevent damage to the log while the operation is carried out. Oak and pine are used for the shell, when cottonwood is not available. The shell is placed in the sunlight and turned hourly to cure the wood. Two holes are cut in one side of the shell to represent the eye

AMERINDIAN

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ov

and mouth of the instrument. The eye is near the top and is smaller than the mouth, which is directly beneath it. The small tombes are referred to as “swift drum”

and the larger

ones are called by a name meaning “all over the world.” The heads for these two-headed drums are made from bull-hide from which the hair is carefully removed with a knife. The pieces of

hide preferred come from between the shoulders of the animal. An entire hide is required for both heads and lacings. The heads are scalloped and laced across the body. The three-eighths inch wide lacing is

cut from a single piece of hide. The hide is cut “round and round”

beginning at the outer edge of the skin. The Santo Domingo, Pueblo Amerindian

of New

Mexico,

place

two small objects inside the shell. One small ball represents the earth and is three-quarters of an inch; the other object cylinder, representing

the universe, is three-quarters of an inch long and three-eighths of an inch in diameter. The ball representing the earth is painted yellow with two red dots. The universe is painted yellow but with red ends. When the instrument is played, the objects jump like Mexican jumping beans. A part of the lacing is used to make two handles, one directly above the other. The handle nearest the eye is used by the drummer. The other handle is only used when the drummer has assistance in carrying the instrument.

The height of the drummer determines the height of the drum. The instrument is carried without striking the ground so the lower skin comes to about the level of the ankles.

The drums are designed and made according to tradition with painted body and skins. Like most North Amerindian drums, they are

tastefully decorated. Most of these drums are longer than they are wide. Among the plains Amerindians, this type of log drum is referred to as an Assiniboine drum and in the eastern part of the United States as the Seneca drum. The tombe lends itself to decoration. The drum heads are traditionally black or of a dark color and sometimes with a spot of another color added in the center. Very seldom are bright colors used on the

wooden sides. The decorations are usually dictated by the type of lacing used on the shell. There are four general types of lacings: the per-

pendicular, angular, interrupted and the diagonal. The bright, natural

08

DRUMS

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AMERICAS

colors, favored by people who live close to the earth, are used for de-

signs that enhance the lacing and the over-all picture.

The tombes range in sizes from ten to thirty inches in height and six to fifteen inches in diameter across the head. (See Pl. XIV — No.

30.)

Pur-Shuk-Pi-Po-Ya (Hand drum): An Amerindian (Hopi drum. The shell is made from a decayed cottonwood tree trunk.

tribe)

This cylindrical instrument has two goat-skin heads which close the

sound chamber. They are laced together with a continuous thong pass-

ing through a hole in the skin. A thong handle is provided for handling. The handle is an extension of the lacing.

The head is often decorated with four animal figures. Its height is approximately three inches and it is sixteen to eighteen inches in diameter. Tamoa — A Papago drum, which is a basket of medium size that

could have also been in household use. It is inverted on the ground and struck with the hands. The average size is sixteen and one-half inches in diameter and five and

one-

half inches deep. Prior to using the basket, it is dropped on the ground in such a manner as to cause an explosive noise. Three or more men play this instrument with their hands.

at once,

kneeling

beside

it and

striking

it

This drum and rattles are used in Limo and Bot dances. A stick

can be used to strike or rub the surface of the basket, or even a knife. Rubbing might be used along with the striking during the same song. The Papago use the basket also as a resonator for a scraping stick in some songs. Kampora — A Tarahumara drum made from a piece of ash wood

from three to four feet long and four inches wide. It is bent into a

circle and fastened together with thongs. The heads are of buckskin. To increase resonance, a single snare of one string is passed over the

head. Once the snare is placed, a couple of beads are knotted to the snare. They are beaten with one stick.”

MESO-AMERICA — MEXICO Three great civilizations emerged in the Americas before the ar-

rival of the Europeans: the Aztec in the valley of Mexico, the Maya in Guatemala, Honduras and Yucatan, and Inca in Peru and Belivia.

The scene of the Aztec triumph was the central valley of Mexico,

AMERINDIAN

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59

between the second century A.D. and the tenth century A.D. The Aztecs developed a civilization unique among the people of the world. They built great temples, computed and measured time and controlled a great

empire. Mexico today is a mestizo country, the product of a fusion of sev-

eral cultures, but there are still perhaps a million Aztec-Nahua speaking residents of Mexico, the descendants of the empire that Cortés first saw 440 years ago. Mexico has two distinct sets of musical instruments,

the pre-conquest and the post-conquest. The pre-conquest instruments include six types:

Rasp or Omitzi-

cohuastli made

from either clay,

from bone;

flutes or Tlapitzallis made

reed or bone; the marine shell trumpet or tepuzquiquiztli; ocarinas and

silbatos or Huilacapiztli; skin drums; idiophone drums; and the ayacachtli or the maracas (sonajas); the cascabeles; the tenabaris (dried

butterfly cocoons worn on the ankles by the dancers). (See Pl. I—No. 1) These instruments were used as a part of the religious and civic ceremonies

and to accompany

native dancers. In the early century

the conquest, the Church militantly opposed ritual dances and songs.

of

The dances and songs of contemporary Mexico are entirely Spanish

in structure;

but, in their new

environment,

these airs have

acquired

tropical accent and other native variants. A typical Mexican

is composed clude flutes, We still occasions by

a

ensemble

of violins, guitars and harps and may be enlarged to inclarinets and trumpets. find some of the ancient instruments being used on special the Amerindians and classical musicians with the specific

purpose of reviving the old instruments and to give authentic color to

their symphonic works. Despite the vigilance of the Church, certain tribes, either belligerently independent or isolated, continued to live as they had before the conquest.

Most of them accepted the new religion, but the new belief did not

eliminate the old. Some tribes merely accepted the status and cthers added the Catholic saints to their roster of pagan gods and celebrated

fiestas of both religions in their traditional Amerindian manner. Others

observed two sets of ceremonials; one for pagan, another for Christian holy days. Still others disguised their pagan religion by substituting Catholic phraseology

and nomenclature

in pagan

rites. This duality in

religious practices and beliefs found its counterpart in music.

60

DRUMS

IN THE

In the agricultural state of Sonora, we find the Seris

AMERICAS

(one of the

few non-Christian tribes) and the Yaquis. We find rituals, myths and music referring to the pre-agricultural period. For an example, the Yaqui

Deer Dance, done in pantomime, is a drama of the hunt and capture of the deer. Although it is performed during Christian holy days, its origin is the pre-agricultural period. A single male performer sings to the accompaniment of two notched sticks and a water drum. In pre-Hispanic Mexico drums were instruments of prime im-

portance

around which were set the basic patterns of festivities. All

parties started with drums and there were two types of drums used: the huehuetl and the teponaztli. Huehuetl: The name itself was a general term for a large

drum used in a vertical position. The size of the drum seemed to match

the length of its name.

Thus,

different drums

were

called “huehuetl,”

“panhuehuetl” and “tlapanhuehuetl,” depending on the size.

Normally, the huehuetl was twelve to eigtheen inches in diameter.

It was elaborately carved. These carvings were like codices and told when the instrument was made, the time and place it was to be used, and the exact part it was

meant

to play in the ceremonial

functions

at which it was heard. They also relate, in many cases, the length of time it was to have been sounded, the exact persons who were designated to play

upon

it, the gods,

the honored

house

in which

it was

kept,

ceremonial objects used with the drum along with the dates on which it was used. The huehuetl was formerly made from a tree trunk hollowed out,

leaving a two-inch wall. They stood from thirty to forty inches in height and were sixteen to twenty inches in diameter, and cylindrical in shape.

The deer-skin head was glued to the body and the instrument was tuned by heating.

The huehuetl came in three general types: the huehuetl with the deer-skin head stood about three feet high, was used for dancing and was played with bare hands; the tlapanhuehuetl, covered with panther-skin, was used to summon the warriors for battle; and the teo-

huehuetl was the drum of the gods and was sounded for human sacrifice. The Spanish invaders were introduced to the teo-huehuetl in 1519

by the Aztecs. This same type of instrument was used by the Mayans a century before that time.

With the coming of European culture, the importance of these in-

AMERINDIAN

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61

struments declined. With the decline in the local culture, pride in dec-

orating the instruments also faltered. Therefore, the modern huehuetl of Mexico is a poor sample of the earlier instrument. (See Pl. XII — No. 23.) A small portable huehuetl was carried under the arm for dancing

and by warriors for signaling and directing the combatants.

Teponaztli: An idiophone-type drum used in ancient Mexico was carved from a solid block of wood. It was long, round, and open at the bottom. In the top of the teponaztli are two longitudinal tongues cut to form an “H” opening. These tongues were struck with rubber or resin-tipped sticks. Each tongue had two tones, according to which end was struck. It was used only for dancing. The drums are still being

used for special occasions in Mexico. The

modern

specimens

of these

ancient

instruments

are

very

poor

versions. The importance of their use has faded with the years, as one can readily see from

XXIII — No. 55.)

their construction.

(See

Pl. I—No.

1, and

PI.

The outside of the ancient teponaztli was elaborately carved; many

of them were carved in the form of birds, beasts and grotesque human heads. Studies have shown that these instruments have been carved to sound a minor or major tone three, four or five intervals apart. The

opening of the sound chamber is generally rectangular in shape and is

raised off the ground with a stick or tripod arrangement to allow the sound to escape. The resin-tipped sticks are called “almsitl’’ and the gum or resin is called “ule” and is obtained from the sap of the ule tree. The tongues are referred to as sounding sticks or “chicahuaztli.”

The best specimens are today in the museums. The instruments are

still highly regarded and in many cases inlaid with precious stones.®

In Yuctatan the teponaztli was called “tunkul”; the Quiche Amerindians of Guatemala call it “tun.” Plate No. XXIII] — No. 55 (Courtesy of the Los Angeles County

Museum of Art, October, 1963 to January, 1964: Master Works of Mexican Art from pre-columbian times to the present), shows a ““Tepon-

aztli drum,” in the shape of a coyote, with tongues. Teeth of bone on the back two tongues produce different sounds when beaten. The coyote was regarded as one of the “gods” of the mountains and, in this

capacity, it evoked feelings of mystery and fear of the unknown. This particular drum is also associated with trees and falling stars and as a

62

DRUMS

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AMERICAS

malevolent god, with the mysteries of the night, carved in a trunk. The

measurements of the Teponaztli are twenty-four and one-qaurter inches in length, and seven to eight inches in diameter. Tlapanhuehuetl (The large Drum of War):

(Plate

XII



No. 23) “The bas-relief is divided into two parts by a band of entwined serpents. The top part has two main motifs: Nahui-Ollin, “The Sun of Movement,” and one other important person, which very well could be, and possibly is, the sun disguised as an eagle. On the sides are seen

two warriors, one disguised as an eagle with a knife or flint, and the other as a jaguar, representing the two great military orders of the Aztecs. Each of the warriors has a headdress of feathers, and from the mouths

of both issues the war-cry, “Atl-Tlachinolli,”

symbolizing

the material

i.e. “burnt water,”

and spiritual conflict, the dynamic

union

of

the two opposites. The bottom part consists of three-stepped supports and is decorated with an eagle and two jaguars emitting the same war-

cry. This

stands

instrument

thirty-eight

is Aztec,

and

and is carved

five-eighth

one-quarter inches in diameter.” Matlazinca:

A.D.

1324-1521.

inches

from

and

a tree trunk;

measures

and

nineteen

it

and

(Malinalco, Mexico).

(Courtesy of the Museo de Arqueologia e Historia del Estado de

Mexico,

Toluca,

Mexico,

and the Los Angeles

County

October, 1963 to January 1964, Master Works pre-columbian times to the present.) Tortuga

(Ayotl):

A

large

turtle

shell

hung

Museum

of Art,

of Mexican Art from by

a

cord

around

the neck; it hangs waist high, with the ventral side up. The plates are struck with deer antlers. This

instrument

is found

in

Mexico,

Guatemala,

and

Brazil.

In

Mexico, it is generally accompanied by the huehuetl and the flute. Two

plates of the shell are selected with an interval of a fourth or fifth apart to be used as points of contact. (See Pl. XXI— No. 51.) Huehuetl (or “timbal” De Barro): A Mexican water drum made of clay and fashioned like two ceramic jugs, one large and one small, with the bottom portions connected. One jug’s mouth is covered with skin on which the drummer beats. An orifice in the large jug is left open to allow water to be placed in the instrument. (See Pl. XIX — No. 45.) Kayum: Kayamor timbal (“one who dances or sings’) — A Mayan water drum carved from a tree trunk. A part of the trunk which

has a branch limb is selected, the trunk is cut about eight inches below

AMERINDIAN

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63

the branch and approximately eight inches above the branch, and about

six inches of the branch is allowed to remain. The log is then hollowed

out to a thickness of approximately

Monkey

two inches, including the limb.

skins are placed on the bottom and top openings and retained

with rings of grapevine. The two rings are then lashed together directly across the body with thongs of leather. The heads are drawn taut by placing sticks between two thongs and twisting them together. Water is poured into the instrument through

the branch opening. The drum stands approximately twenty inches high

and nine inches in diameter with the bottom larger. It is played with the bare hands. Jicara De Agua: Two half-gourds floating in a basin of water, cut

portion down, and beaten with two sticks. Used Curacao. (See Pl. XXII — No. 52.)

in Mexico, Cuba

and

Tambor: A generic term in Latin-American countries for a small,

two-headed drum played with sticks. The tambors of Mexico come in two forms, square and round. Both types vary in size, depending on the location found. The round one is found in northern Mexico and is approximately twelve inches in diameter and

from

three

to four inches

in height.

It is beaten

with

one

stick and held in the fingers of the left hand which also fingers a flute

accompaniment.

It is closely associated with the flute so it is generally

called “tambor y pito.” It is famous because it is used in the “Juego o Danza de los Voladores,” which originated before the conquest. The “Juego de los Volardores” or “The Flying Game” is of the pre-columbian era and originally used four flyers, symbolic of the directions. The Otomi tribe of Mexico today uses six flyers. A tall, stripped tree trunk from sixty to one hunded feet high is placed in the ground

in the festive area. A small, square, revolving platform is built on top. Suspended from this platform by ropes is a flimsy square or hexagonal frame. Six flyers climb the poles and five mount the square; the sixth mounts

the small platform and stands playing. There are coiled ropes

on the square attached flyers fling themselves their feet. The weight rotate the square cap.

to the revolving platform. At a given backward into space with the ropes of their bodies causes the ropes to The five flyers swing around in a

signal, the attached to uncoil and wide circle

as they approach the ground and continuously play the “tambor y pito”

64.

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

in this perilous position. This continues until they are a few feet from the ground.

The heads of the Tambor are made from goat-skin and are attached to a flesh ring. The flesh rings are laced to each other with a cord which also provides a loop for a handle. (See Pl. XVI — No. 36.)

Tambores: The square tambores, which Vera Cruz, are constructed from a small frame

are very popular in box with the top and

bottom removed. The skins are placed on wet and laced close together

with rawhide. When

the skin dries it is drawn taut. The rawhide

provides a loop which is used as a handle.

also

Huehuetls Tzatziles: A Mexican version of a European field drum.

They average about fifteen inches high and about eight inches in diameter. They are two-headed instruments. The heads are wrapped about a flesh ring. Two tension rings hold them in place. The two tension

rings are laced “V” fashion across the shell carved from a The

tension lacings have

leather

ears.

If one

tree trunk.

desires to raise the tone,

the ears are pulled down drawing down the heads. The drum is used

in parades and for secular events. Only one head is beaten, with two

sticks. Kampora-Medio:

It is simply

a pine

box,

about

twelve

inches

square, covered with wet buckskin and beaten with one stick. The Amerindians of Mexico, like the Amerindians of Canada and the United States, in many cases use European drums for their rhythms

along with their own idiophone and, in some cases, European melodic

instruments such as cornets, guitars, harps, marimbas, or violins. The Seri of Mexico

never had a drum, so far as we can determine.

They rely more or less on the rattle for instrumental music. Their rattles are of the gourd-type on a stick, cocoon rattles and deer-hoof rattles.

6 INDIGENOUS DRUMS OF CENTRAL AMERICA Central

America,

composed

of Guatemala,

Honduras,

El Salvador,

Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama, is occupied by many Indian ethnocultural groups.

In Latin-American countries, where the population has a high per-

centage of Indians and mixture

(mestizos), the word “Indian” is not a

racial

for the purpose

term,

but

a cultural

one,

of deriving

economic,

psychological, political and social conclusions. There are variable criteria, both objective and subjective, in this term. The most reliable objective criterium for this classification is the language or mother tongue.

Does the person speak Spanish or an Indian dialect? The subjective

requirement is that the individual feels he is an Indian. He identifies with them by joining in their actions and reactions and shares their sym-

pathies and antipathies. those of the Indian.

His ethical, esthetic and political ideals are

MESO-AMERICAN It is impossible to characterize Central American indigenous music; recordings do not seem to be available. The present-day popular music

of Central America is predominantly a native music, except for the music of Panama.

version

of European

The native instruments common to all Central America are the or “xul,” which is a vertical flute; a small wind instrument called “tzijolay”; the “chirimia,’’ which is the general name for the clarinet-

“ou”

like

drum;

wind

instruments: 9 “tun

” or “teponaztli,” which is an idiophone

and the “tot,”’ an encrusted shell.©

65

66

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

Pottery or kettledrums probably originated in this area, but were replaced by a one-headed tubular type drum, open at the bottom. Container rattles of gourd, turtle shells, wooden tubes and hollow pieces of horn are used as well as the jingle types. Musical rasps were used and the musical bow may have been pre-columbian in Central America. Whistles and flutes flourished, the latter playing an important part in oficial and religious ceremonies. When water is used with the kettledrum, it is referred to as a “water drum.” The water kettledrum in Central America appears in three general types: single-chamber, double-chamber and the idiophonic. The singlechamber is a simple clay vessel, covered with skin. The double-chamber water drum has two such vessels joined vertically or horizontally. Joined vertically, the top chamber is covered and the bottom acts as a water-sound chamber (having an orifice into which water is poured). If the chambers are joined horizontally, only one is covered with skin, but both contain water, the uncovered chamber being used for placing and replacing the water.

HORIZONTAL

VERTICAL

The idiophone water drum or “gourd drum” is composed of two halfgourds, floating in a container of water. It is played with two sticks

and produces an unusual and surprisingly loud sound. (See Pl. XXI — No. 51)

Timbal De Barro (Clay Drum): A two-chambered drum of Guatemala. A similar instrument in Mexico is called ‘““Huehuetl de Barro.” It stands about twenty inches high and is made from two eightinch wide superimposed clay “bulbs.” The higher bulb, open at the top, is covered with lizard skin. The lower bulb has an opening for water. It is played with one light stick. Most timbales de barro are found in Central America, nearly always as water drums. (See Pl. XIX

— No. 45)

Tun: A Teponaztli type hollow log drum, found among the Quiche* tribes of Guatemala. This type instrument is found only in Central America and Mexico. *Quiche:

Mayan

Indians.

INDIGENOUS

DRUMS

OF CENTRAL

AMERICA

67

Isthmian: Rattle Drum: A rectangular frame, completely covered by two skins which are sewn together wet, enclosing several pebbles. The instrument

is held in one hand and struck with a stick. A calabash (gourd), with one or two stones inside and covered with snake-skin, has been found among

the Mosquitos of Nicaragua. This could be classified as a rattle or a drum. M:Drum (S:Durum): A Mosquito signal drum, it is a native version of the European field drum. Introduced in Central America

during the eighteenth century, and it is played with two sticks, which are called “m:mihta” or “s:tifni.” This drum is also used in the drinking

bouts among the Mosquito people.*

M: Kunbi (Kunbaya, S:panatan, Pantam) — A goblet-shaped upright drum, hollowed out of a solid block of mahogany or cedar, standing right drum, hollowed out of a solid block of mahogony or cedar, standing

about three feet high (including pedestal base which is carved from the

same block of wood), with the smallest diameter just above the base. The drum head, either deer, iguana, toad or tapir, is held taut by

means

funerals

The

of a strong cord. Played with bare hands, it is used only at and

similar

memorial

ceremonies.

These instruments correspond to the huehuetl of ancient Mexico. Mosquitos

shaman’s

also

use

gourd

rattles,

bamboo

one-tone

flute is six feet long), reed flutes, pottery

flutes

whistles,

(the

conch

shells, jaw-harps, musical bows and, in modern times, guitars, accordions,

and harmonicas.” Bribri

Drum:

Found

in Costa

cal instrument of the Talamanca

Rica

is probably

the

tribe of Central America.

most

typi-

It stands

three feet high or less and is five or six inches in diameter at the head. Narrowing toward the foot or base, the greatest diameter occurs six

or seven inches from the base then flares out slightly. Hewn

from a

solid piece of wood, it is fitted with a tight head of iguana-skin which

is shrunken over the larger end and glued in place with dried blood. The instrument is carried under the left arm with a fiber cord over the

right

shoulder

and

played

with

the

bare

ments have been found in pre-historic graves. The

Boruca,

another

drum, the shell of which

tribe

of the

is carved

hands.

Talamanca,

have

Similar

instru-

a two-headed

from a piece of cedar, balsa or

*Mosquito: An Indian tribe, found in Nicaragua, includes the Matagalpa, Sumo and Ulva (Woolwa) tribes.

68

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

palm trunk. The two heads are secured with a hide thong running across

the body. This instrument is also played with bare hands.”! The native

drums

of El Salvador

tribes are those

common

to all

of Central America, with the exception of the zambumbia, a two-headed snare drum, copied from the European

field drum.

The vertical flute, the chirimia (a primitive clarinet), the caramba

or carimba (a type of monochord),* (the same as the Quijongo, used in Nicaragua), and the marimba (type of xylophone), are all found in El Salvador. The music of Nicaragua is predominantly Amerindian, though the majority of the population is mestizo (mixture). Native Amerindian customs and rituals are often combined with Catholic religious rites.

The folk music and folk instruments are products

of the Maya

and

Quiche cultural regions of Central America. Some melodies and rhythms peculiar to these ancient cultures still survive today in remote villages on the coast. The only Nicaraguan instrument differing from those previously mentioned is the friction drum.

Juco: A friction drum, thought to be be of African origin. The

mouth of a culinary vessel is covered with reptile skin. A string is pulled through membrane and tied. The skin vibrates as the string is pulled and released.

The Indians of Panama seem to have lost interest in ceremonial details of their obsolete aboriginal instruments: the hollow log drums,

skin

drums,

and

bamboo

drums

have

completely

disappeared.”

CARIBBEAN

On the islands of the West Indies, where colonization was speedier and more devastating than in any area of comparable size, the Amer. indian, as a racial strain, disappeared rapidly, replaced largely by

African slave labor. The gourd water drum found in the West Indies today

is probably

one

of the few

instrumental

traces

of Amerindian

culture. It is known by several names. Evidence exists that the teponaztli, a hollow log type drum, was used in the Dominican Republic, and was called “Magiiay

or “magiiey.”

In Cuba

it was

known

as “mayo-

huacan.” The Sihu drum of Trinidad, the Bastel of Curacao, and the “La Jicara de Joba”** of Cuba are found, of course, among Afro-

Americans

in those areas.

*Monochord: A one-string violin. **Jicara de Joba: Also known in Cuba as Jicara de Moyuba, and in Haiti “Tambor de Juba.

7 AMERINDIAN DRUMS OF SOUTH AMERICA The

music

and

the musical

instruments

of the Indians

of South

America are quite different from what is found in North and Central America. The wind instruments dominate the musical scene in South

America, but in North America we find the rattles more frequently. The South American rhythms are more complex and the drumming techniques by which these rhythms are produced differ. Single drumsticks are the vogue among the North American Indians, while two sticks,

bare

hands,

and

the

single

sticks

are

used

in

South

America.

Very few single-headed frame drums are found in South America. The two-headed frame drums, as well as the large two-headed drums, are

in wide

use. The water drum,

is also found

in South

America,

found frequently in Central America, but

the idiophone

drums,

found, in

Central America, rarely used in North America, are frequently found in South America. In fact, the largest idiophone drums in the Americas

are found widely dispersed along the Amazon river. Close examination of the drums of South America uncovers many copies of European military drums, often with names derived directly from Spanish or Portuguese.

PERUVIAN The

folk music

of Peru

is performed

on

‘“‘mestizo”

or “chola”

instruments. The majority of the population of Peru is Amerindian and the instruments

used by the native performers 69

are Inca prototypes.

70

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

The Incas include a large number of tribes inhabitating the Andean highlands and Pacific coast of Peru who were conquered and incorporated into the Inca empire. Originally, they were a “Quechua” speaking

people

who

lived

in the

southern

empire once stretched from what is now

Peruvian

highlands.

The

Ecuador, along the west of

South America, through Peru and Bolivia into Chile. It was at its height in South America about the time the Aztecs were ruling Mexico. The

Incas

were

remarkably

great

builders

of granite

buildings,

bridges, and irrigation ditches and terraces, for they lived in a mountainous area. They cultivated farms and gardens, domesticated animals, and were advanced in astronomy and metallurgy. If the variety of instrumental types and skillful fabrication suth-

ciently index their musical cultures, then the Incas outstripped any of

the aboriginal groups of Mexico and Central America.” The native instruments include the “quena” or “kena,” a vertical flute made of reed or the leg bone of the llama; “‘antara,”’ the panpipe; the “ayariche” or ocarina; the “aylliquepa” and the “tocko-ora,” trumpets made of wood or baked clay; the “chil-chil”

(“onomatopoeia”),

the maraca;

the

“tinya,” a small drum and the “huancar,” a large drum. All “huancar” drum shells are made from a hollowed log with both ends covered with Ilama-hide and often painted. These vary from long war drums, about twenty inches in diameter, to a very small festival drum.” Unu-Tinya:

A

two-headed

Amerindian

drum

used

by

the

Incas

of Peru. The body is made of baked clay and shaped like an hourglass. The heads are sewn to a flesh ring and laced together over the box with

a “V” type lacing. The skin must be wet before playing in order for the

tanned leather from which it is made to be drawn tight. Only one head

is beaten with sticks; the other head has a snare arrangement that re-

sounds when the drum is played. “This small Peruvian drum is approximately

five

and

one-half

inches long, four and one-half inches in diameter and is generally used as a ritual instrument. When it is used for this purpose, charms such as

garlic, chili peppers, grass, and smoke are placed inside. Tinya:

There

is another

type,

used

by the

Incas,

Amerindians

of Peru, called a “tinya.” It is a small, two-headed drum with a wooden cylindrical body, about two and one-half inches high and four and one-

half inches in diameter. The heads are sewn to a flesh ring and they

AMERINDIAN

DRUMS

OF SOUTH

AMERICA

71

are laced across the body. It is beaten with a gourd. (See Pl. XIV — No. 30) The Incas also use three types of rattles: shell anklets), pods called “‘gacapa,” and silver ‘Incan flutes (“quena,” “quna,” “gqina-qina’”’) trumpets

kipa’”’),

are

single-note

or wood;

whistles

of

shell

are

small, carved, painted snail-shell rattles (also and copper bells. The are of bone or cane;

(‘“‘pototo”)

referred

clay,

gourd

to as ‘“‘timbrels’”

(“‘waylya-

and

the

pan-

pipes or “syrinx” are most interesting heard played with a guitar. The

Aymara

of Bolivia

have

a number

of musical

instruments,

each played at a limited group of dances and fiestas. Thus, the “qinaqina” is the name

their instruments play

the

same

of an instrument,

are not mixed

instrument.

a dance, and a fiesta. Generally,

orchestrally —a group

However,

one

combination

of men

will

is common—

the drum is used with all groups. Sometimes one large drum is used; sometimes each man plays a drum with his right hand and a wind

instrument with his left. (See Pl. XI — No. 18) Caja: A Bolivian drum made from a shallow,

wooden

cylinder

with double rawhide heads, of which only the upper head is beaten, the lower head being braced by a transverse rawhide thong to which short sticks are tied. As the drum

is beaten, these rattle against

the

lower head. The stick is a short pole with a stuffed rawhide head. Wancaja: The large drum, about sixty inches in diameter and up to eighteen inches high, used by the Aymara. Often, two snares with small sticks through them are placed over the bottom head to augment the rhythm and sound. The single padded drum-stick used to beat the batter head is called ‘“haugana.” The Aymara

also use a

laced barrel

drum, which they claim they borrowed from the Afro-Bolivians, called “tundiki.”®

Other instruments of the Aymara of Bolivia include: rattles (“raspracket” and “‘timbrel”’ rattle); flutes (end flutes, duct flutes, large right

flutes, “pinkilu” clarinet-like

“charango,”

with

the tone

instrument);

a three-string

of a flageolet,

trumpets

guitar

of

made

cow-horn;

from

armadillo; whistles; flageolets; and small bells.

panpipes,

the

notched

“tarka,”

cane

“carapace”

a

rasp;

of an

CHILEAN

The music of Chile and the musical instruments are predominantly European. The Araucanian Amerindians of Chile have had very little

influence on Chilean music even though there are a great number of

72

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

Amerindians in the country with a rich musical heritage. Araucanian instruments differ in many respects from those of other Amerindians. The “trutruca,” a two-meter long reed pipe, capable of producing only one note; the “pifullka,” a small reed pipe; the “kunkilkawe,” a double musical

bow;

the “wada”

or “huada,”

a fruit shell filled with

dry seeds; the “kiillkill,” an animal horn; the “pinkilwe,” a vertical flute; and the “‘kultrum” are some of the instruments. Kultrum: A_ kettledrum, used by the Araucanians

of

Chile,

with a head of horse or dog-skin stretched over a wooden, bowl-shaped

frame that is neither very deep nor wide. When played by the ‘“‘shaman,” it is held in one hand and beaten with a single drum-stick held in the other.

Sometimes

a layman

may

act

occurs, two slender sticks are used. The

as

a drummer

head

and

of the drum

when

this

is decorated

with curved marks that stand for roots of trees and other vegetation and by parallel lines crossing at right angles to form quadrants, each

of which represents a quarter of the globe. A small square in the center is known as “ranifimapu” meaning the middle of the earth. To the Araucanians, anyone who does not originate from “ranifimapu” is a stranger.

The horse-hide head of the “kultrum” is kept taut by lacings that are passed through holes cut along the edge of the head and are located about five inches from the rim of the bowl, which averages twelve

inches at the mouth and five inches at the base. The handle is made from the lacing and yarn. The single drum-stick is fourteen inches long

and one-half inch in diameter and wound in multicolored yarn, except for five inches at the end to be used, which is left bare. The two sticks

occasionally used vary with the height of the drummer.” (See Pl. XVIII

—No. 44)

The Tehuelche of the Pampean area have a similar drum which they play with two sticks; but they paint the heads of the drum with grotesque forms. CHACO The instruments of Argentina are European

and Amerindian. been profoundly

|

(or European copies)

Even though the folk music and popular music have affected by African rhythm, no drums of African

origin are found in general use today. The Afro-Argentinian no longer

exists; he has been absorbed, but his music has left traces stronger than

AMERINDIAN

DRUMS

OF

SOUTH

AMERICA

73

his blood. The influence is particularly heard in the milonga, and the zamba, as well as in the names themselves.

The

kettledrums

are

common

to the

Chaco

cultural

the tango,

area

where

the Choroti, Ashluslay, Lengua and the Mataco tribes use them. This

instrument Borora of Tehuelche America it

is also found in other cultural areas in South America: the Goyaz, the Chiriguana and the Caripuna of Bolivia, the of Pampean, and the Araucanians of Chile. In North had a wide distribution, being found among the Mandan,

Seneca, Pawnee, Dakota, Cherokee, Iroquois, Naskapi, Yuchi, Menomini, Kiowa, Chichimacha, Havasupai, Yavapai, Navajo, Lacandones, and the

Mixes of Mexico. Among the Kiowa in the southern states the body of the drum consisted of a clay vessel, but among the northern tribes, the Ojibwa and the Menomini, the body was made from a hollowed tree trunk. In both North and South America, one stick is used. The Bororé of South America is one exception since they use two sticks. The popular loop stick, used

in North

America,

is not known

in South

America,

nor

is

the two-chambered kettledrum of Central America. The kettledrum has a variety of uses in South America: magic, religious, love making, initiation rites, signaling, death ceremonies and others. In North and South America it has been associated with agricultural people. The body of the kettledrum consists of a closed vessel made from

clay or a hollowed

tree trunk,

with the bottom

closed.

The

head,

gen-

erally made of hide, is either glued or tied with a cord. When the body is partially filled with water, it is referred to as a water drum.”

Huitsyuk (Pim-Pim): A small Mataco drum of Argentina, consisting of a clay pot, covered with a goat’s or deer-skin and partly filled with water. Only one stick is used. drive

This instrument is used for ritualistic or spiritualistic purposes to away

evil spirits

causing

sickness,

drought,

hurricanes,

influence good spirits to bring rain and good harvests. The Tobas

use this instrument

for feasts connected

tions of important milestones in the life of the male:

marriage, and passing from one station to another.” Bombo:

This

instrument,

used

by

the

Amerindians

and

to

with celebra-

birth, wooing,

of Argentina,

is a bimembranophone, a copy of the European field drum. It measures

twenty-four inches from head to head and the cylindrical body is fifteen inches in diameter. The sheep-skin heads are wrapped about flesh rings,

DRUMS

74.

IN THE AMERICAS

held in place by tension hoops. There are holes in the bottom portion

of the tension hoops, and through these holes are laced leather thongs, running from one hoop to the other, in “W” fashion. Ear-loops are

looped over the thongs and, when these loops are pulled toward the wider ends of the thongs, the skins are tensed. The body is carved from a tree trunk to a thickness of a half-inch or less. The instrument is rustic and unpolished and has a long thong loop, running from the top tension hoop to the bottom tension hoop, acting as a handle. The drum is swung over the right shoulder, rests

on the left hip and is struck on only one head with a stick with a padded tip.” (See Pl. XIV — No. 30) Huankar (Hatun-Tinya): A two-headed frame drum from Argentina

which is called “tinya” in Quechua, “uancara” in Aymara and, in Spanish, is referred to as “caja y tambor.” This instrument

(See Pl. XIV —

No. 30) has a body four inches high and thirteen inches in diameter. The

two heads measure fifteen inches each in diameter and are wrapped about a wood flesh ring. They are then laced zig-zag across the body with a continuous leather thong which also provides a handle. The three methods of playing this instrument are as follows: (1)

The drum is hung from the thumb

of the left hand, with a single stick

held in the other fingers of the same hand. Drum is percussed by pulling back on the stick, leaving the right hand free to play the flute. (2) The drum is hung from the wrist and struck with two sticks.

drum is held with the left In Tucuman we find a ered with two skins, and handle. This drum is held other.

hand square laced in one

and struck with the right drum or “caja,” a square together with an extra hand and struck with a

The music and the instruments of Paraguay

(3) The

hand. frame, covloop for a stick in the |

are Amerindian,

but

showing European influence. The music is Guarany in type with little variety of rhythm, slow in tempo, and melancholy in mood. The instruments of the Guarani Amerindians*

are: wind instruments

(memby),

made of wood and held together by cords and vertical flutes, made from

sugar cane. There are different types of membys, depending on size, function and location, such as the ““memby-apara,” ““memby-chué,” “mem-

by-guazu,” and “memby-carara”’; the primitive trumpet called “inubia”’; the “congoera,” a rasp; and the drums. *(;uarani Indians from the Guarany Area in South America.

AMERINDIAN

DRUMS

OF

SOUTH

AMERICA

75

Trocano: An idiophone drum, found in Paraguay among the Guaranoca Indians, consisting of a hollowed log about eighteen inches long and fifteen inches in diameter. For playing, it is hung on a tree branch and struck with a mallet. A drum by the same name, but of different construction, is found in Brazil. Chorti (Kettledrum): These are “magic”

instruments,

consist-

ing of an earthenware vessel or a hollowed-out tree trunk, partly filled with water and covered with a piece of skin. The skin is tied around the mouth of the vessel with a string of “carakuata.” The single drum-stick, usually carved and sometimes

erally used.

decorated with metal mountings, is gen-

When the drum is in use, it is usually mounted on a ring of straw

which is placed on the ground. The Mataco tribe uses this same type instrument, but they place two parallel sticks in the ground to support it, stand, and beat it with two knobbed-end sticks. This is an unusual method of playing because the water drum, in other places we have

encountered, it is beaten with only one stick.

The tribes consulted as to why water was used contended that the tone of the instrument could be changed by adding water or taking out water.

The drum and the decorated calabash rattle have “magical” characteristics; both are used principally at incantations and magic

dances among the Choroti Amerindians Quarara:

In

the

EASTERN northeast

of Paraguay.”

LOWLANDS

of

Brazil,

we

find

the

Tupinamba

tribe using a frame drum which they call the otiarara. As a drum substitute, they also use a bamboo tube, four to five feet long and five to six inches in diameter, which still retains the sound of a drum. These

are open at one end and the closed end is pounded

keep

plank

on the ground to

time. Three types of idiophone drums are found in South America: drums,

the simple

Pl. XXI — No. 49)

hollow

log

drums,

and

the slit drum.

the

(See

The slit drum is hollowed out through an aperture that is quite small and narrow. It is found in South America, from the coastal ter-

ritory of Venezuela to the south of Peru, and all along the Amazon and its tributaries. The slits in these drums vary within a tribe as well as from

tribe to tribe.

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

En RN

PRY

'

76

:

]

JivAl

WITOTO

ANDOKE

These instruments can be classified into two general slit types, one

with two in the middle, with a narrow slit connecting them. The holes, which are the first step in the hollowing-out process, vary in shape and size depending on locale; some are round, square, and even hourglass in shape. The other type of slit drum, the tongue type, is found in northeastern Peru among the Jivaros.

Some tribes such as the Witoto, Okaina, Bora, Muinane and Andoke use the slit drum in pairs and refer to them as “man’ > and “‘woman,”

the large being the female and the smaller the male. The Andoke and the Okaina carve the instrument in the shape of a man and woman, with

the slit running down the back. Usually, all slit drums of South America

AMERINDIAN

DRUMS

OF

SOUTH

AMERICA

77

are hung up off the ground by either one end or both. The hollow log drums are played with two clubs, except among the Jivaros and the Aueto who use only one. The clubs are generally tipped with a lump of resin and braided with thread. The drum is stuck between the holes on the edge of the slit each side of which has a different sound since one side is carved thicker than the other.

CROSS

SECTION

The teponaztli of Mexico and Central America differ from the usual slit drum in that theirs are carved from an opening in the bottom, are never

used

in

pairs,

are

much

smaller,

the

slits

are

“H”

in

shape,

they are never used for signaling, and they are all generally played with two sticks. The slit drums of South America are used as signaling instruments, with the exception of the Choco tribes, who use them as magic instruments to frighten away evil spirits.”

Trocano:

A

massive

PARA log, approximately

thirty-nine

to

seventy

inches long and fifty to fifty-seven inches in diameter, of light and resonant wood, and used by the Amanaye Amerindians of Brazil for signaling. Three holes of about four inches in diameter are made in the log, connected by a slit through which the center is excavated by fire and chipping. The instrument is then hung on four poles with a hole six feet deep, dug under the drum to act as a resonator, and the drum is played with two large padded-tip mallets.”

78

DRUMS IN THE AMERICAS

BOLIVIAN Anguahuasi: A single-headed cylindrical drum, approximately fifteen

inches high and eight inches in diameter, found among the Chiriguano of

Bolivia. The body is hollowed from one solid block of palm wood with a head of deer or cowhide, which is sewn to a skin ring fitting closely on the body, painted with ornaments and beaten with one stick. On one side of this drum we find a small hole which has caused much speculation as to whether this practice is pre-columbian or postcolumbian, since European drums have this hole to cut down overtones. This

method

of construction

is unusual

for South

headed drums are the general rule, whereas with Mexico and Central America.®

America,

it is mainly

since

two-

associated

The Amerindians have never developed a drum language although

the drum has been used for signaling predetermined signals. In Africa, however, some of the drummers reproduce conversational sounds where-

by they are able to carry on a conversation and even recite poetry. This

is possible because of the fact that the African languages in these particular areas are tonal. The Amerindians did not accomplish this with their drums,

but the Siriono

of Bolivia

do not talk while

hunting,

but

rather communicate with each other by whistling. So highly developed is this, that they can carry on a limited conversation.

Plank Drums: These instruments are planks under which a pit is dug and the plank itself is danced upon or struck. In South America it is found being used among the Arapai, a Carib tribe living north of the lower Amazon

river, the Waiwai,

Parikuta, the Oyana,

also a Carib tribe, and

the Arawaks of British Guiana who use the plank without the pit.

In the Makuari death ceremony two drummers, a man and a woman, squatted, chanted as they beat the plank with sticks two to three

feet long, sometimes carved to represent a male and a female. In North America the plank drum was used by tribes of California, the Maidu, the coastal Yuki, the Yurok,

Catuquinaru pit,

filled

with

the Wintum,

and the Pomo.*

JURUA-PURUS Signal Drum: This instrument various

sorts

of

materials,

into

consists of an earth which

a hollow

trunk

of hard palm wood is placed on end and partly filled with many different things.

AMERINDIAN

DRUMS

OF

SOUTH

AMERICA

79 HARD

PALM

WOOD

HOLLOW

FRAGMENTS oF

wood,

HIDE

CROSS-SECTION

OF CATUQUINARU

2 RESINS

85

A small space is left empty in the center of the trunk — the pit and the upper end of the trunk are covered with a slab of hard rubber or rawhide which is struck with a large club. This drum, an idiophone

drum which could be classified as a plank drum or a hollow log drum,

was used for signaling in northern Brazil, in the Amazon

basin by the

Catuquinaru tribe, and is probably one of the strangest found in the Americas. LORETO Tunduli (Tuindui): A Jivaro Amerindian drum of Ecuador, associated with the spirit appearing in the shape of the great boa or anaconda, made of a light wood called ‘“‘shimuta.” This ment is approximately fifteen inches in diameter and sixty-three

closely water instruinches

in length, with a curved or serpent-like slit connecting four round holes

forming snake-like figures, the handles representing the head and tail of the reptile. The hollowing out of the wood is done by fire; the wood is burned and scraped off with a snail shell or an iron instrument until the cavity is large enough. The instrument is suspended by wooden logs at each

end and is beaten with a short wooden drum-stick padded on one end. The drummer is generally a chief or an elder citizen of the tribe. When he dies, the drum

is buried

with

him

and

with

each

new

chief,

a new

drum is made to accompany him through his reign.*’” The “tunduli” was originally a strictly religious instrument, but today it is both secular and religious. Uchichi-Tambora: Another drum, a copy of a European type, also

80 used

DRUMS by the Jivaros

of Ecuador.

IN THE AMERICAS

It is a bimembranophone

instrument,

one head covered with the skin of a common night-monkey, and the other with the hide of the capuchin monkey. The heads are rolled on a

skin ring, laced to each with only one stick.”

other across the body

with cord, and beaten

CAQUETA

Tu:Tu: A bimembranophone drum of the Tucuna tribe of Brazil,

clearly of European

origin. The

body

is a short cylinder of ambaura

wood from seven to twelve inches in diameter. Each end is covered with the skin of the guariba monkey or the surubim, held by flesh skin

rings and secured by tension rings which are laced together across the body with cord. A snare cord, stretched tightly across the drum head (sometimes with a bead or a small piece of metal tied in the center) hums when the head is struck. The instrument is hung by a loop of

cord from the end of a dance staff or dangles from the left hand and

beaten with one drum-stick

(“‘tu:tu-nari-paruj), about a hand’s breadth

in size, made of wood or bone. The rhythm is simple and measured,

marking that of the dance but not that of the chant, which is carried on

independently of the drum beat.

Pa:Vi (Tari): A turtle-shell drum also used by the Tucuna tribe on special occasions with the “tu:tu.” The shell is hung horizontally

from the roof (about sixty inches from the ground), the ventral side up, and beaten on the plastron with one drum-stick wrapped in “tururi”

bark cloth.” A similar instrument was found in Mexico.

Dyadiko: This drum of the Witoto Amerindians is an indigenous instrument, used only at special festivals. A slender log is hollowed out in a trough-like manner so that it becomes relatively flexible. A

water snake with butterflies perched on it is painted on the side of the log; the bust of a woman

is carved in relief on one end, and an alligator

or lizard head on the other. The drum rests on two small logs, which, along with the drum, are secured by “lianas” (ropes) to other logs

driven into the ground. A pit is dug under the instrument and cov-

ered with planks to produce more resonance.

Dancers stamp in unison

on the log, driving the dancing log against the planks. This drum is

related to the plank drums of California and South America — the Bora, neighbors of the Witoto, have a similar instrument.”

Manhuare

Signal Drum

(Manguare):

An idiophone slit drum of

AMERINDIAN

the Bora

DRUMS

Indians

OF SOUTH

AMERICA

on the Putumayo

81

River, a tributary of the Amazon

that forms the boundary between Peru and Columbia. Because they live between the Putumayo and the Caqueta rivers, whose courses are marked by severe navigational hazards, the Boras rely on drums rather

than canoes to send messages. The “manhuare” is a pair of hollow wooden logs, from five to

eight feet long and twelve to sixteen inches thick, depending on whether they are “male” or “female.”” The wood from which they are made is hard, fine-grained, heavy and unblemished, giving both drums

a plain smooth finish, without appendages. The inside is hollowed out

and burnt away by means of a slow fire directed by mouth blow-pipes, through a longitudinal groove two or three inches wide and approximately: two-thirds the length of the cylinder, and the inside surfaces

are not smooth. On the bottom there are two breast-shaped protuberances

opposite the hourglass-shaped holes cut at both ends of the longitudinal

groove. The thickness is not constant because the instrument tapers. The “manhuare”’ drums are suspended, one by one end, at a thirtydegree angle and the other hung on a rattan crossbar. The instruments are set up parallel to one another in a gigantic conical hut in the community. A temporary short-range “manhuare” is sometimes carved from the “topa” or some other softwood tree by an unalterable secret

formula

handed

down

for generations.

Two

convex

trunk

sections,

of

unequal width and about forty inches long, are placed over a shallow trough in the ground and beaten on the upturned convex side. The drum-stick tips are covered with rubber, and are about the size of champagne bottles, weighing from nine to thirteen pounds. Blows

on the rim of the groove produce four different pitches that, when combined with varying sequence and intensity, can communicate simple messages. The sound of the “manhuare” can be heard up to twenty miles away,

and

messages

Witoto, Bora, Andoke,

are

carried

even

farther

by

relay

drums.

The

Okaina, Nonoya, Resigero and other tribes living

near the Bora, communicate

in this manner.

(See Pl. XXI — No. 49)

GUIANA In the

Guianas

we

find

the

drums

of the

Carib

tribes,

once

the

wanderers of the Caribbean Sea. Sambura (Tabulu): A Carib Amerindian drum cut from a nectandra

82

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

tree trunk from which the outer bark has been romoved and the inside

hollowed out by chisels until one-half inch thick. The head of “akuri”

skin is placed on both ends and held in place by skin hoops of tough withes bound about with Kraus string and manigum. The skin rings are then laced together with twisted Kraus fiber in the European manner, which may be tensed or loosened to tune. Either of the heads is struck. A double snare of Kraus thread, in which is twisted a small toothpick-

like stick that vibrates when the instrument is played, is stretched across the silent head. For playing, the drum is held under the left arm and struck with

two sticks. The left-hand stick strikes the periphery with short light strokes, while the right-hand stick strikes the center of the head vigorously. The instrument’s construction and method of playing would

certainly justify it being labeled as of European origin. Similar drums are used by other tribes and known by different names: “‘samur” by the Wapishana, “sambura” by the Makuna Amerindians.”

