Drums in the Americas [1 ed.]

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Drums in the Americas [1 ed.]

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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

IN THE AMERICAS

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 Illinois, 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

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.

who prefer drums.

I should like to dedicate this book to those

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 Pacheco, Chino Pozo and Vigilio Marti, all of Los Angeles; Rev. S. Kalange of Nigeria and 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 Smith, Ethel Taylor and my wife, Mrs. Howard.

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 in and those which developed after the influx of non-indigenous people.

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, book-

lets, interviews, travel records and personal experience. J 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 ethnographic 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,

or

sound

of

such

a nature

that

the

forms

which

result from creative process comply with standards of beauty valid in his society, then we call this creative process and the forms resulting there-

from, art.” If we accept this definition, then there exists no hierarchy of

“primitive” music, “folk” music, “popular” music, and “classical” music. These terms are mere labels to help us from confusing value with technique.

Contents Page

LT Text Figures 2.0.00... ccecececceeccecseeescecesteeceeseecttseenesens viii TE TMustrations 00.0... cece cceecesececeeeeseseceenceneeseseeseeeees xi TIT)

CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER

10

CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Introduction oo... cccecccesecccccessececensecceecesesssesecesese xiv

OANA NB WN

Drums in Retrospect................2:.:secccceseceecescseeeeeceeeeeseeneeeaee

1

Classification ............20--..-0cce:ccccescescecceceeeeeececeeeneeteneeseeeeeeres 8 Construction ...........2....cccccceccceceececeeecceeeeeeeeeceneteecneeeeeneneeeeees 16 Amerindian Music ..................ccccc:ceccccseceeeeeseeeeceseseeeeeseseeees 32 Amerindian Drums of North America ...............00..00.00.--- 37

Indigenous Drums of Central America .............0.0.-...00000 65 Amerindian Drums of South America .......0.....0...00.0.0e European-American Percussion .............0...0.00:::eseeeeees European-American Drums ................2.2.202::c:s1eeeeeeeeeee African and Aframerican Influence (Parts A, B, and C) ooo... ceeecccecececceeeceeeeeeeceeeeneeeeseseneeee

69 84. 90 102

Afro-American Drums ...20022.0.2.0.002.02cccecceeeeeeeeceeeeeeeeeeeees 160

Our Asiatic and Oceanic Heritage ..............2..00-::1eceeeeeeee 210 Asian and Oceanian-American Drums ....................0000000+ 215 African Drums ...0........00.00.000 ceceeceseecccceeceeceescceteceeteseeseeeeeees 226

Rhythm and Drumming .....2.20.020202.0.0c cee 233 Drum Accessories and Auxiliary Instruments ................... 247 Drumlore o.oo... .ceeccecescseceeccseeesccenceseeesceeacsesecesseeeseeneseseses 265

Reflections and Projections ............2......sssessesceseseeeeseeeeeeeees 276 IV_

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

V_ Bibliography .....-2....-::ccesseccssceecseececeeereeeeeceseeecseececaecs 294

VI VID

Notes oo. ccececeeceeesevevevecsevevesscsvessesesseevenseseevaves 312 Index. ooo ceeccceececccceccsecsceceeescesecececeesecesssssesenseseneness 317

Text Figures Page Hollow Log -..-.2.2.2222.222-.2:2e-ccscececccecceceeeeceeecneeeeeteeeaeetecaseceesaeeessneeeesteeeesonssaeees Hollowed Log .......-..2.2..2.++2-.2+--2sceeececeeeeccecee eee eeeeceeeeceeeeeneeneee sensors sineeneseaeeeees Hollowed Log with One Skim ..0..........2...:cccsscsceeeeeceeseeceeeeeeseeesceeeneesneesnneeees

Hollowed Log with Two Skins .............0..11eccceeceecec eee ecetecec eee eenenenenenenee

Silbadores

....ce.leec et eecccscceeccececeseceneceesceeteseseceeceaeeee cence seescccececessaseeseseseeceeeeeeenees

Macuilxochitl-xochipilli 2.2.2.0... cee. cceeeeceeeeceeceec cence cnet eens seceeeeceeeeeseneenenenene

2 2 2

2 3

4

Aztec Dance Drums .........2.- 2.2.2.2 cece cccececeeteneeeneeeeeeteeecateseeseseceneneencecenesoesnens Cylindrical Drury ooo... ceeecece cece cece ee see eeeeececeeeeeeeeeeeeeeceneceeeeeeeeeeseeeseeeeeees