Carib Plank Drum: The Caribs living north of the River dig a pit in the ground, in an open space near monial house, and place arched planks over the pit, ground. The planks are danced and stamped upon. The dancer is held stiffly and only the right foot is used;

floor is a huge drum.

lower Amazon the men’s cerelevel with the left leg of the

thus, the dance

CARIBBEAN Caverre: A Venezuelan slit drum of Amerindian origin, hewn from a log, and used by the Cumanagoto tribe. The slit is cut in the form

of a half-moon, “caverre’

forming

two

“lips”

that

produce

two

tones.

The

is very large, from four to eight feet in length and two to

three feet in diameter, and is beaten on the lips with a large resintipped stick. Bombo (Caja): The Goajiros use this large two-headed drum, carved

from

a tree section fifteen inches in diameter

and twenty-four

inches long. Both ends are covered with uncured sheep-skin. The drum is

hung from beaten with laced across a European

rafters, branches, or even from the player’s neck and is two sticks. The skins are sewn to a wooden flesh ring and the body. It is believed that this instrument is modeled after field drum.*? (See Pl. I No. — 2)

AMERINDIAN

Tortoise

DRUMS

OF

Tambor:

SOUTH

AMERICA

This Colombian

83

friction drum, made

of a turtle-

shell, is an old Indian instrument. The protuberances on the front and

bottom of the shell (previously waxed) are rubbed with a moistened palm, producing a rasp. It is also sometimes played with a loop of waxed

cord pulled through the interior of the shell to produce the sound. (See

Pl. XX — No. 47)

8 EUROPEAN-AMERICAN PERCUSSION “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send

these, the homeless,

tempest-tossed, to me:

I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” Emma Lazarus (The Great Colossus)

This quotation is found on the Statue of Liberty, in New York Harbor. The statute was a gift from France to the United States, but the thought holds true for all the Americas. The Europeans who came to the Americas and settled and founded new nations were all seekers of some sort: adventurers, plunderers, pirates,

soldiers,

farmers,

bonded

servants

or

debtors,

sailors,

fortune

hunters, salesmen, trappers, and those seeking religious freedom.

We

must admit, many of them did not come from the most stable segment of European society. After they had cleared their bonds, built their homes and supplied themselves with the basic necessities, they proceeded to establish trade with Europe. Trade brought tax collectors and governmental representatives. With the basic necessities satisfied, the development of leisure time began to increase the luxury of nostalgic urges. The settlers sent for books, musical instruments, latest-styled clothing, house furnishings and teachers for their children. 34,

EUROPEAN-AMERICAN

PERCUSSION

85

Drums seem not to have been used in Europe until the late Middle Ages, when they drifted in from Asia. In 1457, a party of Hungarian

ambassadors brought the first kettledrum to France. Kettledrums were introduced to the Court of France in 1542. King Henry VIII of England brought them from France to his court. By 1683, they came into general use as a cavalry instrument and as early as 1735,

instruction books were available for teaching.» The drum became the sign of military and power in Europe. It was used for signals and keeping time, and was considered a great military trophy in times of war.

The Moors brought the tabor and tambourine to Spain, and later,

when they migrated to England, these instruments became very popular. The drum has preserved its identity from ancient times—more than any other instrument. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in

Europe, the drum was a martial instrument, but from early times it has been associated with religious ceremonies of many people. The organ, from a very early period, has been the instrument of Christian temple worship. Much of the great music of Europe was used

as a means of attracting people to the church, but not incorporated in the worship. Only in Abyssinia, the modern Salvation Army, and in sects among the Aframerican, has the drum found a place in Christian worship. The Hebrews do not appear to have used the drum in temple worship, but used the “toph” or tambourine-type drum at weddings, processions

and

feasts.”

Frequently mentioned in the Old Testament, under the name of “tabret” or “‘timbrel,” is a drum that had no place in religious services of the tabernacle, or the temple. They were used chiefly by women for dances and public processions. They also appeared on Egyptian monu-

ments and were called “timbrels.”” Western music is based on two great traditions: the music theories of ancient Greece and the extension of those theories by the Catholic Church. Europe does not have a great drumming tradition. To the European, the drum is an instrument for marking time, giving color and effect to their harmonious melodies. The European enlarged the instrument and improved its effectiveness and construction.

There are two types of European

percussion

instruments:

those

which are incapable of giving a definite pitch, and those of a definite

pitch. The kettledrums, glockenspiels and the xylophones are instruments of definite pitch. The

bass and small drums,

cymbals,

castanets, tam-

DRUMS IN THE AMERICAS

86

bourines and triangles are instruments without definite pitch. The kettledrum and the cymbals are the most important European percussion instruments.

European music makes very little use of percussion. It is used to assert the accent at special moments or reinforce a crisis. The drum is valued for the graduated intensity with which it points the rhythm, and seldom if ever used for cross-rhythms. The quality has no import-

ance. The pitch of the drum, tuned,

is important

Percussion,

except the “timpini”

drum,

which

is

only if it clashes with the pitch of other sounds.

from

the

European

point

of view,

is not music;

it is

not a vital constituent of the harmony, which is almost invariably com-

plete without it. Time intervals of the drum notes reinforce, as a whole,

those of the other instruments. Actually, there are only three types of European drums. The first is the “long drum” or “bass drum” with two heads. It is held laterally

and played on both ends with stuffed-knob and is used by the infantry or marching bands. The big drum or “Grosse Caisse’ of the modern orchestra is a modification of this drum. The

second

is the side

drum;

with

two

heads — only

the upper

one being played on by two sticks of wood; the lower head occasionally

has strings of catgut stretched across its surface. The shallow, modern snare drum is a modification of the “tabor.”’ The tambourine is a special drum consisting of a single skin and is used only for special effects.

The third is the kettledrum, introduced in the modern European orchestra by Beethoven. It reached its highest development in Europe and as it grew in size, the acoustics were improved by experimentation;

last, but hardly least, it was made tunable to a definite pitch.” | The method of training of European drummers is highly organized and dates back to 1758, when Charles the First of England commanded that all drummers in the kingdom play marching beats exactly alike. In 1717, the military drum became an important part of the music and the military branch of America. The Prince of Wales’ Volunteers, stationed at Annapolis, Maryland, had a corps of fife, drum and bugle.

This set the stage for the development of future corps in the Americas. The European-American drums were, as in Europe during colonial times, military instruments. They were used to indicate troop movements. The drum was taught by rote, using fundamental stroke combinations

EUROPEAN-AMERICAN

PERCUSSION

87

which have come down to the present day as rudiments. Combinations of these rudiments evolved into set calls for troop or field movements. For many years there were several methods of teaching drums, and

a new technique was developing all the time. There was a need for

systematizing In

1933,

drumming. during

the

American

Legion

National

Convention

at

Chicago, a group of drummers from all parts of the country met and discussed their drumming and bugle corps. From this group of thirteen men, the National Association of Rudimental Drummers (N.A.R.D.) was organized. This organization was instrumental in developing a manual for defining rudiments. Out of this effort came the twenty-six standard rudiments accepted and used nationally today. The acceptance of these rudiments made it possible to standardize the training of all rudimental

drummers in the Americas, as well as set the stage for national and international competition for “Drum and Bugle Corps.”

Drum and Bugle Corps were important in colonial times militarily,

but they flourish today as a peacetime leisure activity. These corps are promoted and encouraged to keep drumming traditions alive. World War II created a new national interest in drum corps, and since that time there has been a steady increase in the number of high schools with drum corps and bands. Since the advent of the “‘walkie talkie,” the drum has lost its status as a martial instrument; but martial music has been fostered in the Americas by a number of organizations or “aficionados” of the drum and fife, for purely entertainment purposes. The European-American tenaciously held on to his harmony, his melodies, and his instruments, but he accepted the Afro-American dances

and rhythms. The Afro-American and the Amerindian could not divorce

themselves from their rhythms and dances, but they did accept the instruments, harmony and melodies of the European-Americans. The

European

all ethnic groups being used to play They are also being Most music falling

bass,

side, and

snare

drums

have

been

adopted

by

in the Americas. These European instruments are Asian, African, Amerindian and European rhythms. used for folk, popular and, of course, classical music. in the classical category is European and is being

played on European instruments almost exclusively. The European-Americans built great opera houses and organized

great symphonic orchestras, importing from Europe the great artists for concert tours. They competed with the Europeans in all the arts.

88

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

In the shadow of these great edifices, dedicated to the perpetuation of

European culture, there was developing a music that was as American as a Carib from Panama, or an Eskimo from Nome.

Amerindian,

nor European.

It is “mestizo”;

It is neither “Afro,”

it is “mulatto”;

it is the

music of the Americas. It is being played with all the instruments of its

people:

drums, maracas, claves, cymbals, guitars, cornets, clarinets, saxo-

phones, giiiros and marimbas.

EUROPEAN-AMERICAN

PERCUSSION

PLATE II — EUROPEAN AMERICAN Timpani

89

DRUMS

Cocktail Drum Scotch Bass Snare Drum (Side Drum) Bass “Flat Jack” Bass “Flat Jack” Tom Snared Field Drum Floor Tom Tenor Drum Bass Tom

9 EUROPEAN-AMERICAN

DRUMS

In every country the European settled and colonized he gave unselfishly of his music and his musical instruments for all to enjoy. In some

countries

European

music

was

accepted

“en

todo,”

whereas,

in

others, special elements were accepted. In many cases, the instruments were copies and used with the indigenous music. From other localities, we find a wedding of the indigenous and the European music producing

a hybrid. Last but not least, we find in other areas people without the advantage of western notation, training, and theory attempting to play European music on European instruments. These areas have contributed much of the new music. European instruments are available and used in all urban communities in the Americas

some

for classical and generally popular music.

areas, the acceptance of European

In

instruments has been at the

expense of indigenous or ethnic instruments.

Bombo: A large bass drum found in nearly all the Latin American countries. It is thought to be a copy of the European bass drum found

in the Americas. This drum is used by all ethnic groups in their traditional ways. The two-headed instruments, with a few local variations, are easily recognized as copies of the European bass or side drums. They are used

in both popular and folk music. They have the traditional two heads wrapped about a flesh ring and held in place by a counter ring. The two

counter hoops are laced together across the body or box. They are tuned by a rope running transversely across the lacing or with “ears,” bolts, or nuts.

90

EUROPEAN-AMERICAN

Caixa

(Taro,

DRUMS

9]

Toral, Tambor)

Set: The “‘toral” is a small Brazil-

ian snare drum which is similar in all details to the European snare drum found in the United States. It is very popular in the carnival festival of Rio de Janeiro. It is a two-headed instrument played with two sticks, and usually played at the same time with the “surdo,”

a large

bass drum. The skins are attached to flesh rings and held in place by counter rings which are latched together across the shell by metal brackets. The skins are tensed by turning wing nuts which draw the

heads closer together. It is fifteen to eighteen inches in diameter, eight

to ten inches in height, and is used with the “surdo” as a parade set

in Brazil.

Surdo:

(See Pl. IX — No.

14)

This is a Brazilian bass drum of European origin. It has

two heads, but only one is played with one bare hand and one padded

drum mallet. The diameter of the heads is eighteen to twenty inches; and

the body is unusually long — two and one-half feet in height. The heads

are attached to flesh rings that are secured by counter hoops. The counter hoops are connected to each other down the body with long bolts and tensed with wing-nuts. It is very popular in parades and processions, and is most always used with “toral,” making

bodies

of both

instruments

are made

both popular and folk music. Parade Set: The drums drum

corps, drum

of metal, and

a set. The

the set is used for

used in the United States for parades,

and bugle corps, school bands, etc., generally form

a set of three drums — the snared field drum, the unsnared tenor drum, sometimes referred to as a “tom,” and the Scotch bass drum.

Field Drum-Side Drum: The snared drum* is a military or parade band instrument, used to sound calls and keep time for the marchers.

It is similar to the bass drum, but smaller. The side drum entered the orchestra at the same time as the kettledrum, tenor drum, and the bass

drum. It is swung to the side and played with two sticks in the same manner as the snare drum. The upper head is referred to as the batter and the lower head as the snare head. The snares of gut or coiled wire

account for the specific rattling timbre were generally made from calf-skin and Pl. V—No. 3) The snares are several stretched across the lower head which is struck.

of the side drum. The heads the snares from lambgut. (See strands of catgut or steel wire vibrates when the batterhead

*The term “side drum” came from the military use of this instrument. It was carried and played in. a sling to one side of the drummer.

92

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

The skin is tightened by metal rods and thumb screws attached to hoops over both skin rings. In some models the skin is tightened by cords drawn taut and by leather “ears.”’ This instrument was very pop-

ular, along with the fife, for military marching in the early history of the United States. The

field

drums

average

seventeen

inches

in length

and

twelve

inches in diameter. They have an indefinite pitch, but give brilliance to march

music.

The

patterns

are rolls, flams, and

drags.

the survivor of an eighteenth

century instrument.

It has a deep wood

Tenor Drum:

A two-headed

European-American

shell with cord tension for the head.”

drum,

which

is

Without snares this instrument was employed by Wagner in “Rienzi,” “Die Walkire,” and “Parsifal.” The sound is much duller

than the snare drum and without a definite pitch. The tenor drum is an in-between drum, as opposed to the bass and snare. It is played wth two sticks on the batter-head and is used in

military

bands

to sound

rolls. The

with the bass and the kettledrum

and

tenor

drum

entered

the orchestra

is similar to the field drum,

also

used in the parade group. Scotch Bass: A small bass drum used with pipes in Scotland and adopted for parade bands in the United States. It was reduced in size to make it more manoeuverable and spectacular. It is from twentysix to twenty-eight inches in diameter and eight to ten inches wide. It is held vertically by a body sling and played with two mallets on both sides. _ Flat Jack: A single-headed drum designed and manufactured to reduce the weight of marching drums. It is designed to be carried in a harness-type carrier with or without a spinner mechanism. The body is generally made of metal and finished in chrome. The base is twenty-eight inches in diameter and approximately four inches wide. The skin or head is suspended within the body, and tension clamps are provided. The heads are usually made of an all-weather plastic. This type instrument comes in the marching snare drum which is sixteen inches in diameter; the baritone, eighteen-inch tenor marching drum.

twenty-two

inches;

and

an

Both sides of the head can be used. The advantage claimed for this type of instrument is that it can be stored in less space than the conventional type drum, it is easier to handle, and stronger. There ap-

EUROPEAN-AMERICAN

DRUMS

93

pears to be no particular improvement or loss in tone quality. To date, the “flat jacks” are more or less confined to march bands; if they prove

their worth, we might find them Popular

Drum

Set

(Modern

being used generally. Jazz

Set):

Modern

(See Pl. II)

dance

bands,

chamber groups, orchestras, and jazz groups from Nome to Buenos Aires

use sets of two-headed bass drum,

the tom-tom,

drums in different combinations; and

the cocktail drum.

the snare, the

(See Pl. X —No.

16)

Cocktail Drum Set: This drum is a highly specialized instrument,

designed

to permit the musician

to stand while playing. The grouping

used generally consists of two cymbals, one snare drum, and the cocktail drum. The cocktail drum stands from two to three feet high and is six-

teen inches in diameter. The instrument is supported by four eightinch legs. It is beaten with the aid of an upbeat pedal. The linkage causes the mallet to strike the underside of the instrument when the pedal is forced down. This cylindrical instrument has the auxiliary in-

struments attached to its body.

The cocktail drum comes with a single and a double head. The singleheaded instrument is played only with sticks and brushes. The head is snared from beneath the skin. This instrument is used only in small “combos” — commonly in cocktail lounges.

term

Tom-Toms:

among

The term “‘tom-tom” has come to be used as a generic

musicians.

It represents

all small, two-headed

unsnared

drums. The tom-toms used in the modern orchestra in the Americas come in two types. The bass tom drum is bracketed to the bass drum

and the floor tom drum sits on the floor supported by four adjustable rubber-tipped legs. This cylindrical drum stands approximately sixteen

inches in height and is fourteen inches in diameter. The bass tom averages about nine inches in height and thirteen inches in diameter. Tom-toms are generally two headed, but some single-headed instruments are used. Each head has its own tension castings, allowing it to be tuned separately.

The heads are lapped about a flesh ring. The flesh ring is secured

by counter hoops, which are lashed to the body by self-adjusting tension castings. The upright instrument is beaten with sticks, mallets, and brushes for special effects. Snare Drum: A small, two-headed drum of European origin played

94

DRUMS IN THE AMERICAS

with two sticks on one side; the body is less in height than the diameter of the head. It is often referred to as “side drum.” This

instrument

is used

in folk, popular,

and

clasiscal music.

It

is popular with, and used by, all ethnic groups. It is probably the most widely known

drum in all the Americas.

Most scholars agree that this

instrument is of European origin, but there is evidence that it also had

a polygenetic origin. This drum takes its name from the metal strands or gut strung across its bottom head. These strands are known as “snares,”

and rattle when the instrument is struck, giving it a characteristic sound. The top head, or batter head, is the playing head. The modern snare-drum shell is constructed of plywood, strongly reinforced with maple glued rings for additional strength. Tension castings are attached to the shell into which tension screws are threaded.

Each head can be tensed individually. The wire snares can be completely disengaged or muffled. The snares are made of steel wire.

There are three distinct types of snare drums: the orchestra drum,

the band snare drum, and the street snare drum. The size for the orches-

tra drum has a shell of six and one-half inches in depth, and fourteen inches in diameter. This size is very responsive to light strokes and has a sharp tone.

Concert brass bands require a larger drum. The most popular is six and one-half by fifteen inches. The deeper shell affords more volume. A still larger instrument is used in the street drum, drum corps, or military bands — an instrument twelve inches by sixteen inches, which

is ideal for adults. A rather tight batter head is desirable against loose snare head. The batter head is played with two hardwood It is recommended that tension not be relieved in either head performance. Tightening and loosening of the head shortens the the skin. Some

of the modern

a fairly sticks. after a life of

snare drums have an all-weather plastic

head, which was developed recently and whose popularity is growing. Bass Drum (European): The bass drum is of meager musical value as compared with the “tympani.” It is well known because of its use in military and municipal bands — to mark the rhythm. When it is used in the orchestra, the music is written on the staff of one line. In the

classical

orchestras,

the bass drummer

is generally

provided

with two

sticks of different sizes. The large stick is used for accented beats and the small one for routines and rolling. The note for the small drum-

roll

is called

for,

the

kettledrum

sticks

are

used.

Another

method

is

EUROPEAN-AMERICAN

DRUMS

95

the use of a double-headed drum-stick with a knob at each end. This stick has its stem turned up; and for the large one, down. When a

is known by the French word for mallet, “maillacke,” and in old French,

“tampou,” or “plug,” or “stopper,” from “taper” to “strike,” “hit,” or “slap.” The stick is held in the middle, and the drum is struck on each

end alternately.

The instrument is thought to have been brought into Europe through Turkey. It was called the “Turkish drum” until the beginning of the nineteenth century. The drum is from two to three feet in diameter with

a wooden shell more than a foot in depth. It is dull, loud, and explosive — with an indefinite pitch. Mozart was one of the first to use the instru-

ment in classical music about 1782 in “Il Seraglio.” Hayden employed it in 1794 in his military symphony.

This drum originally had a wooden body and cord tension. The modern version is made from brass with screw tension bolts. It is

employed for exceptional power and energy and for mournful, mysterious

effects. In the military band it is a pacemaker and is held in the vertical position and beaten with a padded stick. The two heads are attached to two flesh rings, held in place by two counter rings, laced across the body

with metal rods and bolts.

The bass drum has undergone a great reduction in size, as used in

the modern jazz orchestra, making it easy to carry from one “gig” or job to another. This has been made possible by advance in the knowledge of acoustics and availabilities of new materials. The bass drum in the popular music fields is a little larger than the old field drum. (See PI. X — No. 16) Pandeiro: A Brazilian tambourine or frame drum. The body is of wood and has a skin stretched over one side and metal discs (jingles)

inserted in sides. The instrument is played with the fingers, the hands, and also shaken.

It is eleven and one-half inches in diameter and the

body is two inches in height. (See Pl. XII — No. 24) Tamborin: A small Brazilian hand drum, approximately six inches in diameter, with body four inches high. This diminutive drum is made of both metal and wood and is played with one small stick. The instrument is held by the body with four fingers, with the middle finger

free to control the sound. If the single head is struck with the middle finger depressing the head, a different sound is obtained than when it is

struck with the skin free to vibrate. The middle finger can also shorten

96

DRUMS IN THE AMERICAS

the time of vibration. The rhythm patterns played on the tamborin are simple and syncopated. The calf-skin head is attached to a flesh ring which is tensed by a counter ring bolted to the small body, making it tunable. (See Pl. XII — No. 24) Tambourine (Pandera, Pandereta, Tamborin): A_ single-headed frame drum, with or without jingles. The jingles are metal discs strung on a metal wire inserted into slots cut in the body or frame. The metal discs (jingles) rattle when the instrument is played. The body is made from wood or metal. The head is either tacked or glued to the

frame, or is wrapped over a flesh ring which is held to the body by a

counter ring secured by tension brackets. It is thought by many authorities that the tambourine made its appearance quite independently in various parts of the world, but for some

reason the Basque people of Spain are given credit for the present-day instrument. It is called “tambor de Basque.”

It made its appearance in Europe before the thirteenth century and

was inherited from the Roman “Bacchus cult.” It was the instrument of the wandering musicians, showmen, jugglers, and gypsies. The

tambourine

late Middle

Ages.

fingers, elbows,

was first used in concert music in Europe in the

The

tambourine

knees, head,

is struck

against

the

body,

hands,

and with a stick. It is also rubbed

with

the fingers to produce a buzzing sound. This instrument is used by all

ethnic groups. Today it is an instrument symbol of the Salvation Army. In China, it is approximately nine and one-half inches in diameter with four pairs of jingles and a head of snake-skin. In Persia, it is larger,

nineteen inches in diameter — ornamented on the outside and furnished with bells and coins. Turkey has an octagonal-shaped tambourine. These

instruments are found

in all the countries of the Americas.

The tambourine has reached its greatest popularity in Brazil, where it is called “pandereta.” In Puerto Rico, it is a popular instrument without jingles used to play a rhythm called “La Plena.” The tambourine in the Americas takes on several sizes and shapes, from the Eskimo drum of thirty inches in diameter, to the small four-inch diameter instrument so popular in Brazil, and the four-inch by six-inch square tambourine played with a stick, also found

in Brazil.

(See

Pl. XII— No.

24)

Tabor: A small, two-headed European hand drum generally hung on the little fingers of the left hand, leaving the other four fingers

free to play a flageolet (a wind instrument, usually made of wood, with

EUROPEAN-AMERICAN

DRUMS

97

three holes, two on the top, and one underneath),

while the right hand

strikes the drufn with a stick.

This instrument, introduced into Europe by the Moors, has taken

on many variations. Sometimes the drum is swung from the body, fore-

arm and wrist. It is popular today in England with Moorish dancers.

It is thought by many that the pipe and drum have a polygenetic

origin. The combination of pipe and drum was no doubt known to the Indians, as it was to the Europeans; but the “tambor” and “chirimia” (“‘tamba y chirimia) used in many parts of Central America, Mexico and South America, today resemble the medieval European “tabor” and pipe, rather than the original indigenous instruments.

The pipe is the familiar European one with two holes on the top and one underneath so that it can easily be played with one hand. The

“tabor” varies from a circular tambourine to a child’s toy drum and is used primarily, if not exclusively, to accompany Indian dances. English Tabor: This drum comes in three versions, one type

being similar to the French “tambour provincial” and the “landsknecht-

trommel” of Germany. The instrument with a single snare on top of the

batter-head is called “tambour provincial” and without the snare it is referred to as the “tambourin.” It was also made to resemble the “Lands-

knechttrommel,” provided with snares on the snare head. The tabor and pipe appear in records of the eleventh centu-y in Europe. These instruments were later used in military operations. They became the instruments of the foot soldiers until the pipe was replaced by the flute or fife, in the late Middle Ages. During

the seventeenth

century, these instruments became

very pop-

ular in England, and from England they were introduced in the Americas. The drum, pipe or fife, and the flag were famous symbols of the American

Revolution. With the mechanization of the Armed Forces, they now appear only occasionally on parade grounds. (See Pl. XVI— No. 36)

with

Tympani (Kettledrum): A large cauldron of copper or brass covered skin and used by modern European orchestras. Tympani are

generally used in pairs and sometimes in fours. This instrument is one of

the few drums of the world tuned to a definite pitch. It gives definite

musical tone. Other drums more or less mark the rhythm, but the kettledrum is only used when the tones harmonize with the other instruments in the group. Beethoven is given credit for removing the shackles from

the tympani by writing a solo part for its use. When two drums are used,

98

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

generally one is tuned to the tonic and the other to the dominant tone of the composition. In the year 1457, a party of Hungarian Ambassadors was sent to France by their King to plead for the hand in marriage of Princess Madeline, the daughter of King Charles VII. Accompanying these delegates of

King Ladislaus Pasthumus of Hungary were a pair of drums like big kettles, carried on each side of the horse’s neck. These drums had never

been seen before in France. They were played with such pretended luxury of style that those who heard them spread the word all over Europe. In 1542, they were introduced at the court of France. King Henry VIII of England sent to Vienna for a pair. By 1683, they seem to have

come into general use as a cavalry drum. As early as 1735, instruction books were available for teaching the “Heroic and Musical Art of the

Trumpet and the Kettledrum.’” The history of the tympani in Europe is interesting. Du-ing the Baroque and Rococo periods, African drummers were imported to Europe,

both for their drumming ability and to add to the show of prestige. Gerhard Cromer of Munich in 1812 developed a mechanism to tune all tuning screws at one time. In 1890, G. J. Wunderlich

improved them by

putting the kettles on a revolving axle. Tuning by pedals began in 1872,

with Peltrick and Queisser, both of Dresden, Germany.

For maximum

quality, the kettle should be as deep as one half

of its diameter plus four inches. The rim of the bowl must be perfectly round in circumference and absolutely flat on top.

Kettledrums

consist

of three

produces sound, tensors—a and tuning.

parts:

mechanical

kettle — resonator,

means

of retaining

head —

the head

It is a matter of personal preference as to which type is chosen.

There are five general types: pedal-tuned, screw principle, justable, cables or bicycle chains, universal joints.

crank

ad-

Heads for the tympani are calf-skin — or slunk calf-skin. Hides of

calves not more than eight weeks old are best. Slunk, or unborn calf, is better for the snare side of a snare drum. Today, modern machines. remove the excess flesh, after which the skin is washed and placed for several days in a weak lime solution. The lime solution loosens the hair and bleaches the hide. The skin is then placed in a neutralizing solution;

then it is washed, tacked onto a wooden frame, and allowed to dry under

controlled temperatures. It is then buffed to an even thickness.

EUROPEAN-AMERICAN

DRUMS

99

Tympani sticks vary and their choice depends on the drummer and

the locality. The whale-bone stick has a small wooden bottom; the ends

are covered with a thin piece of sponge, and the felt knob is placed on a flexible stick. The two sticks chosen are struck one-quarter the distance from the rim. The instrument is used for coloring and special effects to which it lends itself perfectly.” The modern tympani is equipped with automatic foot-tuning pedals which take the place of hand-tuning screws. The use of the foot pedals frees the hands and makes it possible to play a clear chromatic scale. (See Pl. VII — No. 7)

Zabumba: A two-headed Brazilian drum. It is a crude copy of the European bass drum. The heads are attached to flesh rings which are secured by counter hoops. The counter hoops have holes through which a rope laces the two hoops together across the body.’

The cylindrical body averages twenty-one and one-half inches in diameter and nine inches in height. The zabumba is played with one

padded-tipped stick.

Drums of Europe are called by different names in adjacent countries.

For example, a tambourin may be a deep-toned cylinder drum played with one stick, while in another

area it may

be referred to as a tambourine,

identified as a small frame drum with cymbals. Since there is no standard-

ization of European drums, it would be well to describe European drums from which European-American drums derived. Tarole (Caisse Plate): A small, thin, flat drum three inches deep and approximately thirteen inches in diameter with eight or more snares generally of gut.

Caissee Claire: A regular orchestra snare drum. Originally, the French version had eight tension rods and a metal shell. It is six and one-quarter inches in depth and fourteen inches in diameter. It is called an imitation of the English or American small drum.

Caisse Roulante:

Americas.

The

French

version

It has four or more gut snares.

Tambour Militaire: four gut snares.

Similar

of the field drum

to the caisse roulante,

in the

but with only

Tambourin (Tambour de Provence): A deep drum, snared or unsnared. When snared, the snares (two) are placed on the batter-head. The instrument is played with one short thick drum-stick directly over the

100

DRUMS

snares.

The

instrument,

referred

to as ‘“‘sans cordes,”’

IN THE

AMERICAS

is without

snares

and ‘“‘avec cordes”’ is with snares. Tarol Gregoire: A very old caisse claire with gut snares, five tension

rods, and installed on a brass shell, eight and one-half inches in depth and fifteen and three-quarter inches in diameter.

Grosse Ruehrtommel: Formerly a single-headed German without snares, about the size of the French tambourin. With

drum, snares

it was known as “Landsknechttrommel.” The middle of the eighteenth century found this drum reduced in size, measuring twelve inches in depth and sixteen inches in diameter with snares added and known by other names:

‘Blaser Trommel,”

‘‘Wirbeltrommel,”

and ‘“‘Rolltrommel.”’

During this period, metal bodies became the vogue and rope tension devices were replaced with threaded rods of metal. The Grosse Ruehrtrom-

mel was replaced by the smaller German military drum. At the beginning of the twentieth century, another reduction took place and we find

the “Kleine Trommel” or “Konzerttrommel” (concert drum). This drum was reduced again, and the concert drum became “Kleine Jazz Trommel”’

(little jazz drum)

of five and one-quarter inches in depth and fourteen

and one-quarter inches in diameter. Today we find the “bop” trommel, four inches in depth, with tiny snares. English Tenor: A two-headed snareless drum, twelve inches in depth and fifteen to seventeen inches in diameter, with a wooden body and rope or metal tension devices. It is played with heavy snare sticks or soft felt-head sticks. English Field Drum (Parade drum, Street drum): A wooden shell with two heads, gut snares, played with two sticks slightly smaller than those used for the tenor drum. Because this instrument is used as a parade drum and carried by means of a sling to one side, it is referred to as a parade drum, side drum, and field drum. It is from six to eight

inches in depth and fourteen to fifteen inches in diameter. Gran Cassa: An Italian bass drum. “Cassa” and “Tamburo”

words

used in Italy for drums (box or chest). Tamburo Rullante: Italian version of the French with or without snares.

Tamburo

sticks.’7

caisse

are

roulante

Piccolo: A small snared Italian drum, played with two

EUROPEAN-AMERICAN

DRUMS

AFRO-AMERICAN

101

MUSICAL

ND

VRwhe

Brazil . British Guiana Surinam Uruguay . Venezuela Honduras Panama

famed

Ooo

Cuba . Curacao and Aruba . Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico

11. English-speaking

Isles 12. Haiti and French West Indies

13. United States

Western

Hemisphere

AREAS

10

Part

A

AFRICAN AND AFRAMERICAN INFLUENCE Probably ninety percent of the Aframericans” on the American continent are descendants of slaves brought to the Americas; but by no means

all, for the first Africans that came

were not slaves. The heart of

the area from which slaves were obtained lies in Nigeria, Dahomey,

Western Congo and the Gold Coast. Most of the African survivors found in the Americas can be traced to these main cultural-linguistic groups. The ancestors of these survivors came from an environment where the music was organized and performed as part of everyday life. It is im-

possible to make a single description to fit all west African music, but

there are certain characteristics which are found in nearly all the coun-

tries of West Africa, such as the dominance of percussion, or five-tone

scales. The music is generally polyrhythmic and polymetric — that is, having two or more rhythms or patterns played at the same time. The most common time division is a combination of 12-8; 3-4; 6-8; and 4-4

(to use western time signatures).

Often a bell sounds a recurring rhythm pattern throughout a dance and the African might not single it out as the prime instrument on which all the others depend, but it is in fact a time yardstick.’ The African concept of rhythm is more complex than the European. *The terms “Afro-American” and “Aframerican” are used interchangeably in this text to refer to people of African descent in the Americas who live in highly-concentrated societies with people of a similar heritage. In the United States this includes persons who are of African blood only by admission, but in other American countries the names are used only in reference to persons of obvious African background.

102

AFRICAN

AND

AFRAMERICAN

INFLUENCE

103

As a rule, in European music, different rhythmic patterns may be em-

ployed successively but seldom simultaneously. In African music, however,

several rhythms may occur simultaneously. There are usually at least two or three patterns present, and often four or five, played by drums of different sizes. Confusion is avoided by the presence of a fundamental underlying beat that never varies. (If there are several drums, this reg-

ular beat is played by the small drum.) The diverse rhythms of all instruments will coincide with the first beat of the fundamental pattern. Rhythm in African music, therefore, is a combination of patterns that

coincide only at a particular point.

Africans use the drum not only to produce music but for practical purposes as well. The drum has a social significance unlike any other instrument in African society; it is the very foundation of a wedding, a beer drinking gathering, a legal heading, or a social occasion. In Africa today, most drummers

are professional musicians, that is,

they are paid for their services. There are several types: band drummers (popular or “high life”), Association drummers, and State drummers.

State drummers are required to be present at all major state occasions. These men are employed and paid by the authorities. There are both master and secondary drummers. Secondary drummers usually fill in with persistent contrasting rhythms, or underline the basic beat and provide the “ground” of the music. The master drummer conducts the perform-

ance of the whole orchestra. He calls for gongs to sound (by oral comments or a short roll or two), or taps out the proper drum beat on the side of his instrument. He is considered the most proficient. The drummer of the “talking drums” is the “creator drummer” or “divine drummer.” Drummers in the act of drumming are immune to law (by the Sacred Persons Law) and dancers are expected to contribute money

for the services of the drummers.’

Duties of a drummer are passed from father to son. The Africans have a saying: “The bird is never the offspring of the crab.” If the father is a good drummer, so the son is expected to be. Young drummers are

instructed by trained master drummers, and all drummers live in one compound. The chief concern of African music was to recite the past history

of their people. In most areas, this was assumed by male and female professional musicians. These professional storytellers, magicians, gossipmongers were trained at secret meetings.

104

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

Ethnically the tropical and South African people are roughly divided

among the Sudanese

Negroes of West Africa and the Bantu of Cen-

tral and South Africa; with some Hamites or half-Hamites in East Central

and Hottentots in Southwest Africa. In religious beliefs there is great similarity between many parts of the continent that cut across racial origin, perhaps because of contact over the centuries. Millions of Africans have become

Muslim or Christian, but the ma-

jority of Africans still hold to the traditional religion of their fathers.

To Africans, the spiritual* world is so real and near that its forces intertwine and inspire the visible world that man has to reckon with. The beliefs of the Africans included a creator deity as first source;

“A myth of the first pair,” or twins; a concept of the “abysmal waters” as the source of life; a pantheon of divinities representing the elements, or natural forces; a serpent as a major symbol; the worship of ancestral spirits;

a metaphysical

concept

of the cardinal directions, i.e., of cross-

roads and of trees; a belief that psychic or cosmic forces are manifested

in the physical world; and a belief that a human being who functioned simultaneously as priest, king, doctor, could manipulate these forces. Manipulations on the magical level involved fetishes that brought to focus metaphysical forces, and referred to either ancestral spirits or ele-

mental forces such as rain or fertility. The relationship between humans and nature was expresed in the concept of metamorphic power, for example, the ability to change into an animal. Moreover, the worship of the

metaphysical forces was ritualistic rather than meditative, involving the

idea that the energy of the metaphysical forces had to be sustained by

feeding, or sacrifice, and their benediction maintained by propitiation. The major religious ordeal was related to fire and the service of supplica-

tion involved drumming

and dancing.

Ritualistic accessories included

rattles, bells and drums.!

It is probably correct to say that African religion has been more

misunderstood

and misinterpreted by early writers than any other part

of African life. Unhappily, old misconceptions linger with us still, and are

mirrored in terms like Black Magic, Hoodoo and Ju-ju .

From these beginnings, the African cults were reformed on American

soil. The cults were soon banned in many areas, not entirely because of religious

activities,

but for fear

of “subversive

activities”

as well. The

fear was well qualified, for as Herbert Aptheker has noted, some one *“Things invisible to mortal sight.”

AFRICAN

AND

AFRAMERICAN

INFLUENCE

105

hundred thirty major slave revolts occurred between

1663 and 1865.'*

Christian churches and other organizations were also instrumental in

obtaining prohibitive legislation, much of which remains on Southern law

books today. There were anti-superstition campaigns which attempted to outlaw the playing of drums and certain dances such as the Bongo Dance

of Trinidad, and the Bamboo-Tamboo Bands. The Obeah Cult of Jamaica,

the Nanigos of Cuba, the Voodoo of Haiti and the Hoodoos of Louisiana, have had similar histories in this aspect.!

Drums played with bare hands have come to symbolize the Afro-

cult worship in the Caribbean and South America. The drummer is the

link-pin of all Afro-cult worship.!”’ Whenever a state has attempted to eradicate cult worship, they have begun by forbidding the use of the drum. The

African

cults

in these

environments

were

and

are breeding

grounds for many outstanding drummers. The cults are almost pure African in character, and some even sing many of their songs in African languages. Harassed

by

both

Iberian-Americans

and

Anglo-Americans,

the

Aframericans concealed their religious practices in places inaccessible

to “profane eyes.”

Part

AFRICAN

B

THEOLOGY

There were no written theological texts to which men could refer, but where there was no literature there was a common oral tradition by which the rituals were passed from one generation to another. A secret ritual language

was employed

for this which can still be found

in some West African religious cults. One finds that this ritual language,

now not used for any other purpose, was the tongue of the original home of the cult. The language has been retained with the conservation of religion.

Most West Africans below the Sahara are monotheistic in that one

supreme being rules their universe. However, there are many secondary

powers which they worship. The relationship of these forces to God and to man can be expressed by the diagram of a circumscribed triangle in a square. The symbol itself, in a large sense, can also represent the attri-

butes and manifestations of God and the secondary deities.

106

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

The supreme being--God The final resort—the last Court of appeal who may be approached directly or through intermediaries, ancestors, or minor deities. thought to be very remote

appealed to great stress.

directly \

in

God and

time

is is

of

Deities or natural forces which ,must he propitiated lest they be-

\

y_

y, come

angry

~~

/

/

//

/

/

/|



/

and

cause

SKY The Supreme power from all life flows and returns.

which

A Goddess a producer of food and the burying place for the dead.

\. ~ \

On



‘\ \

/ /

earth

lives

man

and

his

\ \

\ Man

land,

triangle are the in the hierarchy powers—Dead or their leaders or harm.

the

chiefs and Kings are rungs in the ladder between himself and God.

\

/ On one side of the ancestors rising up by their increased Kings and Chiefs and potent to help

neglect

ey. Sere EARTH

/ /

at

the seasons to fail.

beneath the sky lives on the not

in a void,

ereign vital to replenish it. He seeks able power, Gods, which man as with

but

as a sov-

force. It is his duty the earth, and subdue the help of every availthe spirits and the share this earth with their friends.108

The square or rectangle is symbolically male. The male factor of God is the fatherly, the kingly, “the Great Friend,” “The Dependable One” or “the Reliable One.”’

The circle is the symbol of God as representing sanctity, wisdom and

purity. It also represents creation or the Sun as it travels and shines on everything allowing creation to take place.

The triangle represents the female aspect of life as the symbol of

God.

AFRICAN

AND

AFRAMERICAN

INFLUENCE

107

Below this God are several tutelary deities. “The people that never die.”” They are said to be the “officers of the court of God.” Along the West Coast of Africa, there is one tutelary deity for each day of the week. Their duty is to help God in giving man destiny, just before birth. A child before it is born has already received his personality — his spiritual aspect — from his father and his material self from his mother, but there has to be some parcel from God. This parcel is the “Soul” which

returns to God.

It possesses power

of motion, free will, and ability to

differentiate good, evil and time. The officers of the court hold the child to receive God’s parcel and when they release this child he or she is born, the child has incorporated in his name the name of the tutelary diety for the particular day. For example, a male child born on Friday would be named Kwa-afi or Kofi (Kwa-male) (afi tutelary deity for Friday). The Africans with traditional African beliefs do not believe in heaven or hell, but hold that the parcel in man given by God returns to a place of people who have finished performing their destiny or the cycle of existense. The good they have performed follows them back to the cycle of existence; the things in the cycle of existence are shadows of the things of life. The people who are “ashamed of their past” delay their return by wandering between the cycle of existence and the earth. The traditional African religion also worships minor deities in certain phenomena and forms, rivers, rocks, trees, mountains and chairs or stools of the dead.

The European only observed African religion superficially, he did

not actually worship a serpent, tree or stone; he did however attribute

a significant interpretation to the principle represented by these objects. The spirits of ancestors are worshiped, and those who were most powerful in life are believed to have retained that power—for either good or evil ends after life. This leads to elaborate funeral rites, for it is thought

necessary to appease the spirits of the departed and assure their gocdwill by these observances. This has had a marked influence on Aframerican customs in the New World, as in the New Orleans funeral marches that were the cradle of jazz.

Fetishism is the belief that possession of the charm, and observance of the rituals and taboos associated with it, can procure the help and protection of the spirit that it represents. The charm itself, as a material object, is simply the symbol of a supernatural power. The fetish charm, in addition to doing good for the wearer, or owner, can also work harm

108

DRUMS

upon his enemy. magic.”

Hence

it becomes

an instrument

IN THE

AMERICAS

of so-called “black-

Fate, or destiny, is extremely important in relation to the African theological view. Fate rules the universe — everything is predetermined —nothing happens by chance or accident. Nevertheless, the individual is believed to have a fighting chance to alter the course of destiny in his own case, provided he can be forewarned in time to invoke the supernatural intercession of some deity to whom he has duly worshiped. If one is a faithful follower, and observes all the rites of the cult, one may perhaps obtain “a better deal’? from fate. Because of this belief, the art of “divining” (foretelling the future) is of the utmost importance.

The Voodoo of Haiti, to the average American, conjures up visions

of a frenzied jungle ceremony where at least one unfortunate human will have his blood spilled at the altar of some grinning pagan god, to the thunderous accompaniment of crudely made drums. In reality, Voodoo is a West African religion, and not necessarily a rationale for murder.

Hoodoo, like voudou or voodoo, is an all-embracing term which includes

not only the African gods, but all rites, practices, priestesses, priests and

the people who obey its teachings.” Hoodoo refers properly to the African cults that existed at one time in the United States. It is said that the first gathering place of the Hoodoo in New Orleans was an abandoned brickyard on Dumaine Street.

In 1817, the Municipal Council of New Orleans issued an ordinance

forbidding

slave gatherings

for dancing,

or any other purpose,

except

on Sundays and only in places designated by the Mayor.'”® Congo Square (today known as Beauregard Square)

was established as the recognized

place for such dances but only under police supervision. The slaves met

there each Sunday afternoon for more than twenty years. At these meetings, a Hoodoo Queen was always present.

George Cable, in his ‘““The Dance in Place Congo” tells us that the

instruments consisted of a large skin drum hewn from a solid log open

at one end, and beaten with shank bones of sheep; a small drum called a “bamboula,”’ made from joints of bamboo; and empty keg barrels and rattles. The drums were laid along on the ground and the drummers bestrode the drums,

beating with hands,

sat alongside, beating the sound

bones, and feet. Other musicians

chamber

with sticks or turkey bones.

The music was in a 5-tone scale, with a duple beat and accent on the

AFRICAN

AND

AFRAMERICAN

INFLUENCE

109

off-beat. The crude drums have long since been discarded, but the rhythm still remains in the music in Louisiana.™ African cults worship a pantheon of gods of African origin and

identity. These gods are often associated with the saints of the Catholic

Church, and in popular designation their names may occur interchangeably with Christian equivalents. Each cult group bears the name of what — in the idiom of cult worship — is called a nation, actually an African region from which a slave population was brought. A number of these cults have retained practices so close to the original that it is possible to identify the area of origin of the people. Each with song, silk cotton Shang6,”

God has a certain day of the rhythm, and ritual dance. The tree, which, in Lucumi, is the known as the harvest warriors

year when homage is paid him word “Yroco” in English means allegorical symbol of the “Santo — the Lord and Master of fire

and war. Shang6 is always represented as a powerful arrogant king, a fine dancer, indefatigable, and respected in heroic feats and battle. In the Afro-Catholic

Society, Shangé

is known

as Santa Barbara, the Patron

Saint of thunder, lightning and storms, as well as of the warriors and soliders. Damballah-Wédo is a benevolent snake spirit, who haunts the springs and climbs the trees in Haiti. Originally, in Dahomey, he was described by the clergy as one of the many manifestations of Da, who is less a divine person than a force, controlling all life and motion. St. Patrick, whose image is depicted with serpents, is thus associated with Damballah. Moses is held to be the “father of Damballah,” because of the

miracle he performed before Pharoah when he threw down his staff on the ground and it turned into a serpent. The different “tribes” or nations have tended to keep their traditions apart and distinct. Each cult had its own specific ritual language. The Congos, Araras, Lucumis,Macumbas, Candibles, Shangés and Vou-

dons are first African and then American.” One of the most striking elements in cult worship is the manner in which the gods are said to “possess” their devotees. Possession is actually an auto-hypnotic state in which the worshiper becomes highly emotional, hysterical, and assumes strange patterns of behavior. “In the

United States we find this phenomenon

in some Aframerican

Protes-

tant, and white fundamentalist churches, where it is sometimes referred

to as ‘shouting.’ There is nothing singular about these crises, other than

110

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

the frequency and stress placed on them in cult worship. Similar cases

are recorded again and again in the history of Christian mysticism. The scope of this work does not include judgment on the right or wrong of

what is related, but one cannot fail to reflect. There is very little so bad

that something good does not come from it. This is also true of cult worship, in spite of the many attempts to eradicate it from the American

scene. The cult offers the Afro-American peasant something to which he can attach his hopes. No poverty-ridden society, if it is to preserve its mental health, can omit this escape from reality.”! On the surface “African Theology” might appear insignificant in the Americas, but in reality, it brought to life African music, song and dance

on American soil, and in time changed much of the music and dance of the world. It brought European music and dance in direct contact with those of the African, and produced a mulatto hybrid of rumbas, jazz, chacha-chas, sambas, plenas, merengiies, spirituals, charleston, gospel songs,

congas, sons, pachangas, and many other rhythms, songs and dances. The slaves worked together in the fields, singing their songs and the

songs of their fathers and grandfathers. They used the new language perhaps, but the meanings were all ancient. They sang to the old deities from Dahomey and the Congo."* Music, dance and religious beliefs and practices seem to be the phases of African culture that have left the strong-

est traces in the New World. Music and dance, indeed, are often closely allied with African religion. A knowledge of the religion of a people is

indispensable to an understanding of the indigenous mind and is funda-

mental to an understanding of their reactions to nature and man in the intense drama of history. Part

AFRO-AMERICAN

C

DRUMMING

There are three drumming traditional styles found in the Americas:

the European,

the Amerindian

and the African.

Of these, the African

style, without a doubt, has had the greatest influence on American music as a whole. The traditional African style of drumming can be seen in brilliant and virile form in Haiti, Surinam, Venezuela, Uruguay, Brazil, Trinidad,

Jamaica and other islands of the West Indies.'5 It has survived in these areas, because of the continued cult worship in which drums played an essential part. Cults, or religious sects, were organized and derived from

AFRICAN

AND

AFRAMERICAN

INFLUENCE

lll

a background of African theology and ceremonialism. These societies actually were continuations of organizations existing in Africa. While we

refer to these organizations as cults or religions, to the Africans they represented both and more; they were a way of life.!°

Having been reduced to servitude, his gods had been offended and

he feverishly set about making retribution. At the beginning he practiced

privately, but gradually developed a social fetishistic ritual, and thus established one of the most precious aspects of his life. The last stronghold of pure African rhythms in the Americas is relegated to cult worship, although even this tends to be corrupted more every day.

Drums, iron implements and rattles are indispensable to the modern

cult dance. The drums used are the hollow-log African type, played with hands and sticks, in batteries of three. The iron implement usually consists of a hoe blade, plow share, or bell struck with a large spike.

The rattle is a calabash containing seeds or pebbles. The iron, or bell, sets the basic steady beat around which the more complex drum rhythms are played. The smallest drum takes the beat from the iron and the rattle. Next

comes the medium-tuned

small one. The deep-tuned tinually changing patterns.

drum, which plays a counter. rhythm to the drum

is the solo instrument,

playing con-

Cult drums are not casual and incidental accoutrements of the dance; they are a vital elemental source. The “power” of the drums is conferred upon them by means of painstakingly performed rituals. They

are baptized to dedicate them to particular Gods. Each is given a god-

father and godmother, and a proper name."” Each year the drums are dressed, “fed” and reconfirmed, so they will not lose power. The feod used in feeding the drums is blood, palm oil, honey and purified water.

It is the practice to dress and put the drums in the place of worship the

day before the ritual. After the ceremony of the drums is performed,** the food is left and candles burn all night in the room. Drums that have been

consecrated are not generally loaned and their sale is not permitted.

Not only have the African drums persisted, but even the sticks and auxiliary instruments are almost identical in shape and technique. Goatskin headed drums are played with hands, and cowhide drums with sticks. The practice of drumming with drums between the legs and beating

*a. In Brazil this baptism is done with the holy water from the Catholic church.

112

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

the head with bare hands is considered to be of African origin, and all the cults in the Americas use this method in one form or another.*? The “Shango” cult of Trinidad carries the name of the African lord

of thunder

and lightning — the cult derived from the beliefs among

the people of Nigeria, particularly the Yoruba and fused with Catholicism. The Priestesses are called ““Mambas.”” A Shango feast in Trinidad

today will likely be set in the backyard of a Mamba’s house. The drum-

mers are seated behind a set of three ritual drums, Ogun, Omele, and Shango. Nearby are drummers who will replace the tired ones, and young boys who are fascinated by the drums but not yet skilled enough to play

at a public rite. On the ground, there is in front of the drums, a lighted candle. This candle is extinguished by each devotee who in the first throes

of “Possession” comes to dance before the drums. The candle is relighted each time by the Mamba. The lead drummer, who plays the deep-toned

drum, responds to the rhythm called for at a particular time by the Mamba

or indicated by the pantomime of the dancing devotee. The atmosphere is hypnotic and watched over by the keen eyes of the Mamba, who continually seeks out signs of possession, as hour after hour, she never allows the excitement to lag. Legal sanctions against the drum produced, throughout the Americas, a host of subterfuge methods to obtain the same rhythmic effects. Handclapping and foot-tapping in spirituals and “sankeys”; shouting in churches, as a substitution for “possession”; inverting an empty basin or

calabash over a tub containing water and beating out tempos on a legally accepted vessel. In Trinidad unsuspected joints of bamboos were used

for percussion and an “orchestra” was built of several joints of bamboo, cut to various lengths for tonal effects, and called Bamboo-Tamboo, from

the French “tambour” or Spanish “‘tambor.” The presence of so many African instruments used in the Americas is tangible enough evidence of residual African cultural traits: the use of the giiiro, claves, bell, or iron, log drums, marimbas, gourd

jawbone

(quijada)

(cabaga),

and sticks (palillos), is part of the evidence we find

in the Americas. In the dances we find: the Conga of Cuba and the Palapala and Chacarera of Argentina; in languages we find words like mambo, rumba, gumbo, yam, etc., and in the work habits, the carrying of objects

on the head

(allowing the hands to hang free), and chanting at work.

*b. It is an incontrovertible fact that the present-day bare hand drummers have been, and often still are, in some way connected with cult practices or trained by cult drummers.

AFRICAN

AND

AFRAMERICAN

Gradually,

INFLUENCE

the African

element

113

participated

in American

life—

on farms, as servants in city homes, as laborers in the streets. Subtly their influence began to be felt and soon their contributions started to

filter through. European-American popular and- classical music accepted syncopation. Clapping of hands on off-beats as, for example,

is

quite

common

in

North

America

today,

is

still

foreign

to

the

European tradition. With the beginning of the move for liberation, the Aframerican

on the other hand,

aware

of his new

position, gradually

started to abandon his old ways and to take on those of the European.

SUMMARY: No one would deny the influence of Aframerican rhythm in the music of the Americas, or the extraordinary vitality with which

it has survived

in different forms

of folk and popular

music,

both

religious and secular. The Aframerican element can be clearly discerned in such examples as the Cuban religious music, the work and the dance song and the “son,”!° the Trinidadian’s music for the Shango cults and even the Calypso;

the North

American’s

“shout,”

spirituals, blues,

ragtime and jazz; the Candombe and Milonga of Argentina; the Samba of Brazil; the Bomba of Puerto Rico; the Bamboula of the Virgin Islands and also the religious and secular music of Surinam — all are strongly marked with the African influence. The obvious relationship to West African music found in the Charleston and Ragtime rhythms of the

United States, cannot be ignored. The relationship is sometimes so close

that we find identical features in different countries. Many of these dances and rhythms have retained their African names, for example: Batuque,

Conga,

lambo, Macumba,

Rumba,

Yambu

Somba,

Bomba,

and Samba.

Fandango,

Candomblé,

Ma-

DRUMS

114

PLATE III — AFRO-AMERICAN Congas Pilon

Quinto

Bongées

DRUMS

Cota Bata

Tambu

Bata

IN THE

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

115

PLATE V, #1— CUBAN BATTERY Timbales Giiiro (Reco-Reco)

Conga

iy %,

PLATE V, #2— Ti-Baka

PETRO Juba

Asson

DRUMS (HAITI) Gras Baka

Bongos

DRUMS

116

PLATE V, #3 — PARADE

DRUM

Field Drum Scotch Bass (COURTESY OF DRUM CITY)

IN THE

SET

Tenor

PLATE VI, #4— MYDOL DRUM SET (JAMAICA) Signal Drum Festival Drum Flute

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

117

PLATE VI, #5 — CUBAN CONGA Quinto

DRUM SET

Tumbador

Conga Mambisa

PLATE VI, #6 — CUBAN BATA SET (LUCUMI CULT) Amelé Itétele Ateheré (Cabaca) Iya

118

DRUMS

PLATE VII, #7 — TIMPANO

Pedal Type

Hand

Screw Type (COURTESY OF DRUM CITY)

SET

Type

IN THE

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN

THE

119

AMERICAS

PLATE VII ’ #8 — SHANGO DRUM Chacha (Maracas) Bembo

PLATE VII, #9 — SURINAM Loango Dra Ap Intl Saka-saka (Snake Giiiro)

SET

(TRINIDAD) Amalie

Congo

BATTE RY 7 é

Kauna

Dra

120

DRUMS

PLATE VIII, #10 — EARLY AMERICAN Gourd Rattle a Quills

PLATE

;

Harmonica

Flutute

Sheep

Shanks

Tom-Tom

B ones

VII, #11 — PANAMANIAN

Repicador Pujador Guachara (Reco-Reco)

INSTRUMENTS

DRUM

Requinto

Banjo

IN THE

(U.S.A.)

Bel Tambouye (Quijada) Harp Jaw Tranele owe Bone —_ Jew’s

SET

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN

THE

12]

AMERICAS

PLATE VIII, #12 — RADA Segonde

Bula

DRUM

Manman

SET

(HAITI)

122

DRUMS

IN THE

PLATE IX, #13 — STEEL DRUMS OF TRINIDAD Ping Pong Second Pan Guitar Pan

PLATE IX, #14— BRAZILIAN PARADE

Tarol Surdo Ganza Botija

(Botiiao)

Zambumba Queixada Chocalho

DRUMS (Quijada)

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

PLATE

123

IX, #15 — ATABAQUES Rum

Rumpi

Le

Pitodo

(BRAZIL) Frijideiro Agogo

124

DRUMS

PLATE X, #16— MODERN Floor Tom Bass

Snare (COURTESY

Bass Tom OF DRUM

PLATE X, #17 — NANIGO Ekue

Obiapa

Kuchi

yerema

Binkomé

JAZZ SET

DRUM

IN THE

Top Hat

Cymbals

CITY)

BATTERY

Eribo

Bonko

(CUBA)

Enkrikamo

Ekuenon Empego

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN

THE

125

AMERICAS

PLATE XI, #18 — BOLIVIAN PARADE “Cajas”

99

and “Panpipes”

PLATE XI, #19 — PASADENA

9

PARADE

Tambourines

(LINARES)

on parade

(PASADENA, CALIF.)

in parade

126

DRUMS

PLATE XI, #20 — VONTEVIDEO Chico

Snare

PLATE

Tom

IN THE

AMERICAS

PARADE (CARNIVAL MONTEVIDEO, Repique and Piano

URUGUAY)

XI, #21 — MARINE

Drum

Tenor Tom

PARADE

(US.A.)

Cymbals

Scotch

Bass

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

PLATE

127

XII, #22— GIANT DRUMS Cumaco

N. Assotor

(IN‘THE AMERICAS) Assotor

128

DRUMS

IN THE

PLATE XII, #23 — TLAPANHUEHUETL (TOLUCA, MEXICO) (COURTESY OF EL MUSEO DE ARQUEOLOGIA E HISTORIA DEL ESTADO DE MEXICO)

PLATE

XII, #24— FRAME DRUMS Pandero Tambourine Tamborin Sewyak Pandereta Pandeiro

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

129

PLATE XIII, #25 — SINGLE-HEADED DRUMS Curbeta Banjo Drum (Viola) Gumbe Maracas

PLATE XIII, #26 — SINGLE-HEADED DRUMS Cajero Ka Catalier

130

DRUMS

leak ete. sic ell oe

I)

PLATE

XIII, #27 — SINGLE-HEADED Tumbilla Mellicin Balcié Tambu

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

131

PLATE XIII, #28 — SINGLE-HEADED DRUMS Boku Tambt Matrimonial

Rabardage

PLATE XIV, #29— TWO-HEADED Caja Tambor

Tambora

Guayo

DRUMS Tymale

132

DRUMS

PLATE XIV, #30 — TWO-HEADED

AMERINDIAN

Tinya

Caja

Tombe

Maracas

Bombo

PLATE XIV, #31 — Pang Kou

Tao Kou

Dak Kou

Pang Kou

IN THE

DRUMS

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

133

PLATE XV, #32 — TWO-HEADED Tang Kou

Tibet Trumpet

Uchiwa

Pahuiti Tau-Kou

ASIAN DRUMS

Dedjeridoo Odieko

PLATE XV, #33 — DREAM

DANCE

DRUM

134

DRUMS

PLATE XV, #34— POW

WOW

DRUM

PLATE XVI, #35 Triangle

Musik

Di Zumbi Benta

Cachoe

IN THE

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

PLATE XVI, #36 — TAMBOR AND PITO (MEXICO)

DRUMS

136

PLATE

Taikos

Chang Ko

IN THE

XVI, #37

Ok-tsusumi

PLATE XVII, #38 — Kubu Dhol

Bongo

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

137

PLATE XVII, #39— HAND Laced Square Drum

PLATE

DRUMS (AMERINDIAN) Chippewa Medicine Drum Sioux War Drum

XVII, #40 —

Sioux Hannd Drum

Tambor

Ground De Tloxcula

Rattle

Deer Hoof Rattle

138

DRUMS

Musiic Sticks Bullroarer

PLATE

IN THE

XVII, #41 — Pahu (Oceanic Kettledrum) Puili

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN

THE

139

AMERICAS

PLATE XVIII

#42 —OCEANIC Puhi-Hula Puniu

Tasa

PLATE (Trinidad)

KETTLEDRUM Puhi

XVIII, #43 — Tasa (British Guiana)

S

140

DRUMS

PLATE XVIII, #44 AMERINDIAN Kultrum

PLATE

(Araucanion)

IN THE

KETTLEDRUM Chaco

XIX, #45 — WATER DRUMS (AMERINDIAN) Timbal de Barro Potawatomi Peyote

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

PLATE XIX, #46 — (CURACAO) Bastel (Drummer) Chapi (PHOTO BY VAN F. FISCHER)

141

(Player)

PLATE XX, #47 — FRICTION DRUMS E] Coco de Efik Obuton Ayotl

142

DRUMS

PLATE Kinfuiti

XX, #48 — FRICTION DRUMS Furruco

Cuica

Basse

Puita

IN

THE

AMERICAS

DRUMS IN THE AMERICAS

143

PLATE XXI, #49 — SKINLESS DRUMS Tambor Semeistico (Manhuaré) (COURTESY OF PERUANISTICO)

144

DRUMS

i LP

OL

ML egann eH an OU

Na

OLE I ge

ahha Ia ie

PUD

iio

et;

ih?

aa

a3RSX hat

PLATE XXI, #50 — BASKET DRUM

IN THE

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

145

PLATE XXI, #51 — Concha de Tortuga Bastel

PLATE XXII, #52 — Jicara de Agua Signal Horn Flute

Raspador

146

DRUMS

Quinto Box

PLATE XXII, #53 — Bongon Bombam Bamboo

Tamboo

PLATE E] Cata

Tatu

ws Cajita

XXII, #54— La Guagua

IN THE

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

PLATE

147

XXIII, #55 — TEPONAZTLI (TOLUCA, MEXICO) (COURTESY OF EL MUSEO DE ARQUEOLOGIA E HISTORIA DEL ESTADO DE MEXICO)

PLATE Lali Tullis

XXIII, #56 — T

ouette

Ipu

148

DRUMS

PLATE

XXIII, #57 — MOKUGYO

PLATE XXIV, #58 — Stamping Tube TIpu Hula

IN THE

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN

THE

149

AMERICAS

PLATE XXIV, #59 — KALOOKOCK (COURTESY

OF

NOME

(BOX DRUM)

MUSEUM)

150

DRUMS

Pechu Di Calumba

PLATE XXIV, #60 — Tambour Maringouin

IN THE

(Mosquito Drum)

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

PLATE Chocalho

151

XXV, #61— DRUM ACCESSORIES Atcheré Cabaca Asson

PLATE Marimbula Sansa

(Mbira or Thumb

XXV,

#62 —

Stamping Tubes

Piano)

Flute

Vaccines

152

DRUMS

IN THE

PLATE XXV, #63 — Claves Akoge

Brake Chapi

Drum

PLATE XXVI, #64 — San Martini Gangarria

Gonkogui Agan Cymbal

Agogos Triangle

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN

THE

AMERICAS

RR \

‘ S

S

~~

A SS< — XC .

PLATE Asian-American

S

XXVI, #65 — DRUM STICKS European-American Aframerican

Ye Yi

Z

PLATE XXVI, #66 — AMERINDIAN

DRUMSTICKS

1Lo4

DRUMS

RR UE Sad

PLATE Rattles

XXVII , #67 — RATTLES Turtle Shell Rattle Cha Cha Maraca s

IN

THE

AMERICAS

AMERICAS

155

ae pee

ao

rs ‘

IN THE

PULCREL ELITE

DRUMS

Guayo

PLATE XXVII, #68 — Wiri Reco Reco Giiiro

Rasp Sticks

156

DRUMS

SAN nee

IN THE

Ndango Ngoma

Negalabi

Ndere

PLATE

(Harp) (Flute)

XXVIII, #69 —

Bambala

Ndingidi

(Fiddle)

bi ay by eee

ae

oa

Miiensas>

PLATE XXVIII, #70 — Tamalee Brekepe Dundun

;

,

Ae

.

S$

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

157

PLATE XXVIII, #71 — Odomankoma Atsimevu Mpentima

Turu Bongon

Ser Tehen Mbira

(Banga) (Sansa)

PLATE XXIX, #72 — Ngoma Trough Zither Darabukkas

Gwa-Ini Abyssinian Kettledrum

158

DRUMS

PLATE Lujongo

Pedi Moropa

IN THE

XXIX, #73 —

African

Mortar

Haitian

Mortar

Acoli Lace Drum

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN

THE

AMERICAS

PLATE XXIX, #74 — THE NTUMPANE

159

(TALKING DRUM OF THE ASHANTI)

ll AFRO-AMERICAN African

Afro-American

rhythms

are the most

to American

obvious

jazz, popular

DRUMS contribution

and

made

folk music.

by the

However,

African they may be, it is no less true that Afro-American rhythm patterns have been thoroughly conditioned by the dominant culture in which they have developed. Thus calypso patterns differ from samba, rumba, and jazz patterns, and so forth. Most Afro-American societies use hand-clapping and foot-tapping, iron rattles, bells, spoons, brake drum, and hoes as common accompanying instruments. Most of the drums are barrel-shaped, single-headed

instruments played with bare hands, but two-headed instruments do exist and in some areas sticks are used as well as hands. All those countries

having African drumming traditions favor drum-sets and batteries. A set consists of two or more

drums,

generally three drums,

one to carry the

basic beat, one to play a counter rhythm, and one to improvise in free rhythm. Drums within a set differ only in size: the diameter of the head and foot, and the thickness of the head. Otherwise, they are the same. The difference within a set is to allow different pitches (the larger the opening the thicker the skin of an instrument, the deeper the tones). The Afro-American drums are not definite pitched instruments, but they are played within a tight tonal range, which differs from one area to another. This range can be altered by heating, wetting or tightening and loosening the head. 160

AFRO-AMERICAN

Besides

DRUMS

drum

161

“sets” we find Afro-American

“batteries,” a mixture

of different types of drums. In a battery, we find two-head drums used

with single-head instruments of different sizes and shapes. The Afro-American subcultures divide into thirteen musical areas. The unique acculturation process occurring between the cultures involved affects the music and the instruments in each. The areas are designated as Brazil, British Guiana, Surinam, Uruguay, and Venezuela in South America; Honduras and Panama in Central America; Cuba, Curacao

and Aruba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, the English-speak-

ing islands: Haiti and the French West Indies in the Caribbean; and the

United States in North America.

BRAZIL Brazilian folk music is of great brilliance. Even though its music has attained an original ethnical expression, its sources are of foreign derivations — it is Amerindian, European, and African. Its drums and

rhythms are predominantly African in origin. The Batuque, the Coco, the Samba, the Congada, the Jongo, the Lundu, the Maracatu, and many other dances are from African dialects rather than from any European or

Indian source. Most of the dances mentioned stem from fetishistic ritual of Ma-

cumba,

also known

under

the name

of Candomblé,

Babacué,

Catimbé,

and Pagelanga. These dances and paganism establish the link between Africa and Brazil. Brazilian Folk orchestras possess a rich choice of indigenous instruments, but the greatest part of the native orchestra consists of drums, shakers, and scrapers of African origin.

Afro-Brazilian drums, three in a set, are the traditional Afro-American types. Drums sometimes bear different names in different regions of

Brazil,

such

as

the

tambi

or

tambor,

the

caxambu

the tabaqué or atabaqué (high drum), made out of a hollow tree trunk).

the trocano

Orixas

or Macumbas.

The

(bass-drum),

(the jungle

cults of Brazil are the Alufaés of Mohammedan

and the Candomblés,

Cambindas

drum

origin, the

In all of them,

dances, songs, and characteristic instruments according to the rituals are used. Atabaqués — Brazilian Cult Drum Sets: Atabaqués or tambaque is the generic term for barrel-shaped drums in Brazil. The Candomblés of Bahia use a group of three for their cult dances. The Macumbas of Rio de Janeiro are the counterpart of the

162

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

Afro-Brazilian cult of Bahia and use the same instrument in their wor-

ship.’”° The rum or ilu is the largest drum of the atabaqué set of three. It is a single membrane instrument about thirty-one inches long, twelve

inches in diameter

at the head,

and nine

inches

in diameter

across the

base. It is barrel shaped and made from staves. The cowhide or deer-

hide is folded around a wire flesh ring. Just below the belly of the drum,

a body ring is placed to fit loosely. The skin and the flesh ring are laced

to the body ring. To tune and secure the head, wedges are forced between the body ring and the body. The instrument is used to beat the rhythms of cult dances and contact the divinities. It is played with one

hand and a stick. Originally these instruments were hewn from logs, but today they are made from barrel staves. The method of attaching the head to the body differs in various localities depending on the practice of the cult. The wedge-tensed drum is referred to as “cunha type.” When the skin is attached to pegs they are called “de torno types.” The atabaqués are held in a tilted position between the legs and played with the drummer (alabe) seated. The rumpi is the second instrument of the trio or “terno.” Its construction is the same as the rum, but smaller in diameter, the mouth about eight inches in diameter and the foot six inches in diameter across. Occasionally, the height is slightly less than the rum. The rumpi carries the counter beat.

The lé is the smallest of the atabaqué “‘terno.” It carries the basic rhythm and is played with one hand and one stick or two sticks. These instruments, as a rule, are sanded and varnished; they are seldom if ever

carved, but sometimes found painted with symbols. (See Pl. IX — No. 15) The rumpi and lé are generally played with two thick sticks. Cuica (Omelé): A cone-shaped friction drum of Brazil— a small instrument with a shaft connected to or piercing the head. The shaft placed in the body is pulled by the drummer with a resin rag in his hand. The other hand is used to support the instrument and dampen the head when necessary.

The skin is nailed to the body but in recent years tension brackets have replaced the tacks, thereby making tuning a simpler task. This instrument was called “puita” in Africa, and “zambomba”’ in Spain and Puerto Rico. Zambomba

is an African word and many claim

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

163

that it was brought into Spain by the Moors. The “cuica” is very popular

in Brazil for marking the Samba rhythm. Friction

Drums—In

the

(See Pl. XX — No. 48)

Americas,

the

friction

drums

are

those instruments whose heads or bodies are set in motion by rubbing with the hands, fingers, or some mechanical intermediate device, like a cord, stick, or reed. Non-friction drums are struck.

The stick, reed, or cord may pass through the skin; or it may

be only connected to the skin; or it might be contacting the mem-

brane or body causing the instrument to vibrate when the stick, cord,

or reed

skin is rubbed

is rubbed

with

resinous

fingers.

In some

cases,

the

directly with resinous fingers.

Most of the friction drums are modified membranophones, but we do find idiophone friction drums. The modification comes in construction and methods of playing. In many cases, these drums are associated with fertility and initiation rites. The friction drums come in various shapes and

sizes and are found in Europe and Africa as well as in America. Probably the four most popular friction drums in the Americas are

the “furrucos” of Venezuela, the “‘cuica” of Brazil, and the “‘basse”’ and the “mosquito” drum of Haiti — generally referred to as a

ground harp, which is plucked as well as rubbed. Most of the friction drums in the Americas were of African origin with a few exceptions. The turtle-shell friction drums are thought to be of Amerindian origin. BRITISH GUIANA (GUYANA) On the northeast coast of South America

between Venezuela,

Suri-

nam and Brazil we find the only country where English is the official language in South America. It is a land of approximately a half million people, Africans, Amerindians,

Chinese, East Indians, Portuguese, Euro-

peans and mixed people. Culturally, they are associated with the British speaking isles of the Caribbean. They have much in common and this is particularly true of their music.

The Afro-Guianese are the largest ethnic group with the East Indians crowding them a close second. Musically, the greatest influence has been the Europeans and Africans. The Guianese do not have a great drumming tradition but Euro-

pean, Amerindian, Asian and African drums are prominent. There are

164

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

two festivals held in British Guiana that revolve about the drum:

the

tadjoh festival and the cumfa ceremony.

The cumfa dance or ceremony is held on the first of August. The

cumfa

ceremony

has been

traced back to the Kromanti

African

tribe

ritual of moon worship. Locally the cumfa is attributed to being the same as a spirit seance or invoking of the spirits. Musical instruments and song play a great part in the ceremony

as well as dancing, which is the most intriguing with foot stomping by

most of the men. Five or six drums are used with a lead drummer setting the rhythm. Cumfa Drum Set:

Congo —- The

single-head

smallest

instrument

inches across the head.

of the cumfa

standing

about

set. A

twenty

small

inches

barrel-shaped

high

and

eight

Bongo — same type instrument as the congo but two inches higher. Bam-benga (or the tutta) — Stands just under thirty inches and ten inches in diameter. Cut drum — A long slender thirty-two-inch barrel with an eightinch head.

Jaw drum—A single goat-skin head drum with a fourteen-inch head and a twenty-inch high body.

All five drums and the sixth which duplicates one or the other of the regular set are played with bare hands. Either drum can be used as a

solo instrument; drummer

it depends on the rhythm and which drum the lead

is playing when

a solo is desirable.

SURINAM

The Afro-Americans in Surinam can be One group is found in the urban areas. They have a different way of life, and their music maining groups are found in the bush. There

and Sardmaka;

runaway

both began

divided into three groups. use different instruments, reflects this. The two reare two tribes, the Djuka

during slavery. They

are descendants

of

slaves, who banded together and resisted all outsiders, develop-

ing their own culture and way of life.

The outside world culture has affected their cultural patterns very little. The city dwellers have retained many of their Africanisms, but have developed differently due to the foreign surroundings which their kinsmen of the bush have rejected. Even with these differences, their

musical instruments and rhythm are similar.

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

165

Surinam Batteries and Sets: Drums are the most important

instrument

in the all Afro-Bush

culture in the small country of Dutch Guiana (Surinam). The virtuosity of performance and intricacies of rhythm indicate long practice. The drums have more than a musical significance. They are used to summon

their gods, their ancestors, and to articulate the messages of these supernatural beings. They are also used to send them back to their habitats at the end of the ceremonies. One of their most important expressions of worship is dancing. The dancers move toward the drums in recognition of the voice of the God

or ancestor within the instrument.’

“The Afros” of the bush of Surinam have several types of drums:

The Apinti Set:

This drum is the principal ritual instrument. It is a single-headed, footed, wide-bellied drum. The head is made from goatskin and sewed to

a cord flesh ring. This flesh ring is laced to pegs inserted in the body of

the instrument.

By knocking these pegs down, the skin is tensed. The

body is hewn from a log carved with a snake design which has ritualistic significance.

The

head

measures

eight inches, across the belly twelve

inches, at the foot two inches in height, and four inches in diameter. The apinti drum comes in three sizes. The small one is called Bolula and the medium-sized Apinti is referred to as the Nanda, and the large

one, Apinti. (See Pl. VII No. — 9) The natives of the bush retain jealously the customs of their fore-

fathers and practice an African religion referred to as Kromanti,

or

Winte. It is similar to the type of practices found in Cuba, Haiti, Brazil, Trinidad and Jamaica, with, of course, its own peculiar local variation.

African drums as well as other African paraphernalia are also found in these areas. The Winte cult orchestra is made up of an iron (a kind of

triangle), a Kwakwa, two Apinti drums, a Podya drum, and Mandra (Man drum), and a large Agida drum, accompanied by singing, clapping and dancing. The drums of the city dwellers are not identical to those of the

bush people; this is mainly due to materials available, and the traditions of the urbanites against the country people. The

is not carved,

but is similar

in other

respects.

Djuka’s

With

apinti drum

the left hand

carrying an irregular motif used to confound the uninitiated, the right

hand carries the message. The drums will carry for two or three miles

166

when

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

the wind is right, and can be relayed from village to village. A

code pattern is used of long and short beats.’” It is also the solo instru-

ment, sturdy, strong, and unique in design in the Americas.

The Yorubas of Nigeria have a set of drums called Apinti almost identical with this instrument. They use it for dancing and talking. They are used in sets of three:

Lya

Ilu

played.”

keeps

on

the Lya

talking

in

Ilu, the Emele,

proverbs

when

and the Agago.

dance

music

The

is being

Agida Drum — The Afro-Surinam bass drum dominates the rhythm of the Surinam battery with a steady beat after it has established and held the basic rhythm. This drum is sacred to the snake deities and is

used to call them. Agidas are usually large, about six to eight feet long

and

twleve

to fifteen

inches

in diameter.

They

are

played

with

one

hand and one crooked stick and have a one-piece body made from a log. They are cylindrical and without decoration. The goat-skin head is secured to a cord flesh ring which is laced to a body ring about eight inches from the top. Wedges are used to tense the skin, and the agida is placed on the ground lengthwise for playing. The Loango Dra or Long Drum — This is the medium-sized drum

of Surinam, used by the townspeople. It stands thirty inches high, with an eight-inch head, a five-inch foot, and tapers to a four-inch diameter foot. The membrane is secured to a cord flesh ring which is tied to pegs inserted in the body. It is placed horizontally on the ground and played

with sticks on the head. Padya Drum — A peg-headed drum similar to the Apinti, but the body has a different shape. It is hewn from a log; the base tapers slightly to form a foot. It is used in Surinam by the Kromanti and is about third in size in the five battery orchestra.

(See Pl. VII No. —

9)

Kauna Dra: A two-headed drum found in Surinam. The box is hewn from a log. The heads are lapped over a flesh ring and secured by a rattan counter ring. The two counter rings are laced together across the body in a “W” form. It is played hung from the neck with the left hand playing the left head and the right hand playing with a stick on

the right head. The instrument is eight inches in diameter and eighteen inches long.

Kwakwa: An idiophone drum made from a hard top bench, and is the only drum women are permitted to play in the Surinam Kromanti

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

167

group. It is played with two sticks and with the agida drum, the rattle, and the iron (a kind of triangle) set the rhythm for the music.

A man

of the bush has to have the proper spirit before he can

address the god of the tree from which the drum is to be made. When

he has felled the tree, he cuts off the part he desires to use. Over it he pours the blood of a cock and sweet rum. When the body of the drum

has been fashioned, the people gather and sing. When the drum is completed, the maker sings his song alone. URUGUAY The music of Uruguay is European with very little Amerindian of

Afro-Uruguayian influence reported, Afro-Uruguayian instruments.

but we

do find Amerindian

and

Chico, Repique, Piano Set: These are three single-headed congo-

type drums of Uruguay. The heads are made from cowhide or goatskin and are tacked to the body, which is made from staves. These barrelshaped drums stand from thirty to thirty-six inches high and are seven

and one-half to nine and one-half inches across and five and one-half to seven and one-half inches across the foot. They are played with one hand and one stick. The left hand strikes the head and a stick is used against the body and head with the right. The shells are brightly painted. These Afro-Uruguayian instruments are very prominent during the an-

nual carnival in Montevideo. Aboriginal Amerindian,

(See Pl. XI — No. 20)

VENEZUELA Colonial

Spanish,

and the Afro-American

make up racial ingredients of Venezuela’s musical folklore. The folk music consists of two distinct types. The coastal music has a predominant Afro-Venezuelan influence characterized by a great variety and com-

plexity duplets Spanish and its

of rhythms, preference for a minor mode, simultaneous use of and triplets, etc. In the plains we find music brought by the colonists. Venezuelan rhythms, designed for dance, are kinetic melodies intriguing. An Amerindian as well as an Afro-American

drumming tradition exists. Cumaco Drum: A Venezuelan instrument taking its name from a Carib word mean-

ing ant —a

kind of ant found in the tree from which the body of the

drum is made.

The body is five and one-half to six and one-half feet long. The head is nailed to the body and must be heated for tension. The drum has to

168

DRUMS

IN THE

be laid horizontally when played, while the drummer tending the head out between his legs.’*** One

drummer

plays the head with bare hands,

AMERICAS

sits astride, exanother

drummer

plays upon the body with sticks. The cumaco is commonly played in conjunction with a small drum and maracas, and one or two singers. This instrument is found in the countryside more frequently than in the towns and is thought to be Afro-Venezuelan. It is similar in construction and in methods of playing to the mula of Cuba and the agida of Surinam.

(See Pl. XII — No. 22) Curbeta Drum Battery — The basic rhythm keeper for the “Big Drum Golpe.” The curbeta is a three-footed cylindrical drum, hewn from a log found in Venezuela. It has a single head of goatskin and is played with the hands. Occasionally, it is played with the cumaco or the mina

drum. These drums are generally played in pairs, one large and one small. The unusual thing about this instrument is the method used to

tense the skin. The skin or head is attached to a flesh hoop or rope. The flesh hoop and skin are laced to knobbed

square

holes

in the body

pegs, which

of the instrument.

On

both

are inserted in

sides

of the

pegs, wedges are placed; forcing them down the pegs in turn tense the

skin. The curbetas range from twenty to thirty inches in height and

nine and one-half to twelve inches in diameter. (See Pl. XIIT—

No. 25)

The songs and principal beats accompanied by drums are referred to as “golpes,” by the Afro-Venezuelans. These golpes have their own

popular

names

by

which

they

are

distinguished.

In

Barlovento,

the

central zone near the Venezuelan coast, the “golpe” of the round drum,

and the “golpe” of the big drum or “mina” drum are found. On the coast, in and around Caracas, in the State of Aragiia, and the State of Carabobo, there are “golpes’’ whose names are derived from the words

used in the song or chant; for example: “Maria estaba lavando,” (The

Virgin Mary was washing), “El Alabado” (the Sainted one). There are many other types like the “‘sangueo,” used for religious processions

in the State of Aragiia.** The golpe of the big drum is executed on two types of drums or a

battery;

a large

dug-out

log, called

“mina”

and

a fairly small

drum

called a “curbeta” or “curbata.” Both drums have dried skin heads. The mina when played is supported on two sticks crossed in the form of an “X’ and the curbata is placed beside it standing on its own three feet

which form a

triangle. A third percussion element is produced by beating

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

169

the “mina” with two small sticks called “laures.”” The basic rhythm is

held by the curbata which is constant with very few breaks. The ‘“‘mina”

has complete freedom. The singer adds to the flavor with the playing of

the maracas. Redondo Drum Set: There are three round drums in this Venezuelan set used for golpes

of the round drum; the “corrido” maintains the basic rhythm while the other two, called “cruzao” and “pujao” or “‘curbata” are played

with full rhythmic liberty. The instruments are from one-and-a-half to two feet in diameter, and from ten to eighteen inches in height. The two dried skin heads are laced across a wooden body, and the drums

are played with sticks,.’?*

Furruco: A friction drum of Venezuela. Of Afro-American origin, it is a three-footed instrument hewn from a log. The laced head has three

strings running diagonally and loosely over the head. The external friction stick is looped by the three strings running across the head and held in the upright position in the center of the

head. The small thin-jointed reed used for a friction stick is rubbed down by right and left hands alternately. The hands are dampened or

resined to make the friction more effective.

have head,

There are two types of furrucos found in Venezuela. Both types external friction sticks, but in one, the reed is attached to the and

in the other

type

the friction

sticks are in contact with

the

head.

The furruco averages twenty to twenty-five inches in height and eight inches in diameter. The head is laced to a metal body ring nailed to the cylindrical body about seven inches below the mouth. The head

is generally made from goatskin with hair only partially removed. In Colombia, a similar instrument is referred to as “casuco.”

(See Pl. XX

— No. 48)

Mayor or Arriero (Respondon Set): The largest of a set of three drums found in Venezuela. The body is hewn from a solid log and is covered on one end with a skin wrapped about a flesh ring. The flesh ring and the skin are laced to a body ring

of rope a few inches from the bottom. The hemp-cord lacing starts with the body ring and passes up under the flesh ring and along the top

170

DRUMS

of the flesh ring body ring where In order to the body ring. It

IN THE

AMERICAS

for four inches, then down behind the flesh ring to the it is looped up again. tune the skin, wedges are forced between the body and is played with one bare hand and a cylindrical stick. The

head is made from deer-hide, and the body is made of balso wood. The mayor comes in three sizes: Medio

Golpe, Segundo

Tambor

Mayor,

and

Mayor.

The mayor is approximately ten inches in diameter across the mouth, about thirty-two inches in height, and seven inches across the base. The media golpe is similar in construction, but smaller. It is about

twenty-five inches high, seven inches in diameter at the mouth, and five inches across the base. The segundo tambor mayor is approximately twenty-seven inches

high, nine inches across the mouth, and seven inches across the base, and constructed similarly to the other two.

Requinto: The requinto is similar to the mayor, except the lacing and the sizes

differ. The goat-skin head is attached to a flesh ring. The flesh ring is

held in place by a counter hoop of half-round rattan. This counter hoop (taparon) is laced to the body ring of sisal around the lower end of the instrument. The requinto comes in three sizes. The requinto stands thirty-four inches in height, ten inches in diameter across the mouth, and eight inches across the base. The next size is thirty-one inches high, nine inches in diameter across the head,

and six inches in diameter across the base. The requinto entero is twenty-nine inches in height, eleven inches at the head, and has a seven-inch base. The medio requinto is ap-

proximately thirty inches in height, nine inches in diameter at the head, and six inches across the base. The requinto is played with a thin rattan stick called Camuri and one bare hand. The mayor, requinto, tamborita or tambor, and clarinet are used together in the Feast of San Benito in Venezuela.

Tambora: A generic term in Latin-American countries for a two-headed instrument played with sticks. In Venezuela, it is ap-

proximately twenty-seven inches in diameter, nineteen inches in height, and the skins are attached to a flesh ring. The two heads

are held in place by a counter

ring laced across the body.

In

AFRO-AMERICAN

Panama,

DRUMS

171

the flesh ring is made

from

rope

and laced across the

body. In the Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo), the flesh ring and counter ring are made

from half-round rattan.

This instrument, in most cases, has a head with a diameter less

than the length of the body.

(See Pl. XIV — No.

29)

Juan

Liscano, in the Boletin

del Instituto Cultural Venezolano-Bri-

tanico of August 6, 1942, summed

up the interdependence of the Indian,

Spanish, and Afro-Venezuelan influence in Venezuelan music in the following words: “Between the Negro and the Indian there was a history

of blood and extermination. Between the Negro and the Spaniard there existed

a renaissance

of artistic

and

social

forms.

Our

music

is the

daughter of Spain and Africa. Like our soil, it is rich and dark. It stems

from the Spanish guitar and the Negro drum.”

HONDURAS The Black Caribs of Honduras are a hybrid people who emerged

as an ethnic group in the early eighteenth century on one of the Windward Islands, St. Vincent. They are a mixture of Arawak, Carib Amer-

indian and African. The Black Caribs were deported by the English in 1797 to the small island of Roatan, one of the Bay Islands of Honduras. Along with Red Caribs, they fought the British continually. They were deported because the British were afraid they would lose control of the Island. The Spanish later invited them to the mainland to secure their own

waterfront.

Even though these people are a distinct ethnic group with their

own oral tradition, their music is African. Their instruments are African,

their bare-hand style of drumming, their rhythm patterns, are the call and response-type singing, clearly retained “Afro” chacacteristics. Their drums are the barrel-shape types in sets of three. Tuba Bass Set: A single-headed Black Carib drum found in Honduras. It is the largest of three drums used in a set. The body is hewn from mahogany

covered with antelope hide. This two-foot diameter drum is played with bare hands. The skin is tensed by turnkeys connected to cords running

from the bottom of the instrument to the counter hoop holding the head. The tuba bass, which carries the principal rhythm, is used with the tuba segunda and the tuba primera.

172

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

Tuba Segunda—A drum eighteen inches in diameter with a snare over the single head. It is played with bare hands and carries the counter rhythm of the tuba bass. Tuba Primera — The smallest of the single-headed Carib drums. It is one foot in diameter. This is the solo instrument of the trio. PANAMA The Republic of Panama occupies the neck of land connecting South America with Central America. Panama’s population of about 600,000

is composed

of a great variety of people:

American, and European Americans.

Amerindian,

Afro-

Panama’s music is racially differentiated depending on the region studied. On the coast we find Afro-European music; in the jungle or interior, it is Amerindian; and in Panama City it is as international as the port which services the world. The most characteristic Afro-American rhythm found is the Cumbia.’

Caja (Box) or Tambor de Panama Battery: The caja is a double-emembrane drum played with two sticks, and used along with the requinto, repicador and the pujador in Panama. It is very similar to the tambor of the Dominican

Republic. The body is

hewn from a solid log. The skins are looped around

a flesh ring of

rope, and the two flesh rings are laced together across the body. It is placed on the ground and held in place with one foot with the skins in a

vertical position, so that both heads can be played at the same time. The tempo and rhythm are set by this instrument. The heads are made

from cow or mule skin and are tensed by running vertical cords through the lacings.

The instrument is twenty inches in length and fifteen to eighteen

inches in diameter across the heads. (See Pl. VIII — No. 11) Requinto drum: The requinto is twenty inches in height and six inches in diameter — constructed in the same manner as the repicador and the pujador. The only difference in the instruments is in the size and in tuning. They are also played in the same manner. In many parts

of Panama, the requinto is not used; only the repicador and the pujador, along with the caja (box).

The tamborito orchestra of Panama is usually composed of the caja (box), the repicador (picker), the guitar, hand-clapping, maracas and singers. Repicador drum (Picker): This is a single-headed, long-type drum

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

173

with a head of goatskin, played with bare hands. The musician holds the instrument between his legs and raises it slightly while playing. The

skin is lapped over a rope flesh ring and pulled over the conical shell

about four inches. The flesh ring is laced to the body ring of rope, approximately one third of the distance down from the top of the shell. It is believed that this instrument is African in origin because of the way it is constructed, laced, and played. Wedges are placed between

the body and the body ring; by forcing the wedges down, the skin is tensed. It stands from twenty to twenty-five inches in height, and eight to ten inches in diameter across the skin and diameter across the bottom. Pujador

Drum

(Pusher):

The

pujador

six to eight inches

is twenty

in

to twenty-five

inches in height and ten to twelve inches in diameter across the head

and eight to ten inches in diameter at the foot.

The pujador is used to produce the richness of the bass effect on

the beating of the other drums. The tone can be modulated by lifting or lowering both knees which are holding the drum, but its rhythmic

configurations are limited. The caja

(box)

or tambor

de Panama

is the lowest pitched and

is capable of producing two distinct timbres, one from the skin and another from the body. The player of the repicador (picker) is considered the virtuoso

musician. A good repicador player in the interior of Panama enjoys the

same fame as a fine pianist in the city. CUBA The popular music of Cuba was the first of the Latin-American and Caribbean music to spread to Europe and North America. Two racial strains combined to produce Cuban popular music, the Spanish and the African. Little is left of the pentatonic melos of the aboriginal Amerindians. The European rhythms are characterized six-eight and three-four time, while the Afro-Cuban

by the combined type found in the

urban areas is marked by syncopation in two-four time. Cuban rhythms are punctuated by a variety of native percussion instruments. The basic rhythm is usually given by the claves, the sound

of which is described by Fernando Ortiz as, “the most profound emotional expression of Cuba’s soul.!”’ The drumming of Cuba and Haiti reaches its greatest development

174

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

in the Western hemisphere. Without a doubt, the greatest variety of Afro-

American drum is found among the Afro-Cubans. Cuba has several well-organized cults, Arara of Dahomean origin, Lucumi of the Yorubas, the Abakwa, and the Kimbisa. Their instruments, music, and rites are distinctive and individualistic. Many of their rhythms have been used for popular secular music. Cult life is stronger in Cuba than in Haiti in many respects. The

different cults have tended to keep their traditions apart and distinct.

Each

cult has its own specific ritual language.

The various cults have

their own peculiar musical idioms and special constellations of musical instruments.

Arara Drum Set:

The Dahomean

cult drums of Cuba are very similar to the Haitian

Rada drums. The Arara cult of Cuba uses four or five drums in an orchestra. They are highly decorated and show that much care has been given to their making.

There is a wide range in design, from

a

cylindrical, slightly tapering form at the base, to drums with a full belly terminating in a foot or narrow base. These instruments are

usually

carved

or painted

with

symbolic

cult figures.

The

heads

are

mounted in two ways: pegs are pushed through slits in the skin into the shell; and, the skin is attached to rope hoops, which in turn are fastened to the pegs by cords. The pegs are used for tuning. The shells are often

found hewn from a solid block, but staves are also used in making shells. The Arara drums or “huns,” are the “hu-gan” (the largest), ““xumpé,” “hun-hoguldé,” and the “huni.” The technique of playing is

similar to the Haitian technique. A mallet-shaped or hooked stick is used on the “hu-gan,” on the body and the skin. The drummer is called the “huntor.” Bata — Lucumi Drum Set: The Bata drums are two-headed, hour-glassed-shaped instruments used in the Lucumi rites in Cuba. These are the most unique cult drums

found in the Americas. The skins are mounted on hoops which are held in place by thongs

laced from one head to the other across the body. The thongs are drawn tight by interlacing another thong circumferentially around the body

near one head or both. The surplus thongs are wound around the middle of the instrument.

One mouth of the shell is larger than the other. Occasionally these

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

175

instruments contain a large nut. The nut is called “coco-Africano,” and is placed inside for “magico” religious purposes. The three batas are of different sizes. They are from eighteen inches to thirty inches in length, carved from a solid piece of wood. The large bata is called “Iya.” The large head, “tcha or enu,”’ is played with the right hand and contains a circular patch of red resin applied near the center. This patch is called “ida” in the Lucumi idiom, or damper. The red spot on the skin is thought to have originated with the ceremony of rubbing the blood of the sacrifices upon the parch-

ment. In Africa, this has a ritual significance. Near the large head of the “iya,” there is a belt of harness-type bells which is called “tchawordé.”)” The second drum is called the “‘itétele” and the smallest is called “omelé” and sometimes called “Kénkolo” or “Okénkolo.” The sacred name of the Lucumi drums is “fia” and the profane name is “ili.” Bata drummers are always men. Their techniques and secrets are carefully guarded. Each bata is held on the lap of the drummer by a cord or “orlori” passed around the knees. The iya drummer, or “kpuataki,” is the chief drummer.

The classical bata drums are made from a single length of log, but

the stave is widespread in Cuba. The stave drums are straight with sloping sides. In the province of Matanzas, Cuba, barrels are used with-

out the lacing; the heads are tacked on. Since

the

Spanish-American

War,

Aframerican

every kind have virtually been outlawed and are now European-Americans as “bembé.”* This is still in universally enforced. Ceremonies take place with the police. During carnival and designated feast weeks,

cult festivities of

referred to by the effect, though not permission of local the cult’s activities

come out in the open.

The bata drums are the main liturgical drums of Cuba. The trio

form a sextet of drums; three drummers beat six surfaces, and each skin

affects the other, making it complicated for the drummers. The maker of the bata drum must be a sworn priest in the cult. He first selects a cedar log biock with very few knots of sufficient size and length, and

a consecration ceremony is performed. Two others are performed later;

one when they are finished and one sacramental rite.

*Bembé is a derogatory term used in Cuba referring to Afro-Cubans who have cult parties where there are rum-drinking, drumming and dancing. (In Africa, it is a type of royal drumming).

176

iya

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

The instruments must be carved by hand with African tools. The is twenty-seven to tweny-nine inches long, twelve to thirty-three

inches in diameter across the “enu” or wider head, and eight to nine inches in diameter across the “‘chacha’’* or small head.

Itétele is twenty-six inches long, ten inches in diameter across the

large head, and seven-and-a-half inches across the small head. Okoénkolo or omelé is eighteen inches long, eight inches across the large head, and six-and-a-half inches across the small head. Special grease is

used

to

ritual drums

dry

the

inside

and

outside

of

the

drum.