4 9

Comical

9

Barrel-shaped Drum Drv

Hourglass

Drumm

.....-.....22.-..-2-22.2+.2:02+2c0ececcoee cece veneeceeeseeeeeteeeeeeecereeneceeeneees

ooo... ce cccc ec cce cece eee ec nsec ceneneeeeeneceesteeeecseeeeceteeeneenessnecenenees

oo... oi. csecescecececesceeeeece ence eee ee cece ee ceeeeseceeeeceeeesseeseseasseeeeeseeees

9

9

bee) Cee Oe DS a3) || 9 Goblet Drum oo... o.oo cce cece cece cee cece cece ee ene cnet ceeneeecceeeaeeeeeecenseeatesseneceeeeaeeseress 10 Handle Drum «...0.....0.....22.cccececceceeccec cen ceceenteecenseeeceeeeceensesceneecansecseneesseeeseeeesseaes 10 Frame Drum oooon....oo.eec ce sces ces cescescenc cee cnccesceececenscececsecaceescececeseaeensceteneseneeneeaees 10

Hemispheric Drumm .........2........::cececsesesceeeeeeeseeeeeeeececeerteceestececasecesesventtevenevanass 10 Egg-shaped Drum q.0....0....0..cccccccceescseeeseseees essere cece ceesceeseecsceseceeecevaseeasseeneseeee 11 Deep Ketthedrumm «0.0.2.2... ecsceccecesececeeeecece ee ceeeee ree veseeanevereeseecesneneneneneneaetees ll Shallow Kettledrum .2.........0.2...0000..c0cccccccccceseessecceceecceeeeeseeceesteeeeecereeuseneeeseceneaees ll Small Shit Drum ooo... cee eee cece e ec enen see ceeeseeaeceeseesatsuseenecsceceaeenseeceseceaes 13

Suspended Slit Drumm

2.2.2.0... .cecccccecccceceseceesecseeseseceeeeeeeeseseseceeeeceeesecenetecsees 13

Slit Drumm in Stand oo... cee cee cece cece cseee cesses esaneseseeenececsenseaccaeeateee Tacked Drum Head 02.0002...00..0 occ cccoec cc eececcasenc cee eeeeen sete ceeteeceensseeceeeceeseeseesecaaee Necklaced Head Drumm ..00.......0.0..0.0.cccecceccececceseececeeseeeesceteeterenseececeeteeeeesensesees Laced Head Drum 2.oo.......ccc cc ceecccceec cece cesesce settee cote ceeeececeseeceescteaesenenseersacsess

13 15 15 15

TEXT FIGURES

ix

Glued Head Drum «0.00.....0.....00.cccccccccececceec cece cece cece eeceenecee eens cecenescussneeeteceensereesse Braced Drv o00.2.n....... 22.2. cceeecesseecesecececeececsneccensceceeeceeesececseceeeseretsseseeeneentcnseres Buttoned Head Drum o.oo... cceee eee teec cence cence cece eee eeeeeetececceeeeeeesensensenaeeees Staves nee. cee eceecenceseseeesesesscseecessenenseseceesateessestensesencesessecsenseseneesesnessensesentente Assembled Staves ...........0.ccccc cccscscescssseesscoeecescesseseeeessesseseanessessnseseeneceesseneees

15 15 15 18 18

Windlass Open

0.2.2.2... sccecec ccs ee ec eeee eens ec eoeeeeeeeeeseseesesseeseesoneeeesieaseseneasecaeas 19

Windlass Closed .oo......c.cccceccccceecccee ce cess sssesesasenecceneessessneeneesecsesssensseeesecaseeeasenes 19

Metal Hoops ...........-2s-cee2esccecesscseeeseseeceeeseeseseseseeeeeneceesesessesseseseessssteseresesseneeaees 19

Shell Bath 0.00... 0022.0 ccc cece cece ccc eee ccc ece ene eeeeeceeacencasecenecnecaecesseaeessenseeneesesneeness 19 Stave Section 22... cece cece ceesccceees scene ceseseeceesenseaeecesecsseasceaseeensesseesseneeneneens 20

Sanding Lathe 22.2.2... ececcccseccccsececceeececeeseececeteceeenenessceessessesnseseetessvensesnanesanes 20 Stave Shell 2.0.00... ccc cee cceec sees cecetecseseeecneeeeenee cca sasseesseseseensessseeaeeeeseneeseenens 21

Bending Machine |... ....-....2-cs-ccccsececceeeccceeecneeneecteseceseeeaeeeeeseeneseenesenseneeneesees 21

Button Hole oo...