To

in Cuba, either snake oil (aceite de la culebra Maja)

certain palm tree oil (manteca de corojo)

grease

or a

is used — this is supposed

to give power to the drums to reject all evil. The

skin used is either

goat or deer-hide. The skin is soaked for one day in water prepared with charcoal and then placed in clean water for one night. The hair is removed with a brick and the skin is washed with pure water. It is then placed in the shade for twenty-four hours. A ring of metal or rattan is covered with cloth having the colors of the deity or saints. (Each saint has a favorite color.) The size of the

ring should just fit the mouth or butt of the drum. Heading the instru-

ment requires two men. The wet skin is placed over the opening of the

shell and pulled tight by one man on each side. The flesh ring is placed and the excess skin pulled up. A counter rope is placed on the skin, holding it and the flesh ring taut. With an ice pick, eight small holes are put in the “enw” just outside the counter rope and seven holes in the “chacha” or butt.

Strands of leather three-sixteenths of an inch wide and eight to nine feet in length are laced through these holes to the opposite head, draw-

ing them tight on the shell. With the strands or “tina malu” taut, the drum is placed out to dry. The next day the wet transverse tensors or

“tina 6wo” are placed on the drum and wrapped around the body over the “tina mali” and again placed outside to dry. This is all according

to the ritual.

Occasioally,

the instruments

are

dresseed

with

a banté

or

apron,

and the aprons are decorated with beads and shells. The iya is always dressed with bells. (See Pl. VI — No. 6) The bata drums were presented publicly in Havana in 1936 through *““chacha” means

skin in the Yoruba

idiom.

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

177

the efforts of Dr. Fernando Ortiz. The songs, dances, and playing of the bata drum belong to the religious rites of the Lucumi or Yoruba cults of Cuba. It was necessary for Dr. Ortiz to go through a ritual so the Gods of the Lucumis would grant him permission to have the sacred drums played in profane surroundings. Thanks were given to Chango, the “Deity of Storm and Lightning.”

There have been many public performances since that date, but very few orthodox performances due to the scarcity of artists of this drum. The priests of the cult, or “olibata,” are consecrated musical ministers and do not respond to the mercantile appetites of outsiders. They

have

music;

and

an

extensive

then,

too,

rhythmic

there

are

and

melodic

cult

secrets

repertory

they

divulge or expose to profane eyes.'” The Yorubas of Africa have identical drums,

do

which

of liturgic

not

want

to

are referred

to as talking drums. Most African languages are tonal, so the Africanc: are able to speak and recite poems on their two-tone drums or on two drums. The African set consists of four drums: (1) the iya ilu, (2) the emele abo, (3) the emele ako, and (4) the kudi. The iya ilu bata, though suited for talking does so with some

difficulty — being a stammerer. The two membranes are played simultaneously to produce a tone; the right membrane is played with the palm of the right hand, and a leather strap is used with the left hand in playing the left membrane. The bata is so talkative that even in playing

dance music the iya ilu keeps on talking, and the emele abo keeps on repeating what it is saying.’*° Bembé — Afro-Cuban Drum

Sets:

These are used in a set of three. Bembé drums are single headed and tacked to the shell. The heads require heating before using. The head is cut from the neck of the ox. These instruments are played with sticks and hands. The largest of the three is the “Jlamador” or caller. It is always placed between the other two. The smallest one is called “salidor” or opener, because it begins the rhythm. The middle-sized

drum is called the “repicador” or picker. Bongo: Small twin drums

similar to Yoruba

drums

of Africa. They

were

probably introduced by the Nafigos into Cuba. The drums are tuned

178

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

about one-fifth apart. Each drum has a single head, and the two are permanently constructed together and held between the legs and played with the fingers. The two drums are generally carved from a solid block

of wood and attached together later. (See Pl. V— No.

1)

They are called mellicin in Peru and with a conga and the timbales,

are one of the most widely known Cuban drums. They come in varying

sizes, but the average size is six to eight inches in height, six to eight

inches across the top, and four to six inches in diameter at the bottom.

The two skins are very thin and goatskin is preferred. The right drum,

or the deeper-tone one, has a slightly heavier head which produces a

deeper tone. The heads are tacked to the shell or attached to a flesh ring. A counter ring is placed over the flesh ring and the flesh ring is bolted to the shell. By tightening the wing nuts on the bolts, the counter ring is

pulled down against the flesh ring, tensing the skin and raising the tone.

If the head is tacked to the shell, the instrument has to be heated to

raise the tone.

The high-pitched skin is referred to as the male skin, “macho” or “repicador,” because it generally carries farther; and the deep tone side is referred to as female, “hembra” or “tumbador.” The basic bongo pattern is referred to as the “martillo” or hammer. The instrument is

capable of many tonalities, and a good bongé player (bongosero) takes advantage of this flexibility. The sound of the bongo is that of a skin sound

rather than

a box

sound,

or sound

chamber.

When the bongés are played with sticks, they take the place of the timbales in Latin American groups. Some think that this instrument originated with the Egyptians because they have an instrument called

terbuke, tarabuk, or darabukke, which is quite similar, but is made of clay or metal — there is a resemblance also in the playing technique. Today it is found in Greece, Turkey, Palestine and Syria. (See PI. XXIX — No. 72)

The word Bongé can be found among the “banti” as a reference to certain drums. The bongé, as we find it today in the Americas, Cuba

in particular, is different from any other drum of this type. Dr. Fernando

Ortiz believes this drum was born in Cuba by a synthesis of Afro elements and mulatto factors. In any case, it is a mulatto instrument, having both African and European characteristics.

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

179

Conga Drum Set:

This is a single-headed Afro-Cuban drum. The conga dance is thought to have given it its name. The body today is constructed from staves held by steel rings, like barrel staves. The body is cylindrical with a slight bulging belly below the middle. Its average height is approximately thirty-one inches. There are three types found: the hollowed tree trunk type, the

cylindrical, and the barrel-shaped type. The heads, up until about 1950, were

tacked

to the

body;

but today

most

of the conga

drums

have

tunable hardware to raise the tone. It was popularized in the States by

Chano Pozo and is used today, generally, in night clubs and cabarets. The set in Cuba consists of the tumbador, llamador, conga mambisa, and quinto.

It is generally played in the sitting position with bare hands, while

the feet are used to raise the instrument, in order to get more volume in the low tones. Normally, it is tilted against the thigh to produce more volume. It is also used effectively from a conga drum stand.

Conga is a generic term generally applied to all drums of this type.

Many authorities believe this drum was brought to the Americas by the Congolese slaves for they have a similar drum they play in the standing position, with the instrument between their legs, strapped to the waist

and tilted forward. These instruments in the States are very highly finished and the newest ones are made of plastic, one-piece shell. The diameter at the top averages from six to twelve inches; at the foot it is from six to eight inches. This is probably the second most internationally known drum of Cuba. With the bongo, it has become

associated with Afro-Cuban music all over the world. It is played Europe, Asia, the Americas, and now has returned to be played Africa. (See Pl. VI — No. 5)

in in

Ekue:

A friction drum used by the “Abakwa” cult in Cuba. This Nanigo drum is used only in the secret chambers of the cult. It is single

headed, with three feet to support it in the upright position. The head is sewed to a rope flesh ring which is in turn laced to the body. The

head is tensed or tuned by forcing wedges down between the lacing and

the body. The conical body

is fourteen

inches high

and eleven

inches in

180

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

diameter and is generally hewn from a log. The sound is produced with

a stick called a “yin” nineteen inches long. The “yin” is pressed against

the skin and released. The motion of the hands is downward with the

left hand

following

the right, alternately

gripping

the reed

shaft with

the thumb and index fingers which are wet with sugar cane juice or the blood of a cock in Nafigo rites to promote adhesion between hand

and friction reed.

(See Pl. X — No.

17)

El Boku: A single-headed drum from the Oriente province of Cuba. The head

is nailed to the body, which must be heated for tuning. It is made from staves which are held in place by steel rings, or glued. The body is long,

thin, and conical. It is played with bare hands; the instrument is carried

by a sling over the right shoulder and used for playing comparsas for carnivals and festivals. It is approximately forty inches long, the diameter at the mouth is eight to ten inches, and the butt is about six inches in diameter. (See Pl. XIII — No. 28) El Coco de Efik Obutén: A skinless friction drum used by the Nanigo cult of Cuba. It was seen only by the inner core of the cult.

The “El Coco” is a ritual drum made from a coconut shell. The shell was cut off one inch above the bottom and three legs are fashioned in the shell. On the outside surface of the shell are painted symbolic

ritualistic designs called “ferma.” A bamboo stick (giiin) is rubbed across the shell, producing a weird, hoarse, raspy sound, which added mystery to the sound coming from the secret chamber. It is used for effect rather than basic rhythm in the cult music and dances. (See Pl. XX — No. 47) Kinfuiti or Manfila: A Cuban friction drum made from a wooden barrel. The body or

box stands twenty-three to thirty inches in height and fifteen inches in diameter. The bottom of the barrel is left open and the top is covered with calf or goatskin. A rope or a reed is secured to the center of the head from the outside extending inside the barrel. Pulling on the rope and allowing it to slip causes the head to vibrate. The kinfuiti is traditionally used in June for the Saint Anthony and Saint John feasts, and also for cult funerals. (See Pl. XX — No. 48) La Ranita: (The Frog):

In Cuba this drum is made from the top of a glass bottle covered

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

181

with a chicken craw or crop, or a pig bladder. A horsehair is knotted and

run through the skin from the under side. Pulling on the horsehair and

allowing it to slip through the fingers produces a frog-like sound. This instrument is more of a toy than a drum, but it is used in some rural areas of Cuba as a friction drum.

La Gua-Gua: (The bus): A felled avocado tree trunk is laid horizontally with the center re-

moved and three holes about three to four inches made in one side, in a row.

The holes are covered with tin, nailed on four sides. The three pieces of tin give three distinct sounds when struck with sticks. This instrument

sounds like a three-tone gong, but is used as a drum substitute in Cuba.

(See Pl. XXII — No. 54) ““Nanigo” Drums or Abakuds Drum Battery: The Nanigo drums are the instruments used exclusively in the rites

of Abakua,

secret fraternities or societies of Cuba. These

societies were

founded at least a hundred years ago or more, by the slaves. The functions of the groups, lodges, etc., are referred to in Cuba as Naniguisms. The “Nanigos” have rites in which singing is supported by an orchestra

of seven instruments, in which the drums predominate. Four drums are used. They are conical in shape and narrower at the bottom, generally

made of cedar." The

shell is hewn

from

a solid

cedar

log;

it is unpainted

and

undecorated. The skin is attached to the body by laced cords. Wedges

are placed between the body and the lacing cords. The

by knocking these wedges down.

skin is tensed

One large drum and three small ones are used. The largest is called bonké enchemiya; the three small ones are called obiapa (opener), kuchi

yerema (repicador), and binkomé.

The small instruments are played with the fingers and palms of one

hand. The bonké is played with hands only, never with sticks. The obiapa is the base tone and opener. The tone of the kuchi yerema is a medium

tone. The binkomé has the high tone. The method of playing these abakua drums requires four drummers and a complete complement. The three small ones are held under the left arm and played with the fingers of the right hand. The bonké is played in the sitting position with bare hands. The rhythms of these drums are as follows: Binkomé — one beat, open hand in the center of the skin

and one on the edge of the drum with the tip of the index finger; Obiapa

182

DRUMS

— two

beats

with

Yerema — three

closed

fingers,

beats on the edge

one

open,

with

and

IN THE

one

closed fingers

AMERICAS

closed;

one

Kuchi

open, one

closed, and another open; Bonké — one beat with the right hand cupped in the center of the skin, and the second

on the rim.

The sounds of all synchronized into a harmonious hold. The bonk6 is a very resonant drum, approximately thirty-nine inches long and conical, and approximately eight to ten inches in diameter. It is

placed between the legs of the drummer at a slight tilt and played with bare hands. There are four symbolic abakua ritual drums:

the empeg6, ekuefion,

enkrikamo, and the erib6. These drums have to be baptized before they

are used in the cult. All these drums are of the same wedge structure, execpt the erib6. They are ornamented with tufts of feathers of different colors. These tufts of feathers are called ‘““mufién” stump.

The eribo has four stumps and the others, one each. The feather

sticks represent a spirit. Three of the drums have a fringe, except the eribo. The fringe is referred to as “beleme.” The symbolic drums do not have musical value, but are sounded as signals for ritual procedure. The sound of the erib6é is never used; it remains on the ritual altar as a venerated symbol, representing the Holy

Sepulcher. There are three types of eribé used: the so-called African form which has an open bottom, the cup-form with a closed bottom and a carved base, and the flat tambourine type.

The heads of the nanigo drums are prepared from virgin goat-hide and all are attached to the body by means of hemp strings or cords. All are tunable, which is accomplished by a belt or “Enkomo,” or “Enko.” Sticks or “‘palitos” are used on the body of the bonk6é when it is played

while marching. The uyo or abakua-friction drum is played inside the lodge hall and is seldom seen publicly.

The binkomé is the largest of the small drums ten inches high and eight inches in diameter with tapering sides. The bonko is the largest; it ranges from thirty inches to three diameter. (See Pl. X — No. 17)

feet in height

and

ten inches

in

Timbales: Twin drums of Cuba placed on a tripod stand and played by a stand-

ing drummer with one bare hand on one drum and a stick in the other to

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

183

strike the body of the high-pitched drum — and a stick is always left in reserve to alternate with, or replace the use of the bare hand.

This instrument is unique to Cuba and more than any other drum

demonstrates the blending of African and European characteristics in its methods of playing and construction. This instrument always has a bell as a part of its accessories. The bell, the skin, and the sides of the instrument are all struck. The bodies are made of metal with an open bottom and the tops are covered with calfskin wrapped about a flesh ring. The skin and the flesh ring are held to the body by a counter hoop bolted to the body by adjustable bolts and nuts. One drum is tuned one-fifth from the other. The left hand carries a

straight syncopated beat, while the right hand pattern is altered to fit the arrangement. The Timbales are the time-keepers and rhythm markers for the Latin Conjuntos or groups. (See Pl. V — No. 1) Yuka Set : An Afro-Cuban,

single-headed drum used in sets of three: the yuka

or caja (box), the mula

(mule), and the cachimbo

(pipe). The box is

placed in the middle, the mule to the right, and the pipe to the left.

The shells are generally hewn from the trunk of an avocado tree, which is ideal because it has a soft center. It has no taper and is easily

available. The ox neck is preferred for the head, which is tacked onto the

shell wet;

a sling is attached

to the bottom

and top, making

it easy to

carry. It is approximately thirty-nine inches long and from fourteen to sixteen inches in diameter. It is played with bare hands in the standing

position, with the drum inclined and straddled. Two players are required; one uses a stick on the body and is called the “cajero,” and the other

uses his hand

to play

the skin

and

is called the “guagiiero.”

The

cachimbo and the mula are smaller and are played similarly. The Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo) drums are called palo

mayor (big stick), palo segundo (second stick), (helper), and are very similar to the Yuka Set.

and palo

auxiliar

Quinto Box:

A Cuban box with two sloping sides to form a wide slit opening in

the body. The instrument is held between

the knees and played like a

bongo. The flat top side is struck with the fingers and bare hands. In Cuba, the quinto box is the solo instrument for the rumba, conga, son, yambu, and the danzon.

184

DRUMS

The quinto box has two sounds. When

IN THE

AMERICAS

the instrument is struck in

the center, the tone is low, but when it is hit near the edge it gives a much higher tone — it is similar to the West African signal drum which is played with sticks. (See Pl. XXII — No. 53) CURACAO AND ARUBA Today the Dutch hold Curacao and Aruba, but nearly all ethnic groups are represented in the islands. There are descendants of slaves, East Indians, West Indians, Portuguese, Venezuelans, and Dutch, and all

with high standards of living. European influences are strong, but not overwhelming. Every nationality has contributed something of its cultural heritage.

The largest single racial component in the population of Curacao and Aruba is Afro and Mulatto. The music and dances of these two Netherlands West Indies are predominantly African. There are no religious cults to maintain African tradition. Drums have always been considered undesirable instruments, so they were banned and destroyed whenever possible.’ Several interesting drum substitutes and homemade instruments have appeared. One of the most unique instruments is the bastel or seoe.

Bastel (or Seoe): A half-gourd, floated in a washtub and struck with bare hands is used in Curacao as a drum. In some areas, the half-gourd with the

hemispherical bottom up is played with two sticks instead of with bare

hands. The bastel originated in Curacao after the tambt or skin drum was outlawed for the slaves. All tambus were confiscated by the masters

when found. Even though this drum is used by the Afro-Curacaoans, it is thought to be of Indian origin.

The bastel is usually played in conjunction with the chapi (a hoe blade played with a nail), which is used to keep time on a constant pattern configuration. This instrument is called “jicara de agua” in Mexico. (See Pl. XIX —No.

46, and Pl. XXII — No.

52)

Big Drum — Musik di Zumbi:

A copy of a European bass drum used on the island of Curacao. It

has two heads of goatskin, and the box or body is constructed from staves. The heads are wrapped about two flesh rings which are held in place by two counter hoops laced together across the body with rope. The

instrument

is tuned

by wooden

ears

connected

between

the

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

185

lacing which runs across the body. By sliding the wooden ears, the skins are pulled closer together, thus tuning the instrument. The “Musik de Zumbi” is played in a vertical position with one head to the right and the other to the left. Both heads are played with padded sticks — one in each hand. (See Pl. XVI — No. 35)

Tambu:

Originally a hollow tree trunk covered with a sheep-skin.

As this was very time consuming around

to parades,

was substituted.

harvest

feasts

in the making,

and

and heavy

the like, a small

to carry

wooden

barrel

Plate XIII — No. 28 shows a modern tambi, eighteen inches long

and ten and one-half inches in diameter. The sheep-skin head is wrapped about a wooden flesh ring and held in place by a counter ring, forced over the head, locking the skin, which is then nailed to the body through

the flesh ring. The

instrument

is held under

and played with the bare hands.

the left arm

or between

the knees

Other folk instruments, also found in Curacao, are the benta, a mouth bow; agan or “héroe”’ (iron), two pieces of iron or steel; cachoe, a cow horn; maraka (maraca); the matrimonial, a dressed plank with metal

discs nailed to it and

used

as a rattle;

wiri, a friction

iron;

the

Italian organ; the triangle and the chapi (hoe), another type of bell.

THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND PUERTO RICO The Island of Puerto Rico lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean. It is the most European of the Caribbean countries. It occupies about 3,435 square miles, 95 miles long and 35 miles wide. Although Puerto Rico is part of the United States, it is culturally con-

nected with the Latin American world through common Spanish Ameri-

can ties. The Dominican Republic is a small country of 20 thousand square miles, occupying two thirds of the island known as Hispaniola or

La Espanola in the Caribbean. It is the oldest European settlement in the Americas. Spanish is the official language and no other countries in all Latin

America have so consistently maintained their intense cultural attachment to Spain. This partly explains their national attitudes to their own folk and ethnic rhythms and music.

Even though Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic are mulatto countries, generally things related to African culture are rejected. In

186

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

contrast to the situation in Cuba, the Afros have not retained any tribal or religious homogenuity. About all that is claimed of African dances

can be seen in the movement of the body and the foot-pattern style. There are African instruments used in both areas. The African drums found no longer furnish the ceremonial rhythms for dances of the deities; these rhythms have disappeared

come recreational.

or have be-

Bomba: A single-headed drum made from staves and played with bare hands. It is found in Puerto Rico and is used in folk groups for

folk music and semi-popular music.

The diameter of the head is eight inches and the body, made from

a keg, is approximately twenty inches in diameter. It is thought to be of African origin. The bottom of the instrument is open and is played between the knees or under the armpit, with fingers and palms of the

hand.

It is used for a group of rhythms by the same name

(bombas). The

best exponents of this dance are found in the village of Loiza Aldea, where groups of pure or almost pure Afro-Americans live. The drums are played in pairs, one being pitched higher than the other.

The

dancers

direct

the

drummer,

rather

than

vice-versa.

The

bomba rhythms are excellent examples of African tradition. Where the Dominican Republic is a poor country from a musical and rhythm standpoint, there are many varieties of drums of African

descent, Puerto Rico, on the other hand, is rich in music but short on instruments.

Both the bi-membranophones and membranophones are found in the Dominican Republic. Generally three are used in a set or a battery. The heads are found to be attached in four ways:

nailed to the body

direct; attached to a skin ring with a counter ring laced to the body direct; the third method used is when the head is attached to a skin ring which is held in place by a counter ring, then is laced down the shell to a body ring. The head is tensed by forcing wedges between the shell and the body ring. The Brazilian atabaqués, the Tamborito drums of Panama, and the Chimbdngiieles del Zulia drums of Venezuela have similar type tensing mechanisms. No.

15)

The

fourth

type

head

(See Pl. VIII— No.

attachment

used

is the

11 and Pl. IX flesh

ring

and

counter ring with wing bolts for tension. (See Pl. XIII — No. 27) The drum battery generally consists of two or more atabales

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

187

(palos), a large and a medium instrument, and the alcahuete, a small two-headed drum which is used to start the beats. These drums differ in the construction depending on the areas. In some cases, they are conical or semiconical with the heads attached in different ways as stated previously. The bodies or shells were carved from logs as well as made from barrel staves. The carved shells are made from avocado, yagrumo, a hardwood, jabillo, or dry oak.

The drums in the Dominican Republic are played with the drums standing between the legs, with a sling, or placed longwise on the floor, and straddled.

The drums are generally headed with cowhide and the palo mayor or large drums average sixty inches in height and eleven inches in diameter. The medium drum averages thirty-four inches in height and nine

inches in diameter.

Balcié: A single-headed cylindrical drum

found in the Dominican

Republic, played with bare hands. It is constructed in two ways: some

are hewn from a log and others are made from staves. The head of the log-type is attached to a flesh ring and laced through the body of the

instrument. The other type, as shown in Pl. XIII — No. 27, is made from

staves, stands twenty-nine inches in height, eight inches in diameter across the head and six inches across the foot. The skin is wrapped about a metal flesh ring and held secure by a metal counter ring, then

bolted to the body through the braces and bolts. It is tuned by tightening the bolts.!** The instrument is tilted between the legs of the musician in the upright position to play. The balcié is a popular instrument used in small groups along with a guayo, a serrated metal cylinder, and accordion tambourine. (See Pl. XIII — No. 27)

and a pandereta or

Palos or Atabales Drum Set: A set of three drums found in the Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo) and used by the folk bands. Palo-Mayor — A single-head Afro-American drum played with the hands in an upright position. The body is made of staves, and the sheepskin head, wrapped about a flesh ring, is held in place by a counter ring bolted to the body with metal brackets. It is found in the rural areas and played in concerts with the Palo Segundo and the Palo Auxiliar. The palo-mayor is the solo instrument, or has freedom of rhythm.

188

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

Palo Segundo — The medium-sized instrument, constructed and played like the other two members of the trio. The palo segundo carries the counter rhythm; this drum is also referred to as “alcahuete.”

Palo Auxiliar — The

two small sticks. (Palitos.)

smallest drum of the trio. It is played with

All three of these drums

los Palos.”

are used in the ritual dance,

“El Baile de

These instruments range in size from three to four feet in height and ten to twenty-two inches in diameter across the head. Tambu: A four-footed tube drum found in the Dominican Republic

(Santo Domingo). It is played in the upright position with bare hands.

It stands twenty-four inches in height and is eight inches in diameter across the foot and mouth. The head of goatskin is wrapped about a

flesh ring of metal. A metal counter ring is braced to the body and is used to tense and hold the head. It is used in the small popular bands in the cities. (See Pl. XIII — No.

27)

Zambomba: A friction drum reported in the rural areas, corresponding to the furruco of Venezuela, the plena in Puerto Rico and the cuica in Brazil. It is made from a gourd; a goatskin is glued over the opening with a stick attached which is rubbed to produce the sound.™ ENGLISH In Jamaica,

hamas,

the Virgin

SPEAKING Islands,

ISLANDS:

Carriacou,*

English is the official language

Trinidad,

and the Ba-

and the populations

are pre-

dominantly Afro-American. The music and the instruments used are similar. In all three areas, the skin drums are being replaced by steel drums for popular music. Most skin drums seen today are copies of European drums.

All of the islands have forms of music resembling Trinidadian Calypso. All are the products of the intermingling of European and

African cultures, but their individual differences have manifested themselves in music and musical instruments. JAMAICA

Jamaica, although eighty percent African, does not have a great drumming tradition as compared with Cuba and Haiti; it is better known for calypsos and steel bands both imported from Trinidad, and its Mento rhythm. Most of the drums used in Jamaica are either Ev.-opean *A sunny windy island lying in the Grenadines, between

St. Vincent and Greneda.

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

189

or copies of European

drums.

The methods

of playing these instru-

ments are sometimes African, but the rhythms played upon them are Jamaican." African rites in Jamaica are known as Obeah. Not only is Obeah a religion, but its reverse side includes trickery, sorcery and necromancy.

One of the most elaborate Obeah ceremonies is known as “Pocomania.” Pocomania is a half-Christian cult of African origin, to which over

the years has been added an increasingly deepening facade of Christianity in mixed denominational forms. The secular side of Pocomania is

called “Mydal.” Like Obeah, it is practiced to cast or remove spells. Its meeting place is secret and often changed to avoid arrest. Dancing and music are always a part of the ritual.

Many ceremonies, particularly those associated with the death rites,

continue for days. Dancing is almost continuous, punctuated by “pos-

sessions’

and trances.

In the usual

ceremony,

the crowd

gathers, the

drums beat, and singing begins in a pseudo-Christian atmosphere. As more rum is poured and as the night goes on, hymns change to chants, usually phrases sung by a leader and answered by a chorus of voices. The drumming becomes wilder and more frantic. The casting of spells is greatly feared in Jamaica and a special sect claims to be able to remove spells of Obeah. Dances called “mydal” are performed to summon or to “lay the duppies” (ghosts of the dead) who are thought to be responsible for the evil concepts of the Obeah. The dancers form a circle about a tree and beat the earth with stones in rhythm to songs. Sometimes two or three drums are played as well. On this small island is a tribal group called Maroons. During the slave period, the rugged terrain made possible the escape of many slaves. Never recaptured, they gathered and formed their own government,

waging

periodic war

against the hated white

authority

until their in-

dependence was granted by treaty. The original settlement consisted of some thousand Arawak Amerindians who harbored the runaway slaves.

The population grew to over six thousand and much of the Amerindian

tradition was adopted. It is believed by many that the Obeah in Jamaica

and the Petro cult in Haiti have many contributions from the aboriginal Amerindians. {

*The rhythms are built around this basic patter. including

mentos,

digging rhythms.

are

slow

and

repetitive

like

! d J J the

t J [email protected] The Jamaican rhythms

Cuban

rumba,

the

calypsos

and

190

DRUMS

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The governmental suppression of the practice of African religion has induced the spread of Revivalist cults, especially in the urban districts of Jamaica. Every Sunday night, meetings for worship are held.

Services begin with drumming,

polyrhythms

are furnished

using two snare drums and one bass:

by tambourines,

rattles, clapping

and

foot-

tapping. The sermon is interrupted by singing, possession, prayers, and finally by mass

dancing.

These

meetings

Afro-ritual ceremonies, but are legal.

are in effect very

similar

to

Ras Tafari is a cult organized to take Jamaicans back to Africa and

glorifies the African past. It is also semi-Christian in nature. Cumina bands, a secular organization whose music is considered to be pure African, are also a part of the musical picture of Jamaica. The

group

uses two drums,

different from

rattles and

a scraper.

Rhythms

are quite

those the revivalists use for songs and dances. These

rhythms are enhanced by hand clapping and body swaying. Besides cults and other religious movements, certain

traditional

festivals also add to the drumming tradition of Jamaica. The “John Canoe”’ masquerade dances are held during Christmas season. The name

is thought to have been derived from the French words “Genie Connu.” In Nassau,

a similar

festival is known

as “Junkanoo.”

The John Canoe festival affords an opportunity for taking out of hiding all the forbidden drums (although prohibited, it is evident they have been practiced all year). Gumbe — Gumbay: The Gumbe is a single-headed goat-skin drum resembling a bench. (See Pl. XIII — No. 25) The head is tacked to a square wooden frame with four legs. The skin is tensed by means of a second square frame telescoped inside the skin frame. Each of the legs has a slot cut in the middle, halfway down. Wedges are pushed into these slots forcing the tension frame against the skin, tightening it. The instrument is a solo drum

much

like the quinto in secular music

of Cuba, that is, the drum-

mer is not restricted to any particular pattern, but must fit his rhythms between the basic patterns. The Gumbe is played bare-handed in conjunction with two other drums.’ John Canoe Drum Set: The John

composed

Canoe band, which

furnishes music

for the dancing,

of two John Canoe drums, a fife, and three scrapers

scraped with a metal strip).

is

(a grater

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

191

The instruments are snare drums. One is large, fourteen inches in diameter and eight inches in height; the smaller one is constructed like the larger. Both are played with sticks. The bodies are made of

barrel staves.’ Kbandu Drum Set:

Kbandu is a Jamaican Cumina cult drum made from a keg and covered with a single goatskin. The Cumina cult is an Afro-religious group of Jamaica, which uses two drums (Kbandu and Playing Cast). maracas,

a triangle,

and

a Shakka

to furnish

the music

in their cere-

monies. The Shakka is a coconut grater, scraped with a metal. The goat-skin head is attached to a flesh ring which place by a counter ring. The counter ring is either nailed to or bolted with iron clamps. The instrument is held between and played with both hands.

piece of is held in the body the knees

This instrument is used with another, similar in construction, but smaller and called “‘playing cast,”’ which is the solo instrument. It is less

than a foot in diameter and two feet long. The instrument is straddled

and the skin is played with bare hands, while another drummer called “Catta’tick”’* sits and plays the box with two sticks. The goat-head skin is nailed to the body. The head is tensed and tuned by heating. Signal Drum or Sounding Drum:

A small, two-headed drum is used in Jamaica in Mydal — a form of African cult practiced by the inner circle of members of some Pocomania

groups.!?

One

of the most

secret ceremonies

of Mydal

is the

“Ground Table” — a ceremony held deep in the jungle at night, where the participants are the “shepherd” [or high priest] and the top officers among his “flock.” When

the shepherds decide to hold a Ground Table or any other

Mydal ceremony, they beat a signal or “sound” on the signal drum, at

different periods over three days and nights. The call is heard by those who know it; they inform others who are out of “ear-shot.” Soon, all

the required cultists arrive at the shepherd’s camp or headquarters and are informed of the time and location fixed for the ceremony. Separately,

the cultists journey to the spot. They form a circle around the spot where the ceremony will be held, spreading out from 100 to 350 yards from the actual center. Everyone, including the shepherd in the center of the circle, carries out his or her own portion of the rites, but no one is *Catta stick.

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DRUMS

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able to see the other. When the shepherd wishes his followers to join

him in the center of the circle for the carrying out of the chief rites of

the ceremony, he beats on his signal drum. These rites accomplished, the shepherd’s followers return to their original positions. When at last the spell is cast or removed, the shepherd again beats on his signal drum, and each cultist slips away separately into the darkness to return to his

home.

The signal drum is a metal lard can eight inches in diameter and seven inches high. The bottom skin has two snares stretched across the

head. It is played with sticks. The goat-skin heads are lapped over a

sisal cord or flesh ring, secured with a rattan counter ring. The two counter rings are laced together across the metal body. (See Pl. VI — No. 4.)

Festival Drum:

The festival drum

is the largest and the chief drum

of the many

played at the festivals held by Pocomania, as well as Maroon groups in Jamaica. It is played on those occasions by the leader of the drum band, who thus controls the tempo of the whole festival. In the Pocomania cult, there are several ceremonies that are full of gay and tuneful choruses; happy and vigorous dancing also occurs. This is also the case among the Maroons, although their festive functions are less frequent

than those of the Pocomania. Whenever a ceremony is performed with

a background of singing and dancing, it is the Festival drum that comes into play. The opening of a festive ceremony was on one occasion held up for over two hours because neither drummers nor dancers would

participate until the festive drum arrived. The Festival drum looks very much like a copy of a European drum.

It is sixteen inches in diameter and thirteen inches high — the

shell is made from a section of a barrel. It is played with a padded stick.

The two goat-skin heads are tensed by tightening the lacing across the

body with a vertical running cord.

Kitty-Katty: A Jamaican board drum. A hole fifteen inches wide by eighteen inches long, and eight to ten inches deep is dug in the ground, then a wide board is placed over it lengthwise.The drum is then played with

sticks, or stomped. It is called ‘“kua-kua” in Surinam and in Angola, Africa, it is called “kas.” In Surinam, it is played by both men and

AFRO-AMERICAN

women,

and a

DRUMS

193

bench is occasionally substituted. A similar drum in Cuba

is called “tingotalango” or ‘“tumbandera.” Zion Bass Drum: (Battery) A Jamaican copy of a European Bass drum with two heads of goatskin. It is played with cloth-wrapped sticks. The heads are attached to flesh rings which are secured by counter hoops. The hoops are laced across the box, and by tensing these lacings the instrument is tuned. It hangs from the shoulders and is played on both sides— it is used in the

Zion

cult ceremonies

along

with

a kettledrum — for mourning,

soliciting supernatural aid, and thanksgiving. The body is made from a keg, fifteen to twenty inches in diameter and fourteen to eighteen inches

in height. The Zion band is composed of a triangle, a tambourine, a

set of shakers (maracas), a bass drum, and a snare drum. VIRGIN

Ka:

ISLANDS

(Tamboure)

The ka drum was reported in the Virgin Islands, Brazil, Haiti, and

even in New Orleans as late as 1880. It exists only in Martinique today.

It is a large barrel with the bottom removed and mouth covered with skin. The skin is nailed to the body or laced to pegs inserted in the body.88

The instrument is played by two musicians. One straddles the drum, allowing the head to protrude between his legs, while playing it with

bare hands. The second drummer

sits to the side with two small light

sticks and plays a counter rhythm on the body of the drum. It is used

for Bambula

dances,

a sensual

dance

of the West

Indies.’”’

The Ka has had probably the widest distribution in the Americas of any Afro-American drum. It was being transplanted in most areas where the African was being removed

Carriacou-Bass:

and re-established.

CARRIACOU

The Carriacou bass drum is a two-headed

drum

laid on the lap and played with one stick and one hand. It is approxi-

mately two feet long and fourteen inches in diameter. The drumstick is padded on the hitting end with strips of sewed cloth. The two calf-skin heads are wrapped about a flesh hoop which is held in place by a counter ring. The two counter hoops are laced together over the body with a cord in an “N” fashion.

The Carriacou Band is composed of a tambourine, triangle, bass drum, and a fiddle. It plays quadrilles, reels and merengues to which are

194,

DRUMS

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set topical words in Creole (a mixture of French, African, and English). These instruments are also used in dances bearing ihe names of some

of

others.’

the

“nations”

Cutler or Kupe:

of West

Africa:

Ibo,

Cromanti,

Temnee,

and

(Carriacou Battery)

A single-headed drum found in Carriacou — the Cutler is made from a small keg covered over the top with a tacked goatskin. The solo instrument of a Carriacou battery, is high pitched and played with the hands.

Its beats are eccentric, improvised to the steady beats of the two “Fale” drums usually played with the Kupe. It averages diameter and twenty-four to thirty inches in height.

eight

inches

in

is found

in

Fale Drum: The

Fale

drum

is Aframerican,

and

this

instrument

Carriacou. It has one head of goatskin tacked to a barrel body. It stands thirty inches high and is fourteen inches in diameter with a cord snare

across the head. Two Fale drums are used in pairs along with a Kupe drum. The higher pitched Fale drum carries the basic rhythm and the lower the counter beat. TRINIDAD The cultural and racial heritage of Trinidad is similar to that of Jamaica. The major part of the population is Afro-American which includes the lowest economic stratum. Folk music and folk instruments always stem from the lower classes of society. The music

and musical

instruments of Trinidad are African or Afro-American. The instruments can be divided into two major classifications: instruments associated with African religions in Trinidad, and those now considered traditional and secular. Since the principal manifestations of African religions are the drums of the dance, the European colonists restricted and prohibited the practices of African rituals, and as a result these practices went underground.'*!

The majority of the African slaves brought to Trinidad were Dahomean or Yoruban. In Trinidad, the two religious sects did riot merge, but formed two different societies. Yoruban cult is Shango, and the Daho-

mean is, Rada. Their instruments as well as their practices are distinct. The Trinidadians’ popular music and instruments have won international acclaim. The Calypso music, indigenous to Trinidad, has been

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

195

heard around the world. Steel band music is replacing more conventional musical groups throughout the Caribbean

area.

Rada Drum Set of Trinidad:

There are certain consecrated drums in the religious ceremonies and rites of the Rada people. Towonde Drum: It is a single-headed peg instrument used in a battery of three. It is the main drum, played by the lead drummer. It occupies a central position between the other two drummers. The lead drummer uses one crooked stick fourteen inches long and one bare hand.

The drum is held between the legs at an angle, allowing the sound from the calf- or deer-skin head to escape from the footed shell. The skin is sewn to a flesh ring and laced to pegs inserted into the body at an angle. This thirty-inch body is cylindrical in shape and twelve inches in diameter across the mouth.

The companion drums of the Towonde are the Wyande and the Hwen’domasu, which are smaller and of a higher tone. The Wyande

is played with two eleven-inch sticks. It sits to the right of the Towonde and carries the counter rhythm. The Hwen’domasu, the third member of

the battery, is made from a barrel. It is played with two thin sticks

twenty-seven

inches long. The head is folded around

a flesh ring and

a counter hoop of rattan nailed to the body holds the skin and flesh hoop secure. This instrument holds the basic pattern while the Towonde

weaves the more intricate rhythm.

Kionu or Sihu Drums: Kionu is a ritual for the dead held nine days after death for highly placed members of the community. The drums are named after the ritual, for they are only used in death ceremonies. One of the drums is an earthenware jar covered with deer skin and beaten with one hand

and a leather thong. The other Kionu or Sihu drum is a gourd (calabash) drum consisting of two half gourds floating in a wooden tub. The inverted gourds are beaten by sticks, and a special repertoire of funeral chants are sung.'”

The Shango Cult Drum Set: The Shango people of Trinidad use three drums for their “feast,

99%

they are all two-headed, but only one side is beaten. They are called, Bembo (mama); Congo (papa); and the Amalie (baby). The skins *The Shango ceremonials are called “feasts” or “sacrifices”.

196

DRUMS

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are attached to a skin ring and then laced together across the body.

The instruments are held between the knees and played with bare hands or with one bare hand and a stick. (See Pl. VII — No. 8) Bembo, the largest of the set, is the improvision drum, and it is the solo instrument responsible for bringing on “possession.” The Bembo stands twenty-two inches from mouth to mouth, and is ten inches in

diameter.

Congo

is the middle-sized

instrument.

It is twenty-two

inches

in

height, and eight inches in diameter. This is the drum of the Shango set that holds the counter rhythm. Amalie

is the

smallest

of the

Shango

cult drum

set.

It is also

twenty-two inches in height, but only seven inches in diameter. This baby drum is the one responsible for holding the basic rhythm pattern. Before

these instruments

are dedicated,

fetish objects

are placed

inside, which keep up a steady rattle when played. The instruments are tuned by running a vertical cord between the

lacing, drawing the head tighter and closer together. An identical type of lacing is found on the Tambor of Panama. Some of the fetish ob-

jects placed inside the drums are grain, stones, pieces of cloth, and shells. Steel Drums — Tune Booms — Pans: The steel drums of Trinidad are an innovation in the folk music of the Americas, developed largely after World War II. In 1937, a law was passed in Trinidad outlawing skin drums and bamboo rhythm sticks. This left a people bereft of instruments which had been part of their heritage.

(The population of Trinidad is 30 per-

cent East Indian and 50 percent Aframerican.) It was from this background that the steel drum was developed. This instrument has been called a pan by the natives of Trinidad, gong by some musicologists, and a drum by others. There

are several

reasons why the classification is difficult: in the first place, the drums are constructed from fifty-five-gallon oil drums without skin. Small

sections in the top or face of each drum are “tuned” to definite pitches from one to three octaves in variation.

Today in the Caribbean Islands more people dance to the music of the oil drums than to any other instrument. They are trimmed with

chisels and tuned with sledge hammers,

but have muted,

bell-like tones.

An ensemble of these instruments is called a steel percussion band. Each

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

197

pan is carefully designed to fill a particular role in an ensemble. There are soprano,

tenor, alto, and bass pans. The

“ping-pong”

pan

carries

the melody, the “tune boom” pans make up the harmony section and the “bass boom” pans are rhythm instruments. The bass pans stand up on the ground waist-high, while the others are hung by straps from

the shoulders of musicians. The drum sticks are wrapped with discarded

inner-tube rubber. The oil drum is laid on its side and cut from four to fifteen inches from the bottom, depending on what type of pan is being fabricated. The cut is made with either a hacksaw or a cold chisel. The section is then heated, allowed to cool and placed on the ground with the closed

end up. The top is hammered down, forming a The center of the pan is now about two inches With chalk the pan is faced or sectioned like manner. These markings indicate where number of scalloped sections marked off depend

smooth concave surface. below the rim. off in a scalloped petalthe notes will be. The on the pan.

A center punch and hammer are used to form permanent sections indicated by the chalk marks. This prepares the instrument for tuning. The interior of each section is knocked forward until the correct pitch is reached. These sections may be knocked back and forth while all sections are checked with a tuning fork.

The first record of a steel container being used as a musical instru-

ment in Trinidad was in 1945. The boys from the streets of Port of Spain, Trinidad, were beating a little bamboo—according to Austin Simmonds,

author of Pan and Panmen.

One

of the bass bamboos

burst

and there was a resulting gap in rhythm. The gap was filled with an old gas tank. May 6, 1945, the night of victory in Europe, added another

chapter to the story of the steel band. Carnivals had been discontinued for the duration of the war. When the sirens blew the news of peace,

a huge crowd gathered around the portals of Hall Yard, traditional headquarters of the tamboo bambooists of downtown Port of Spain, Trinidad. They came to collect their equipment for the fete, but were caught unprepared. The bamboo was not cut or cured. Not to be outdone, they took pots and pans and started the rhythm. This was the true birth of the steel band. The first real “pan” to be used was an empty biscuit container. It

198

DRUMS

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was played with the fist and the edge of the open palm—the “whoompwhoomp”’ was the main sound. The

that when

next

development

one hammers

in this exciting

period

was

the

discovery

a paint pan, leaving the indentations of the

hammer, different sounds could be obtained by striking different sections. It was not long afterwards that the ping-pong pan or melody pan was developed as we know it today. Bands soon began forming, develop-

ing new sounds and new pans. One

of the boys

(Scribo

Maloney

of Bar

20)

hung

a sawed-off

pan around his neck waist high, and with a pair of drumsticks, rolled his famous

cut and tumble

beat.

It was

a new

advance

for the steel

band.}#

Ellie Manette from Port of Spain, Trinidad, is given credit for

bringing

the steel band

from

social ostracism

to the threshold

of re-

spectability. He wrapped his drumstick with strips of rubber and cut

the top of an oil drum off at a length of about eight inches, then marked

or “seamed” his pan with a number of radii, equi-distant from one another. He found that by tapping these areas, the pan could be tuned. With all the notes emanating from a common center and produced by a rubberized drumstick, the sound was liquid, sensuous and rhythmic. Ellie and his brothers, who had been immortalized in calypso and steelband folklore, gathered a group and taught them Ellie’s technique. This band became the famous Invaders’ Steelband. Tamboo

(See Pl. IX — No. 13)

Bamboo:

When all skin drums were outlawed in Trinidad, the islanders took to bamboo

as a substitute for drums and formed tamboo

The musicians

of these bands

made

together pieces of bamboo in a truly the remarkable merrymakers.

accompaniment

of

the

rhythmic

bamboo

music by knocking

startling symphony chanting

bands.

and

of sound to

singing

of

the

The instruments of this band are of well-cured lengths of specially

cut bamboo. It is said that they and the owners were as proud has its own pitch, ranging from to the small, light strips known

had to be cut in the full of the moon of them as Heifetz of his violin. Each the long, wide, and heavy bass bamboo as cutters. A full tamboo bamboo band

was comprised of at least five basses, three chandlers, seven fullers, and four cutters. (See Pl. XXII — No. 53)

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

199

BAHAMAS

Tambu - Set:

A single-head cylindrical drum made from a wooden keg found in

the Bahamas. The music of the Bahamas is more or less drawn from the United

States.

But the drumming

is clearly noncontinental

in in-

spiration. Their drumming tradition is African drawn from other Caribbean islands and South America. Two or three drums are used. The

head of de-haired cowhide is tacked on and ornamented with a ring of plaited sisal cord. The instruments are played under the left arm or from the ground in a squatting position. They stand twenty inches high, thirteen inches in diameter across the head and sixteen inches in diameter across the bottom. The painted body is held together with

two metal bands. The instrument is played with bare hands and accompanied by the claves (“‘cleavers”) and the saw as a scraper. The saw teeth are scraped with a knife, and the saw is flexed to produce

different tones as though it were played with a violin bow.

It is interesting to find African-type drumming surviving where the

cohesive force of African religious practice has been reported absent. African-type drumming ability, in other areas where the African religion has disappeared, has been lost. (See Pl. IIT)

HAITI AND THE FRENCH WEST INDIES Haiti is the first African Republic in the New World. Although she

is part of the western world, her roots extend back into Africa. Linguis-

tically and culturally, Haiti belongs to the French colonized areas of the world. Haiti has provided inspiration for sensationalists of all kinds. The bleody violence of her revolution, the denial of white supremacy, the

brooding, forbidding mountains where drums never sleep—these all have made Haiti a country of mystery and intrigue. The overt manifestations of Voudoun, the word used for African religion in Haiti, are the drums and dances that are a basic part of

religion. To dance is to dramatize The form and the rhythms of the Assotor Drum: The Assotor or Assortor is Dahomey’s rites. It is generally

fifteen

to eighteen

inches

the metaphysical beliefs of Voudoun. drums are determined by the religion.

a Haitian drum connected with the five-and-a-half-feet or taller and from

in diameter

across

the head.

It has

small

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DRUMS

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windows in the foot allowing the sound to escape without tilting the instrument.

It is generally known for its careful construction. It is said the Assortor is so sensitive that a breeze will cause it to vibrate like a

violin. Its huge shell is hewn from a tree trunk. The membrane

is attached to the body by means of seven pegs and rope lacing.

of calf

The drummers use a crooked drumstick to hit the skin. The height

of the instrument necessitates a platform being built, or the drummer jumps up and strikes its head. The Assortor is the king of all the Voodoo drums; a special ceremony is given in its honor on Christmas eve. Before the drum is used, it is dressed and decorated, mainly with handkerchiefs of the various colors of the loa (Voudoun deities). The worshipers execute the dances, such as the Mayoyo and the Nago.

No other instrument of the Voodoo

the Assotor drum.

It is beaten on solemn

cult of Haiti is so sacred as occasions only. Most

Assotors disappeared during the anti-superstition campaign;* they are not easy to come by.

The sacrifice to, with, and of the Assotor drum, comprises

of the

therefore a whole

assortment of ceremonies in honor of various deities. So sacred an essence is attributed to this instrument that it could almost be called an idol or a fetish. It must be hewn from the kinds of wood laid down

by tradition, particularly from mahogany wood, which is thought to have much blood. It must be cut in the full moon. The head or membrane which covers it must be placed as mid-day approaches, according to Jacques Roumain’s work. The first ceremony which the Assotor undergoes is the baptism. This ceremony

installs the soul into the drum.

Seven,

or three times

seven Godmothers and Godfathers are chosen for these rites. This is the song that is sung on the occasion: “Assoto Micho We call Jean Jean Assoto we call you So we may baptize the Assoto God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost.