Button Loop

Button

Loop

cece cece cc cee ee ee cca coeeneecenenecceceesncecsenesaeeneessesaeaneeseeneeneens 24

oo..-.....eeeecse2cececceeececeseeceneeecseeeeeeseeeeesesseeceseecesesseseeeeseeeceesseeeseseeesees 24

Twist ................sssccesscsssceecceeeeseseess cece cesses scence seaeseensseeanseeenesensseeees 24

Button Peg ooo... eee cee cece cceeccccenceeceececoesesseecececestsseenenaneaneseeasenesanseeseseeeeseenes 24

Hard Drumvsticks 200..00.0000....ceccceseccceescesessesneneseecesseseessuseuesseneessesseeenennesecaeneens Curved-end Stick 22.20.0000... cece ccceeccceeeceeseneceeeesneeenssecsessseseessnneneeecseteceneneaee Rattle Drummstick =... 00.0... ceece cece cence cece en accenececeneessaecaesecesnesueessesseseescaeseenees Semihard Drumrstick _.2......0.0.002. cece cesessseeceseeenensessesessessecessesseeeneeneescueneenes Soft Beater 2... eee eee cece ee seneseceeeeeeeececeecceaseaeceeaeeaseseneasecsenseccasesseaeneees Hammer Stick Curved .2....00.000. 0c. .ccceeccceecceceseeseceecceeeeesenesseneusenccnecaeecesesseccesees Hammer Stick Offset 2.0.0.0... ccc cece ccsecesenececeeeseneeeeccsscessessescsensescescescsaeseees Ball Hammer Stick 20.....0.000.00.ccecceceeccssessesecsesseeececeeneeseeceaecoteccecesstesnsetesseaeencace Acute Hammer Stick oo... cece ccecc cece ceenessseeeneceeneeceseseceecceecsecesecceeeeseencececes Bow Stick ............ceecc cece cceeeeceeec cesses scaeeenescesaeseensneeneeeeesceececessceceecsieeccesessanens Brushy ooo. occ ceee cece ccc eeccenenc cence cccntecceseeeseeceateaseeecscceeeescseneseacsseceestecseesseceeteeees Cultural Areas 0.0.0... leec cee cccee ec cceec cess sentecceeeceeceeceeeeteceecentenesseceseeeeeeseceneees

25 26 26 26 27 27 27 27 27 23 28 31

Frame Shell _.o.......0..0cccccceececcesecceesseseeceeceeeeseeceseeeseasecsessnsnstereeesenssenseneesenseneees Drum Handle .........0..ccecccccceccececeec cece eeeeeceeeeeeeceesessecsseeeneussnenetesesesvasenssteaenaee Frame Groove .o..0.....0.c.2ccccsceccecceceseceeceeceeeeseecenseseeseeveasereeenssesseseneeevevseceteesesenees Horizontal Water Drum 2.20.2... ccccecccceececeececeecveceevecveceeceeeeceevesveeesseaeeeees Vertical Water Drum @....0.2....2..cecc cee cceeececeecceneeceveteee secvsecesseecssseeueessesvseeseees Idiophone Drums, Jivaro, Witoto, Andoke 0.....0..0...ccccccccecescecesesecceseeteeseees

38 38 38 66 66 716

Seven Beat Rhythm Pattern _2.........0....ce.ccceeccccceccceceeeceseeeceeeeeceeeeceseeeeeceeneeenees 34. Five Beat Rhythm Patters .20..2......-2.2secccceeccsecescsnececeeseeeeeeseeeceeeeeeeeaeeeseeseseees 34

Tongue Shit Dre

22.2... eee ccececccecececeeteenteeee tee sees cesneeeseecuersecesseneeeeeseseses 77

Slit Drum Cross Section ...........0.0..0.cccccccceseceeseesesesevescseessenseversesseseeeesciscsseseavess 77

Catuquinaro Plank Drumm .0......0.0.00ccccccccccccescsceteseseeesseeecsnsnensaeseascnsesnstesseeees 79

Afro-american Musical Areas .........0.....2-.0..2+ssscsssessesesseeseveveeceseseeteeessecsesscasens 101

x

TEXT FIGURES

Liturgical Symbol -...22....2....2.2-2-.-.-c1cesecccceeec cscs cece cec cece cece cee eeceeeeeeeeeneeeeseeeeeeeees 106 Jamaican Rhythm Pattern .0.02.....222..0.....0.2c.ccececececcccceeec ecco ce cent eee eee ceeeceteneneaease 189

Asian-american Areas ...........2--.ccccccccecccececcecceecec cee ceseenectaceeaceseseaeeeeeeesneenesaees 209 Tabla Head «ooo... .eccc ec ccceeceec ccc eec cee cee cece cee ect coc ceeeceeecencecscesecacenececetsensceneneensees 222

Banya Head 0 ou.......cccccccccececeseseseeeseeceseseceneeeeeeeesecececeeeescesseegeecsessceestenceneeeeeeets 222

Tabla Sound

Areas ...0..........ccccccccscecceeesesseessseseseeeeeecescetsceacecesseeeaeciceecaeenenseataes 222

Clave Patterns .0............ccccecssssscescsssessesescstsecsecsecserceacsceeeesscccceesesensesasesssensensiene 238 Single Conga Drum Rumba Pattern 222. .2.22....e-..esccceeecceeceeceecceeeeeeeceeteeeeeeees 240 Four Patterns on Two Drums ...0.0....0...ecccccccccscscec cece cee ceceseeeeaceccessaenceceeataeeees 240

Basic Conga Pattern 0.2.2.2... ce cccseccccesceccceccceeeesestecsecteeeeeeeeeeeeeeceeceeneneenenseees War Dare oon. eaeecceccecenesccscsseesscenssesteacsececceccaesasssenesseaesssacsrsesseccanscsacsnecenseneaes Round Dance o..........eccececcccccseseesscesesesecetsessseececaesesacteseceuesacsenssecsenssesecsssesensneeses European March Notations... .......02-ccccecceecec cece eeeeeteeee cece eeeeeeeceeceeeeeenenseaeees

Dixieland Notations

242 243 243 244,

......0...0.....cccccccccececceecececeesceesesecvenccececeseeessenseeeeeesneseseseenees 244.

Illustrations Plate Plate Plate Plate Plate

No. J—Amerindian Drums No. [II—European-American Drums No. III—Afro-Americarnt Drums No. IV—Asian and Oceanian-American Drums No. V—Drum Sets and Batteries Picture No . 1—Cuban Battery ........ Picture No . 2—Haitian Petro Set.... Picture No . 3—Parade Drum Set Plate No. VI— cece eceeceeceeeceeeeeeeeeteeeeeeeeeeneeeteees Picture No . 4—Mydol Drum Set.u. . . . eee eeeeeeeeeeneeeeeeseneeennee Picture No . 5—Cuban Congas Set ............2.0ccccccceececeesec ce ceceeceeee econ eeeceeeceeetesseeeeeees Picture No . 6—Cuban Bata Set 20... ccc Plate No. VII— Picture No . 7—Timpano Set Picture No . 8—Shango Drum Set Picture No. . 9—Surinam Battery Plate No. VII— ccc eee: Picture No. 10—Early American Instruments, U.S.A. _.000....... Picture No. 11—Panamanian Drum Set ..................ccccccccceesceeceseeeeeneeeeeenenes ccc ceecccecescaeeeseeeeessneeeeesseeeeesceeees Picture No. 12—Rada Drum Set o.oo... Plate No. IX— Picture No. 13—Steel Drums 200.000... cece cece cecccececeeeceeceneeeeeeseeeteeetcceeees Picture No. 14—Brazilian Parade Drum .......... eee Picture No. 15—Atabaqués 00000... Plate No. XK— Picture No. 16—Modern Jazz Set .....0........00ccccccccceceeeneccceeeneceeserceceeceseeeseenens Picture No. 17—Naniigo Drum Battery ............0...0....cccccccceccceceseeeeeseeseeeeaees Plate No. XI— Picture No. 18—Bolivian Parade .2......0....0000occccecceesecceeecceeeeeseecceseceeeeverees Picture No. 19—Pasadena Parade .0....... 0... .occceeeceececeecceeeceeeeseeteseeteseceeeess

xi

116 117

117

120

120 121

124 121

125 125

ILLUSTRATIONS

xii

Picture No. 20—Monevideo Parade 2oo...oo....0....0..ecccecccesseecececesueeceseceeceseeaees 126