*The church and government periodically campaign to eradicate campaigns are referred to as anti-superstitions campaigns.

cult

rites and

these

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

201

After the good God I baptize you You left Guinea To come and see the Creoles We are glad to see you Assoto Micho I baptize you Assoto’!* After the ceremony, several others are held honoring various deities: Legba, Ayizan, Loco, Ogu. An animal—a black or a white goat or a russet-colored ox—is sacrificed to the drum, according to a subscribed ritual. The Voodoo priest traces a cross on the Assoto which is then beaten alternately by several priests dancing around it. If any one of them fails to take his turn, misfortune is thought to befall a member of his family. The ceremony ends with the sending back of the spirit of the instrument, and the breaking of the skin.

Some

cooked and some raw food is placed in a basket by the

priests along with needles, cotton, knives, forks, money, plates, and assoto. All members of the family they have made an offering to the

linen, pipe tobacco, matches, spoons, all sorts of blood known as tchimansign witness papers to the effect that Assotor, guaranteeing his eating and

also his departure until the next ceremony. The document is also placed in the basket. Two strong men are chosen; one is appointed to protect the basket-carrier from the gods’

wrath. The basket-carrier and his guard cart off the basket to the sea

or forest to dispose of it. The drum is then beaten by seven priests or

hunsi with a special stick with a nail at the end, until the membrane

is burst. Then the Assotor is retired.

This instrument is then considered as a sacred idol like the Maya Tunkul, the Orinoco Bo-tu-tu, and the Quajum—the singing god of the Lacandon, and other drum idols in the Americas. (See P] XII—No. 22)

Bambula Set: A popular drum in French Antilles, that was once known in Louisiana. This instrument was originally made of bamboo, from which

its name was derived. Later, it was constructed from a solid log and finally from barrel staves. A small Bambula is known as Babula. The

Bambula in Martinique measures about three or four feet long and from fifteen to sixteen inches in diameter. It is a single-headed instrument, with the head generally attached to pegs

which

are turned

and

inserted

in the shell of the drum.

By

driving the pegs into the body, the skin is tensed, therefore raising the

202

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

tone of the instrument. The Babula is approximately eight to nine inches in diameter. The Bambula dance takes its name from this drum which was used

to accompany the dancers. The instrument is straddled and played with one bare hand and a drumstick, or two bare hands. Occasionally, the skin is heeled with the foot to give a different tone.

The musician who played the Bambula in Louisiana was called the

“Bel Tambouye.” The instrument was a keg with a cowhide head nailed to it. It was played with two other drums, the Tom Tom and the Ka;

the Bambula was the smallest of the three.’ Occasionally,

the Ka

had

a string stretched

across its head

with

bits of bamboo and feather stems tied to it, giving it a different sound.

The Louisiana battery of three drums is shown in Plate VIII — No. 10.

The Ka was straddled and the head played with bare hands, while another drummer beat on the body or box with two sticks. The Bambula was played in a cobbler position with bare hands. The Tom Tom was squatted upon and beaten on the head with two sheep-shank bones. Basse (tambourine):

The Haitian tambourine is called basse. It is more or less a friction

drum because it is known and admired for its “ciyé.” The “‘ciyé” is the

sound obtained from rubbing the head of the instrument with the fingers. The word “tambourine” in Haitian creole designates a tiny drum used in secular dances.'*” The

basse is a tambourine,

or frame

drum.

A thin

piece of wood about four inches in width, four feet long and one-eighth

of an inch in thickness is placed in water and allowed to soak. When it is soft enough to bend, it is bent in a circle, lapped, and nailed. A nail is driven through the branch to prevent its slipping out. The greenbranch section is a fraction larger than the hole and must be whittled for a perfect fit. The branch section is approximately

six inches long.

The five inches extending from the frame as a handle are three-quarters of an inch in diameter. Sections are cut in the frame into which are inserted jingles made

from flattened soft-drink caps. The jingles are held in place by thin nails placed through the frame and the center of the bottlecaps. The dehaired goatskin is wrapped about a quarter of an inch vine flesh hoop, just large enough

to fit around

the frame

or body.

A

counter

hoop wrapped in skin holds the skin in place. The counter hoop is laced through holes made in the bottom of the frame. The lacing is

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

203

continuous from the handle in ‘“V” fashion, around the frame. The instrument is approximately thirteen inches in diameter and four inches

high. (See Pl. XII — No. 24)

Congo Drum Set — Haiti: The Congo orchestra consists of three drums of different sizes called Manman, Tymbale, and Ti Congo. They have cylindrical shapes,

double heads, and are European in style, or copies of European drums. Tension is obtained by two wooden rings. The Tymbale is held horizon-

tally on a chair or some other support. They are played with sticks; a small board is often fixed to its casing and serves as a percussion instrument. The tymbale is the solo instrument.

Djuba:

A single-headed, Haitian drum played by two musicians; one plays

the skin with bare hands and the other taps out his rhythm on the box. It is generally

a small

head on the other.

keg

with

one

end

open

and a laced

goatskin

The instrument is laid on its side and straddled by one musician.

It is used in a ceremony which the Peasant God Zaka demands via the mouth of someone possessed. The Djuba dance is named for this

instrument.

Juba or Martinique: The Juba or Martinique is a short, wide-bellied instrument. It is laid on the ground and straddled by one drummer playing the head with bare hands and occasionally the right heel. A second drummer, the catalier, beats the body or box with two sticks. The Juba belongs to the Petro family of drums of Haiti. It is hewn from a solid log and

has one end covered with parchment. This

instrument

in Martinique,

Virgin

Islands,

and

the southern

part of the United States is called a Ka. (See Pl. VI[I — No. 10) Petro Drum Set: These are associated with the Petro

cults rites of Haiti. These

rites are traditionally played with two drums.’ They are constructed similarly to Rada drums, hewn from solid logs, but the goatskin heads

are laced to the body by cords and not to pegs. The lacing cords run from the counter ring in a Y fashion to a body ring of sisal cord three

quarters of the way down the shell. The flesh ring is made from a running vine, and the counter ring, also of vine, is wrapped in goatskin

204.

DRUMS

hide. The larger of the two drums is called Manman smaller one is called Pititt or Ti Baka.

IN THE

AMERICAS

or Gros Baka, the

The Gros Baka is played with bare hand and holds the most im-

portant role in the duet. The sound of Gros Baka is called “ralé,”’ and the slighter sound of the Pititt is referred to as “taille.”

These instruments are also associated with secular dances and are

frequently employed as work drums in combites, agricultural societies or work groups. They are favored in Saturday night bombaches—social

dances. The drums are unpainted and undecorated; generally used by Tiroro, the most famous drummer in Haiti, in all secular appearances. The instruments are tuned by tightening the ropes by hand, wetting

the rope lacings causing them to shrink, or forcing wedges between the body ring and the body. The Pititt, like the Gros Baka, is played with

bare hands.

Petro drums are made in two other variations. One is the Loangue or Loango, a long drum about three and one-half to four feet long and about eight inches in diameter across the head. The other is the Juba

or Martinique. The

Petro

drums

are

used

for Kitta

Bumba,

Congo, the Loangue and other dances. In religious dances of the Petro cycle, two one or more chestra; and

rattles, an ogan, and occasionally, one or

Salongo,

of these

Bambarra,

drums

with

an asson are used to form an ormore bamboo trumpets—vaccines.

(See Pl. V—— No. 2)

Rabardage:

The only Afro-Haitian drum played by women.

brane, miniature drum

It is a single mem-

and is held in the armpit to play. The cone-

shaped body is carved from a log and covered on the large end with goatskin. The head or membrane is wrapped about a flesh ring made from a running vine. The head is held in position and tensed by a rattan counter hoop wrapped with hairy goatskin. The counter hoop is

laced down the tapering body to a body ring of sisal.

This instrument, which is played with the fingers and hands, is approximately six inches in diameter and eight inches long. (See PI.

XIII — No. 28) Rada Drum Set: Rada is a term used to denote a native of the French West African Protectorate of Dahomey. According to the late Dr. Melville Herskovits,

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

205

the term itself derives from Allada, an early capital of the Dahomean Kingdom.

The Rada ritual drums of Haiti are made like the typical African Dahomey

type; the shell is carved from the trunk of a tree, cone shaped.

The skin is stretched by means of pegs braced with cords. The shells are carved or painted with bright colors that symbolize the Patron God of Sanctuary. The difference between the rituals is reflected in the diversity of the rhythm,

in the drums,

and the instruments which are

used with them. Rada groups are prominent in Cuba, Haiti, Trinidad, and Brazil.

The Rada drums of Haiti are played in groups of three, identical in shape, but different in size. The largest, Adjunto or Manman; the second,

Seconde,

the

middle-sized

instrument;

the

smallest,

the

Bula.

The Manman is played with a wooden hammer-type stick and is struck on the head or the side of the shell. It is tied to a chair or to the body at an angle to the seated drummer. The

musician

who

beats

the

Seconde

is seated,

with

the

instru-

ment held firmly between the legs, striking the instrument with one

bare hand and a forked stick or a small bow agida. The Bula is always vertical and is struck with two sticks.

The Ogan is a metal bell sets the rhythm followed by Manman dominates the group; from the sonorous background. to produce “possession.”*

rung with an iron rod. This instrument the Bula, Seconde, and Manman. The its freedom and intensity stand out clearly It is the solo instrument and is supposed

The Manman is called in some areas the Hountor or Hountogri— mama drum. It averages between thirty-two and thirty-six inches in height, and ten to twelve inches in diameter, and is headed with a

cowhide, generally.

The Seconde is known as gronde, Mayen, and papa drum. It averages between twenty-two and twenty-six inches in height and eight to

nine inches in diameter. The Bula, or bebé, stands between eighteen and twenty inches and approximately eight inches in diameter.

These instruments are tuned approximately one-fifth apart and are tuned by pouring water into the shell with the instrument standing on its head. After the drum stands for fifteen minutes, the skin and pegs *The congo rites call their drums maman, gronde, and katabou.

206

DRUMS

become

damp;

the water is then poured

IN THE

out of the drum

AMERICAS

and it is

placed on its foot and the pegs driven in a little. If the drum is out of tune, the pegs are simply driven in a little farther. The Rada drums are generally headed with goatskin, bull or ox cowhide.”

The

districts from which these drums

originated are identifiable

by the carving in the foot, and the method used of inserting the pegs. The Dahomey—(Vadoun) or “Voodoo” Group—tThis orchestra

consists of three Rada drums, Ogan, and Asson. The Asson is a dried gourd, around which is wrapped a string of snake vertebrates and beads. The beads are painted the colors of the deities to which the instrument

is dedicated. A small bell is attached to the end of the gourd. Pl. XXV — No. 61)

(See

The Rada orchestra plays for both religious and _ recreational dances or “rests.” The drummers sit together on a bench or chairs at

the edge of the dance area. The player of the Manman is considered the leader of the orchestra and sits in the middle. The Bulatier (player

of the Bula) is responsible for the basic rhythm of any song introduced by the singers and is the first drum to begin. If the Bulatier is not sure of the beat, he signals on his drum and the chief drummer answers

or gives him a sign on his drum or a verbal imitation of the correct

rhythm. Occasionally, one finds a Rada drum with an eye carved or painted on the body. This eye represents the All-Seeing eye of God.

This eye is considered to be most potent—it is feared and, at the same time, considered lucky. All Rada ritual drums and some other instruments are baptized in the name of the “loa,” (Haitian cult name for deities) to which they are especially dedicated before they can be played at a rite. This re-

quires a special ceremony, and these instruments are thought to be a means of communication between humans and spirits. Only after baptism are they used for sacred rites. It is necessary that the musicians

hired be professional, but they are not indispensable. The power of communication with the spirits is only conveyed by the instruments of sound, not by the musicians.

(See Pl. VIIJ — No. 12)

Tambour Maringouin (Mosquito Drum): A Haitian instrument classified by Curt Sachs as an earth bow,

but classified by others as a friction drum. A cylindrically shaped hole

is dug in the earth ten to twelve inches wide and covered with a large sheet of leather or bark of the palm or banana tree, held in place by

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

207

an arrangement of pegs. A cord is attached to the center of the bark through a hole. The cord is drawn taut by a green sapling whose thicker end is buried in the ground at an angle—giving the appearance of a bent fishing rod.

The instrument is then played by rubbing and plucking the cord with one hand and adjusting the tension in the sapling with the other hand. The sound is a humming mosquito-like sound. A portable model is made occasionally. The cord in this case is attached to the top of a can through

a hole in its center. The can is

nailed to one end of a board and the sapling is nailed to the other end of the board. The mosquito drum is played as an accompaniment to the rattle and

the

“cata”

time.

at Easter

The

cylinder

of

lead inevitably

to

is a hollowed

cata

— No. 60) bamboo or wood, used as a timekeeper. (See Pl. XXIV In Haiti, the drum is an integral part of the people’s life. It expresses the heart

beat of communal

living.

Drums

dance, so that truly astounding repertoire of drum rhythm and dances have accumulated over the centuries.

Drummers are generally members of the cults, and they are responsible for the sacred rhythms and the sacred instruments. They

regulate the tone and the pace of the dance, and decide when it is appropriate to introduce the breaks, or changes, in rhythm, which so

often

induces

“possession.””

Drummers

become

one

with their drums,

and drums come alive. People move and sing and vibrate with nature,

and dance with each other, with their ancestors, and gods they have never forgotten.’ The training of a cult drummer requires more that of any other ritual activity. He has to be able to of the different cults as well as to dances to deities.

with old African

preparation than play the rhythms He is generally

hired and paid on the basis of his experience. These musicians are not sacred, but their instruments are. When

salutations are addressed toward

the drum it does not include the drummer, who might be beating the

drums at that particular time. The drums are the core of cult rites. Personal modulations and lack of vigor are reflected by breaks on the solo drummer, and inevitably conveyed to all by the pulse. A good drummer lends color and brilliance to the rites. Without any change in beat,

tempo,

to become

pacing,

intense.

tone

This

or volume.

it is possible

is accomplished

by

breaks

for the drnmminz

and

phrasing

in

208

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

contrast to the European conception of dance rhythm. The beats of the drum frequently do not correspond to the natural accent of the melody, but occur in syncopated position, as in modern jazz.

UNITED STATES Afro-American drums in the United States disappeared completely. Why? We will never know, but we can try to explain it. Before we try to explain their disappearance,

let us for a moment

mention

some

of

the accounts of the drums that did exist. George W. Cable in his article, “The Dance in Place Congo,” published in the Century Magazine of February,

1886,

describes

the setting for Congo

the

orchestra,

dances held in New

the

dancers,

the

Orleans. We

dances,

and

have collected

and reconstructed former slave instruments used in the United States. (See Pl. VII— No. 10) They are described as long hollowed logs covered with sheepskin at one end. Three were used, each a little larger than the other. The

drums were beat on the and rapidly the ground

wooden

placed lengthwise on the ground and straddled. They were heads with fingers, fists, and feet, slowly on the large one on the small ones. Sometimes an extra performer sat on behind the larger drum at its open end and beat on the

sides with two sticks. Occasionally, the small drum

was made

from a joint or two of very large bamboo, which was thought to have given it its name, Bamboula. Other instruments making up the orchestra were the gourd rattle, hung from the end of a stout staff in one hand and beaten upon the palm of the other; a triangle; a Jaw harp, a jawbone of a cow, the teeth of which were scraped with a key. At times the drums were reinforced by one or more empty barrels or casks

beaten on the head with shank bones of cattle; the Marimba brett; and

the banjo, of four strings. Another instrument mentioned was the quills, a flute made from several joints of reed tied together. Drums

religion;

were

so were

outlawed

they

in the

United

States,

as well

in other places, but the cult went

as African

underground,

the instruments were hidden or substitutes found. This did not happen in

the United States. Was law enforcement more effective? Were the education and religious activities more acceptable? Did the accessability of European instruments have anything to do with it? Could it have been the desire to conform to European culture for benefits desired, or was it a rejection of everything African? of those things, all of them,

or none

It could have been any one

of them. Whatever

the reason, the

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

drum

the hand-clapping,

rhythms,

us. The

drums

drum

ASIAN

AND

@

[]

and

the

foot-tapping

once heard. OCEANIAN

AMERICAN

Chinese-American Japanese-American

East Indian-American Others

2. U.S.A. a. California b. Washington c. Illinois d. Louisiana e . Pennsylvania f, New York 3. Central America a. British Honduras 4, West a. b. c. d.

are still with

are felt in the United States, but not heard, at least, the

true “Afro”

A (]

209

Indies Jamaica Trinidad Bahamas Barbados

5. South America a. Brazil b. British Guiana c. Surinam

Western

Hemisphere

MUSICAL

AREAS

12 OUR ASIATIC AND OCEANIC HERITAGE After the abolition of slavery, some other method of sustaining the economy had to be found—thus the equally infamous scheme of indentured laborers. And so, the stage was set for the emergence of a wonderful, peculiar and totally new type of drum music. Several types of people were brought to the Americas under this scheme: Chinese, East Indians, Filipinos, etc. These were indentured only after they had been guaranteed the preservation of their customs, including their religions and national way of dress. Any of us who pay attention to the festivals of these people in American communities will grasp the importance of the several drums in the dance interpretation of folktales. Asian music is particularly adapted to—and dominated by— percussion instruments. With the coming of a great number of Asians and Oceanians to

the Americas,

and the absorption

came

Oceanic

Oriental

religious

of Hawaii

practices.

into the United

Islam,

Shinto,

States,

Buddhism,

Polynesian, traditional religion, and Hinduism are all found in the Americas. Each of these groups used music in their forms of worship and

festivals. All of the groups brought drums that play a major role in their music. Each had its own philosophy of music and arrangements.

Centuries before the birth of Greek and Roman empires, the Chinese possessed musical instruments and a system of music. They ascribe the 210

OUR

ASIATIC

invention

AND

OCEANIC

HERITAGE

of their instruments

211

to Emperor

Kai-Tien-Chai,

posed to have invented them about 2500 B.C.

who

is sup-

The Chinese classified their instruments according to the material with which they are made. The instruments reproduced the sound of these eight substances: tanned skin (drums), stone (musical stones), metal (bells), clay (whistle or flutes), silk (strings of silk) lyre, bamboo (flutes and panpipes), calabash and reed (reed organ—calabash resonator). All these materials nature provided, and man made the

choice of their use.”

The Chinese considered the drum to be the most important of all musical instruments inspired by the gods and built by man. To the Chinese,

the sounds of music, the tone colors are more

im-

portant than the notes which may be formed. They have two scales corresponding to the black and white keys of the modern piano—but

they prefer a five-note scale.’*? Chinese music is characterized by a slow

tempo,

overlaid with much

composed

percussion.

The

orchestras

are generally

of one large drum, two small drums, two little bells, a pair

of modern clappers and a flute. Most of their drums are tack-headed,

non-tunable bimembranophones. Japanese music is based on two great theoretical foundations;

the

music of ancient China and the music of Buddhism. Buddhism entered

Japan in the Nara period (553-794), coming primarily through Chinese

sources,’ The Buddhist ceremony begins and ends with a drum. Both the idiophones

and two-headed

Neither European

development

of melody

skin drums

are used in the service.

nor African music is characterized by a high such as we find in the rich melodic ornamen-

tation of East Indian music. Their scale is arranged into a large number

of modes (against our two modes, major and minor), and the octave is divided into twenty-four quarter-tones (as against our twelve semi-

tones). This gives full scope to the flair for ornamentation to be found not only in the music of India, but also in other aspects of culture.

Music was a science in India long before it was organized in other countries. This science was mentioned in Rig Veda, along with the

drum and lute. The chief use of music was to assist in the performance

of religious ceremonies. India never developed a method of notation as we find in Persian,

Arabian, and Western music—but they did develop an elaborate method

212

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

of teaching music by rote. Their drum teaching method is as elaborate as any found in the world. The method lends itself to continuous improvisations. The notes of Hindu music are thought to be presided over by a deity of the Hindu pantheon of deities. Hindu music has attained a theoretical precision yet unknown to Europe. According to Professor

Inayat Khan, there are 400 main rhythms in Hindu music. It takes a drummer a lifetime to master these basic rhythms and inprovisations. Before

singing

a song

itself,

the

Hindu

musician

sings

alap—a

kind of prelude to the song. There are no words to an “alap”’; it simply

prepares the listener and creates an atmosphere

The

singer and

the musician

improvise

for the ensuing

according

to mood.

song.

Master

musicians care little for words because music conveys to the human mind with ease what words fail to do. Music begins where words end.

Hindu

music is purely melodic.

That is, it is produced by suc-

cessive sounding of single tones of different pitch, whereas Western harmonic music is produced by the simultaneous sounding of single

tones of different pitch. This melodic character of Hindu music helps to lend itself easily to improvisation.

To understand East Indian drums and drumming, one of the most complex and sophisticated types in the world, one has first of all to try to understand the significance of the art of drumming in the scheme of Indian music art expression. To the East Indian, in order to create something beautiful and to give it a physical aspect, he must develop a technique. Technique to the East Indian is the same as discipline. Thus,

in ancient

days,

to be a musician

or dancer

was the same

as to

be a “yogin.” Religion was beautiful—art was the expression of beauty —therefore,

art,

in

all its forms

religious rites and ceremonies.

became

a fundamental

factor

in all

From the point of view of sheer physical exertion involved, and

even from the point of view of spiritual labor, the Indian dance is the most demanding of all the arts. In dance, the body has to become so non-physical that those who behold will forget the body as a physical entity and become entranced by the art of the body’s expression. Dance has been described by the Indian as “‘the music of the body.” In Indian music there is not only tala, which is “yoga” (control and discipline). but also “laya,” which is the rhythm within the tala. Rhythm, which in music is the dance of the emotions, is also the dance of sound. The

OUR

ASIATIC

AND

OCEANIC

HERITAGE

213

Indian believes that the moment art (music and dance in particular)

is made personal, it becomes degraded, for then it expresses sensuality. A musician may like to show off, but this is fatal for in art, one does

not exhibit the artist, but the art.

With such an understanding of the Indian’s unconscious psychological approach to music, one begins to comprehend the otherwise strange fact that as a background man—rhythm man—the East Indian is unexcelled, although often unnoticed.”

Without a doubt, the most important Asian drums found in the Americas are the “dhol” and the “tasa,” thought to be the forerunner of the “timpano.” Both are very popular in Jamaica, Trinidad, and British Guiana. It is used for weddings, festivals, and funerals. From the island and the State of Hawaii, the Americas

receive

the Polynesian instruments, and the instruments of China, Japan and

Korea. Some of the Polynesian kettledrums come with a carved foot and are covered with sharkskin, and some are made from gourds and

coconuts, and are also a part of our Oceanic heritage. The “tasa” and “dhol” were introduced into the Americas from

Northern

India by East Indians who were brought to these shores, as

laborers. The descendants of these immigrants have kept the instrument and the traditions for which it is used.**

The Chinese tom-toms, the cymbal, blocks, and the “Chinese boxes”

are used as accessories by popular percussionists all over the Americas. Their use in this manner puts them in the cultural stream of the Americas. Many

of the instruments used in the Asian temples of worship in

the Americas, have never been incorporated into the main stream ~f

American culture, but are being used in the Americas nevetheless.

*Background

men, or “rhythm

men”

are terms used by modern

musician who holds the basic rhythm for improvisation.

musicians, to identify the

**1946 Census of Trinidad show 35.09% of population to be of East Indian descent.

DRUMS

214

PLATE IV — ASIAN AND Ami Dance Drum

Taiwan Hand Drum Cocoanut Banjo Rattle

OCEANIAN-AMERICAN

Kubu Drum Taiwan Floor Drum

Mrdanga Skull Drum Tabla Set

IN THE

DRUMS

Burma Tabla

AMERICAS

13 ASIAN AND OCEANIAN AMERICAN DRUMS Of all the Asian drums seen in the Americas, only one has been integrated into the main stream of American culture. It is a small slit drum used as an accessory with the popular drum set. It is referred to

as a Wood Block and is used for special effects. The other drums are

seen on special occasions used by certain ethnic groups or study groups. Chinese Wood Block —“Cajita China”: A small rectangular wooden box imported originally from China. It is approximately six inches long, three inches wide, and two inches thick. The box has two long slits running from one side to the other

near the bottom and near the top. It is referred to in China as “nbogoi” or “popo.” During the thirties, it was standard equipment with the jazz set. (See Pl. XXII

— No.

53)

Ipu-Hula— (Gourd Drum)

Paipu

(pa to strike ipu gourd):

A real hula orchestra drum of Hawaii. A large round gourd with

the top cut away is sewn to a smaller gourd with the bottom and the

top cut off, forming an hourglass instrument.

The bottom gourd averages from twelve to twenty-two inches in

height and from eight to sixteen inches in diameter. The short, squat

variety of gourd used for the upper chamber is from seven to eleven

inches in height and seven to thirteen inches in diameter. The two gourds are joined and sewn with breadfruit gum and thread, forming 215

216

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

a single chamber. The instrument also has a cloth loop handle tied between the gourds. The gourd drum is played by striking it against the ground, where a piece of cloth has been laid, then striking the gourd with the fingers. The drum is held with both hands and is raised in front of the musician who sits on the ground while playing. It is dropped between the legs on the cloth and the sound is emitted from the hole in the top gourd. (See Pl. XXIV — No.

58)

Pahu: A single-headed, footed kettledrum of Tahiti, used at one time for sacrificial rites. The instrument is played in upright position with bare

hands, and stands approximately thirty-six inches high and is fourteen

inches in diameter.

The body is hewn from the trunk of a coconut tree. The trunk is

cut from both ends, leaving a section so that the sound chamber will be closed. One extreme is carved to form a foot and the other is covered with

shark-skin

head.

(See

Pl. XVIIT— No.

41)

Pahu Hula: A footed kettledrum found in Hawaii. The shark-skin head, played with bare hands, is laced to the carved foot supporting the instrument. The body, carved from a solid coconut tree log, stands in an upright position when it is played. It is used in the Hula dances. According to Hawaiian mythology, the first hula was danced by the goddess Hiiaka.

In ancient Hawaii, initiates were trained in the hula at the temples.’ The foot of the drum has oval holes carved through it, giving it

a lace or stud effect. Only two thirds of the log is hollowed out for a resonance chamber. The log is then reversed and the bottom and the foot

are

carved.

A

one-inch

of the way down the body.

convex

bottom

is left

intact

two-thirds

The instruments average from eleven to twenty-two inches in height and eleven to sixteen inches in diameter. There are several types of carvings used in the foot of these drums.’® The foot carvings come in the single row of arches with downward

projections from the middle of each arch-type foot, the foot with two rows of arches with the second

row reversed;

the foot with two rows

with arches inverted; and another foot-type with three rows of inverted arches.

The mouth edge is smoothed to allow a close fit of the shark-skin

ASIAN AND OCEANIAN-AMERICAN

DRUMS

217

head. The skin is one piece, overlapping the mouth of the shell one inch or more.

There are two general ways of placing holes for lacing: one is a single row of holes and the other, a double row. The single row is

laced by cords to the foot the “olona cords” (lacing rows of holes to form two to the studs. The drummer sits in (See Pl. XVIII — No. 42) Puniu:

studs* alternately and in an indirect method; cords) are threaded through two or three patterns and cords run from the skin lacing a squat position and plays with bare hands.

A Hawaiian knee drum made from a coconut shell. The shell is

prepared by cutting the stem end off level above the middle or greater

diameter of the coconut. The upper edge is trimmed to form a level horizontal surface. A sharkskin is fitted over the opening and allowed to lap

over

the edge

of the

outside

from

one-half

to one-and-a-half

inches—to allow for the attachment of cords for lacing. A ring of cork is made to fit around the coconut bottom about one inch thick. Cords are laced between the ring and the skin to tighten the skin. The instrument is tied in position above the knee and a cord from the bottom

ring is extended

to secure the drum.

The stick or beater is made of a thick two-ply cord or fiber, doubled in the middle and twisted into a cord. A knot is tied to the end to form

an overhand knot, used to beat the drum. This instrument is thought to be a local invention of Hawaii because it does not occur in any

other part of Polynesia. The instrument is played in conjunction with

the wooden hula drum, also a kettledrum.

The drummer sits on the ground and plays the wooden drum with one hand and the knee drum with the other hand. The dimensions are

four inches in height and five inches in diameter. The Puniu is known as Hawaii’s snare drum, but in reality it is a kettledrum, covered with the skin of the Kala fish because it has very small

scales, or the sharkskin.

(See

Pl. XVIII — No.

42)

Pahu Heiau:

A Polynesian temple drum found in Hawaii. The average height

is forty-six inches.

It is footed with six or more

carved

arches—very

similar to the Pahu Hula, only larger. It is a kettledrum carved from a *Base of the drum.

218

DRUMS

solid log of the coconut tree. The head

is made

IN THE

from

AMERICAS

sharkskin

and

laced to the arches in the foot. It is generally played with bare hands or padded drumsticks. Touette:

A Polynesian slit drum carved from a solid log. It is carved the shape of Oro-tiki (Oro, name of God; Tiki, meaning God). This

instrument

is two-and-a-half

feet long,

four inches

high,

in

and

six inches wide. The slit is made in the anterior through three-fourths

the thickness of the instrument. One lip is thicker than the other, giving

the drum two definite tones when the lips (sides of the slit) are struck. It is found in Tahiti and Hawaii. (See Pl. XXVIII — No. 56) Tuili: A hand-slit drum carved from a solid block of wood. The exterior is fashioned in the form

of a fish, the underside is flattened, and a rec-

tangular slit is cut to approximately three-quarter inches one-and-a-half- inches deep and nine-and-a-half inches long. The Tuili is a Polynesian instrument found in Hawaii. for both music and signaling. The instrument is struck with the side of the main body and held with the other hand. (See

— No. 56)

wide,

and

It is used a stick on Pl. XXIII

Ko-Tsuzumi: A small two-headed Japanese drum used in Japan in Nohgaku, the music of the Noh Drama.” It is related to the San-no-Tsuzumi in the

court orchestra and also to the Korean drum, but it is played differently. It consists of a wooden body (do), two skins (kawa), and two sets of

ropes (shirabe). The

body

of zelkova

wood,

like a good

the right zelkova tree growing in just the finished. The inside is hand carved with deemed very important to tone or sound. The horse-hide skin is stretched over at the rear with hemp thread. The stitches

violin, comes

from

just

right place, and it is highly spiral patterns (kanname),

iron rings and then stitched are covered by inner black

lacquer circles which can be seen on the heads. The back of the skin is built up with clay so that the body fits snugly against the skin.

The back of the heads is covered with a small patch of deerskin

placed in the inside center of the back skin which *Noh: Japan’s classic dance drama.

controls reverbera-

ASIAN AND OCEANIAN-AMERICAN

DRUMS

219

tion of the skin along with a patch of paper (choshigami). The paper

is changed with each performance to insure the proper sounds. One set of ropes holds the skins of the two heads against the body, and another rope is looped around the first. By squeezing the second

rope, tension is created on the skin which raises the pitch of the in-

strument. The body of the instrument is decorated with black and gold

designs. (See Pl. XVI — No. 37) The

Ko

Tsuzumi

has five basic sounds:

pon, pu, ta, chi, and

tsu.

Pon is produced by striking the center of the head with the fingers. Two to four fingers of the right hand are used, depending on the school of drumming

attended. The ropes are held loosely until the moment

impact, then squeezed quickly to produce a liquid waver to the tone. Pu

of

is similar to pon, but it is lighter and played with only one

finger. Ta is produced by hitting the edge of the head with two fingers

while exerting maximum

tension on the ropes.

Chi is a light version of ta played with the ring finger.

Tsu may be executed by leaving the hand on the front head and allowing the rear head to produce the tone. When the instrument is not in use, it is often tied up by a sep-

arate rope known as a shimeo. The tying and untying of these ropes are

ideally done with a careful ceremony. In Japanese

drumming,

the stage manner

(expressions and move-

ments) is as important as the playing technique in the Noh drumming.’ The teacher always sits in front of the pupil in order that his gestures can be imitated. They appear either very simple or with elaborate

decorations.

Mokugyo-Wooden

fish

(Moku-Wood)

(Gyo-fish):

An Asian slit drum carved from a camphor, mulberry or rosewood

log, in the form of an eyeless fish head. A fish which has no eyelids is regarded as a symbol of wakeful attention and therefore the wooden fish

is used as a prayer drum. The small drum is placed on a cushion and struck with a padded drum stick to mark the time for Buddhist prayer. A large instrument of this type is used in both Taoistic and Bud-

dhistic temples. The small ones are used in the home. The Chinese ver-

sion of the instrument is generally painted and is struck with a painted

wood

beater.

(See Pl. XXIII — No.

57)

220

DRUMS

Odaiko:

A large, two-headed Japanese choreography of certain dances. It music in the world, the Gagaku, or Even though these instruments also used in the folk, popular and

IN THE

AMERICAS

drum used to add gravity to the is used in the oldest orchestral art court music. are played in court music, they are temple-worship music. They appear

either very simple or with elaborate decorations. The tone is controlled

with pressure from the left arm. The basic sounds are: chon — strong; tsu— weaker; don — made by hitting the front head and holding, allowing the rear head to make

the sound.

Taiko — A Noh and Gagaku Drum: A barrel drum about twenty-six inches in diameter and in height.

The convex body is made from zelkova wood, considered best for that purpose. The two heads are of horse or cowhide. The top skin is thicker

than the rear one. A patch of deerskin is attached to the center where

all blows are directed. The rear head is bare and not traditionally used. The heads are lashed across the body with one set of ropes and another set is used to tune the instrument. A special stand which grips

the encircling ropes holds the instrument off the floor while it is being played with two blunt sticks. The sticks are about twelve inches long—

called “bashi.”

The basic sounds of the Noh Taiko are divided into three groups:

small, medium,

and large — sho, chu, and doi.

In general, when two drums are used in Japan, one generally carries

the basic rhythm and the other creates the syncopation.

— No. 37)

Uchiwa — Daiko

(See Pl. XVI

(Fan Drum):

A membrane stretched over an iron ring and then attached to a wooden handle — used by the Nichiren sect for Evangelist work in Japan. The Uchiwa drum is beaten with a wooden stick. The head, which is

sewed to the ring in many cases, has religious slogans written on its surface. Uchiwa in Japan is a vender’s drum used in selling sacred texts.

The

beating of the instrument is an accompaniment

for chants

prayers. This instrument, even though it has only one head, playing surfaces; it has no body, just a head.

and

has two

ASIAN AND OCEANIAN-AMERICAN

DRUMS

221

This instrument is used by some dance teachers on the West Coast

of the United States for marking rhythms. (See Pl. XV — No. 32)

Kou: A Chinese drum. Most of the drums designated as Chinese drums

seen in the Americas are the bimembranophone variety. The Pang Kou, Tao Kou, and Tang Kou have a cylindrical bowl-shaped body of wood. The openings are wider in diameter than the height of the drum. The

pigskin heads are tacked to the body with large flat-headed brass tacks, which generally identify the instruments as of Chinese origin. The heads are generally shellacked along with the body, making the skin hard and slick. The heads, as a rule, are also painted with the symbolic dragon, flower, or the lion.

The

Kou

usually is played with one stick provided with a round

rubber tip. These drums are of indefinite pitch and the Pang Kou has an internal rattle of metal. The

diameter

of the heads runs from

inches to four or five feet. It is often found in temples. These

six

instruments are seen played on special festive occasions in

areas where we find groups of Chinese-Americans. They are also seen being used in dance classes for keeping time, and also as ornamental

souvenirs.

Tabla: The Tabla of India used for court performances is played with the fingers and palms. In all its refinement, the technique takes years of strenuous practice to master. The different strokes of the right and left

hands are defined and named, and the combinations and variations. of the

right- and left-hand strokes together and separately give an almost unlimited scope to the artist, especially within the long phrases which the more intricate talas present. The Tabla Mrdanga, and slightly at the with a smaller

is the Pakhawaj drum divided into half. The Pakhawaj, the Dhol have an irregular cylindrical shape, tapering ends. They taper more markedly toward the right hand stretched parchment, tuned to the fourth or fifth above

the left-hand parchment. The right-hand parchment is tuned to the note chosen as a drone for the performance.'*”

The Tabla is a pair of kettledrums and is probably one of the most, if not the most, sophisticated drum in the world. Its method of being

played and the system worked out for its rhythm cycles or tala will verify this to the casual student.

222

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

The drum played with the left hand is called Banya. It is made of wood, clay or metal (brass) and is semi-spherical. The drum for the right hand is made of wood and is cylindrical but irregular with only the top being open and covered with parchment. The tuning is regulated

by blocks between the leather thongs that keep the parchment in place.

The drums provide not only the rhythmical backbone of the performance, but also a firm basis on which the singer can rely for his pitch, against

which he can build his contrast. The

Parchment

of the Tabla

(7

(Daina)

is made

—-—

in three

pieces:

]. Kinar 2. Chaant

3. Syahi

The parchment of the Banya is composed of two parts:

The different parts of the drums have different sounds; for example, !

!

\

/

tN

C.)

\

me

Ye.



--- Part 1] has the sound Na or Ta

Part 2, Tin or Tun

\.

- Part 3, T or Tr

Banya Part 1—Ge ———

Part

or Gey

1 & T—K

ASIAN AND OCEANIAN-AMERICAN

The cycle is (x) (1) (0)

DRUMS

223

arranging of drum syllables to fit the beats of the rhythmic called Theka. The rhythmic cycle is referred to as Tala or Tal. — The down beat or (#1) “Sum.” — bar — Khali — usually the first beat of the 2nd half of cycle

(=) — stress

Na or Ta + Ghey = Dha Tin or Tun + Ghey = Dhin For example, Dadra x ] x Theka:

tal —

2

Dha

6 beat cycle 0 /4 0

3

Dhin

Na/Dha

Rupak Tal — (7 beats 3 + 4) x

Theka:

5

6

Tin

Na

0

1

2

3

Tin

Tin

Na

2

/4

5

/Dhin

/6

Na

7

/Dhin

Na

Teen Tal — 3 claps — 16 beats x 123 x

Dha

4

2 /55 2

6

7

Dhin Dha Dhin Dhin Dha/ Dhin

8

0 /9 0

Dha Dha

10

11

Tin

Tin

12

/

Ta/Ta

3 13 3

Dhin

14

15

Dhin

16

Dha

The drum strokes are referred to as bol. The leather thongs used to secure the head or warka are referred to as diwal. The wall of the

drum is referred to as chatter. The black spot on the head is referred to

as eye or siyahi.

Both the right and left hands are tunable. The Tabla is tuned to scale and often must be re-tuned during the course of an evening’s performance. The drummer generally sits in the lotus position and plays with the drums in front of him. The instruments are tuned with a metal hammer which is used to knock down the cylindrical blocks of wood between

the sides of the drum and leather thongs and also the edge of the head. (See Pl. IV) Mrdanga: (Mridangam) A two-headed East Indian drum averaging twenty-one and one-half

224

DRUMS

inches long with the bass head

of approximately

IN THE

AMERICAS

seven and

one-half

inches, and a tenor head, six and one-half inches in diameter. The parchments are fastened to two hoops which are laced together with thongs across the body. The body is larger in the middle and tapers

toward the ends. A circular black cement spot is found on the tenor head. The spot is used for dampering.

The heads

are usually one-fifth apart in pitch.

The small head is played with the right hand and the left hand plays the large head or bass. It is used for dignified or serious music. The heads are composed

of two skins, one full skin and one skin ring superimposed on the full skin. Both heads are played with fingers and hands.

(See Pl. IV)

Dhol: A two-headed folk instrument played with sticks or hands. The cylin-

drical body is larger in the middle and tapers toward the ends. The taper

toward the smaller end is greater, ending in an opening smaller in diameter than the bass end. The heads are wrapped about skin rings. The two heads

are laced to each other by cord. Two tension rings are superimposed on the

skin rings. The cord is run from one ring to the other around the body in a “W” fashion. Rings are connected between two cords and by pulling the

ring, the heads are tensored.

(See Pl. XVII — No. 38) The East Indians

of British Guiana use the instrument in the Tadjah festival which is similar

to the East Indian Hosain festival of Trinidad and Jamaica. It is not unusual to hear forty drums at the Tadjah festival. The drums are modified dhols. They are made from wooden barrels decorated with colored cloth.

Both ends are covered with goatskin. The goat skins are placed on flesh

rings and an inch larger than the diameter of the body. The two heads are

laced together across the body with a rope in a “V” fashion. The heads can be tensed by loops running between the rope. It is beaten with a heavy wooden drum stick. As the drums are brought from various villages, all over the country, there is an element of rivalry. Special prizes are offered for the best decorated drum, the best beaten or sounding drum and also for the best drummer. Naturally, there are some wagers placed apart from any prize money which heightens the excitement. Tasa: An Indian (India) kettledrum found in Trinidad and British Guiana

where there are large numbers of people of Indian (Asia) ancestry. The

ASIAN AND OCEANIAN-AMERICAN

DRUMS

225

semispherical body of baked clay is covered with calf skin; the itead is laced across the body and terminates in a rawhide rim around the bottom. The Tasa is played with two bamboo strips padded on the end with resin and the handle portion covered with cloth.

The instrument is approximately fifteen inches in diameter and twelve inches high. The instrument shown in Plate XVIII — No. 43 was obtained in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1959, after the Hosain festival from

Mr. Matura, a sponsor of the festival. The festival is dedicated to the

martyrdom of Iman Hosain, grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammed — which took place in the Om of Muharram 61 A.H., corresponding with

the ninth of October of the year 680. Iman Hosain’s body was destroyed, cut into pieces, and trampled under the hooves of horses, but the legend of his faith in the existence of God and in the truth of his grandfather’s message, and his unwavering

conviction of the Future Life, has remained unshaken. There is no rational being that does not praise him for his labours in emancipating humanity

from physical bonds. Iman Hosain still lives in the hearts of millions and the Hosain Festival is a testimony to that fact.

Chang-Ko: A Korean bimembranophone, one end played with the fingers and the other with a bamboo stick. The sound is varied by striking the head and

then on the rim. The drum shown on Plate XVII — No. 38, is eighteen inches in length, the diameter of the small head is thirteen and one-half inches and the large head is thirteen inches in diameter. The hourglass-shaped body is ten inches in diameter and machined

from several pieces and glued together. The heads are threaded to a wooden rim. The heads and the rim are laced through hooks with rope

to each other. The lacing acts as a tensor. Leather ears are placed on the

ropes laced in “W” fashion. By lowering and raising the ears, the lacings are pulled tight, thereby tensing the heads. The heads are natural, but

the body and the strappings are decorated with Korean figures in color and low relief carvings. Most, if not all, of the instruments used by Asian-Americans are either

Asian or American. The Asian instruments are used to play Asian music and American instruments are used to play American music. There is very

little blending on the surface that shows. At least it has not manifested itself

in any innovation in the construction and use of the instruments.

14 AFRICAN

DRUMS

Drums of Africa are seen in the Americas only in museums, among study groups, and in concert, but the derivative of this instrument is seen and found in many places in the Americas in the hands of the

Aframericans.

The African slaves brought with them to the New World a distinctive style of music and a musical value system that continued to develop (while absorbing new elements) in the foreign surroundings.

Almost all the African slaves in the Western hemisphere stemmed

from the musically fairly homogenous strip of territory along the Western coast of Africa from Sierra Leone to Angola. In most

areas where

Aframerican

music

is found, we find African

drums, but there are two notable exceptions. In the U.S.A. we find the

Aframerican in large numbers and his music dominates the scene, but he has adopted European instruments. He has changed them a bit to

fit his needs and has completely lost interest in his own instruments. In Argentina

we find Afro-Argentinian

nent in the music,

rhythms

and style very promi-

but we do not find Africans or African

instruments;

he has been absorbed and only the names of his rhythms and instruments

remain.

The slavery situation in the United States while unique in some

respects was certainly not altogether unlike the situation in other slaving

areas of the new world.

226

AFRICAN DRUMS

There

areas. The

227

was

and is differential treatment

shown

difference in the areas was in degree

in all slavehold

of difference.

Slave-

holders of Latin ancestry had different ideas of treatment of slaves than did Northern Europeans. The reconstruction of African instruments in the New World was

conditioned by new interest, social, economic, religious, judicial necessity

and availability of material. Some common types of West Coast drums were never reconstructed in the Western hemisphere, yet a few were.

In teaching of drumming in parts of Nigeria, a pupil is made to lie face down while the master drummer sits astride him and literally beats the rhythm onto his bare back. A more advanced method is to play a rhythm and have the pupil repeat it orally with nonsensical words until he has it memorized, then execute it on the drum. The final method is to have the pupil repeat on his own drum what the teacher

plays.

The teaching of rhythms in Africa starts with infancy. The mother grinds her corn with the child on her back, singing and keeping time with the motion. The children are taught rhythmic games and the little boys make

drums of cans and calabashes, covering them with bladders

of animals to imitate their elders. The boys generally are started on their musical careers at about the age of six years. They are started on

the

drum,

and

once

the

basic

rhythms

are

learned,

they

take

up

other instruments. A typical West

these are the the choir and of the double The Gankogui

Africa

orchestra

(Ewe)

consists of three

sections;

background rhythms section, the drum section, and lastly hand-clapping section. The background section consists bell (Gankogui), rattles (axatsi), and the gongs (atoke). is the foundation which keeps the entire orchestra in time.

The drums are the most important part of the group. They are the

Atsimevu, the master drum; the lesser drums collectively called, Asiwui,

Sogo, Kidi and Kagan.'*” Bongon:—African Talking Drum: The talking drums of Africa are essentially language drums and not conventional signal instruments such as the bugles of the army. The talking drums can be grouped into two general types: wooden slit drums,

drums

which

are

are the more

used in Africa,

common,

they

and

are often

skin

drums.

referred

When

to by

the

skin

the natives

228

DRUMS

as twin drums. The

modulating

“dundun”

IN THE

is also used

drum; in this case only one skin drum is used. The slit drums of Africa, used for communication,

AMERICAS

as a talking are from

one-

and-a-half feet to twelve feet long, cut from a single log. The log is carved asymmetrically, so that the hollowed-out log has two lips. A single slit is cut in the top of the log lengthwise and the log is hollowed out through this slit. One lip is carved out more than the other, leaving the latter thinner.

The one that is more forceful and penetrating is designed as the male lip, and the other, the female lip. The higher-toned lip or skin is usually the female one. In the slit drums, this may not be the case. The

same terms are used with the twin drums, which are generally goblet

shaped. They are covered with a skin and one has a narrower body and a thinner skin, giving it a higher tone. Both types are beaten with two sticks, tipped at the ends with

a ball of latex from a forest creeper. Bare sticks are sometimes used. In one skin variety, hands are used, depending on the tribe and locality.

Talking drums are confined to certain tribes, largely due to the loss of

the art and language barriers. The carrying power or audible range is

three to four miles from drummer to listener; from there, if need be, it

can be relayed. The audible range is greater in early morning and late evening, because of the quietness and moisture in the air. Since the drum language is for the most part an echo of the spoken language, each dialect and language has its corresponding drum language. In many instances, the local language or dialect only covers a few miles and interpreters are usually required for relay purposes.

Most African languages are tonal languages. The higher-pitched lip

or drum corresponds to the high-pitched syllable. Distinctions of the words in any single group are on the basis of stress, syllable length and additions of conventional explanatory material. The messages are sent in sentence form with known meanings — for example: a European coming into the forest would be described as ‘‘a man from the outside world comes to the forest” — a native would be described as “returning

home.” The basis of the drum language of Africa is the tonal pattern of the words which make up the language. The drum beats out the tonal pattern of the words which make up the drum language. A complete message may consist of five parts:*°”©

AFRICAN

DRUMS

1. 2.

3.

4. d.

229

A signal for attention or a chief’s refrain. Name of desired recipient (repeated three or four times).

The name of the sender (omitted if the chief refrain is used).

The message itself (repeated several times). The signal for the end (sharp beats or a series of low tones).

Both types of these drums were used at one time in the Americas, (the United States, West Indies and Brazil)

but have since disappeared.

The signal drums found in South America are true signal drums and not language drums. These slit drums are constructed in the same man-

ner but do not carry language tones. (See Pl. XXII — No. 53) Daraboukkeh:

(Darabukka)

An Egyptian single-headed goblet, or vase-shaped drum — made of clay or metal. It is traditionally found in Greece, Palestine, and throughout

the Middle

East, but is also found

held in the armpit and played with the fingers.

in the Americas.

It is

The instrument averages from fourteen to sixteen inches in height, six to ten inches in diameter across the head, and the diameter across

the bottom is from four to six inches. The clay model head is laced to the body. The metal type has its head attached to a flesh ring. The

flesh ring is held in place by a counter hoop bolted to the body. Pl. XXIX — No. 72) Dundun-Kalungu

(See

(Butcher Drum):

One type of African drum never reproduced in the Americas by

the Aframericans is the most commonly

used drum of the Hausa tribe

in Ghana and Nigeria. It was a modulating instrument peculiar to the butchers (the Hausa tribe is noted for meat vending), but also used

by professional drummers. The instrument is carried suspended from the

left shoulder with the left arm depressing the while the right hand beats the drum with a is employed as a soft accompaniment to the More than a complete octave can be played

tightening strings (lacings) curved stick. The left hand fortissimo note of the stick. and, consequently, a great

many variations are possible. It is called the butcher’s of its common use by men in this trade.

drum

because

In almost every Hausa village the day’s proceedings open with an

outburst of drumming on the Kalungu. It is fairly easy to recognize the call. The Kalungu is famous as a talking drum and many of the Hausa drummers joke and talk with their customers and passers-by. The Dun-

dun can be made to imitate all the tones and glides used in Yoruba

230

DRUMS

speech,

therefore,

it is most

suited

for

talking.

in Africa used to add percussion to the playing fiddle orchestra. The

Kalungu,

shown

Hausa tribesman in Ghana. Hausa

instrument

inches

in diameter

across

It is the

70,

It is claimed by many

the head,

in all Africa.

fifteen-and-a-half

and three inches in diameter in the center.

AMERICAS

only

drum

of a large “gage”

in Pl. XXVIII — No.

is the finest made

IN THE

was

made

or

by

a

Africans that the

It is six-and-a-half inches

in height,

Inside this instrument

are

several objects which sound like marbles being knocked together when it is played. The hourglass body is hewn from a solid block of wood and waisted; the two heads are laced together with leather thongs. The Kalungu, without a doubt, is one of the most beautifully made

that I have had the pleasure of actually examining.

drums

The Dundun is the most elaborate and the best suited to reproduce speech. The story goes that the Dundun was first used by Ayan, a native of Saworo in the Ibariba tribe lands of Nigeria. He taught some

Yoruba

families the art of drumming

that they deified him

and he was so loved by them

after his death. The

Dundun

set consists of the

Iya Ilu, the Gudugudu, the Kerikeri, the Isaju, the Konango, and the Gangan. All are used for talking except the Gudugudu.® Karkutter: An African, single-headed, shrill treble drum always heard in conjunction with a deeper-toned drum. It is hung around the drummer’s neck and is usually beaten

with two soft-leather sticks — usually

rags

or bark bound with leather. Ngoma (Big Drum): An African kettledrum of Uganda (B.E.A.) often referred to as the Uganda laced drum. The egg-shaped wood body is hewn from a

large log section, cut at the top and bottom. The large skin at the top is the only one beaten. A second non-sonorous skin is stretched across

the bottom of the drum body to hold the lacing. This instrument is a monomembranophone even though there is a small area in the bottom covered with skin. The Ngoma is played with two padded, tipped sticks. The head is

laced horizontally across the body with very decorative rawhide thongs from a non-sonorous skin. The lacings are so close together that the

AFRICAN

DRUMS

231

body of the drum cannot be seen. The instrument can be tuned by twisting short sticks about the lacing like a tourniquet. The specimen shown in Pl. XXVIII— No. 69 was obtained in

British East Africa. The height is approximately two feet. The diameter of the

head

is nineteen

inches,

and

that

of the

bottom,

eight

inches.

For several reasons many of the famous drums of Africa were not reconstructed in the Americas. The instruments may not have had ritualistic importance; no slaves were brought in from the area or no one from that area brought in, knew how to make the instrument — or they were not interested. Also the material for the construction of the

drum may not have been available. Of course, it is always possible that we have not found examples or preserved the history of this instrument in the Americas. The Ngomas found in the Americas are imported. Ntumpane:

Ashanti talking drums shown on Plate XXIX — No. 74. Drums in

Ashanti, though sometimes classed under the general name

of twene,

have each their special names, taboos, and in many cases their special

dress. Drums are grouped together to form drum orchestras. The

Ashanti

tribe

of West

Africa

believe

that nearly

all things

have a soul or spirit residing in them which all should respect. When an Ashanti craftsman wishes to cut down a tree to make a drum, it behooves him to be very careful how he sets about it. The Kodia or

Tweneboa

(Entandophragma)

from which

the talking drums

are fash-

ioned is a potentially vindictive spirit. The woodcutter strives to propitiate the sprit of the tree, upon which he is about the ply his ax, by

placing offerings before it, ‘““Osese tree receive this egg and eat; do not

permit the knife to cut me,” he says as he breaks an egg upon the tree just before he lays the ax or cutlass against it. So speaks the maker of the Ntumpane before he fells the tweneboa tree. Nor does the propitiation stop there. The spirit that inhabited the tree is enticed to enter the drum by subsequent rites of consecration of the completed drum and also the spirit of the elephant, whose ears form its tense membrane. Thus, the Ashanti strives to placate and control the forces which he has been

compelled by his needs to anger, or whose original abode on earth he has destroyed. He provides a new home which he will endeavor to make acceptable to them. He will keep it free from pollution of those things which each particular spirit is known to abhor. This then creates taboo for certain drums.”

232

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

Each instrument is footed and carved from one solid log of twene-

boa wood. The set shown stands twenty-eight inches. The drum measures

twelve inches across the head, fourteen inches through the body and has feet eight inches in diameter. The shell is approximately one-inch thick. The elephant ear heads are laced to a twisted thong forming a skin ring. The skin rings and heads are tensed by means of eight pegs carved to be driven into holes in the body. Each peg contains six continuous tension thongs. The long with an offset head, number one drum is tuned and the heads are inclined

drumsticks are approximately twenty inches set at an angle of forty-five degrees. The higher than the other. The drummer stands away from the drummer allowing the sound

to escape from the foot. West African drum heads and shells are unpainted. The instrument may be dressed and in many instances we find this case. Most of the drums are played with bare hands and sticks. They are played in sets as well as batteries, and the rhythm patterns for some are set and

for others improvised.

The African drums shown by no stretch of the imagination cover the drums of Africa, but they do give examples for comparison with Aframerican drums found in the Americas as well as samples not found

in the Americas.

lS RHYTHM Percussion

is, of course,

AND the

DRUMMING

oldest

form

of instrumental

musical

expression back to the time when tree-trunk beating was the main musical activity. Rhythm was then the only element of music, as it still is in many parts of the world. In the music of western civilization, rhythm became subordinate to melody and harmony. Up to the present century percussion was used only for occasional emphasis in the or-

chestra. But under the influence of bands, jazz and metric experimenters, rhythm is coming to be emphasized in western music.

If an attempt was made to classify the theories of the origin of music,

they would fall into three groups; those theories which hold that music

first found expression in rhythm; those which claim music came about through melody; and those which contend that rhythm and melody were contemporaneous.

However,

it is now

conceded

that vocal music preceded

instru-

mental music, and rhythmical instruments were the first to be developed. Rhythm seems to be a word without a generally accepted definition.

Men, for two thousand years, have attempted to give an accepted general meaning. (a) “Rhythm

is flowing

Charisius — 400 A.D.

meter

and meter is bonded

) “Rhythm is Flow.” Fawele

(d)

) “Rhythm is order of time.” Aristophanes “Rhythm

is order of movement.”

Plato

) “Rhythm is the horizontal aspect of music.” Apel

) “Rhythm is the dance of music.” Wellesz 233

rhythm.”

234

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

Curt Sachs characterized the rhythm of the Western music as even

beats — chaotic arbitrariness in jazz and modern art music; regular squareness of East Asiatic melodies; weird irregular patterns of the near East, India and Africa; tidy feet and meters of Ancient Greece; and

the rigid Gothic.’*

If rhythm is the recurrence of sound, light, event or object, at regular intervals, then life begins with rhythm and is expressed by nature over and over again. The years, seasons, day and night, the tides, electricity, the heart beat— life and death itself — are patterns of rhythm.

Early men heard the pounding rhythm of their hearts as they hunted down wild beasts, or when they listened for the slightest sound above the quiet of the night. The rhythm of their hearts, the rhythm of

their march, the rhythm of the herds of moving animals — that rhythm

is the father of all dance and music. Rhythm is one thing all men have in common. Man responds to rhythm whenever he senses it and seeks it when it is not present . . . for it is invariably pleasant or disturbing. He may merely feel in harmony with it— he may respond by body motion or he may not — but he always reacts in some way. The rhythm of the drum is more closely connected with the foundation of aurally generated emotion than that of any other instrument. It is able in itself to cover the whole range of human feeling. No other single musical

instrument has been

used more

in war, wooing,

and cur-

ing the sick. The emotional appeal of music is to a very large extent muscular. Rhythm is a neuro-muscular quality, and the fundamental framework for musical sound. Rhythm was strongly developed by the Aframerican and Amerindian. The pleasure they derived lies not so much in the

tonality of the song as in the measured sounds arranged in contrasting rhythms and which, by their clash, stimulate the nerves and spur the

body to action, for the voice which carries the melody along is often subordinated and treated as an additional instrument. To increase muscular power, the strongest stimulus is muscular movement. To produce emotional intoxication, the combination of rhythmical muscular movement with rhythmical sound is the most effective.

Melody cannot be divorced from rhythm but can be played independently. Rhythm, we can say, reached its highest development in

RHYTHM

AND DRUMMING

235

Africa and India. No system of notation grew, so harmony remained undeveloped. The great emphasis is upon complex rhythms or polyrhythms. The drums are more important than the singers who carry

the melody, and the drummer is the virtuoso. The music is played by ear, and from memory, without benefit of notation. Harmony to date

has

reached

its greatest

notation is a great science.

development

in western

civilization,

where

The highest development of melody occurred in the Orient. Prof. C. Sachs in his “Rhythm and Tempo” says that melody in the Orient (India)

has grown

to a refinement

unknown

in western

civilizations.

Hindu melody is the most elaborate known to man, and represents the peak of human achievement in melody.’ The Americas can boast of many kinds of exciting and exotic thythms. Some of the most interesting are to be found in and around Central and South America and the West Indies — particularly the Caribbean region. The entire body of rhythms, like the people who inhabit the area, is an interesting admixture of various strains. The rhythms we hear in the Americas are truly American because they are neither European, African nor Indian but a blending of them all. It can be called mestizo, or mulatto, without error, praise or scorn.

This

cross-breeding

is neither

unproductive

nor

eclectic,

nor

a

discoloration. It is simply a third entity, the fruit of the cross. The

rumbas

of

Cuba,

calypsos

of the

West

Indies,

sambas

of

Brazil, temboritos of Panama and jazz in the United States are products of such cross-breeding. In most patterns.

For

Aframerican example,

societies

if one

rhythm section starts a mood

has

music attended

is thought many

“jam

of in rhythmic sessions,”

the

and the other musicians will fall in and

build on a rhythmic base without any thought of a particular song in

mind.

This will continue until each musician has satisfied his urge to

express himself in his vein. If you have been in this setting, you have witnessed the spectators being swept up in this mood and from the

expression on their faces you will see how they can anticipate phrasing and rhythmic configuration the musician will next take.

the

Rhythm and the dance were probably the two most pressing needs

in the organism of the Aframerican in his natural state. They were an outlet without

which

his very life seemed

threatened.

For thousands

236

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

of years his whole being had been conditioned by the beat of the drum.'® The African combines several metrical structures into what is known as polyrhythms, and there is a close relationship between the melody and

its rhythmic

accompaniment.

African rhythm

is ultimately founded

on

drumming and the drumming can be replaced by hand-clapping or tapping of the foot. The remarkable thing about Aframerican and African polyrhythms is that each musician is percussing an instrument of a different pitch from that of his neighbor and developing his own theme which must, nevertheless, fit in such a way as to give an impression of over-all unity.

Today even stringed instruments, such as the string bass or guitar, are often used in ensembles for stressing rhythm rather than for melody

and harmony. Jazz and swing have glorified rhythm and percussion.'® This is not the kind of music one has to study in a course of music appreciation to understand. This music is kinetic, and people’s reaction

to

it depends

upon

their

imagination,

musical

background

and

_in-

into which

an

hibitions. It is doubtful whether any group of people are born with a greater sense

of rhythm

than

any

other,

but

the environment

individual is born does condition his reaction to it. The Amerindian’s rhythms are frequently intricate, and diverse, and

involve frequent changes in some tribes— unknown harmony and rhythm varieties give him the different musical effects. It is character-

ized by unusual accents not equally spaced. The rhythm of the drum

differs from singing rhythms. The rhythms of song may speed up retarded, while the rhythm of the drum remains, on the whole, stant. The Amerindians use a great deal of syncopated rhythm in of their songs. Broken rhythms and simple rhythmic patterns are in the drumming. The rhythm of the drum beat varies with the

or be conmany used char-

acter of the song. In certain tribes the drum and song rhythms are seldom synchronized, but go along in more or less independent parallel lines — or rhythmic melodic counterpoint. There is no fixed scale in the western sense. Indian melody is almost completely sung, and musical instruments are

limited

in

use

and

variety.

companiment predominantly.’®

Percussion

instruments

furnish

ac-

Music, both instrumental and vocal, is primarily a man’s profession,

RHYTHM

AND DRUMMING

237

and a communal, tribal outpouring.

To the European-American, music is the combination of harmonious

tones (melody) with rhythm. The European-American treats music and rhythm as an elaboration of a single metrical structure. His environment in the Americas is changed and he is becoming more rhythm conscious and making more use of rhythm, and his interest in it is becoming more profound.

Pure percussion, like all other music, cannot be truly appreciated

until one knows how to listen; it must be remembered

that even “‘ab-

stract” drum music evolved from music designed for marching, dancing or some other functional purpose. There are many diverse drumming styles and techniques to be found in the Americas, and indeed, diverse styles to be found within almost any one ethnic group. Since any attempt to cover all these styles would be futile, we will consider over-all ethnic styles and those sub-

ethnic styles which show marked differences. At one extreme one finds in Dutch Guiana (Surinam) the Bush Negroes, whose drumming style is purely African. These people are the descendants of former runaway slaves who fled into the “bush” and

flourished there. A wide sample of the music of Dutch Guiana has been recorded by Melville Herskovits and analyzed by Mieczyslaw Kolinski;

the latter found that, with the exception of a few songs, the music of the Bush Negroes displays traits that are not only African but probably more “African” than those of today’s Africans, due to the growth of European influence on the African continent. The Bush Negro did not forget how to make fine drums, and their wood carvings in many

instances excel the African carvings of today.’ Their drums, the most highly carved found in the Americas, are called by the same name they were known by in Africa. The lacing and

shell are almost identical with their African counterparts. The drummers straddle their instruments and play with bare hands as did their forefathers.

In an attempt to understand “African style” drumming, there are certain basic things one has to listen for which are characteristics of African drumming. African drumming is essentially rhythmic polyphony;

therefore,

two

or

more

drums

are

necessary.

Three

drums

are

generally used in American drumming, the “first drum” carries the basic

pattern:

in cult circles this is the high-pitched

drum, but in secular

238

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

music it is generally a low-pitched one. The “second drum” carries a counter beat. These two patterns mesh like gears never interfering with each

other:

the basic pattern

is held

constant with

no

allowance

for

ad-libbing or improvisation; the second pattern is allowed only an occasional break within the pattern. The third drum is all improvisation.

Usually the drums

are tuned about a fifth apart.

In performance the second drum rhythm starts one beat later than the first while the third starts one beat after the second.’® In cult music it is generally played by the most versatile of the drummers, the virtuoso of the group. His part is the spice and the color within the other two rhythms.

In Afro-style

Cuban

drumming,

the

basic

rhythm

drum

is

called “tumbadora”’ or “beginner.” The second drum, or “llamador,”’ is sometimes

referred

to as “caller,”

rigorously

observe

its configuration.

‘‘salidor,”’

and

the

third

is called

““quinto” or “re-quinto.” In all areas, where there is Afro-style drumming, a basic rhythm pattern is used, corresponding to the measure in Western music. This pattern is called “clave” in Cuba,’® and all other rhythms revolve around it. The most striking thing about this pattern is that it is “in force” regardless of whether or not the clave is being played; the musicians being

used occasionally

When

a cow-bell

is used

claves, themselves,

for the pattern,

are not

but the

pattern need not be physically present. While each country or area where clave rhythm predominates has its own clave pattern, the best

known pattern is the traditional Cuban one. The Clave* pattern for Afro-Cuban music can be written in different ways for both the reader and non-reader of music: TA

TA

vx¥)

TA

TA-JA

717

Reverse Clore| %

z

Used inMontuno’ 17275°4*

+2

Y'

97.

+354 4°

*The claves (Pl. XXV, P. 63) used in playing the “clave pattern” are two hard wood sticks

approximately eight inches long and % inches in diameter. The lower toned of the pair is placed in the cupped left hand, while the second clave is grasped in the fingers of the

right hand and is used to strike the cupped clave, producing a sharp pentrating sound.

The Ewes of Ghana use an iron instrument called “Akogo” in a similar fashion. It is also composed of two pieces of steel or iron; loosely-fitting ring placed on the middle

finger of the right hand, and a ring placed on the thumb of the right. By striking the two

rings together, the identical sound is produced.

RHYTHM

AND DRUMMING

239

The rhythm can also be reconstructed by counting to eight twice

and accenting the first, fourth, and seventh, and then the third and fifth digits.’’

In areas of the Americas where the clave pattern is not traditional

— for example, the United States — local musicians have difficulty in accurately playing the clave pattern. Similarly, many Cuban drummers

have migrated to the United States and begun to play jazz, only to find that in fast tempo they revert to clave patterns; and their solos are

nearly always within the clave framework.

Like a first language, clave

becomes a part of the subconscious: musicians brought up in the clave tradition, hear music in “clave” and express themselves musically in reference to clave. It is their musical base. Aframerican drumming, in general, is characterized by: 1. The use of a minimum of two or three drums in a battery set, or a three-drum rhythm. A good drummer can keep many as four distinct rhythms going. It is not unusual find one drummer carrying two rhythms, and a third if need (i.e., scarcity of drummers) arises.

2.

or as to the

Each drum carrying a different pattern and their simultaneity

forming a polyphonic whole.

Playing with bare hands or, a single stick and a bare hand. The use of a single-skin barrel-shaped drum (generally tun-

5.

The drummer placing the drum between his legs in the sitting

~

4.

able).

position or straddling and sitting upon the instrument.

6. “Call” and “response” between instruments.’ African and Afro-American drummers use five tones on their drums: 1.

2. 3.

4. 5.

High,

brittle,

staccato

tone—

(seco)

produced

striking

and

by

muting

the head with the left hand and hitting it with open fingers of the other hand. Medium tone is produced by half-pressing and half-striking the head with the ball of the hand and finger tips.

An

open

tone

is obtained

by

immediately

re-

bounding, and allowing the head to vibrate. A deep tone is produced by striking the head in the center with the heel of the hand; it can be varied by substituting the whole palm. A stopped or closed sound is produced by muting with finger

240

DRUMS

or hand, a tone previously of a rest or pause.

Solo

drumming

calls for

struck;

considerable

IN THE

AMERICAS

it often takes the place

musicianship;

thus

it is

the master drummer who plays all solo parts. The solo drummer must play not only the stereotyped phrases, but must improvise as well, producing cross rhythmic or “contrapuntal”’ effects.

fone MGH Deum | S/ap

4 patterns combined: single playertwo drums

3CCCO Low / |

heel

Individual

Lone. ‘

Druins

18

7

L.H. feel

Jone

{

Glap

35ECCO

7one

Finger

Jone

{

S/4ap Heel é& Hand

a

1 ©

6

(fingers

Re

RL.H Slap

Single Drums

WN

OkRuM

RHYTHM

AND

DRUMMING

Afro-American

241

drumming

rhythms

are a combination

of double,

triple, and quadruple time. The technique of playing the drums has an important bearing on drum rhythms. There are six methods of holding the drums for playing in the Americas. The instrument is slung on the body by means of a drum sling. The head of the drum falls in front of the drummer, whose arms are bent, allowing the hands or sticks to fall

to the skin. If there is no sling, the instrument is straddled; stood on its bottom (base); or placed in a drum stand. If the instrument is played with two heads, the drum is placed in the lap of the seated drummer, or held between the knees, while the drummer is in a sitting position. The teaching technique for hand beaten drums used in the Americas,

on the whole, falls into two categories. The young drummer is taught to repeat the rhythms orally with nonsensical syllables. These syllables with

their implications of sound

transferred to the drum. The

other

technique

giving color as well as rhythm

is similar,

but

direct;

drum

are then

(teacher)

to

drum (pupil). The method is generally used after the pupil has mastered the basic drum sounds. In Afro-American drumming the basic sounds are obtained by hitting the skin and the body of the drum in a definite prescribed man-

ner; to obtain a slap or “seca,” one of the most elementary sounds on a

hand-beaten drum, the head is struck with fingers, three-quarters the way to the center with the fingers at a slant, allowing the little finger to land first, followed by the ring finger and the other two, but the skin should not be allowed to rebound naturally. Stopped or muted beats are

obtainable by holding the skin. In most Afro-American drumming, the left hand is used for keeping time, muting, balancing and filling empty

spaces. The right hand is the “work horse,” used for principal accents and generally controlling the pattern. With some variation these tech-

niques are used in styles where one or two sticks are used. While all beats may sound similar to the untrained ear, there is actually a wide

variety of sound at the drummer’s disposal; he could not dream of using

a “wrong” sound at a given point in a pattern. Afro-American ming is not merely rhythm, but has aspects of melody.

drum-

Thus, in order to transcribe for Afro-type drumming, it is necessary

to alter Western notation to show not just accents, but hand position, muting, etc. Many hand drummers in the Americas have set basic pat-

242

DRUMS

IN THE

terns for each time signature and their embellishments improvised. (See basic conga pattern. ) BASIC CONGA RHYTHM PATTERN FOR 4/4 TIME

Count 4/4

1 DU

& 2 K KA

& K

3 DU

& K

4 KI

BBall of the hand F Fingers Fs Fingers in sequential order from small to index finger. F4 Four fingers simultaneous. Stress skin depressed or

are

AMERICAS

generally

ONE

DRUM

& KI

closed. (SECA) Open-skin not depressed

Seca Cult drummers, in addition to a knowledge of rhythmic formulas, must also have at their command the enormous repertoire of cult songs, so that when the leader intones the first bar of a song, the drummer immediately follows with the proper rhythm. This is the result of a long apprenticeship. In Brazil and Haiti, an opportunity for young musicians to play in public occurs when at the end of cult ceremonies, the exhausted drummers retire; then their young apprentices take over their places and play for the last dancers, often lasting till the early hours of the morning.’®

Amerindian drumming is characterized by simple, unison patterns

often with several drummers using one drum. The Amerindian drum is an accompaniment instrument, used to set tempos and to start and stop the dances. Nearly all tribes have a lead drummer, who is the musical

director, dancing tutor, and the master of ceremonies. He signals the

end of a dance by slowing the tempo and beating heavily. During the dance he likewise signals for steps on the preparatory beat and on the

following down-beat the steps are executed. Some patterns are in duple

groups: loud — soft, loud — soft; another pattern in groups of loud — soft — soft, or four beats without any accent, and so any case, most of the rhythms are simple, consisting of single with accents at definite intervals. This is particularly true of the indians of the United States. Their drums, however, are capable ducing seven distinct sounds. One is produced by striking the

three, on. In strokes Amerof procenter

RHYTHM

AND

DRUMMING

243

of the drum and allowing the sticks to rebound. The second is produced by striking and holding the stick against the head. Two more sounds are obtained by striking the drum near the edge in the same manner.

The fifth is achieved by striking the rim (with the wood)

and allowing

the stick head to continue until it strikes the drum head; the sixth by striking rim and center at the same time; and the seventh by striking the body of the drum.

7

WAR DANCE

S

> SIOUX

ROUND

DANCE

>

>

=>

>

While some tribes of Central and South America use two sticks and can

obtain

several

different

combinations

of

these

sounds,

those

of

North America make use of only the first three of these sounds in the

rhythms.'” European-American style drummers are secular performers — even their tradition being military rather than religious. Training is formal and fairly standard. Drummers in classical western art music are generally referred to as “percussionists” because of the array of percussion instruments they are required to play. The actual drums used are of two

types: those of definite and those of indefinite pitch.” The

percussionists

are usually taught the twenty-six

“rudiments,”

the counterparts of the basic positions of classical ballet. From these basic elements, the most complex pattern can be evolved. He should be master of more than a dozen instruments:

those re-

quiring considerable technique such as the snare drum, tympano, bells, xylophone, vibraphone, and marimba; and those requiring less skill than ability to handle several in rapid succession: bass drum, cymbals, castanets, tambourine, triangle, gongs, giiiro, scraper, maracas, claves such special effects as wind machine, marching machine, siren, etc.

and

Early jazz drumming was greatly influenced by the military aspect

244

DRUMS

of the European beats with many EUROPEAN

IN THE

AMERICAS

tradition. This tradition tended to “fill up” marching notes.

MARCH

NOTATION

at

FOR

FIELD

DRUM

AND

BASS

cy”

dg

>

—_,—

pp

a |

|g

|

_ DIXIELAND

The dean of New Orleans jazz drummers was Warren Baby Dodds, who, though influenced by military drumming, emphasized the first and third beats of a measure rather than the traditional, for beat patterns. Larry Gara in his “The Baby Dodds Story,” states that he first wanted to play a flute, but settled for the drums.’ He fashioned his first instrument from a lard can, then started playing it in his backyard with his brother, two years his senior. After taking formal training, ,both

ended up playing with King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band — the best known of all New Orleans Jazz bands. There is a connection (a jazz “blood” line) between Baby Dodds and Louis Hayes, who is one of the young musicians of today. The line or connection may be blurred and has taken circuitous routes from then

to now,

but

the

line

is there.

Gene Krupa asked Baby Dodds to prepare him for his first professional job— and today, Krupa is a well-known drummer in jazz: and possibly some will recall that he rose to prominence with the Benny

RHYTHM

AND

DRUMMING

245

Goodman band in the middle and late thirties. Chick Webb and Gene

Krupa later simplified Dodds’ complexities, returning to the four-beat militarism of the earlier style. In the twenties, as “Chicago style” drum-

ming came into vogue, the drum solo developed, calling for myriad new

“traps” and sounds such as gourds, cow-bells, wood blocks, miniature xylophones, cymbals, pots, bottles, and whistles, though since the twenties, many of these effects have been dropped. “Chicago” jazz re-popularized the four-beat style, frequent use of cymbals, the “Hi-hat” or “sock cymbal” (derived from cymbals) and the use of wire brushes in

the place of sticks. By

1940, the fad for solo drumming

had run out. Basically, the

drummer’s function is still to provide and hold the fundamental beat and tempo — but modern technique incorporated much of the past. There is a constant exchange

bodies

music

of music

sometimes

or assimilation process going

within the Americas referred

to as

an

on between

certain

as well as with non-American

acculturation

process,

which

on

occasion has been accompanied by the adoption of new instruments. The

Conga drum now heard in the States is an example of this exchange between Afro-Cuban music and jazz. The drummer who was responsible for popularizing the modern conga drum in the United States was Luciano Pozo y Gonzales, born in Havana, on January 7, 1915. He lived in the slums of Havana, and won fame in Cuba as a carnival

drummer.

“Chano” Pozo migrated to New York City where jazz and

Latin musicians were exchanging ideas and playing together. This contact of the two forms infiuenced both bodies of music. The influence of Afro-

Cuban rhythm on jazz, and especially bop, reached a new high in 1947

when Dizzy Gillespie hired Pozo as a drummer with his band, demonstrated the potentialities of this instrument in jazz.

Drummers

and

have been eulogized in poetry, prose and song,” but

there are many young drummers of awesome talent yet unknown who will be the ones to extract from the past and shape the future. The modern

drums of jazz are delicate and highly supple tools of music. They must be tuned carefully and handled with discretion. Their sparkish and

propelling rhythmic foundations, so highly important to jazz, might turn out to be our most profitable exportation. American music is growing *1. “Drummers of Company”.

Robert C. Meyers

2. “Drummer Boy of Mission Ridge”. Kate B. Sherwood 3. “The

Drummer”.

Ann

Robinson

246

DRUMS

in popularity recognizing

through

the world

the fact, is financing

and the United bands

and

IN THE

AMERICAS

States government,

arranging

tours

for our

It is the symbol

of free

diplomats sans portfolios. I again repeat that jazz is one of the greatest contributions from the United States to the musical culture of mankind, although it is greatly

underrated

by the American

people.

expression and democracy, a mighty weapon in the fight for ideals.

16 DRUM ACCESSORIES AND AUXILIARY INSTRUMENTS BELLS:

The history of the bell is similar to that of the drums and rattles. Many superstitions of the Middle Ages were associated with bells. They were adorned with ornaments for favors, rung to insure a good harvest,

to break the thunder and dispel the storms, and rung in churches to ward

off evil spirits. They are still rung today at weddings and funerals, and

on New Years Eve to bring good luck. Most American ethnic groups had some form of bell, making it from available materials:

pincers of crabs, hooves of animals, shells of plants

and

pottery,

are

animals,

nuts,

wood,

and

after

colonization,

metal.

Many of the bells used in popular and folk bands in the Americas the clapperless type. They are made from cowbells, hoes and

plow shares and other flat iron objects, and are used to hold rhythm and in many cases to establish the tempo as well as the accompaniment for dancing and singing.

In Cuba they are called “campana”

timbrels, and

in the States, cowbells.

The

or “cencerro,” in Peru,

double

bells in Brazil are re-

ferred to as “gongiié” or “agogo.” In Surinam, they are called iron and in Trinidad “gan.” The “‘agan” (heroe) or iron in Curacao is made from a plow blade. It is a flat piece of iron bent into: a pipe section with a slit. It is struck with a heavy iron nail and is very popular in the Benta orchestra. The 247

248

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

‘“agan” is thought to be of African origin, where it is called “gan,” 3 or “oankogue.” In Haiti it is called “ogan” and is forged from a hoe

blade, pipes, brake drums and links of chain. (See Pl. XXVI — No. 64) BENTA

(MOUTH

BOW):

A bow made from a tough kind of wood, generally of carawara, tamarind, or from the gourd tree, and found in Curacao. The bow is strung with the fibers of the coco or nut palm leaves. This instrument is used similarly to a jew’s harp. The fiber strings are plucked and stroked with a small piece of wood or bamboo held in the right hand. The left hand is used to support the instrument and apply pressure to the fiber — different tones are pro-

duced. The bow is held in such a way as to allow the string or fiber to

pass through the lips without touching. The cavity of the mouth

serves

as a sound chamber — when the mouth is opened wider or constricted, the sound is altered. The

Benta

is a folk instrument

of Curacao.

It is played

by the

old Aframericans in the benta bands on the island. Similar instruments

are found in the West Indies, and also in South Amerindians. (See Pl. XVI — No. 35)

America

among

the

CYMBALS:

A platter-shaped thin sheet of metal, generally brass, found in most

popular and classical European instrumental groups. It was thought that cymbals began as pot covers. In the Orient the Chinese used two stone discs. The cymbal was introduced into the European orchestras in 1680 but had been used in many other parts of the world before that time.

There are three general types of cymbals seen in the Americas.

Two small cymbals worn on the fingers, which are referred to as Greek

cymbals, even though they were introduced into Greece from Asia.

Two large cymbals seen in march bands — each cymbal has a holder in the back and they are held in each hand and slapped together. This is the second type of cymbals. The third type is a single cymbal, seen in jazz bands — struck

with a brush or a drumstick.

Many of these circular brass plates are slightly convex, with a saucer-like depression in the center, and are pierced by a hole from which they are supported.

DRUM

ACCESSORIES

AND

AUXILIARY

INSTRUMENTS

249

These instruments are used for working the rhythm, effects in popular and classical instrumental groups.

fill-in and

DRUMSTICKS:

The most elaborate drumsticks in the Americas

the North American Indians. The

group.

Aframericans

The

produce

ones used

the sound

make

less

are seldom,

use

of

drumsticks

if ever, carved

desired, the drummer

are found among than

any

or decorated.

other If they

is satisfied.

European and Asian drumsticks are not decorated and follow a standard pattern. The European-American drumsticks can be classified in three general groups: the brush, the hard snare stick, the soft beater or mallet. The Amerindians of North America make elaborate preparation in decorating and preparing their drumsticks. Generally the Amerindian drummers are singers as well; they bring their individual sticks to their

dances and festivals. They share the drums, but drumsticks are looked

upon

as personal possessions.

Certain

drums

call for certain types

of

drumsticks — due to tradition founded on experience. Tone qualities are dictated by both the drum and type of stick used.

The Amerindians have hard beaters, semi-hard beaters, soft beaters, long, short, circular, crooked, curved and rattle drumsticks. It is be-

lieved

that, if the wrong

style of beater is used on a drum,

it might

nullify the spirit power. This is particularly true for medicine drums. For this reason the medicine drum beaters are kept with the instrument

constantly and used for no other purpose.

Hardwood is usually preferred for drumsticks. Long slender sticks

of white oak cut from the trunk of a sapling are preferred by woods

dwellers; they produce a lively, clear, definite tone, good for dancing. These sticks are held parallel to the drum head and slapped against the head. The playing end is wrapped with a little cloth. The European types

are carved to form a tip or acorn. Curved End Drumsticks: Curved drumsticks are used on medicine

hand drums and dance drums. The resilience of these sticks is greater than that of the straight sticks. The head is bent into a circle forming

a loop, with a length of approximately

twenty inches. The handle is

wrapped with rawhide or cured buckskin. Occasionally the head is covered with rawhide or fur. The curved head is used on the drum head only. Rattle

Drumsticks:

A

curved

end

drumstick

enclosed

in rawhide,

250

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

with beads or pebbles placed inside. This type of drumstick looks very much like a small drum fastened to a handle. The head of the rattle stick is approximately four inches in diameter. The frame, a curved head, is made hy soaking and bending the wood. A sapling twenty-eight inches long and one-half inch in diam-

eter is placed in water; when the sapling becomes soft, one half of the stick is bent to form a loop, then secured with rawhide. The head or rattle portion is decorated with the Amerindians. They are used as drumsticks for and dance drums. The heads give a counter maraca beat. When the drummer goes to the dance area,

dance rattle.

head

symbolic designs of medicine hand drums sound with the drum the stick serves as a

Semi-Hard Drumsticks: Drumsticks with very little padding on the are referred to as semi-hards. Soft Beaters

(Mallets): When

a drumstick

head

is generously pad-

ded it is generally referred to as a mallet. Felt, cotton, rags, feathers, hair, rubber and resin are used for the padding. This type drumstick is found in all areas in the Americas and among all groups. Knob Head Drumsticks: The Amerindians of North America use a drumstick on their water drums, carved to form a knobbed convex disc — greater in diameter than the handle. The handle end is covered

with tanned buckskin, and is tapered to the curved head where it flares out to form the head. The knob is used on the head of the drum. Brushes: Fine steel wires gathered in a fan shape and inserted in a handle like a whisk broom —

drumstick

remains

the Americas. Among

as standard

used

as a drumstick.

equipment

for popular

(See Pl. XX VI — No. 65 and 66)

FLUTES—PANPIPES—WHISTLES:

the people

of Central

America,

South

This type of

drummers

America

and

in

the

Caribbean area, flutes are very popular and frequently used with drums. They

are

made

of clay,

bamboo,

bone,

wood,

reed,

metal

and

cane.

There are both nose and mouth flutes, and they appear both as singleand

multi-piped

instruments.

In Peru,

we

find the

Pandian

pipe;

in

Bolivia, the Sicu panpipe, which is made of reeds tied together in a line similar to the quill—at one time popular in the States. We also find the guena, a reed flute, as well as the giant flutes of Bolivia, the “anata.” Mexico has its tlapitzallis and chililihtlis, and Central America its oca-

rina.

DRUM

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AND

AUXILIARY

INSTRUMENTS

251

No instrument is more adaptable to the gentle side of the Amerindian’s character than the flageolet-flute. It was used in many ways: a signal for warriors, wooing, dancing, it was sounded by mourners and as decoys by hunters. The Amerindian uses both transverse and end flutes,

large and small.

All the groups that make up the Americas have some type of flutes.

The flute is as much a part of the American heritage as any instrument. The Hopi Indians named one of their great clans after it: Lenya, the

flute clan of ancient origin. It was told that in the beginning the head of the flute clan journeyed down into the underworld, where he en-

countered a beautiful maiden. By the magic tune of his flute, he lured

her away with him and later they were married in the house of the sun. Their descendants were called the clan of the flute “Lenya.” (See PI.

XXV — No. 62)

GRATES—RASPS——SCRAPERS:

Scraper is a very earthy term used in reference to a friction type musical instrument associated with drums, favored by some Amerindian,

Polynesian and Aframerican musicians. It is usually found in the form of a serrated or notched surface scraped by a stick, nail, wire, or a piece of bamboo.

The scrapers are made of wood, bamboo, metal, bone, animal shells and gourds. By running the stick, nail, or wire over the surface, the produced rhythmic sound enhances the basic rhythm. The flavor is

projected by placing emphasis in different back and forth strokes. Dentlé: A notched stick braced against a bench or plank which

acts as a sound board. The dentlé found in Haiti is about eighteen inches

long and one-and-a-half inches wide. A small piece of bamboo is rubbed back and forth over the notched stick. With well-placed emphasis on different parts of the instrument, the desired rhythmic pattern can be produced. It is used as an accompaniment religious dancing among the cultists.

Grate

in the drum

orchestra

for

(Grage): A sheet of metal perforated with closely spaced

jagged holes, made by driving nails through the metal. It is similar in

many ways to the kitchen grater. It is played by drawing a nail or piece

of wood or wire across the rough surface. The grage is used in Haiti along with the tambourine, claves, and bass drum, in secular music.

Guayo:

A metal cylinder made

marimba,

from a flat piece of tin—dented

252

DRUMS

over the entire surface and rolled into handle and cone-shaped cap are welded The guayo is used in the Dominican folk musicians. The instrument is played surface with a heavy-gage

IN THE

AMERICAS

a tube and welded. A metal on to complete the instrument. Republic by both popular and by stroking the rough external

piece of wire. The

rhythmic

motion

of the

hand is up and down in a continuous pattern, with the accent falling in the same place. Giiiro: An oblong dried gourd or calabash shell with the top cut away and transverse “V”-shaped cuts made with a file from the top to the bottom on one side. One of two holes cut in the back serves as a

handle for holding the instrument. The serrations are skillfully rubbed

back and forth with a small, hardwood stick to produce the desired sound. The Giuiro is the unofficial national instrument of Puerto Rico where it is so popular that it is occasionally used as the only instrument for some folk dances. The giiiro is called “guayas” in the Bahamas. It is found in all the Americas except in the far north where the gourd or calabash does not grow. Raspador: A percussion instrument made from a board eighteen to twenty inches long and one-and-one-half to two inches wide. A handle is carved at one end. The remaining sixteen inches are serrated by cutting parallel grooves across the face of the board, one-eighth of an inch apart. The instrument looks very much like a file. In Mexico it is held by the handle at one end and the other end is allowed to rest on the

back of a half-round empty gourd which acts as a resonator. The instru-

ment is played by pulling a small bamboo stick across the serrations. It is used for dancing along with the flute, the jicara de agua, and the guitar by the Yaquis of Central America. (See Pl. XXVII — No. 68)

Reco-Reco: A section of bamboo approximately one-and-a-half inches in diameter and from tweleve to fourteen inches long. Grooves are cut on one side and scraped with a small round hardwood stick. The instrument is found in Brazil, used by small popular and folk instrumental groups. The

Reco-Reco

is accompanied

frequently

by

two

drums,

a flute,

and a bell. (See Pl. XX VII — No. 68) Wiri: A half-round piece of serrated pipe used as a percussion instrument in Curacao. It is stroked back and forth over the serrated area

DRUM

ACCESSORIES

AND AUXILIARY

INSTRUMENTS

253

with a definite rhythmic pattern to the accompaniment of the big bass drum, the Benta and triangle. This group is referred to as the Benta Band. The instrument was originally made from a gourd in which ribs were carved with a knife. Later a cow horn was carved and used when the “cai’orgel” (hand barrel organ) was introduced into Curacao. A metal pipe is used today to get a louder sound in the street bands. The gourd type is used now for house parties. (See Pl. XXVII—No. 68) MORTARS

AND

PESTLES:

The mortar and pestle (A grain pulverizer instrument) takes on the characteristics of a musical instrument when utilized in the West Indies in ceremonies along with singing and hand-clapping. When

two

or more are used, they carry a drum pattern. The sound is produced by lifting the pestle and dropping it into the mortar. When done in rhythm, it produces a drum-like sound. Wooden mortars are preferred. PECHU

DI

CALUMBA:

A bow strung with a woven cotton string. One end of the bow is placed on a box which acts as a sound chamber. The musician sits down with one leg passing between the string and the bow while the bow rests on the opposite thigh and an empty box below. The bow string is manipulated with the left hand and plucked with the right hand. This is a folk instrument found in Curacao and used with the drum, like the mouth bow (Benta). The pechu di calumba is played as a single string bass. A similar instrument in the Belgian Congo is called a Khais. (See Pl. XXIV — No. 60)

RATTLES:

There are two general types of rattles found in the Americas. One is a container with seeds, pebbles, shells, beads, shot or stones, which strike

the sides when shaken to produce the typical rustling sounds of rattles.

The other type is a container with a network of seeds, beads, or shells outside

the container,

and

classified as an external rattle.

The first rattles were probably simply dried plants in which the natural seeds provided the sounding agent. Pebbles were later added, to increase the sound. Some primitive people believe that in order for a rattle to be potent or contain certain magic, it is necessary that the rattle contain seeds.

254.

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

The seeds have within them that mysterious spark of life which puts the primitive mind in touch with the supernatural and the unknown. The most common rattle found in the Americas is the gourd variety.

The gourd is the fruit of a plant resembling the melon or pumpkin. The dried rim and

seeds are used

in the rattle. This family

of vegetables

has made a generous contribution to the developmnt of music. It serves as maracas, so important in magic and ritual worship; as scrapers or guiro, as resonators for the xylophone and marimba, and as wind chests for the primitive pipe organs. It is also occasionally used as mutes for

wind

instruments.

are used as drums.

In Brazil,

Mexico,

Curacao,

and

Hawaii,

the gourds

Rattles are also found in the Americas made from shells of turtles, coconuts, hooves of animals, and containers of leather, wood, bamboo

and metal. Some rattles are painted and highly decorated while others

are plain, depending on the local tradition. The gourd rattles in Hawaii are called “uli uli,” and in most of the Americas,

“maracas.”

In Curacao

the rattles are called marakas,

in

Haiti they are known as tcha-tcha, tcha-kwa, kwa-kwa, and mayoyo, and in Panama, rattles are called maracas and sometimes known as giiiros.

Rattles in the Americas

Africa. This instrument

are both indigenous

reaches

its highest

and imported from

development

as a musical

instrument in Haiti, where it is employed in all kinds of Haitian music, both religious and secular. It is used in the invocation of deities and acccompaniment to solo

singing. The gourd rattles in Haiti are round gourd shells into which a few

seeds

are placed,

and

wooden

handles

inserted

and

held

by

small

wedges.

There are both single-head and multiple-headed gourd rattles. One, two, or three such rattles may be used to accompany the drums. In

religious music only one rattle, or maraca, is used. The singing leader

ordinarily plays the rattle. (See Pl. XXV — No. 61)

Asson or Baksor: The sacred gourd rattles used by cult priests of

Haiti are unpainted, brick-reddish in color, and have the shape of a pear.

The asson is covered with a loose network of beads and vertebras of a snake, acting as external strikers. A small bell generally hangs from the handle.!” This sacred rattle is used in summoning the gods and the dead, and

as a signal to servitors or helpers in the cult rites, who assist in the

DRUM

ACCESSORIES

AND

AUXILIARY

INSTRUMENTS

259

performance or magic. The asson is accompanied by chanting, dancing and singing. Cabaca: A large two-chambered gourd covered with a network of

beads—used as a

rattle in the Americas. The cabaca is played by mov-

ing the instrument in a rotary work of beads to rotate on the the instrument with the palm secular and ritual music. A similar type instrument is called “atcheré,” and larger

motion with one hand, causing the netgourd. The rhythm is marked by striking of the other hand. It is used for both used in Cuba by the Lucumi cult group ones called Bakoso or “awé-koesola.”

Cha-Cha: A metal cylinder filled with beads or pebbles used as a

rattle type percussion instrument in the West Indies and South America. It is approximately one foot in length and two-and-a-half inches in

diameter.

It is played with one or both hands. The instrument is shaken by moving it up and away from the body—then down and toward the body in one continuous motion. The cha cha was particularly popular with the samba rhythms heard in and around Brazil. Chocalho: A Brazilian rattle with an external network of beads or shells, made

from

a coconut

shell placed

on

a stick which

serves

as a

handle. The instrument is played by rotating the handle, causing the external network of beads to slide over the shell. The rhythm is marked

by patting the instrument with the palm of the hand. The Chocalho is

particularly popular with the samba schools of Brazil. It is used in both popular and folk instrumental groups. Chocalho is also a generic term

in Brazil for rattle. Cocoon Rattles: A rattle made from the cocoon of the silk worm and

strung

on a cord

to form

a necklace.

The

cocoons

are

dried

out,

opened in the middle and two small pebbles placed at each end. The

cocoons are then laced to a cord dividing a single cocoon into two rattles,

one on each side of the lacing cord.

Cocoon necklaces are worn in Amerindian dances in Central Amer-

ica. They produce a subdued rustle while the wearer dances. This instrument is particularly popular with the Yaqui Amerindians. Deer-Hoof

Rattles:

The

Amerindians

make

use

of many

objects

for rattles such as horns, nuts, shells, seeds, nests, and hooves.

The hoof of the deer is pierced through

cluster. These

clusters are sewn

to bands

the tips and strung in a

for making

belts, anklets,

256

DRUMS

bracelets, and rattles for dancing. When

IN THE

AMERICAS

the dancers move about, the

striking of the hooves against one another can be heard in rhythm with the body movement. The Yaquis of Central America were very fond of this belt rattle. (See Pl. XVII — No. 40) Maracas: Two dried gourds from three to seven inches in diameter, containing

shot,

seeds,

stones,

beads,

rice

or

marbles,

-vith

a handle

inserted. One maraca is generally held in each hand and is shaken or struck. The maracas are common to all the Americas. They are also

known

as marakas, sonajas, marugas, etc.