Picture No. 21—Marine Parade ............000200 occ ccecceccece cece ce ceneeceneeevensaveess 126 Plate No. XII—Single-Headed Drums Picture No. 22—Giant Drums ..oo......... coe cccccceeeccececcececeececceceeeeceeseceeeeeseee Picture No. 23—Tlapanhuehuetl Picture No. 24—Frame Drums Plate No. XIJI— Picture No. 25—Banjo, Curbeta, Gumbe, Maracas ........-.......0..csecccseeeeeeeceeeee Picture No. 26—Cajero, Ka and Catalier...................eseccceceeeeeeeeeeeeees

Picture No. 27—Tumbilla, Balcié, Tambui and Mellicin......0...

eee

Picture No. 283—Tambu, Boku, Rabardage and Matrimonial......................... Plate No. XIV—Two-Headed Drums

Picture No. 29—Tambora, Caja, Tambor, Guayo, and Tymale ...................... 131

Picture No. 30—Tombe, Tinya, Maracas, Bomba, Caja

Picture No. 31—Pang-Kou, Tao Kou, Dak Kou, Pong Kou ......00... 00... 133

Plate No. XV—

Picture No. 32—Tang Kou, Tibet Trumpet, Uchiwa, Pahuiti, Tau-Kou, Odieko, Dedjeridoo .00...0.........20..22ccesecccessceeseeeeneeeceeeeesetecececee 133

Picture No. 33—Dream

Dance Drum .......0..........2....0:ccsseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesneeeeeeeeeee 133

Picture No. 34—Pow Wow Drum ooiio......cecccceeccesceecenceeeeeeeeecececceceeecaeeeeees 134

Plate No. XVI—

Picture No. 35—Musik Di Zumbi, Triangle, Benta, Cachoe ...................--..... 134

Picture No. 36—Tambor

and Pito .......0.......00...cscececeeeeeeeeees

Picture No. 37—Taikos, Ok-Tsusumi Plate No. XVIJ— Picture No. 38—Chang Ko, Kubu, Dhol, Bongo ....................:::::ccssceeeeeceeeeee 136 Picture No. 39—Hand Drums

(Amerindian)

....................:-.:::0-200:ceeeeeeeeees 137

Picture No. 40—Sioux Hand Drum, Gourd Rattle, Tambor de Tloxcula,

Deer Hoof Rattles .............2.00...2cccceceseeeeeeeececeenceecaeescceeennneeeeseeseceeeeeesees 137 Plate No. XVIJI—Kettledrums Picture No. 41—Music Sticks, Pahu (Oceanic kettledrum)

Puili, Bullroarer o.oo...

cce ee ceee cece cece eeseeeeneeeeeesenneceeeseeesteeeccceeeee 138

Picture No. 42—Puhi Hula, Puhi, Puniu (Oceanic kettledrum) .................... 139 Picture No. 43—Tasas (Trinidad and British Guiana) .........00000 00 eeeee ee 139

Picture No. 44—Kultrum, (Araucanion) Chaco..............000.0.0cccccccseeesseeeeeeeee 140

Plate No. XIX—(Water

Drums)

Picture No. 45—Potawatomi, Peyote and Timbal de Barro...........0...ee cc 140 Picture No. 46—Bastel drummer and Chapi player ..........0...00....00.0000-ccecceeoe- 141

Plate No. XX—Friction Drums

Picture No. 47—E] Coco de Efik Obutén, Ayotl ooo. 141 Picture No. 48—Kinfuiti, Cuica, Furruco, Basse, Puita ...0.0..0.000.2. ee eeeceeeee 142

Plate No. XXI—Skinless Drums Picture No. 49—Tambor Semeistico (Manhuaré) ................2.cccceccccccceecceeeeee 143 Picture No. 50—Basket Drum .oou.o.......-.ce.cescesseeceeececeeeeeee

Picture No. 51—Concha de Tortuga, Bastel

Plate No. XXII—

Picture No. 52—Jicara de Agua, Raspador, Flute, Signal Horn..................... 145

Picture No. 53—Quinto Box, Bombam, Bongon, Bamboo Tamboo, Tatil, Capita oi icccccccccccccccccceccsscecessevacseesecececessetiusetteeetteeeececeeeecccce 146