Matrimonial: A rhythm instrument of Curacao, it is a thin-dressed plank twenty-four by two inches, on which four sets of metal discs are

nailed so as to slip up and down when the plank is struck against the thigh. The

instrument

is held

on

the

two

ends

with

both

hands

and

struck alternately on each thigh in rhythm with the drum. The sound

is similar to the ancient cymbal, or sistrum. (See Pl. XIII— No. 28) Quijada: The lower jaw of a horse, mule or burro, with the teeth

loose in the sockets—used quijada

is played

in three

as a percussion instrument different ways.

It is shaken,

struck, depending on which sound is desired. When

in Cuba.

stroked,

The

and

the instrument is shaken or struck, the loose teeth will strike

the walls of the jaw, turning it into a large rattle. When the teeth are stroked with a large nail, the quijada becomes a rasp. It is used in Cuba by Afro-Cuban groups. (See Pl. VII] — No. 10) RHYTHM

BOXES:

These rhythm boxes, also known as and called Marimba, Malimba, Manimba, and Marimbula,* are in the form of a wooden box, with a

hole in the center. In front of this hole is a series of metal mounted in such a way that they may be plucked with fingers.

strips

The metal strips are cut in different lengths from spring steel, then

placed in a bracket to give definite tone interval. The box acts as a sound chamber and as a seat for the musician. The musician sits on the box with the keys or steel strips between his open legs. There are generally from three to seven keys which are plucked with both hands. *U.S.A. Marimha Brett. Brazil—Marimha Haiti—Malimba, Manimba. Jamaica—Rhumha Box, Rhythm Cuba—Marimbula.

box.

DRUM

ACCESSORIES

AND

The marimba

AUXILIARY

INSTRUMENTS

is a bass accompaniment

297

for the maracas, guitar,

drum and claves used in Jamaica for secular dances. It is also found in Haiti, Panama, Cuba and other islands in the West Indies.

The marimba is recognized as an enlarged edition of the African

“‘sansa.”’ In the United States it was known as marimba brett. (See PI.

XXV — No. 62)

RHYTHM

STICKS:

These instruments have been inherited from primitive man, who

used all sorts of sonorous objects that nature put at hand. Man used the

hands and feet first, then added objects

(drumsticks and pedals)

better sound and speed. Rhythm

sticks in the Americas

come

in several forms.

for

One form

used in Haiti is a flat piece of wood about eighteen inches long and three inches wide. One is carried by each dancer and as they move in a circle, they strike the stick of their opponent

rhythm.

This dance is called the Stick Dance,

Carnival dance, in which women’s clothing.'”*

peculiarly

only

or partner to mark

the

or “‘Battonie,” a Haitian

men

participate,

attired

in

Similar sticks are used in Mexico during Easter week celebrations in their traditional stick dance, to carry the rhythm for the “Chirimia”

and the drum.* Around Bolivia and Brazil, we also find rhythm sticks used in certain dances. (See Pl. XVIII — No. 41)

Bones: Two flat rib bones from a sheep, pig or cow, cut to a length

of approximately width—used as bones are held in The long portion

six inches and from one inch to an a rhythm instrument in the United the right hand with the middle finger extends down the palm of the hand.

inch-and-a-half in States. The two separating them. One bone is cut

a fraction of an inch longer than the other. The longer bone is held stationary with the ring finger and the short one is allowed to swing

free between

the middle and index finger. By swinging the hand in a

rotary motion, the short bone strikes the longer one producing a “clack” sound. Bones were very popular in the southern part of the United States

during the latter part of the nineteenth century and the early part of the

twentieth century. Today they are made of wood and plastic. (See PI.

VIII — No. 10) Bones were used to augment the drum in the early slave instrument groups. *Chirimia,

a clarinet-like wind

instrument

found

in Centra]

and

South

America.

258

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

Castanets or Castanuelas: The castanets found in the Americas were brought in, no doubt, from Spain, and were in all possibility originally adapted from the Moorish rattle. The name was taken from the word “‘castafia,” the chestnut wood from which they are made.

The castanets are two pieces of wood carved in a spoon shape and laced together with a thong, braided cord or ribbon. The lacing is looped over the thumb and struck against the palm with the middle fingers.

The tambourine is the drum generally associated with this instru-

ment. The castanets are used in pairs—the right-hand pair is the “hembra” (female), marking the rhythm, and the left-hand pair is the larger and cruder, accenting the beat of the “macho” (male) part. When struck

together by the fingers, the hollowed wooden discs meet with a clicking

accent of special resonance. In Spanish, the sound is described tafeteo”’; the motion as “‘castafietear’’; and the snapping of the ““pitos.” Clappers: The knicky-knackers known in the Middle Ages ferred to by Shakespeare as tongs and bones—used today in the

as “casfingers, and reconcert

orchestra for special effect. The modern clappers are two flat pieces of wood, one longer than the other. The long piece has a handle carved on one end about four inches above the handle; the other board is attached parallel to the first

with a metal or cloth hinge.

The two boards are made to clap with a hammer-like motion. This

instrument is used only occasionally by the drummer for special orches-

tral effects.

Clave-Cleavers: The best-known and probably the most important rhythm sticks in the Americas are called “claves” in Cuba, where they seem to have originated, and cleavers in the Bahamas where their usage

was adopted. The clave is very important in Afro-Cuban music since

almost all the arrangements for this body of music are made in the clave pattern. The clave is an instrument consisting of two round sticks, one approximately eight inches long and another of eight-and-a-quarter inches,

and both are from three-quarters of an inch to an inch in diameter. In

Cuba, they are made from a very hard sonorous wood, generally acana (a hard reddish Cuban wood) and of ébano (ebony) or caoba (mahogany ).

DRUM

ACCESSORIES

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INSTRUMENTS

259

The word clave was no doubt derived from the small round piece

of very hard wood used as pegs or claves in assembling furniture in Spain. Clave was also a name given to an instrument used in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries before the piano was used to accompany

songs.

One stick is passive and is laid across the palm of the hand, lightly

supported by the tips of the four fingers and the full length of the thumb. This is the hembra (female) stick, which is struck near the center with the second stick held lightly in the fingers of the other hand. This second stick is the “macho” (male). The idea of attaching sex to instruments is an African characteristic retained by Aframericans.'™

The clave sticks have only one sound, but a good clave player is able to color, dampen and make the claves sing like a human voice by changing

the cup

of the hand

and

cupped hand acts as a sound chamber. The claves have been

the pressure

of the hembra.

called the spirit of Afro-Cuban

The

melody, even

though they are not allowed to leave the basic rhythmic pattern. They

have a pleasing timbre; their simplicity and melodic exclamation are full of emotion. In Africa, south of the Sahara, there is an instrument called the

‘“‘akoge,” which is used as an accessory to create the same sound as the clave, and which carries a similar pattern for music. It is made of two metal rings worn on the thumb and middle finger of the right hand. The sounds are so similar to that of the clave that it is almost impossible to distinguish between them — whether

there is a connection between the

two has yet to be proven — but the evidence (the sound and the use of the instrument) would certainly lead one to believe so. Palen: Two sticks held in the same hand are employed by the Yuma Amerindians as accompaniment to songs of the “frog” dance series.* The Yurok use a stick, of white cedar plank or boat paddle for marking their gambling, narrative, and shaman

songs, but not for dancing.

Puili: A bamboo rhythm stick from Hawaii, with one including a node serving as a handle. The other, longer split into narrow widths of about one inch. The length is to twenty-one inches. The unsplit handle parts on each side

unsplit end end part is from twenty of the node

range in length from five to eight inches. The splitting of the long part of the tube is done in two ways; one *Rain producing dances.

260

way and nate inch used

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

is to split the tube simply at close intervals of one-quarter inch, is rarely wider. The other technique consists of cutting out alterpieces of one-quarter inch width, thus spacing the narrow one-quarter rods at intervals of equal width. The bamboo rhythm sticks are in a dance named after the instrument “hula puili.” (See Pl. XVIII

— No.

41)

STAMPING

Ganbo or ti Kanmbo:

TUBES:

A tube of bamboo used in Haiti as a rhythm

instrument and on occasions as a substitute for the drum. Tubes of bamboo of different lengths

and diameters

have

different sound

chambers

and in turn give different sounds. The stamping tubes work like inverted drums. Four or five tubes are used to produce rhythm — the sound is produced by striking the tubes against the ground. Cupped hands are used to manipulate the sound from the open end. At one time in the Caribbean,

prohibited.

they

were

used

The

bulatier,

the man

The

stamping

tubes

as drum

substitutes

when

skin

handling

the

solos,

works

with

in

Hawaii,

drums

were

ti kanmbo,

holding one in each hand. The musicians squat at the edge of the dance area or sit on very low stools and beat their rhythm out against the bare ground. are

found

Haiti,

and

Venezuela

where they are called ‘“quitiplas.”* In Hawaii, they are referred to as “ohe ka’eke, and each musician

and pitch.

(See Pl. XXV— No.

uses two, each with a different length

62)

TRIANGLES:

A small round steel bar bent into the shape of a triangle, open at

the upper end and struck with a metal beater. The triangle is thought to be of European origin. It was used by

folk, popular, and classical instrument groups. This instrument in the Americas is predominantly used by Aframericans and European-Ameri-

cans. Neither the Asians nor the Amerindians seem to have adopted this instrument into their new cultural patterns. (See Pl. XVI — No. 35} TRUMPETS AND HORNS: The trumpet has long been associated with military drums, but in modern warfare both the trumpet and the drum are outmoded and are now only associated with parades and bugle corps. *Africans of Dahomey

call this instrument “Kukugoku.”

DRUM

ACCESSORIES

AND

AUXILIARY

INSTRUMENTS

261

The horns today most closely associated with drums

folk and popular instrumental groups in the West Indies.

are found in

Vaccine (Burro Voice): A length of bamboo with the natural membranes removed at one end. A small hole is made in the remaining

membrane to form the vaccine is used and also used with festivals that come

a mouth piece. This as a signal horn by drums in dances of in pre-Easter week

instrument is peculiar to Haiti; work groups and fishing fleets, the Congo group. The “arada” depend solely on the vaccines

for their music. Three or four vaccines (trumpets) of different lengths are used. Each vaccine has a different tone but only one note. The trumpeters walk or march abreast of each other and the dancers follow. The musicians

beat upon the side of the bamboo

with a small stick, produc-

ing counter rhythms. The conch shells and pipes have been substituted for bamboo some

areas of Haiti, but the sound

favorite.

in

of the vaccines remains the native’s

(See Pl. XXV—- No. 62)

Cachoe Horn: This is a cow horn with a hole drilled in the side one-and-a-quarter inch from the sharp end of the horn. The horn used is about ten inches long. The player blows into the hole while the open end is manipulated with the free hand to change the sound. In Curacao,

the “cachoe,”

along

with

the

“agan,”

is called

‘“‘cachoe

Koe

Heroe,’’*

and is used to carry news and signaling, just as the drums of Curacao

were used. This instrument is found in North, South, and Central America and the West Indies —in Haiti it is called “cayambouque.”

FOLK AND POPULAR BAND INSTRUMENTS IN

THE

AMERICAS:

The instruments used in the various countries in the Americas in-

dicate to a certain extent the type of music and the ethnic influence found in this part of the world. There are some countries like the United States where

one

a cursory

influence — but

on

examination

closer

of the instruments

examination,

other

indicates

influences

are

only

heard

in the music.

The drum is the most widespread of all the various instruments

found in this continent. Other lonely turtle to the piano.

Argentina:

folk instrumental *Horn

with iron.

instruments

vary from the shell of the

In Argentina the instrument used by the popular and groups

are:

the caja

(a small two-headed

drum),

the

262

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

bombo (a large two-headed drum), the flute, the guitar, the violin, the accordion or concertina (bandoneén). Bahamas:

Cleavers

(claves),

drums

(barrels

covered

with

guayas (a serrated gourd), the cowbell and the saw.

Bolivia:

two-headed

Sicu

(a panpipe),

drum),

bombo

big flute), charango

Brazil: Tambor

guena

(a bass type

skin),

(a reed flute), caja

(a small

drum),

anata

harp,

guitar,

(a

(armadillo shell guitar).

(a two-headed drum played with a stick), surdo

(a two-headed drum played with one hand and a stick), atabaqué (a single-headed cylindrical drum played with a bare hand and a stick), bombo (a large bass drum), triangle, chocalho (a maraca type rattle), reco-reco (a rasp), gongue (a double bell), agog6é (a single bell or

anvil) and the guitar.

Colombia: The guitars, bandolo (mandolin), tambor (a two-headed instrument played with two sticks), gauché (rattle), and the maracas

(also a type of rattle).

Cuba: Trés (guitar), maracas, giiiro (rasp), flute, claves, bongés, conga and the quijada (lower jaw of a horse). Curacao: Musik di Zumbi

(a big bass drum played with two sticks),

benta (a mouth bow), triangle, wiri (a metal rasp), tambor, matrimonial

(a sistrum type rattle), cornet, piano, cello and clarinet. Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo): The guayo (a metal scraper), pandereta (tambourine), balsié (a single-headed drum played

with the bare hand), and the accordion (acorde6én). Ecuador: The guena (flute), antara or sicu (flutes), guitar, charango (armadillo shell guitar), harp, caja (a small tinya type drum), and the bombo (a bass drum). Guatemala: The national instruments are the marimba (xylophone), accompanied

by the flute, tambor

(a two-headed

drum),

and

the harp.

Haiti: The maracas, single-headed cylindrical hand played drums, the two-headed drum, the vaccines (single note trumpets). The bell and

the flute, are the instruments of choice. Hand clapping and singing play a large part in the music of this country.

Jamaica: Folk bands and popular bands are made up of combina-

tions of rumba box, maracas, flute, banjo, guitar, conga drums, the water tub bass, the small snare drum and the bass drum — filled in with

hand clapping and singing. Mexico:

The

typical band

of Mexico

includes

the violin, guitars,

DRUM

ACCESSORIES

AND AUXILIARY

INSTRUMENTS

263

harp, flute, clarinets, trumpets, the drum, and frequently the marimba (xylophone) or any combination of these instruments. Panama: (a five-string

Along with hand-clapping and singing, the mejoranera guitar), bocana (guitar), rabel (a three-stringed rustic

violin), a battery of two single-headed

drums

and a two-headed

tambor,

guachara (gourd rasp), cello and the violin are used in different combinations. Occasionally an almirez (a brass mortar) is seen in folk and

popular bands.

Paraguay:

Harps,

violins,

guitars,

and

a

two-headed

tinya

type

drum are seen in small bands of Paraguay. Peru: Pandean pipe (flute), ayacasttis (gourd rattle), hayllaiquipac

or aylli-quepa (a conch shell trumpet), tinya (a small two-headed drum),

timbrels

used.

(bells), quepa

Puerto

Rico:

(oboe), chil-chil

The

(maracas), are the instruments

giiiro is the unofficial national instrument

of

Puerto Rico. It is used along with the claves, bongos, timbales, tambora,

pandero, maracas,

and the guitar in different combinations

mental accompaniment.

for instru-

Surinam: The kwa-kwa (a board struck with sticks), maracas, iron bell, triangle, and a battery of drums are used in the bands. Trinidad:

The

guitar, gan

(a rattle), flutes, bamboo

(an iron bar or bell), maracas,

tamboo,

and skin drums

cha cha

used in Trinidad’s

instrumental groups are being replaced by steel pans. (See Steel drums, under Idiophones.) United

States:

When

the

Civil

War

ended,

there

was

a decided

change in folk and popular music, musical instruments, and musical appreciation. It is claimed by many that jazz dates from this change.

The Century Illustrated Monthly published an article by George Cable in February 1886 titled, “The Dance in Place Congo,” in which the dance music and instruments used by slaves and freed-men were

described.

Some of the instruments used are hard to find today;

have disappeared entirely. of

a

hewn

some

The instruments found were bamboula (a single-headed drum made joint of bamboo), congo drum (a single-headed instrument from

a solid Joe). and a gourd rattle, which

flourished at the end

of a stout staff, held with one hand, and beaten upon the palm of the

other. ‘lhe triangle is still in use, but the jew’s harp is now a toy. The

jawbone of an ox, horse or mule is still used in the West

Indies as a

264.

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

musical instrument. Casks or empty barrels are beaten on their heads with the shank bones of cattle. The marimba brett disappeared from the United

Cuba

States,

but

is found

as the marimbula.

in Jamaica

as the

rumba

box

and

in

The four-string banjo today has also left the

ranks of folk instruments and is now a popular instrument. The quill, a type of pan flute made from cane, has long disappeared.

At the end of the Civil War, the surplus instruments of the Confederate and Union Armies were picked up by the ex-slaves and used to replace many of their former homemade instruments, yet the Negroes did not divorce themselves from their former music. The instruments found in the folk and popular bands in the United

States of America are the violin, piano, drums, bass fiddle, cornet, clarinet, guitar, harmonica, accordion, saxophone, flutes; most of these

were of European origin.

The conga drums found in the United States today were re-intro-

duced from the West Indies. The original type of this drum found here has disappeared almost entirely. In the classical orchestra and some popular

North

American

bands

the

instruments

are

all the

standard

European type. In Hawaii, the Hula orchestra of the past was made up of percus-

sion instruments, predominantly the puili (bamboo rattle), ili’ili (stone castanets), uli uli (gourd rattles), pahu hula, ipu hula, and the puniu

drums, the ohe ka’eke or ohe keeke (bamboo stamping tubes) and the ukelele. Venezuela: drum), furruco

The maracas, guitar, cumaco (single-headed hand (friction drum), atabalejo (two-headed drum), violins

and flutes make their appearance in varied combinations in both the popular and folk instrumental groups. The harp and bandola or mando-

lin are also very popular in Venezuela where music is the offspring of

the guitar and drum. The instruments may differ from country to country, but the thought, the inspiration, and the spirit behind the music are universal. There is no bad music — we may not be sophisticated enough to appre-

ciate, feel, and understand all types of music, but somewhere, someone does —

otherwise,

it would

not be in existence.

17 DRUMLORE An

accumulation

of beliefs,

tales, and

learning

concerning

drums

is something like a historical x-ray, since it throws light on the sediment which lies at the bottom of the daily conscious conduct of a people. From a study of these accumulations, we have an insight into culture.

The drum was indispensable in preliterate and primitive life. No

instrument had so many

ritualistic tasks, or was held in more

esteem.

There were many rites important to drum construction and usage. The

Lappons choose wood which has fibers that grow in a certain direction, and in Melanesia the drummakers climb the tree that is to furnish the

wood

and

remain

there

until the

drum

is finished.

In Haiti, the wood

for the drum has to be cut at the right phase of the moon, or it is thought that the wood will not be resistant to the ravages of the post beetles or other termites. Skulls, shells and fetishes are often attached or enclosed within the

shell, to impart magic power to the drum. For this reason there is some apprehension among the cultists in the Americas concerning looking into an open drum. In certain islands in the West

Indies, a drum

of another

drummer

is never touched—for fear of a curse on offending the power of the drum. In an Akkadian text on one of the rituals of Mesopotamia, this ritual for preparation of the drum head has been translated into French by Francois Thurean-Dangin and from this translation Dr. Galpin has

made an English abstract.

269

266

DRUMS

A

black

bull,

without

defect

and

untouched

IN THE

by

stick

AMERICAS

or

whip,

was selected, without any groups of white spots in star form. The animal was brought to the temple on a propitious day and offering was made to the gods, especially to Lumba, God of Music and Wisdom. The animal was placed and held on a reed mat, placed on the ground and covered with sand. Perfumes were burnt and offerings made. A torch

was lighted and the bull was sung to. Twelve bronze images of the Gods of Heaven, Earth and Underworld were placed on twelve linen cloths. Sacrifices were made and the body of the drum was set in its place.

The animal’s mouth was washed, and by means of a tube of aromatic reed, incantations were whispered into its ears explaining, in dialectical Sumerian,

the

divine

use

and

honor

which

was

about

to be

done.

A

hymn now was chanted to the accompaniment of the double-reed pipe. The bull was then slain, and its heart burnt and the skinned body was wrapped in red cloth. The skin was treated with fine flour, and with beer, wine, grease, Hittite alum and gall-nut. In Africa, criminals and fleeing slaves become untouchable when they reach the drum yard, and animals that enter the yard are taboo.

The Wahenga tribe of Africa believe that seeing a drum is fatal if

the moon is not full. The drums are only moved at night. In other African areas, the drum is a sacred implement belonging to the king

and is an insignia of his dignity. It is more

than a symbol, it is a

talisman for luck and victory. Drums are generally associated with the masculine rites, in circumcision, men’s funerals, etc. The boys of New Guinea have one serious duty to perform for their initiation period—

to make a drum. The boys are taboo and live in the forest until the

drums are completed, regardless of the time necessary to construct them. Several boys go together. Straight logs are selected and cut to size, then scraped with shells until the desired shape is wrought. The inner cavity is burned out. If, by any chance, the instrument is seen by a woman,

it is destroyed and started anew. It is thought that the shell would certainly split if viewed by a woman—it is also thought that the skin would burst if fish were eaten; the eating of bananas causes the instrument to have a dull sound. The drinking of fresh water destroys the fire of the music. The boys drink water from the stems of the banana No one knows just how the first skin-covered drum was discovered tree and coconut milk, so that their drum will be a good instrument.

DRUMLORE

267

but one of the stories goes like this, in Satis Coleman’s book entitled:

The Drum Book.!”

“Yubro, a native chief who lived ages ago, killed a leopard in the forest and brought it home to his hut, for he wished to make a warm

rug of the skin. He hung the skin over a hollow tree stump that had

been hit by lightning, burning out the center, leaving a mug shape. He hung the skin with the hair down so that it would dry. The sun dried it, but it rained and softened the skin and it laid close against

the stump. When the rain had passed, the sun returned and dried out

the skin causing it to draw tight against the stump.

By chance, the children playing in the area pretended to kill the leopard and struck the tight drawn skin lying over the stump with a club. The sound produced frightened the whole village and it was thought that a great spirit had come to live in the village. It only spoke

when it was touched and it had come as a good spirit to frighten away

the wild animals and evil gods of sickness and hunger. By tapping on

the skin, the chief could communicate with the great spirit. The people would come when it was talking and sacrifice a wild animal to the spirit that dwelt inside the tree stump.” Drum

Worship:

The effect and magic power of the drum soon caused man to wor-

ship the drum

as a god. It is said that at some

point in history, the

drum has been worshiped as a god in many countries of the world. In some parts of South America, the drum-god is the only object the natives worship. The only way the natives could explain the strange sound of the drum was to suppose it to be the voice of some great and

powerful spirit. The sound has a strange influence on them. They give themselves up to this influence by shouting and dancing.

The teponaztli and huehuetl are instruments held sacred in areas

in Mexico. According to Mendoza, the legend goes like this: “Seeing that they were utterly unable to prevail in their struggle

with the newly-created Sun, the old gods of Teotihuacan in desperation decided to sacrifice themselves. Xolotl, the appointed sacrificer, opened

each of their breasts with a large knife and drew out the heart; then he killed himself. By their deaths, the Sun’s anger was appeased.

Each god bequeathed his sacred clothing to a priest who had worshipped him. Realizing the great weight of their responsibility for such sacred relics, the priest guarded the vestments most zealously.

268

Their

DRUMS

grief, however,

on

account

of the

deaths

IN THE

of their

AMERICAS

gods

was

not

assuaged even though they now had in their possession the sacred vestments. Instead of abating, it in time grew unsupportable, and they

therefore decided to undertake a pilgrimage, hoping that somewhere they might find solace for their anguish.

After wandering about together for a time, they separated and one priest traveled toward the seacoast. When he arrived at the ocean he

met there Tezcatlipoca, Lord of being, who instructed him to proceed onward to the court of the Sun, and there to beg the Sun for musical

instruments.

With

songs

and musical instruments,

man

would

be able

to fittingly praise his new gods. In order to assist him in this long journey to the court of the Sun, various animals in the sea, among them the tortoise, the whale, and the sea-cow,

formed

themselves

into

a

bridge

priest might pass over them. When the

Sun,

wishing

servitors But, his plea the other

he

explained

to diminish

the

motive

his own

so

that

the

grief-stricken

the priest arrived at the court -of of his visit.

retinue

The

of followers,

Sun

however,

forbade

any

not

of his

to listen to the priest’s entreaties. so eloquently and earnestly did the earthly messenger make that two servants of the Sun, the one named Huehuetl and Teponaztli, disobeyed and listened. For their presumption in

disobeying him, the Sun cast them forth from his presence in disgrace.

They then accompanied the priest on his return to earth. But the sound of the huehuetl and teponaztli must forever remain sorrowful; because forever they remember the sorrow they felt when first they heard the story of man’s

extremity,

as the priest told it in

heaven. If man’s anguish because the gods of Teotihuacan are dead has now

abated

and if he has learned how

to dance

and

make

merry

in

song and dance, the sounds of the huehuetl and teponaztli still continue to remind him of the sighs huehuetl and teponaztli long ago breathed

in heaven when messenger.”

first

they

heard

the

sad

entreaties

of

the

earthly

“When the anthropologist John Roscoe came to the Banyankole, he found at a little distance from the Royal Kraal, a small enclosure in which stood the hut of the royal drums. The hut was always domed and had no point or pinnacle; inside there was a stand or bed on which lay two drums. At the back of the hut behind the bed lay a quantity of material for repairing these drums, and this had to be carefully guarded

DRUMLORE

269

for it might not be used for any other purpose. To the left of the hut was a bag, in which were the instruments necessary for taking an augury

should it be needed, and beside it lay some whistles and an iron rod upon which the tools for making the drums were sharpened, for this might not be done upon a stone. In front of the bed or stand was a row of milk pots belonging to the drums in which the daily offerings of milk were put. The chief drums were the two which lay upon the bed. These were covered with white skins with a black strip across them, making them look like a pair of great eyes in the gloom of the hut. A sacred herd of cows yielded a supply of milk which was daily offered to these drums in the pots which stood in front of them. “It was placed there in the morning and remained until nine or ten o’clock, by which time the drum spirits had taken the essence and the

remainder

woman,

who

might

was

be

drunk

known

by

the

as the wife

guardians.

There

was

also

a

of the drums,

whose

duty

it was

to look after the milk, the churning, and the covering of the drums.

Another

woman

looked

after

the

fire

in

the

drum-house,

which

had

to be kept burning always because the drum spirits required warmth. Offerings of cattle or beer were made to the drums by chiefs when

a son had been born to them or when they had received promotion to some office or had been successful in some expedition and earned the commendation of the King. The King also made an annual offering of cows to the drums, so that they possessed a large herd; those offered

to the first of them had black. These cows were to be killed; no one but thus killed and the skin these

cows

that

the

to be red or white and those for the second, sacred and the King alone might order one the guardians could eat the meat of an animal was kept for repairing the drums. It was from

milk

was

taken,

which

was

daily

offered

to

the

drums, and from the surplus milk, butter was used for smearing the drums.”?!”6 “In

was

1901,

at the time

a Reindeer when

Koryak

Big Raven

woman

(Kamchatka)

lived—while

still outside,

narrated:

It

they heard

the sound of a drum. They entered the house and found Universe beating on the drum—his wife Rain-woman sitting next to him. In order to

produce rain, he cut off his wife’s vulva and hung it on the drum; then

he cut off his penis and ordinary drumstick.”?”

beat the drum

with

it, instead

of using

an

“In East Africa, coronation drums must be struck with sticks made

270

DRUMS

of human ones

IN THE

AMERICAS

tibias, which have a phallic significance. To provide fresh

after

the

yearly

coronation

festival,

the

royal

drummers

carry

away all drums except one; whichever onlooker innocently picks up and brings this last drum, saying “you have forgotten it,” is immediately seized and killed, and his arm bones used as drumsticks.”

In Nile regions the sacred drums are hung in front of the chief’s

house, or under the sacred tree of the village. When

hung in front of

the chief’s house, they become identified with the mysterious power of his office. The drum is regarded as the mouth piece of a god or spirit. Each temple of a chief in West Africa has a tall drum (gvedri) with a carved body. This drum has a protecting spirit—the slave who was sacrificed to it when it was made. It is played only at religious ceremonies.

The Nahua-speaking tribes of Mexico claim music and musical instruments have a supernatural origin—their myth states that the God Tezcatlipoca had music sent from the sun and had a bridge constructed to the sun made of whales and turtles (Indian symbol of strength) to guarantee safe passage to the earth. Drums of all kinds crossed the bridge. Shawnee Amerindians place charcoal inside their water drums. Charcoal

stands for fire—fire

and water will make

anything

move,

but

man must guide it. A drum with water alone would not sound good.

The fire in the drum illuminates everything. The spirits and the Creator

can see it. When the head of a drum is hit the chacoal in the drum causes the buckskin head to expand and the water comes up through the buckskin and sprays out. This is good: it keeps the buckskin wet without charcoal, the skin sags down in the center and dries. It has no life in it until the two powers, fire and water, are present. It is said that charcoal makes light, and light goes everywhere.

It is thought by the Cherokee and Shawnee tribes of America that

the cypress tree was placed on this earth by the Creator for the Indians to use in the making of their drums. Cypress trees are smooth at the trunk and hollow

can hear it.’”

inside. When

the Indians

beat the drum,

the Creator

The Navahos claim that their ceremonial basket design came to them in ancient days. A Navaho woman was seated under a juniper tree finishing a basket in the style of the other tribes, and while so engaged,

she was intensely thinking if some stronger and more beautiful border

DRUMLORE

could

271

not be devised.

As

she sat in thought,

Hastséyalti,

the

Indian

the

design

God, tore from the overhanging juniper tree, a small spray and dropped it into her basket.

Immediately

it occurred

to her

to copy

of the juniper tree into the peculiar fold of her basket. She devised a

way to do it and from it came the design of the Navaho basket drum.

The Navahos claim that all baskets with the Navaho margins are made by Navaho women or under the tutelage of a Navaho woman.!7* Investiture

drums

were

once

a symbol

of royal

authority.

Upon

seizing power, a Baluba of the kingly line (most of whom come to the throne through fratricide) had to give voice to his new might through a specially constructed tom-tom, the “drum of the ancestral ghosts.”

The Ngoma wa bakishi drum had to have part of a human skull fixed

in its resonance

sacrificial

victims

chamber.

After

entombed

the

beside

dead

him,

chief had

the grave for several days, doing homage

his

been

buried,

with

successor

stayed

near

to the departed

soul and

asking for his protection. Finally the old men of the tribe came, placed

a halter around his neck and dragged him off to the village where he at once prepared his “ngoma wa bakishi.”” He had to send out small war parties with orders to kill the first man to be encountered and bring in his head. As soon as a head was obtained, “‘chiondo,”’ the

signal drum,

called in the searchers to avoid needless slaughter. Then

a new round tom-tom, standing more than four feet high, was hollowed

out and the hollowed crown

of the victim’s skull was gummed

fast in-

side the new drum. A goatskin membrane was stretched in place and the chief, in the presence of his people, beat a single tap upon it. The drum

responded deeply—the

ancestor replied to the call of his descendant—

the new reign commenced. In Nigeria, among

the Yorubas,

if a lad shows promise

of being

a good drummer and has already reached a good standard, he may be invited to take the arts of a dead master drummer. If his father

or his uncle was a master drummer, it may well be one of these whose

art he is to replace. The occasion suitable for the ceremony is when a- master drummer has just died. The official performing the ritual

must,

if possible,

be

a master

drummer

and

a member

of

the

lad’s

family. The dead man is propped up in his hut, a drumstick is placed in his hand and a drum is set in front of him. The master drummer

shakes the dead musician’s arm to beat the drum. The son or nephew then takes the drumstick from the dead man’s hand and touches the

272

drum

DRUMS

at the spot where

it has been

beaten,

IN THE

AMERICAS

saying certain words.

At

the libation, which is customary for all funerals, a special petition to the dead master drummer is added in this case, to pass on his art to the lad and bless him. On future occasions when the new master drummer plays unusually well, people will be pleased but not surprised at his prowess. They know whence his art derives.

There is an interesting instrument preserved in the Historical Musum in Dresden. It is supposed that it dates from the Thirty Years War. The story is that a chief of the Huns of this period bequeathed his skin to be used for a tympano after his death. The instrument was made and is the one now in the Dresden Museum.

In Cuba, Aframericans acquainted with the music and liturgy of their African religions say that certain drums speak on given occasions. Among the Afro-Cubans of Yoruba origin, generally only the Iya (largest of the three bata drums) speaks; however sometimes it carries

on a conversation with the middle-sized or even the small drum.

Among the Congo people, the large “maquta” drum speaks; among

the Abakuas

(or fiahigos)

the bonkéenchemiya

is the talker.

In Abyssinia the beating of wooden drumsticks on a pair of tympani is a symbol of power. A king of Abyssinia, it is reputed, was accompanied to the field of battle with no less than forty-four drummers

and eighty-eight kettledrums.

Isabel Aretz, in her “Folklore Safari” (through Venezuela)

icas Magazine,

Nov.

1961), stated that Aframericans

(Amer-

in Venezuela vene-

rate their Saints from whom they expect everything, and they carry out their promises to honor them each year with processions, songs and

dances. These celebrations are generally carried on with the beat of the drum. These people love their drums and give them names. On one occasion, a truck ran over “burro negro” (as they call the big drum). The women wept and the men carried the big drum to be buried. When a drummaker dies, the drums he made are put in mourning by draping them with black crepe. There is a story traditionally told in Venezuela, which claims that Saint Benito was hurt by accident and his drums started to play by themselves; help was sent at once and he was revived. The Vodouns of Haiti believe if an impure woman dances close to a drum, the drum loses its tone. When

the tone is lost (or dies), the

drum is thrown away by the drummer where the Saint has ordered.

DRUMLORE

273

Some South Americans and Oceanians believed the divinity who created the water is also the creator of the slit drum. In the New Hebrides, the slit drum is struck when the new moon rises; often a pit

is dug beneath it; the biggest slit drum is called the mother and frequently, though not always, the players are women. Oceanians see a female abdomen in its hollow body, a vulva in the slit and fornication

in the ramming action. R. H. Codrington, in his article “Religious Beliefs and Practices in Melanesia” (Journal of Anthropologist Instruction), states that throughout Melanesia drums are a part of a rich man’s possessions. The top of

these drums are fashioned into a smiling face. When the drum is fashioned in the image of an ancestor, the strokes are made on the

stomach.

When

head,

the royal drum

the blood

of the cow,

Kaula

of the Baganda

whose

skin

is used,

is to receive a new is run

into the drum

with the blood of a beheaded man. The idea was that when the drum

was beaten, the life of the man added fresh life and vigor to the king. The Murle of Africa say that their God Lingo taught them drumming. Therefore drumming has become so important in the life of the young boys and girls that an elaborate ritual is connected with the

drums. The tree must be cut in June after the first rain falls and must be of a certain kind. Prayer is held and an offering is made to the

tree. The log cut from

the tree is then

hollowed

out to the desired

shape. After preparation, the shell is set aside for a year. The hide is

put on the shell and the maker prays to the God of Thunder.

_

The natives of Guiana preferred to head their drums with the skin of the baboon or howling monkey. The heads of their drums would thus impart to the instrument the rolling roaring sounds of this animal.

The regalia of Malay states includes the drums of the court which are considered sacred. The royal drums of Jelebu are claimed to be

headed

with

the

skins

of lice,

and

sounds. The Sultan of Minang-Kabon

emit

a chord

of

twelve

different

woke daily to the sound of the

royal drum (gandang nobat). The drums are thought to have come into existence by their own will. They are also thought to be impervious to rot, nor can the sun blister them. Any person brushing past them would be felled to the ground by their magic power. In Veda* writings, the drum was not only beaten, but invoked to *Ancient sacred scriptures of the Hindus of India.

274.

ward

DRUMS

away

danger,

such

as demons

and

enemies.

The

IN THE

drum

AMERICAS

was

also

used in sacrifices and battle. The warriors worshiped it, and before playing the drum, a mantra or charm was spoken into it. The Hindu Brahmans believe that the Creator invented the first drum, which he made from the blood-soaked earth of this enemy, a demon god whom he defeated in battle. The first Indian drums were called ‘“‘myrdangras,” or clay-bodied drums. By covering the drum with the skin of an enemy, one acquires his

vigor. This was a well-known Central and South America. One

magic

rite among

ancient writer tells in detail how

the Amerindians

of

an Inca king, entering his

capital after a rebellion, had the complete skin stripped from the live bodies of six subjugated chiefs. He then inflated them into human shapes and ordered his soldiers to drum upon the stomachs. The skin from the entire body

was removed

and stuffed with straw, except the

stomach. A drum form was placed in the stomach. It produced an aver-

age-size drum which was carried beat it with two large mallets.

by

several

soldiers;

one

performer

The drum was also used by the Incas in their courting and wooing ceremonies. After the parents had given consent, a small hut was con-

structed for the daughter outside the family hut. The

girl had to stay

inside with her food and other wants satisfied by the family. The suitor is required to make a belt of the bones of different animals which he has killed. For eight days he was required to remain outside and

beat a drum (pimpim, a kettledrum) and move his body to cause pieces of bone in the belt to move and rattle; and at the end of the eight days, if he did not please the father, he was rejected.’” The Mayas and the Aztecs in their bloody wars speedily reduced

their unfortunate captives to service as drum heads. They believed that the relatives of those sacrificed would hear the sounds of their dearly

departed in battle and would take fright and flee in terror.

With the Chukchee in northeastern Sibera, the shaman is a medicine

man and a

priest of Shamanism. He is believed to possess great powers.

In his rituals the drum and the rattle are used to bring on “possession.”

The shaman sits at the master’s place near the back wall, and even in the most limited sleeping room some free space must be reserved around him. The drum

tuned properly,

is carefully cared for, its head tightened, and if it is not

it is moistened

with urine and hung

up to dry for a

DRUMLORE

275

short time

over

a lamp.

The

shaman

sometimes

occupies

more

than

an hour in this procedure before he is satisfied with the drum. At last the light is put out and the shaman begins to perform. After making

or

a sea

mew,

to

some

preliminary

concentrate

sounds,

attention,

a slight rolling noise, like the buzzing

shaman

uses his drum

for modifying

the

such as that of a falcon shaman

of mosquitoes.

begins

to

Moreover

make

the

his voice, by placing it directly

before this mouth, then turning it at an oblique angle and beating it all the

while.

The

music

begins,

at first tender

and

soft, vague,

then

nervous and irregular. Like the noise of an approaching storm, it becomes louder and more decisive; now and then it is broken by wild cries like the raven’s croak, grebe’s laugh, sea mew’s wail, sniper’s

whistle,

and

the

falcon’s

and

eagle’s

screams.

The

music

becomes

louder, and the strokes on the drum become confused in one continuous

rumble—the bells, rattles and drums sound ceaselessly—there is a deluge of sounds. After a few minutes, all this noise begins to move the listeners, who are crouching down, pressed together in a most uncomfortable position, and they begin to lose the power to locate the source of the sounds and almost without any effort of imagination, the song and the drum

seem

to shift from

corner to corner,

or even

to move

about

without having any definite place at all. The shaman, after producing in his audience a hypnotic mental state, by suggestion and command,

is then able to impose his wishes upon them. The dreams, the aspirations, the beliefs and the attitude of a people are often reflected in myths, stories, narratives, and riddles. The tales about and connected with the drums are no exceptions.

REFLECTIONS

AND

PROJECTIONS

The history of the drum in the Americas follows the history of man

in these waters. When there were cultural changes, we find a reflection in the instruments used and the music produced. Music is not universal, but rhythm can be characterized as having

universal appeal. Rhythm is familiar to all men regardless of social, ethnic, or cultural background. We have not found exceptions to the

statement in the Americas. The King of Rhythm—the drum, is found in all the countries in the Americas in some form or fashion. Its construction has been conditioned by several factors: tradition, technology, ritual, ethnic origin, time, sound desired, materials available, and legal and social restrictions.

Wood, for the most part, is the most popular material used, but the trend toward the use of metal and plastics is mainfesting itself. By

headed

far, the grestest number

instruments,

but,

for

the

single-headed instruments. Most drums in the Americas

of drums

present,

in the Americas

there

is an

increase

are twoin

the

can be classified ethnically by their

construction, method of playing and use. All of these instruments are used for either secular

or ritualistic affairs.

Ethnically, drums can be divided into six categories, in the Americas: Amerindian, European-American, Aframerican, Oceanian, Asian-

American, and the instruments of mixed ethnic origin—those being mulatto or mestizo. All the Americas were inhabited by Amerindians at the time of 276

REFLECTIONS

AND

PROJECTIONS

277

the migration and conquest of this continent by Europeans, but there

was little homogeneity of indigenous rhythm—a fact which is even more true today. Little remains today of pure Indian instruments and music, and this is found in isolated areas.

Indians of the United States classify their drums as wet or dry, and break this down further by stating their use: ceremonial drums, social dance drums, and medicine drums. Only a few tribes make their drums today in the traditional way. Other tribes go to professional drum shops and drummakers for their instruments. Their instruments

have changed as much as their cultural habits.!

The Amerindian drums are the most widely dispersed, but are also

disappearing rapidly. These instruments are generally highly symbollically designed with figures painted on the skin or head. These instruments are played with sticks, portable, and when there is more than one

drummer, they play in unison. The

European-American

drums

are

manufactured,

two-headed*

sophisticated instruments concentrated on the whole in urban areas from Nome,

Alaska,

to Buenos

Aires, Argentina.

Aframerican drums, geographically, are found on the Northern and Eastern coasts of South America, the West Indies, and the urban areas of the United States where there is a large Caribbean population.

At one time, these instruments were very popular in the southern part

of the U.S.A., but have disappeared from this area due to legal restric-

tions placed on them. The Aframerican drums remained popular in the Caribbean, but are now being replaced by steeel drums in most areas.

Asiatic and Oceanic drums are limited in the Americas. The Asiatic

drums are found in Jamaica, Trinidad, British Honduras, British Guiana.

Barbados, Hawaii, California, and New York. Hawaii is the only place

in the Americas where these instruments have been absorbed into the regional music. The Oceanic drums are limited, almost exclusively, to Hawaii in the Americas. The drums of mixed ethnic origin in the Americas have taken on

characteristics which have set them apart from, and peculiar to, the American continent—for each of the ethnic groups has drumming styles and instruments which are unique to the group. European instrumental music is based on a formalized discipline requiring an extensive knowledge of technique and precision, having little *The tambourine, timpano, cocktail drum and “flat jack” are single-headed drums.

278

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

to do with a specific racial culture. Amerindian and Aframerican strumentation expresses and mainfests the culture of a people.

Because

of the relationship

of drumming

to the whole

in-

culture,

past and present, it is not advisable to study “Aframerican” or “Amerindian” drumming, as an isolated art.

In European culture, the retention of European drums seems more

likely, but their techniques of playing, and their rhythms, will be altered due to the impact of cultures with more advanced drumming traditions

and

techniques.

The use of non-European drums will probably increase in the Americas, or a new instrument will develop as the folk rhythms continue to mold into a new music which will typify American music. Euro-

pean drums are played a certain way and are manufactured so that all are the same,

therefore—a

score

can

be written

which

will produce

more or less equal results. Folk instruments are not hand made to any specifications; then too, some of the instruments are struck on the body

as well as on the head.

For example, there are the tambora

of the

Dominican Republic, the sewyak of Alaska, the chang ko of the KoreanAmericans, and the Puerto Rican bomba.

The present method of notation is inadequate for scoring folk drumming in the Americas, since it is impossible to indicate either how a sound is produced or its relative strength or weakness. In Western notation,

scores

based upon a

for

orchestrations

using

standardized instrument.

percussion

instruments

are

There are certain sounds used that cannot be scored; for example, the sliding of damp fingers across the head to produce a “squealing”

sound. This sound is used on the Haitian basse and arada drums as well as the Cuban bata drums. The effect is not always of the same quality or duration. The cracking of the instrument and sharpness of the beat cannot be noted with the present method used; much less, the polyrhythms that exist. For example, a set of three bata drums, used by the Lucumi

cult of Cuba,

are all two headed

and each head carries a

separate rhythm—it is as though six drums were being played. If the basic pattern was written for each head, the improvisation on one head would make the score worthless because hundreds of notations would have to be written if possible.

‘‘Afro” ritual drum patterns are not improvised; but there are many

REFLECTIONS

AND

PROJECTIONS

279

opportunities for improvisation within the framework of the basic pattern and improvisation changes with the mood and timing.

Recordings can be used for analyzing and understanding rhythms

but they have no clue as to technique of obtaining the sounds heard. At

best, they preserve the sounds and flavor. Aframerican drumming, for

generations a source of scorn and condemnation, is being recognized as having artistically contributed to the music of the world. So, it is important to preserve it for study and prosperity. that

It appears that there are six drums, other than American drums, can

be

classified

twin drums

steel

of Cuba,

drums

as indigenous

the “bongos,”

of Trinidad;

the

to the

American

timbales;

“flat jacks”

the surdos

of the

basses of Haiti; and the modern popular drum sets. The bongé

of Cuba

in construction,

continent—the

method

of Brazil;

United

States;

of playing,

the

the

position

held while being played, and the tuning of the instrument is surely uniquely American.” The timbales, the other twin drums of Cuba, vary in all the foregone

areas of difference

found

in the bongos, plus the

material used in their construction. The surdo of Brazil is a bass drum typified by having African,

European, and Amerindian instrument in all respects.

characteristics, thus making it an American

The method of playing is African; the position held during playing

European;

and the dimensional

construction

Amerindian—making

the

surdo typical of what one would expect to find in Brazil, a country on American soil, proud of its ethnic heritage. The “steel drums” of Trinidad are a product of the last fifteen years, born out of a crying need of expression on an island where the cultural tradition ranges from Asia to Africa and molded by Iberian and Anglo-Saxon rule. Many will classify the “steel drums” as a type of gong and, in some respects,

they

would

be

correct.

However,

the

drum

aspects

of

the

steel drums cannot be denied; it is more of a drum than a gong because of the method in which it is played and used in the orchestra. The

“flat jacks,”

a new

type

being manufactured

in the United

States, is a single-headed drum. The skin or head is suspended within

a metal

rim,

thirty

to thirty-six

inches

in diameter,

and

four

to six

inches in height. The metal tension brackets are welded to the inner *Africa has twin drums, but they are different in these particular respects.

280

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

surface of the rim. Either surface can be struck effectively—the instrument is made in all models of non-tunable European drums such as the snare, tom, bass, side and Scotch

European

drum

eliminated.

The

bass, with the bulk of the typical

“flat jacks”

are particularly

popular

with parade bands. The basse of Haiti is a frame-type drum with a handle. The skin is wrapped over a vine ring which is held in place with a vine tension ring laced to the frame body. The instrument is held in one hand

and played with the other. It is played by striking and rubbing.

The modern popular drum set is generally composed of four or five drums: the snared side drum, the bass, two tom tom and occasionally a slit drum, two metal cymbals, and last but not least, two sticks and two brushes. This set has European, Asian and African characteristics,

but was developed and popularized in the United States.

Drums of all kinds have been introduced into all parts of the world, yet many specific types become more rare each year. At the same time, few new ones are being developed. Therefore, drums are becoming more standardized each day. Some of the instruments re-

ported on in this text can only be found in museums. The folk instruments

from

folk

instrument

instrument, respectively. For

slaves

example,

and,

the

to

(drums)

in the Americas are being upgraded

ethnic,

Conga

at first, associated

popular,

drum with

national,

of Cuba

was

cult practices,

and

international

introduced and

later

by

used

the as a

secular instrument, which grew in popularity among the Afro-Cubans.

Through the Carnivals and small bands on the Island, the instrument became routine in all Cuban bands, and today, it is being introduced

more and more into popular dance bands in the United States. Band leader “Dizzy” Gillespie was responsible for the introduction of the Conga drum into the jazz field. We now occasionally hear this drum being used even with semi-classical and classical orchestras.