ILLUSTRATIONS

xiii

Picture No. 54—El Catd, La Guagua. ooo... .0.eeesceeeeceeeeceeeeeceeeeceeseeeeeeeeeeees Plate No. XXIII— Picture No. 55—Tepomazeli. ooo. ..cc cece cece ceneeeeneeeeeecenseeeeneeeenseeeeseeeeesees Picture No. 56—Tuilis, Lali, Ipu, Touette 0.0.0.0... cece eee eeeceeeeeeeeneee Picture No. 57—Mokugyo ..oo.......0.. cece cncessceceecencensceeceseseseceeeeceeeseeeseeseeeess Plate No. XXIV—

146 147 147 148

Picture No. 58—Stamping Tube, Ipu Hula

Picture No. 59—Kalookock ................... ceaceeeeeeeaeeseeceeseeeeesceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeceeateneeets Picture No. 60—Pechu di Calumba, Tambour Maringouin (mosquito Arum) ooo... eee eecceeceeceesceesseenscecesceceseececseceseecerssneneceeetes 150

Plate No. XXV—Drum

Accessories

Picture No. 61—Atcheré, Chocalho, Cabaca, Assom ..........0....0.0.cccccceeeseeees 15]

Picture No. 62—Sansa (mbira or thumb piano) Marimbula, Stamping Tube, Flute, Vaccine ........2........cc:cescsseeesccescceeeeeeeseeeeesceenece 151 Picture No. 63—Claves, Akoge ...........2......2220cescceeseceecceeeeceeeeeeeceeceeeneeeeteeees 152

Plate No. XXVI— Picture No. 64—Brake Drums, San Martini, Chapi, Gonkogui, Agan, Gangarria, Agogo, Cymbal, Triangles............00......cecece 152 Picture No. 65—Drumsticks: Asian-American, European-American,

and Afro-American ...................:cc-:ccscsesscessecceceneenceeeceeeneecseceeesseeessennees 153 Picture No. 66—Amerindian Drumsticks ._...0..............ccscccesceecesseessceeseeeees 153 Plate No. XXVII—Ratiles

Picture No. 67—Turtle Shell Rattle, Maracas and Cha Cha ...........000000.0000.... 154, Picture No. 68—Guayo, Wiri, Rasp-sticck, Giiiro and Reco-reco.................-.. 155

Plate No. XXVIII—African Drums

Picture No. 69—Ndango, Ngoma, Ngalabi, Ndere (flute),

Bambala, Ndingidi (fiddle) .22..............ccccssccccccccecccececceceeceeveseeeeereseeneees Picture No. 70—Tamalee, Brekepe and Dundun Picture No. 71—Odomankoma, Atsimevu, Mpentima ...................0...22000000--- 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) 2000.0... .essceeeeeeeeeeees 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 instru-

ments, 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 governxiv

INTRODUCTION

xv

mental reports, museum

journals, periodicals, publications of various

learned societies, records of travel, and books of miscellaneous nature. From

The music and instruments of the Americas are still in the making. 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 subject, but the subdivision, within the chapters, generally refers to musical or

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

1 DRUMS the

IN RETROSPECT

The history of musical instruments may be traced as far back as Stone Age. Late Stone Age man began to use clay in the con-

struction 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 different 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,

through world

but could

not

understand,

the

the sky and all the changes

about

work of some

him.

All mysterious

path

of the

sun

that took place

things

were

regarded

and

the moon

in the natural

as the special

unseen spirit, for a natural law was quite beyond

power of understanding.

his

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;

in this manner.°

so, in turn,

he

attempted

to win

favor

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 Australian aborigines

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

2

the

DRUMS

insects

eat

In the

Hebrides

musical

away

instrument.

the core,

removing

the stick

and

in the Pacific

Ocean,

there

Dedjeridoo, Islands

IN THE AMERICAS

a trumpet.

using

it as a

(See Pl. XV — No. can

32)

be found

“drum groves”: — huge trees whose centers have been hewn out by the natives and used as drums. They also fashion the trees into strange sea animals, which they use in their religious rituals. The tree drums, which stand twelve

or more

of the modern slit drum.

feet high, are thought to be the forerunner

There have been many theories propounded about the evolution of musical instruments. The drum and the flute (or whistle) are consid-

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

1. Hollow log (natural) ~~

4. Hollowed

Te

eS

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

advanced

barrel

shapes,

etc.. are relatively

recent.

Most of the great civilizations of the world have left some record

of their music.

Cave

paintings

and carvings

of ancient

India

show

drums with two heads and a slightly bulging body. The heads are fastened on with thongs laced crosswise in “X” form. In the tomb 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-membrane

ago.

Peruvian

vessels,

more

than

1,500

drums

which

(SILBADORES)

years

old,

of

Mochica

were

in use

(pre-Inca)

1,500 years

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

AMERICAS

God of Music, playing Huehuetl.

from Codex

AZTEC

IN THE

Borbonicus)

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

Asia,

is mentioned

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

in the

Bible.

Egyptian drums before 1 A.D. consisted of three types: 1. 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 encircled 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. duced

Around

modern

1300, Arabian

into Europe. tympani.

*Darabukkeh;

kettledrums,

called “nagarah,” were intro-

Used in pairs, they were

About

the same

the forerunners of the

time the tabor, a cylindrical

also known as Daraboukkeh, and Darabukkas.

drum,

6

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

appeared in Europe. Drums were not used in Europe earlier in the Mid-

dle Ages, strange as it may seem. At the beginning of the thirteenth century the jingle frame appeared in Europe. It was called “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 musicians. By

the

marching)

fifteenth

century,

the kettledrums,

drums, had been adopted

as well

as the

side

by the armies of Europe

(or

as part

of their military equipment.’ 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) a foot in diameter and

Dance.” It is a small, two-headed drum, six to seven inches deep, the two heads

about being

laced together across the body. History has been kind to us concerning Africa, having left its record in the diaries of travellers and notes 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 IN RETROSPECT

7

don in 1670, 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 Jevel

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

writings of the first missionaries, relics and ruined temples and tombs, etc.

2)

contemporary

Amerindians,

indigenous

seen

in early paintings,

instruments

instruments:

those

excavated

of

from

present-day

distinct 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 was altered, but European 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,

may be of several shapes:

if the body

is shorter.

Tubular

drums

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 drums

Kettledrums

shapes:

have

IN THE

AMERICAS

(diameter of head is greater than height of drum)

vessel-type closed bodies

and come

(b) Egg-shaped drums (largest diameter below the top)

in several

CLASSIFICATION

1).

(c) Deep kettledrums (bodies longer than the diameter)

(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 Amerin-

dians 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 of Mexico.

In some

by the Aztecs

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. However,

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 sup-

ported 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

| fr Glued Head

Tacked Head

Laced

Necklaced

Braced

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 (indigenous to the Americas) (b) European-American (introduced from Europe)

(c) Afro-American {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: a sound chamber (body)

and

a membrane

(skin).

Some

instruments

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

societies,

how-

ever, the same effect is accomplished by other means. For centuries drum shells were hewn from logs. In some areas of the Americas

where

labor

is cheap

and

tradition

well established,

this

procedure is still followed today, particularly in Afro-American and Amerindian cultures.4 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, which is both light and easily

worked.

16

CONSTRUCTION

17

In boring the log, in Cuba diameter,

is started

in

the

top

and Haiti, a hole, about six inches in 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 by coopers (keg or barrel makers). Stave Drums: Stave drum

shells are fast replacing

the log drum

sheils in most

areas. The manufacture of stave shells is faster and the wood is easier to obtain.

Moreover,

and thus more

the instrument

is more

easily

repaired,

portable. Ideally, these shell staves are made

is lighter

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 around the loose end of the staves, then attached to a windlass.

acy

CABLE

WINDLASS FR

J

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.

roy

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

sun to dry. The staves thus become

“warped”

and placed

in the

into the desired shape.

20

DRUMS

Step Eight: Now the staves are numbered falls apart, but each

stave

retains

and

both rings

IN THE

AMERICAS

removed.

The

shell

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.

CRC5}

SECTION

Step Ten: The

staves

are

reassembled,

put over a hot plate (kiln) Step Eleven:

metal

rings

replaced,

and

the

shell

to drive out moisture.

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 -

~

——

_

SSS

“—

__

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 “bend-

ing” 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,

and

thickness

of

the

membrane

vary.

In

the

circular

without specific devices for tuning do not have

a fixed

membranes 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 scientifically shaped resonator and the mechanically adjustable head make it possible to tune the instrument to a definite fundamental."

Drums

pitch — they

are never the same.

Heating

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

varies in different localities, but on the whole,

for a drum

the procedures

head

are simi-

lar: 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. body

of the drum.