This process is also taking place with other folk instruments in the Americas. This acculturation process is also taking place in the

technique of playing. As in the practice of hitting and emphasizing the

second beat with a sharp sound (the seca)* on the Conga drum is now used in jazz. The drummer uses the left stick and produces the *“Seca’”’—a

sound

produced

by the right

hand—by

allowing

the

fingers

to fall from

the

small finger to the index finger on the head of the drum in the center with the head closed.

REFLECTIONS

AND

PROJECTIONS

281

sound by hitting the stick on the rim of the snare drum on every second

count, giving the flavor of a conga drum. The acculturation process acts

in both directions, in many instances. The folk instruments are being

used by classical musicians and it is not unusual to find a true folk musician using a highly sophisticated instrument, such as an electric guitar, in concert.

The instrument of the Americas could possibly be represented by an incomplete triangle with all the instruments being represented by the base line. One

side of the triangle

would

symbolize

the classical

instruments of Europe and the other side would be symbolic of the folk instruments. (The question now is, will the picture be finished when the triangle is complete, or will the configuration continue to form an hourglass symbol—only the future will tell.) The great masters of classical European

music

were

great

im-

provisers. Today few classical musicians are concentrating on this particular technique, their emphasis being on perfection. Losing the art of improvision has a tendency to impede growth and progressive development. If we ask a classical musician to play, he will play a composition, which in all probability will be one he is most familiar with or favors. If we ask a jazz musician to play, he may start with a familiar piece, but he can play for hours by improvising on this particular theme.

It is conceivable, that this may account for the growth and development

of the American music. The manner in which it is developing and taught,

offers an opportunity for self-projection and expression.

Classical musicians, who have become interested enough in jazz or other non-European music in the Americas, are learning its techniques and spanning this gap. Musicians in the Americas playing jazz or other non-Euopean type music, striving to broaden their horizons, are studying

the masters.

American

From

music,

these

probably

two

groups

it appears

lies in their hands,

music is going to develop all of its potentialities.

that

and,

the

future

if true,

of

American

One of the great uses of the drum has been as a special instrument.

Every possible form of social organization has been fostered and de-

veloped by its use. The drum will continue to serve man

its use

will

be’ limited

more

and

more

to leisure

or

socially, but

recreational

activities. The drum appeals primarily to muscular sense and secondarily to

all that is built upon this foundation. Time will not change this.

282

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

I have become conscious of several essential facts in studying the drums. All art and human achievement of the peoples throughout the world are independent. Music is not a universal language, but rhythmlike feeling is. Rhythms of the Americas were born in protest, then freedom and protest again, and now they are espoused by the youth of the world— regardless of which side of the Iron Curtain they may be from—these

youths

from

uncommitted

countries

are

all under

the

spell

of the

wonderful rhythms coming from the Americas. The physical structure of the drum is being constantly improved. I feel that the varieties of the drums will lessen as time goes by. The

single-headed drum will ultimately predominate, while the two-headed variety will gradually disappear because of the cost of production and the efficiency of the single-headed drum. The

groups.

future

It will

of drums

depend

on

in the Americas their

reactions,

is in the hands

their

of young

environment,

and

the

evaluation of their own heritage. Folklore is never stale—it is constantly changing with the needs of the people who produce it, and drums are a part of American folklore. Rhythmically,

the

drum

will

become

more

standard,

and

some

type of musical notation will be developed for the hand drum. At present, there is no adequate hand-drum pattern for jazz—

some day a boy from the United States will pick up a conga drum and play a pattern that will revolutionize hand drums in the Americas. It will be a boy who is not limited to the jazz or clave pattern.

Drums in the Americas appear in four types of music: primitive,

folk, popular, and classical. There has been no attempt to group these instruments as such, because much depends on geographical location. In certain

areas, one classification would

hold true, whereas

in another

it might not.

The American continent presents a complex musical culture different from that of any other area. It is populated by people from many lands and the music is generally admitted to reveal the most sociological knowledge of all the arts, and comes, as it does, directly from the people.

If culture could be defined as the sum total of all man’s activities

—then men,

drumming

and

drummaking,

two

activities

common

to most

could be called basic social activities.

They are social activities, because the ultimate aim of a drummer

REFLECTIONS

AND

PROJECTIONS

283

is to drum for an audience, and not for his gratification; therefore, the study of drums should unveil some understanding of the cultures of

men.

There

is one thing I know

with certainty,

and that is the drum

has been a part of man’s culture for a very long time, and that it is

here to stay.

Glossary Acculturation—The exchange that takes place when two cultures come in contact and there is borrowing between them. Acorn—tThe playing end of a snare drumstick, also called head, point, and button. Adufe—A square shaped drum from Brazil, sometimes called Pandeiro. Agan—Two pieces of iron hit together to space and time the instruments in a folk

band in Curacao.

Agbasi or Aposi—A two-headed cult drum, found in Haiti. Agida—A bowed stick used to play the “seconde drum” of Haiti. Agidavi—An Afro-Brazilian drumstick. Agogo—A two-headed Brazilian bell. Agua—An Afro-Martinique two-headed drum, made from a rum keg. Agueré—A single-headed Afro-Cuban drum. Aidjé (Hippopotamus) —A bullroarer, or thunder-stick, of the Bororo Indians of Brazil. Alabe Huntor—A Brazilian drummer. Amata—An Amerindian kettledrum, made from South American pottery. Angono-Puita—An Afro-Brazilian cult drum with a single head and a barrel-shaped

body.

Arara—The pegged single-headed footed drums used by the Arara cults in Cuba— a cult built around the Gods and rites of the Yoruba theology. Assot—(Arm Board Drum). A board of suitable length, held in the left hand resting on the forearm and struck with a stick in the right hand. (Haiti). Atabal—A small drum, used by the natives of Central America and the West Indies —the atabal, or tambor, is a slit drum used by the Siboneyes, a former Amerindian tribe of Cuba. It is a hollowed log with two lips; one lip with a higher tone than the other. Atabales—A single-headed drum found in Nicaragua. Atabaque—A generic term used for Afro-Brazilian single-headed drums used by the cultist. Atsimevu—An African master drum, five-and-a-half feet long, with a single head. Baguette—A drumstick, or a stick used to play any musical instrument in Haiti. Bakiri nampe de moropo—A nanigo friction drum used for funerals, by the Abakuas of Cuba.

284

GLOSSARY

OF UNUSUAL

DRUMS

AND

TERMS

285

Bambula—A single headed drum found in Martinique, formerly made from bamboo. Bandes—A group of Haitians preparing for Mardi-Gras competition.

Banjo Drum (Viola)—A drum in Cuba. Barrel Drum—A

Bass Drum—A

banjo

with strings removed

and the body

used as a

drum made from a barrel.

two-headed cult drum found in Jamaica.

Basket Drum—aA ceremonial basket used as a drum by the Navaho Indians. Battery—Two or more similar drums used in a group. Beleme—The fringe around the symbolic nanigo drums. Bell—A metal cow bell with the clapper removed, used as a percussion instrument. Bitut—A generic term for percussion instruments. (Hindu) Board Drum—A long board raised a few inches above the ground by blocks—

players sit along side beating it with a short stick (Amerindian Maiden drum).

Bombo—A very large European type drum used all over South America—a generic Spanish-American term for bass drum. Bones—Animal ribs used as a percussion instrument by striking them together—

the instrument is found in both North and South America.

Bongo (Dhole)—A two-headed drum of India found in Trinidad. Bongon (Signal Drum)—A skinless drum of Africa, with two lips, carved from a log. Bombam—A bamboo slit drum with two lips—found in Hawaii and used by watchmen for signaling alarm. Bop Trommel—Shallow snare Jazz drum. Botija—A bottle jug, used in Cuba as a wind instrument. Bototé or Bututu or Botuté—A skinless drum of the Amerindians of Venezuela, made from a hollowed tree trunk. Also a stamping tube struck rhythmically in a hole in the ground. Box Drum-Kolookock—Eskimo square drum used in night chants. Box Heel Drum—An Amerindian drum made from a box. The drummers sit on the box and kick it with their heels. Brake Band—An automobile brake drum, used as a bell in the steel bands of Trinidad. Bribri—A Costa Rican drum, three feet in length, six inches in diameter at the head. This drum is hewn from a solid piece of wood and fitted with a tight head of iguana skin. It is played with hands, and goblet shaped. Bricamo—An Afro-Cuban single-headed cult drum. Brushes—Metal brushes used as drumsticks in modern jazz bands. Bullroarer—A piece of flat wood carved in an oval fashion, placed on a string and used as a musical instrument by whirling. Bunt (Arara) Drum—An Arara cult instrument of Cuba. Bututu or pututu—The primitive trumpet of Bolivian Indians; also a primitive flute of South American Indians; and also a war trumpet consisting of several superposed clay jars. Cabaca (calabash)—A gourd with network of beads, used as a rattle externally. It is struck and shaken. Cachimbo or Pipe—A long cylindrical Afro-Cuban drum played by two drummers, one with bare hands and one with sticks.

Cachoe—Signal horn of Curacao.

286

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

Cocoon Rattles—Ankle rattles of cocoons made for dancing by Amerindians. Caixa (taro or tarol)—-A two-headed Brazilian drum thought to be of European origin. Caixa also means box in Portuguese. Caixa de Guerra—A Portuguese or Brazilian drum. Caixa de Rufo—A Brazilian box drum. Caja—A small (Aymara) Amerindian drum often called “Pequeno.” A_ twoheaded hand drum found in Latin-America. Caja—A small Bolivian drum with two skins and played with sticks. A generic Spanish name for all kinds of two-headed drums. Cajero—Player of the skin portion of the Yuka drum of Cuba. Cajita China (Nbogoi)—A small hollow box used as a drum or a drum accessory known to be of Chinese origin. Cajon, El (Box) Any box played with the hands in Cuba.

Caqueltrum—A

Caramba—A

two-headed Araucanian Amerindian hollow log drum.

two-headed drum used in San Salvador. It is similar to the European

bass drum and is played with one drumstick padded on the end.

Carimbo—A drum of the Brazilian negroes. Cata—Afro-Cuban drum without a skin, played

with

sticks. It is also a Haitian

board or box used as a time keeping instrument. Catalier (One who catas)—The drummer who plays on the body of drum or bax

with two sticks carrying the basic rhythm. (Haiti) Catter—A Jamaican mortar drum made from a solid round piece of wood, played with sticks. Chang-Ko— (Long Drum) Korean Drum found in California. Chapi—A hoe used in Curacao as a percussion instrument.

Chata—A drum found in the Oriental province of Cuba. It is a small barrel covered with calfskin.

Chelcheles—A Peruvian tambourine. Chirique—Amerindian drum, made of clay vessel divided into two chambers, found

in Central America.

Chocalho—A Brazilian type maraca with rattles on the outside. Ciye—Haitian term: A sound provided by rubbing the fingers over the head Coco

the drum.

of

de Efik Obutén, E]—A skinless friction drum made from a coconut shell. It is used by the nanigos of Cuba. Codex—A manuscript volume. The early writings of the Mayas and the Aztecs of Mexico, are referred to as Codices. Coeroema—A kettledrum of Surinam played with two sticks on its sheepsskin head. Combite or Coumbite drums— (Haitian) Country side drums used to set the pace for the worker in the fields. Comparsa—A large group of Afro-Cuban dancers performing a ritual dance in procession. The procession is headed by men carrying huge lantern-shaped silken boxes. (Farolas). These “farolas” are dedicated to African Gods. The drums beat out a definite rhythm. The dancing and infectious music attracts many people. Conga—A large Cuban drum—also an Afro-Cuban dance named after the drum and characterized by the extreme violence of accents on the strong beat in every other bar of a basic two-measure phase. Corda de Linka—The lacing on a Brazilian pegged-headed drum.

GLOSSARY

OF

UNUSUAL

Coyapa—Amerindian

DRUMS

AND

drum. One-headed

TERMS

237

goblet-shaped body.

Creole Drum—Afro-Surinam drum used by the townspeople. Cucumbi—A Brazilian drum—also an Afro-Brazilian song-pantomime similar to the “congada.” Culo-en-Tierra (Buttock in the earth)—A small Afro drum made from a coconut shell and found in Cuba and Venezuela. Cumonagoto or Cavarre—Venezuelan Amerindian slit drum played with two sticks. Cununi—A large Colombian jungle drum, made from a burned-out hollow tree trunk, covered with monkey hide. Curimbo—A large conga type drum played with the hands in northern part of Brazil. It is used in the Saint Benedict festival near Quatipuru. Cusuco—A Furruco type friction drum found in Colombia. Cymbal—A large flat piece of metal used as a percussion instrument. De Torno—A Brazilian drum with pegs inserted in the body to hold the skin. It is played with sticks. Dia de Reyes:—It was customary before slavery was abolished for the slaves to choose a local king and queen who was to represent them during the year. After the ceremony the royal family and attendants formed a procession to the local officials’ home, for a gift and recognition. This procession was accompanied by the head of conga drums and dancing in the street. The comparsas today are a preservation of this custom.

Diti de Alabés—The annual event of feeding the drums in Afro-Brazilian cult life.

Drum Set—Two or more drums of similar construction used in a group. Dundun—(Gongon) Adona (Kulunga in Nigeria)—A two-head pressure drum of Africa—a famous African talking drum. Durun—A two-headed South American Indian drum. It appears to be a copy of a European drum played with sticks. Fardela—Paste used on Iya (Bata drum of Cuba). Field Drum—A snare drum played with two sticks, used in parades. Ferrinho (Friction Drum)—A Brazilian friction drum. Fife—A Wind instrument belonging to the flute class but in the key of “B”. Fondeador—A two-headed drum, used in Cuba with the repicador tambora. Fondeadora—(tambor) A Cuban drum of European origin. Frame Drum—A ring covered with a skin. Friction—(1) The act of rubbing. (2) Resistance of one surface to the motion of another surface rubbing over it. Frijao Fradinko—Food of the drums in Afro-Brazilian cult rites. Frijideiro—A small frying pan used as a percussion instrument in Brazil. Fungador—A drum of the Afro-Brazilian people. Furruco—A friction drum of Venezuela. Gangarria—Also called Cencerro or campana: A Cuban bell used as a percussion instrument. Gankogui—A two-head African bell. Ganza—A cylinder rattle with stones inside, used as a musical instrument in Brazil. It is called Cha Cha in Trinidad. Glissandi—The sound is obtained by rubbing the finger or fingers over the drum head. (Cuba) in English, Glissando. Gongonta (Akoge)—Two metal rings placed on the thumb and middle finger and

288

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

struck together to set the time for African music. The sound and function are similar to the Cuban clave. Gongiié “Call”—A small dance drum used in Brazil to call the dancers. Goombay—A solid block of wood played with sticks in Jamaica. Gran Cassa (Big Box)-——Italian bass drum. Guagiiero—The stick drummer who plays the body of the drum. (Yuka drum of Cuba). Gudugudu, E]—A fro-Cuban drum.

Giiegiié—A Cuban cult drum of the Araras.

Guin—A friction stick used on E] Coco de Efik Obuton drum. Giiiro or Guayo—A serrated gourd. Guizo—A sleigh bell in Brazil. Gumbie—A barrel-shaped Jamaican drum. It is one foot long, and hewn from a log. It has a single head of goatskin nailed to the body. Gurugi— (Arara Drum)—A Cuban cult Arara drum. Guzunga—A cylindrical Brazilian drum held under the armpit by a leather strap. It is single-headed and played by bare hands. Hand Drum—A small drum held in one hand and played with a stick in the other. Helix—The butt of the first twig used and the tip of the last twig in a Navaho basket. Hembra—The female skin of the bongo drum or large head. Hormigo—A slit drum of Guatemala. Hountor, Huntor—The spirit of the Vodoun drums; sometimes understood as a loa (god) who may possess the drummer. Hu—A large Afro-Brazilian drum. Huacane Puno—A large Peruvian drum with two heads and played with padded sticks. Huancar—A flat drum of Bolivia and Peru, covered with membrane on both ends. Huancar—Generic term for drum in Peru (Quechua). Also a Peruvian Indian term for large drum. Huitana—A gourd drumstick used for the Tinya of Peru. Ilua—A Brazilian drum made from a barrel. Ingome—An Afro-Brazilian cult drum made from staves. Ingome de Aloia—A Brazilian cult drum made from a barrel. Ka—A Brazilian drum found in Brazil] and the West Indies, it is also a Haitian dance. Kalookock (Box Drum)—An Eskimo box drum used in their night chants. Kel-you—This is another term for sewyak—Eskimo frame drum. Kentun—An Eskimo drumstick. Kettledrum—A single-headed, closed body drum. Kimbumba—A drum the same as the tumbandera, or the tingotalango in Cuba. Kin-Kou (Chinese)—A large, two-headed Chinese drum on a stand, used as a signal for singing. Kou or Ku Drum—A Chinese drum. Ku—A Chinese tambourine made of terra cotta dating from the reign of Emperor Chuien-Noung, before Christ. Kultrun or Ralicultrun—An Amerindian drum made from half a calabash and played with very small thin sticks. It is used by medicine men. (Machis). Kumba or Kumbé—An Afro-Brazilian drum.

GLOSSARY

OF UNUSUAL

DRUMS

AND

TERMS

289

Kunger—A Brazilian drummers’ game or dance. Special rhythm is consecrated to those who play the drums. The challenger takes his place in front of the drummer with a handkerchief in each hand; the steps of the dancers take the initial basic change; the drummer then loses and visa-versa. Lali—A large, headless, Polynesian, slit drum found in Tahiti and Hawaii.

Le—Drum

of the Candombles of Bahia. It is Afro-Brazilian and is used with two

other drums—Rum and Rumpi. Llamador (Caller)—The second drum

in the Cuban Conga Set.

Macho—The male skin of the bongé drums or small head.

Madrinha—The Godmother to the baptized drum in Afro-Brazilian cult life. Magtiey—Ancient slit drum, made of a hollow tree trunk, once in use among the Indians of Santo Domingo. (Dominican Republic). Manguaré—A large Colombian drum, similar to the Mexican Teponaxtle, made of a hollowed-out tree trunk with a hole in the center. Mapachera—A regional Mexican drum. Maracas—A dried gourd with seeds or stones inside used as a rattle. It is called Asson in Haiti, Cha Cha in Jamaica, and Maraka in Curacao. Marassas—A twin Haitian drum made of wood, but occasionally made from tin cans. The instrument is played in concerts, with a guitar and marimba. Mayohuacan—Tadoumé6n—A culinary utensil covered with skin. It was used as a drum, by the Cuban Indians. Mayoca—A keg friction drum used in the Kinfuiti Orchestra of Cuba. Mbamba—A small, Afro-Cuban, friction drum made from a small keg. Meiao—An Afro-Brazilian drum made from a log.

Mela—A

two-headed drum from India.

Mine—A large low flat Afro-Venezuelan drum, hung on a tree and played like a gong, with two sticks. It is used in the Tuy region. Moyen—The second drum of the Haitian Rada Set. M’ridang—A kettledrum found in Trinidad. Mula—The name given to a large Conga drum in Cuba. Mulungi—A large Afro-Brazilian frame drum played with the hands. A singlehead type tambourine. Mumboma—An Afro-Cuban friction drum. Munén—These are feather sticks on the symbolic drum of the Nainigos. Muré-Muré—A native drum of the Guarany Indians of Paraguay. Music Sticks—Two pieces of wood used to set the tempo for a dance. Nanda—A medium-sized Apinti drum of Surinam. Nanigo Drums—The cult drums of Cuba. Ndango—-A small African harp from British East Africa. Ndere—An African bamboo flute (Uganda). Ndingidi—An African tube fiddle. Ngalabi (Long Drum)—A goblet-shaped African drum with a reptile head. Ngoma—An Uganda laced kettledrum. Nsasi—An African gourd rattle of British East Africa. Nugara-Bongo—A two-headed drum found in Trinidad and thought to be a copy of an instrument of India. Obeah or Obi—An African cult of Jamaica.

Obiapa (Opener)—A in Cuba.

small nafiigo, single-headed drum

played with the fingers

290

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

Ocarina—An aerophone played like a flute. O Daiko—A Japanese drum with a convex wooden body and two tacked heads. Ogans—Cult drummers of Brazil. Also metal blocks, used in Haiti as bells. Ogudu—An Afro-Cuban drum. Oja—tThe dress of the drum during the baptism in Afro-Brazilian cult rites. A colored cloth draped around the drum. Ok Tsusumi—A Japanese, two-headed, finger drum. Okuelé—An Afro-Cuban drum. Olmaitl—A stick used in playing the Teponaztli drum of Mexico. Olubata—A bata drummer. Omelé—The cuica, a friction drum of Brazil and referred to occasionally as Omelé. Onomatopoeia—The formation of words in imitation of natural sounds: rumble, hiss, buzz, or splash. Oral Session—The meeting of several drummers without the advantage of drums. One starts a basic rhythm orally and others take up the counterpart and solo part and so on. The drummers give out with sounds one would expect to hear from a drum. Padrinho—The Godfather to the drum in Afro-Brazilian cult life. Pagan—An unbaptized cult drum in Brazil. Pahu—A Polynesian kettledrum. Paila—A large cooking utensil, made of copper, covered with skin and played with two sticks. Now being replaced by the timbales in Cuba. Pailero—A Paila drummer. Pake—A Polynesian slit drum. Palito—Afro-Cuban drumstick used on the side of the drum. Pandeireta—A Portuguese-Brazilian drum. Pandereta—A Dominican Republic tambourine. Panya or Bon—A big drum of Jamaica played with sticks. Papa Hehi—A Hawaiian stamping board. Papa-Loi—A voodoo priest. Pechu Di Calumba—A bow placed on a box and plucked in Curacao. Petro—A generic name for a body-laced drum used in Haitian Petro rites, also a ritual dance named after the legendary character, Don Pedro. Pfutu-Huancar—A species of the Peruvian drum Huancar. Phutuca—A drum used by the Aymara Indians of Central Andean plateau. Pilon—E],—A culinary utensil used to prepare food, and also used as a drum. Pimpim—A wooden kettledrum of the Chaco Indians consisting of a mortar half filled with water and covered with goatskin. Pitodo—A Brazilian whistle used as a musical instrument. Plank Drums—Indian (arapai-caribo drums used at mask dances). Po-Ku—Chinese term for drum. Pre-conquest or pre-Columbian or pre-Cortes—before the coming of the Europeans. Printi—An African footed and pegged head drum. Puhi—A Polynesian dance drum from the Society Islands. Puhi-Hula (Hula Drum)—A Polynesian footed kettledrum. Puilli—Hawaiian rhythm sticks. Puita (same as Cuica)—A friction drum of Brazil. Qaiyum (The Singing God)—An Amerindian drum found in Centrai America and used by the Lacandones. It is considered a God.

GLOSSARY

OF UNUSUAL

DRUMS

AND

TERMS

291

Qua-Qua—An Afro-Surinam, hard sounding board, elevated on one side, and beaten like a drum. Quereré—A Brazilian cylindrical-type drum made from a solid log. The skin is held to the body by pegs. Quijada—A popular instrument in Cuba, made of the jawbone of a jackass, and used as a rhythm instrument. Quinto—A name given to any drum in a group which carries the solo or is free to ad lib at will. (Cuban term). Quinto Box—A box with two sloping sides forming a narrow bottom and played as a drum; it is played as a solo instrument in Cuba. Raspador—A serrated stick or a small stick of bamboo in Brazil. Rattle Drumstick—North American Indian rattle made like a drum, with a handle, containing stones or beads. It is used as both a drumstick and a rattle. Repicador—A Panamanian, single-skin drum used with a tambora in the tam-

borito dance; it is also a drum which carries the principal rhythm in a street

band. Reco-Reco—A metal cylinder containing beads used as a percussion instrument. Redondo (Tambor)—A Venezuelan, two-headed drum hewn from a tree log. Rite de Alabés—The annual event of feeding the drums in Afro-Brazilian cult life. Rubinho—An Afro-Brazilian drum; the smallest of three used in ceremonies. The other two are the rum and contrarum. Runatinya—A drum of human skin once known in South America. Salidor—The opening drum of the Bembé cult drums of Cuba.

Sambura—A two-headed Venezuelan drum.

Sansa Santo

(Mbira)—An African thumb piano. Drum—A bata drum of Afro-Cuban

around the Matanzas area.

origin,

used

in the “Santo”

rhythms

Serpent Giiiro—A long gourd, painted to represent a serpent and serrated to convert into a guiro; it is a percussion instrument. Shaman Drum—A drum used by a native priest or holy man. Sisal Cord—A cord made from hemp fibers. Sistrum—A rattle made of metal jingles in a frame. Socador—An Afro-Brazilian drum. Solo Drum—The instrument that carries the intricate rhythms. Sonajas—The Mexican name for Maracas. Song Whistle—An aerophone. Sounding Drum—The same as a signal drum.

Surdo (Mute)—A Brazilian name given to the drum sound. Tambor Surdo is a muted drum.

and boxes of non-intense

Taiwan—A single-head drum from Formosa, used by the Ami tribe. Tamaraca—A primitive Brazilian drum of the tabaqué type. Tambor—A generic name, derived from Spanish, for drums of all kinds and sizes. Tambor de Criollo (Tambér-de-crioulo)—(Drum of the native). A set of three cylindrical drums in Brazil. The largest, Tambor; medium, Meiao; and the smallest, Quereré. Tamborin—A large, two-headed, Guatemalan Indian drum. Tambou—A Louisiana creole generic term for drum. Tambour—A Haitian drum. Tambourine—A small drum used in secular-type dances of Haiti.

292

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

Tambour-Travaille—The work drum of Haiti. Tambu—A cylindrical-shaped drum of the Brazilian negroes. Also a small singleheaded drum in Curacao, and a single-headed drum from the Dominican Republic. Tartaruga—A Brazilian medium-sized drum. Tatu Drum—An Armadillo shell drum of Central America. Tchillihuas—The snares on the Pfutu drum of Peru.

Tchou—Idiophone drums used in the Chinese court ceremonies for signaling the commencing of the music.

Tercero—An Afro-Cuban cult drum of the nanigos.

Terno—(trio)—A set of three Brazilian cult drums. Tetl—The “sonorous stone” of the Mayas, usually with a perforation in the center for better resonance. Tibet Skull Drum—A drum made from a human skull, found in Tibet. Tikuna—The tortoise-shell Indian drum of South America. Timbal—A goatskin covered clay vessel filled with water and used as a drum by certain tribes in Argentina. Timbal—A horizontal drum covered with animal hide on one side and left open on the other end, from the West Indies. Timpano—A Brazilian kettledrum. Tina Malu—tThe long strings on the Bata drum of Cuba. Tina 6wo—Transversal thongs of the bata drum of Cuba. Tingotalango—An Afro-Cuban ground harp (drum), another name for Tumbandera, and Kimbumba. Tintaya—A form of tambourine used by the Indians of the South American altiplano. Tinya—A Peruvian Indian term for small drum, also a five- or six-string guitar in Peru. Tom Tom—A term used for the barrel drum of Louisiana which is played with two shank bones. Touette—A Polynesian slit drum. Triangle-—A metal rod bent in a triangle shape, and used as a musical instrument. Triquete—A three-footed drum of Cuba.

Trocano—A

horizontal drum of Paraguay and Brazil, consisting of a burned-out

tree trunk set on two wooden tripods. Ttinya— (Quechua) a term for hand drum. Tuili—A Somoan slit drum. Tumbadora—A drum that keeps the basic beat of the Cuban Conga Tumbandera—Another name for tingotalango and kimbumba. Tun—A slit drum found in Guatemala, also a two-membrane drum Salvador by the Amerindians, thought to be a copy of the European Tuncal—A Mayan Indian term used for a slit drum. Turtle Rattle—A turtle shell sealed with small stones inside, with serted and used as a rattle. Tymale—A two-headed Haitian drum played with sticks.

Tympani—A

European kettledrum.

U—A Chinese idiophone friction drum. Uanana—A turtle shell friction drum found in Brazil. Uapi—A vertical Indo-Brazilian drum.

set. used in San snare drum. a handle

in-

GLOSSARY

OF UNUSUAL

DRUMS

AND

TERMS

293

Ubata—An Afro-Brazilian drum. Uchiwa—A Japanese fan drum. Ufié—An Afro-Cuban friction drum. Vaccine—A Haitian bamboo trumpet. Vellum—A European term meaning drum head. Veve—A symbolic design drawn on the ground in Haiti to invoke the loa, or “god”’ at ceremonies. The design is made of wheat, maize, flour or ash. Vodoun (Voodoo) Drums—The ritual drums of Haiti. Waisted Drums—Drums made with the middle smaller in diameter, than the foot or mouth. Wiri—A pipe cut lengthwise and serrated; used for a musical instrument in Curacao. Yin—A friction stick used on the “ekué”—Afro-Cuban drum. Yuka—An Afro-Cuban drum used in sets of three with a straight cylindrical body. Zambumba (Zambumera)—A large Brazilian, two-headed drum supported by a shoulder strap. It is also called Bumbo or Bombo. Zacatan—The same as the Aztec huehuetl. It is a single-headed, Amerindian drum —‘‘Maya.”

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Notes PREFACE 1. Gerbrands, A. A., 1957. p. 133. INTRODUCTION 2. Edgerly, B., 1942. pp. 3-6. 3. Wissler, C., 1923. 4. Murdock, G. P., 1963.

CHAPTER 1 5. Coleman, S. N., 1931. pp. 3-8. 6. New Oxford History of Music. pp. 255-262. (1954). 7. Sachs, C., 1940. pp. 288-290. 8. Ibid., p. 436. 9. Apel, Willi, 1944. p. 564. 10. Stevenson, R., 1959. pp. 17-43. CHAPTER 2 11. Sachs, C., 1940 pp. 454-457. 12. Marti, S., 1955. 13. Caso, A., 1958. CHAPTER 3 14, Herskovits, M. J. 1937. pp. 181-183. 15. Shivas, Andrew

A., 1957.

16. Wissler, C., 1922. pp. 145-148. 17. Moule, A. C., 1958. pp. 1-159. 18. Ortiz, F., 1955, Vol. ITI.

19. Courlander, H., 1939. p. 74. 20. Lekis, L., 1960.

21. Mason, B. S., 1938. pp. 150-158. 22. Deren, M., 1953. pp. 65-66. CHAPTER 4 23. Densmore, F., 1936, The American Indians and Their Music.

24. Ibid, p. 70.

312

NOTES

313

25. Ibid. p. 68. 26. Wissler, C., 1922. pp. 145-148 27. Edgerly, B., 1942. p. 40. CHAPTER 5 28. Driver, H. E., 1961. 29. Spencer, R. F., 1959. p. 215.

30. Roberts, H. H. and Diamond

31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43.

Jenness, 1925.

Shade, Charles, I., 1949. Honigman, J. J., 1949. Edgerly, B., 1942. pp. 52-56. Krause, A., 1956. Drucker, Philip, 1951. Driver, H. E., 1961 pp. 212-223. Barrett, S. A., 1916 p. 17. Kroeber, A. L., 1925. Driver, H. E., (c) 1961. pp. 216-217. Stewart, O. C., 1941. Ray, Verne F., 1933. Driver, H. E., (c1961). pp. 212-223. Fletcher, A. C. and F. La Fleshe, 1911. p. 371.

44. Dickerson, P. J., 1906.

45. Cooper, J. M., 1956. 46. Bowers, A. W., 1950. 47. Lesser, A., 1933.

48. McAllister, D. P., 1949. 49. Hallowell, A. Irving, 1955.

50 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59.

Densmore, F., 1929, Chippewa Customs. pp. 95-96. Ibid. p. 157. Mason, Bernard S., 1938. Barrett, S. A., 1911. pp. 261-268. Speck, F. G., 1935. p. 169. Tanner, V., 1944. Wallis, Wilson D. and Ruth Sawtell Wallis. 1955. Newcomb, W. W. Jr. 1956. p. 66. Speck, F. G., 1945. Driver, H. E. (1961) pp. 212-218.

61. 62. 63. 64. 65.

Tschopik, H., Jr. 1941. Haile, B., 1938. Iliff, F. G., 1954. Lange, C. H., (c1959), Cochiti. pp. 175-176. Bunzel, R. L., 1932.

60. Reichard, G. A., 1950.

66. Densmore, F., 1929, Papago

Music.

67. Bennett, W. C. and R. M. Zingg, 1935. 68. Castaneda, Daniel and Vicente T. Mendoza. 1933. pp. 36-100. CHAPTER 6 69. Slonimsky, N. p. 201. 1949. 70. Conzemius, Edward, 1932. 71. Skinner, Alanson, 1920. pp. 86-88. 72. Stout, David B., 1947. pp. 98-99. CHAPTER 7 73. Stevenson, R. M. 1960. 74. Rowe, J. H., 1946. 75. Tschopik, Harry J., 1946. p. 556. 76. Titiev, Mischa, 1951. p. 34. 77. Izikowitz, K. G., 1935. p. 166. 78. Métraux, A., 1939.

314 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92.

DRUMS

Vega, Carlos, 1946. pp. 133-146. Rosen, Count Eric Von, 1924. p. 147. Izikowitz, K. G., 1935. p. 16. Camara Cascudo, Luis da, 1954. pp. 620-621. Izikowitz, K. G., 1935. p. 179. Kroeber, A. L., 1925. pp. 96-216. Church, C. E., 1912. Izikowitz, K. G., 1935. p. 14. Karsten, R., 1935. pp. 108, 264, 423. Rivet, P., 1907. p. 585. Nimuendaju, C., 1952. Izikowitz, K. G., 1935. pp. 12-13. Gillin, J., 1936. Armstrong, J., 1948.

CHAPTER 8 93. White, C., 1960. pp. 135-193. 94. Idelson, A. Z., 1929. 95. Edgerly, B., 1942. pp. 138-144. 96. Sachs, C., 1913. pp. 291-292 CHAPTER 9 97. Ibid, 1940. 98. White, C., 99. Shivas, A. 100. Alvarenga, 101. White, C.,

p. 435. 1960. p. 143. A., 1957. p. 35. O., 1947. p. 259. 1960. pp. 123-129.

CHAPTER 10, Part A 102. Jones, A. M., 1959, p. 51. 103. Timi of EDE, Laoye I Odu, 1959 104. Deren, M. 1953. pp. 65-67. 105. Herskovits, M. J. 1941. pp. 86-107. 106. Talley, T. W.

1922.

107. Herskovits, M. J. 1954. CHAPTER 10, Part B 108. Parrinder, E. G. 1952. p. 25. 109. Cable, G. W. Feb. 1886 110. Anderson, J. Q. June 1960 111. Cable, G. W. Feb. 1886. pp. 517-531. 112. Courlander, H., April 1942. pp. 28, 227-240. 113. Mars, J. P. 1954. pp. 74-84 114. Fisher, M. M. 1953

CHAPTER 10, 115. Herskovits, 116. Mars, J. P. 117. Herskovits, 118. Mischel, F. 119. Slonimsky,

Part C M. J. 1937. 1954 M. J. 1944. pp. 477-4921 April 1957 N. 1949. p. 117.

CHAPTER 11 120. Alvarenga, Q. 1947. 121. Herskovits, M. J. 1936. 122. Kolinski, M., 1936

123. Timi of Ede, L.I.O. Mar. 1959 124a. Ramon y Rivera, 1956, pp. 32-37. 124b. Ibid., 1962. p. 6. 125a. Calcano, J. A., 1939 125b. Slonimsky, N., 1945, p. 289

IN THE

AMERICAS

315

NOTES

126. Chase, Gilbert, 1945 127. Ortiz, Fernando, 1935. 128. Courlander, H., 1942.

129. Ortiz, F. 1955, Vol. IV, pp. 205-342. 130. Timi of Ede, Laoye I. 1959. p. 12. 131. Ortiz, F. V 4. 1955, pp. 1-84.

132. Dennert,

H., 1957.

133. 134. 135. 136. 137. 138. 139.

Coopersmith, J. M., 1932. Ramon y Rivera Luis Felipe and Isabel Aretz, 1963. Roberts, H. H., 1924. Ibid., 1926. Beckwith, M. 1929 Anderson, J. Q. 1960. Jarvis, J. 1958.

141. 142. 143. 144. 145. 146. 147. 148.

Herskovits, M. J., 1941. pp. 207-260. Carr, Andrew, 1953. pp. 35-54. Simmonds, A. W., 1959 Roumain, J., 1943 Metraux, A., 1959, p. 185. Cable, G. W., 1886 Courlander, H. 1942. p. 156. Ibid, Apr. 1942, pp. 130-131.

140. Pearse, Andrew.

1952.

149. Herskovits, M. J. 1958

150. Courlander, H., 1939, p. 71.

CHAPTER 12 151. New Oxford History of Music, 1954, pp. 83-133. 152. Moule, A. C., 1958. 153. Malm, W., 1959, pp. 24-66. CHAPTER 13 154. Buck, H. P. 1957, pp. 405-408 155. Ibid., 1957, p. 397. 156. Malm, W., 1959, p. 116

157a. Fox-Strongways, A. H., 1914 CHAPTER 14 157b. Jones, A. M. 1959. pp. 50-71. 157c. Carrington, John F, 1949, 158a. Timi of Ede, Laoye L., 1959. pp. 5-14. 158b. Rattray, R. S., 1959, pp. 5-8. CHAPTER 15 159. Sach, C., 1958, p. 269 160. Ibid., 1958. Page 269. 161. Jones. A. M. 1959, Vol. 1, pp. 1-15. 162. Sachs, C. 1940. p. 446. 163. Densmore, F., 1936. 164. Herskovits, M. J., 1936. Kahn, M. C., 1954, pp. 6-8 165. Courlander, H., Apr. 1942 166. Ortiz, F., 1935 167. Stearns, M., 1957, p. 248. 168. Waterman, R. A., 1952 Ortiz, O. N., 1956, pp. 68-69

169. Herskovits, M. J. 1937. Harris, P. G. 1932. 170. Izikowitz, K. G., 1935, p. 164. Mason, B. S., 1938, p. 150.

316

DRUMS

171. Geiringer, K., 1959, p. 52. 172. Feather, L., 1960. p. 182. CHAPTER 16 173. Métraux, A., 1959. p. 28. 173a. Courlander, H. 1960, p. 133 174. Ortiz, F. 1935. CHAPTER 17 175. Coleman, S. N., 1931, p. 10. 176. Sachs, C. 1940, p. 35. 177. Ibid., 1940, p. 36. 178. Densmore, F., 1936, pp. 33-67. 178a. Matthews, Washington,

1902.

179. Izikowitz, K. G., 1935, p. 171.

CHAPTER 18 180. Mason, B. S., 1938.

IN THE

AMERICAS

Index Aframerican drumming characteristics, 9 African rhythm, 102-103 Afro-American drum tones, 239

Tarole, 99 Tenor Drum, 92

Tinya, 70

Tombe, 56-58 Tu:Tu, 80

Amatl, 4

Amerindian drums, 37-83 Amerindian

Bimembranophone

drum fetishes, 42

Uchichi Tambora,

Amerindian drumming, 242-243 Bahamas,

Unu-Tinya, 70

199

Wancaja, 71 Zabumba, 99 Bodyless Drums,

Basket drums—see [diophone drums Bells, 247 Benta, 248 Bible-drums, 5

Brazil, 161

British Guiana, 163

Bass Drum, 86 Bombo, 73, 82, 90

California, 42-43

Caquita, 80 Caribbean, 68, 82

Caisse claire, 99 Caixa, 91 Caja, 71, 82 Carriacou Bass, 193 Chang Ko, 225 Dhol, 224

Carriacou, 193-19 4 Chaco Area, 72-76

Characteristics of Rhythm, 233 Charles the First of England, 86 Comanche of Texas, 45 Construction of Drums, 16-31

Dream Dance Drum, 50 Dundun, 229-230

Cuba,

Curacao and Aruba, 184-185

Cymbals, 248

100

Dancing Amerindian, 32 Decorations—Amerindian

Huehhuetls Tzalziles, 64

Dominican Republic, 185-188 Double or two head drums: see

Bimembranophone

Drinking bouts, 67 Drum Batteries, 161

M: Drum, 67 Mrdanga, 223

Caja, 172 Curbeta, 168 Cutler or Kupe, 194

Musik di Zumbi, 184 Odaiko, 220

Ogiteida-dewe-Igun, 49

Kionu, 195 Nanigo, 181-182 Panama, 172 Zion bass, 193 Drum Heads, 21-25

Q-ya-Pom’-Potz, 55-56 Pow Wow Drum, 49 Sambura, 81-82 Scotch Bass, 92 Tabor, 96 Taiko, 220

Drum Groves: See Idiophone drums Drum major, 6 Drums set, 161

Tambour Militaire, 99

Apinti, 165 Arara, 174

Tambourin, 99 Tamburo

drums, 41

Divine origin of Amerindian drums, 35

Kampora Medio, 64 Kauna Dra, 166-167 Ko-Tsuzumi, 218-219 Kou, 221 Long Drum, 86

Tamburo

173-183

Cult, 108-109, 110-113, 161, 162, 165, 174, 189-191 Cult drummers, 242 Cult drumming, 238

English Field Drum, 100 English Tabor, 97 English tenor, 100

Huankar, 74

16

(See also Idiophone Drums)

Bimembranophone

Festival Drum, 192 Gran Cassa, 100 Grosse Ruehrtommel,

79

Piccolo, 100

Rullante, 100

Bambula,

201

Bata, 174-177

Tarol Gregoire, 99

317

318

DRUMS Bembé,

AMERICAS

Great Basin, 44 Guiana, 81

177

Chico, 167 Conga, 179 Congo, 203

Guyana: see British Guiana

Haiti and The French West Indies, 199 Hand drums, 161

Cumfa, 164 John Canoe, 190-191 Kbandu, 191 Kionu, 195 Palos, 187 Parade, 91 Petro, 203-204 Drums set Rada, 195, 204-206 Redondo, 169

Hakkowpirus, 46

Nootka, 4 Pur-shuk-pipo-ya, 58

Tewehigan, 50-51 Hand played drums, 67, 68

Head Attachments, 23-25

Hide drum: see membranophone

Honduras,

171

Huehuet]-Aztec-Nahua drum, 59-61

Shango, 195

Idiophone drums, 8, 39, 75 Basket drums, 53

Surdo, 91 Tuba bass, 171

Ca, 54

Tambu, 199

Yuka, 183 Drum sticks, 25-28, 249-250 Eastern Lowlands, 75

English speaking islands, 188-193 European American drum teaching techniques, 243

European orchestra drums, 6

Evolution of the drum, 2 Fetishes, 42 Field drum, 91 (See also Side drum)

F]lutes—panpipes—whistles, 250

Foot drums, 42 Friction drums, 163 Ayotl, 62 Basse, 202 Cuica (Omelé), 162-163 Ekue, 179 El coco de Elif Obutén, 180 Farruco, 169

Juco,6

Kinfuiti, 180 La Ranita, 180

Mosquito, 206-207

Tortoise, 83 Zambomba, 162 Frame drums, 14, 163 Basse, 202-203 Kampora, 58 Nexe-Gako-Bthacka, Pandeiro, 95-99 Sewyak, 38 Tamborin, 95-96 Tambourine, 95-96 Tungtungix, 40 Uchiwa, 220 Witu-A, 44 Gambling songs, 53 Gau, 4] Goat skin, 58 Goblet drum, 67

IN THE

Tamoa,

58

Catuquinaru, 78

Drum Groves, 2 Foot drum

Carib plank drum, 82

Dyadiko, 80 Kile, 43 Kuksu, 42-43

Tsilo, 42-43 Ipu-Hula, 215

Jan-neve-gaku, 45 Kalookock, 39 Kitty Katty, 192-193

La Gua-Gua, 181

Mokugyo, 219 Pa:U:, 80 Plank drums, 78 Slit drums Bongon, 227 Caverre, 82 Manhuare, 80 Teponaztli, 61-62, 77 Touette, 218 Trocano, 77 Tuili, 218 Tunduli, 79 Tari, 80

Tortuga, 62 Trocano, 45

Grates—Rasps—Scrapers, 251

Gras Ventre Tribe of Montana, 45

Tun, 66

75

Wood blocks, 215 Incas, 70 Isthmian, 67 Idiophone drums Quinto box, 183-184

Jamaica, 188 Juego de los Volardores, 63-64 Kettledrums, 5, 73, 186 Asi-Dadi Ohi, 53 Kultrum, 72 Pahu, 216 Pahu Heiau, 217-218 Pahu-Hula, 216-217

Puniu, 217

319

INDEX

Tasa, 224

Tabla, 221 Tympani, 97-99 Loreto, 79 Mandan Amerindians, 46 Medical uses of Amerindian Music, 33 Membranophones, 8 Meso-American, 58-65 Military Drums, 6

Monomembranophones Agida, 166 Anguahuasi, 78 Assotor, 199-201 Atabaqués, 161 Balcié, 187 Bam-benga, 164 Bomba, 186

Bongo, 164, 177

Bribri drum, 67 Cumaco, 167-168 Curbeta, 168 Darabukka, 229

E} Boku, 180

Flat Jack, 92 Gumbe, 190

Ka, 193

Karkutter, 230 Hide drum, 46 Jaw, 164 Loango Dra, 166 M:Kunbi, 67 Mayor, 169 Ngoma, 230 Padya, 166 Powuni-Gum, 52 Rabardage, 204 Signal drum, 191 Tambu, 185, 188

Mortars and pestles, 253

Mozart, 95 Musical areas,

161

Nanda: see Apinti set

Northeast area, 51-52 Ojibwa of Ontario, 47

Osage, 45

Panama, 172-173 Para cultural area, 77 Pechu De Calumba, 253 Peruvian, 69-72 Peyote cult, 46-49 Plains area, 44-47 Plateau area, 44 Puerto Rico, 185-188 Rada drums of Haiti, 204-206

Rattles, 42, 44, 253-256

Rattle drums, 67 Rhythm boxes, 256

Rhythm sticks, 257-259 Ritual in drum construction, 30

Rudiments, 86-87

Salish, 44

Seri, 64 Settling arguments and grudges by

Eskimos, 38 Skin identification, 30 Shell identification, 30-31 Side drum, 86, 91

(See also Field drum)

Signal drum, 67, 78

Skin drums—Bodyless drums: see membranophones

Skin treatment, 22-23

Skinless drums: see Idiophone drums

Slit drums, 75 Social uses of Amerindian drums, 34

Southeast area, 53

Snare drum, 93-94

Stamping tubes, 260

Steel drums, 196-198 Surinam, 164 Sumerian drums, 5 Tabla: see Kettledrums Talking drums, 165, 227-229 Tambora, 170 Tamboo Bamboo, 198

Tasa: see Kettledrums Tambor y pito, 63 Teaching techniques, 241

Thong, 44 Timbales, 182-183

Tomb of Rameses II of Egypt, 3 Tom-toms,

93

Tree stump drums, 53 Triangles, 260 Trinidad, 194-198

Trumpets and horns, 260

Tsilo gauks, 43

Tutta: see Bam-benga, 164 Types of Amerindian drums in

North America, 35 United States, 208-209 Uruguay, 167 Venezuela, 167

Virgin Islands, 193 Wagner, 92

Water drums, 48, 66 Baostel, 184 Bastel, 184

Earthen pots, 53 Ga-No-Jo-O,

52

Huehuetl de Barro, 62, 66

Huitsyuk, 7 3 Jicara De Aqua, 63

Log drum, 48 Midi Drum, 48

Nexe-Gaku, 45 Palawatomi, 47 Peyote, 46 Potter, 48 Timbal de Barro, 62, 65

Yaqui, 60

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