Occasionally,

in water

at

The head is placed wet on the

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

some

Haitians

made

from calf-hides five to six weeks old. These are thin and strong

claiming,

for example,

killed in a certain way,

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 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 gen-

erally 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 tacks must be driven farther in, taut, raising the tacks slightly.'* Buttoned Heads: The wet head is placed on punched through the skin in the

IN THE

AMERICAS

head. Before the drum is tested, the for the drying skin shrinks and draws

the shell, and five to nine holes are shell. The number of holes is deter-

mined 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 damp-

ened 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 skin. This type of lacing is found frequently on Indian drums.”

Head Tensors: Drum

tone

is sometimes

not

maintained,

even

when

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 — No.7.)

{c) “Ears” placed between the lacings. (See Pl. XVI] — No. 35.) (d) Pegs inserted through the head into the shell at an angle. (See Pl. VITI— No. 12.) (e) Pegs or blocks placed between the lacing and the shell act also as tensors of the skin. (See Pl. IX — No.

Certain drums call tion, but more because better to bring out the and soft beaters; long,

15.)

for specific drum-sticks, owing in part to tradiexperience has shown that certain varieties serve desired tonal qualities. There are hard, semihard 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 prefer-

ence 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.

While the Anglo-American and Aframerican rarely decorate drumsticks (attaching no importance to these tools other than their functional value), the Amerindian attempts to create artistic implements that stimulate the imagination. He uses buckskin covering, tassels, fur, beads

and paints to adorn his sticks. Curved-End Sticks:

Found in use among the Amerindian, these have great rebound and

26

DRUMS

resiliency. They

are used for elaborate hand

drums

IN THE

AMERICAS

and dance

Constructed from one piece of wood, their shafts are soaked until pliable, then removed, bent, and tied with rawhide.

drums. in water

bdbohd

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.

Semihard

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.

Cebectsttseiere

tesenl—

cali

ho

thal

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 controlling the sound of the drum. a

(

i,

I

teat htsteh 'fp

Ef

x

Be sistey+ 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

—_—e

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

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.

65.)

The Bow Sticks: Used

in

bow made

Haiti

on

the

rada,

from a hardwood

seconde,*

the

bow

stick

twig about a foot long. The

is

a small

ends of this

twig are rounded off and pulled into the shape of a bow and tied with

a string. These drum,

drum-sticks seem to be limited

traditionally used in voodoo

to the Haitian Seconde

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.

Other objects used

traditionally

65.)

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

such drums

in the Americas:

Cuba,

Brazil, Haiti, Jamaica, Trini-

dad, Surinam and 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 particularly 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 bene-

diction maintained by propitiation. Ritualistically, the major faith ordeal of both systems was related to fire and, in both, the service of supplication 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

IN THE AMERICAS

Cult instruments are constructed by prescribed procedures take the form of rituals. Many Afro-American and Amerindian

that two-

headed drums contain fetishes. A characteristic drum fetish might be composed of snatches of animal hair, pebbles from the sea, parapher-

nalia 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 Lucumi cult must be made by a cult priest. A painted skin on a drum usually indicates it is of either Amerindian 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

the soil, they are partial to strawberry red, turquoise blue, yellow predominantly in their hefore the head is completely

heads. A people

who

are close to

earthen colors, using watermelon green, charcoal black, chalk white and pumpkin symbolic head designs. Paint is applied 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 PI. 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 are decorated only with bells.

ceremonies.

The

Bata

drums

of Cuba

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

became

more

expendable

spent in decoration.

PWN

. . . .

California Peninsula Basin Plateau Plains 10. Midwest WBAINN

. . . . .

Arctic Coast Mackenzie-Yukon Northwest Coast Oregon Seaboard

11. Eastern Canada 12. Northeast 13, Southeast

14. Gulf

15. Southwest

16. North East Mexico

17. Meso-American 18. Isthmian

19. Colombian 20. Peruvian 21. Chilean

22. 23, 24, 25. 26.

Fuegian Pampean Chaco Paraguayan Eastern Lowlands

27. Atlantic

28. Goyaz 29. Para 30. Xingu

31. Bolivian 32. Montana

33. 34, 35. 36. 37. 38. 39.

Jurua-Purus Amazon Loreto Caqueta Savanna Guiana Orinoco

40. Caribbean 41. Floridian

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, how-

ever, 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

sented

at

many

occasions:

celebrations,

storytelling

of

are repre-

exploits

and

medicinal rituals, as well as exclusively religious ceremonies. Although Amerindian

music is by no means

may be made concerning it as a Musical instruments of the erable variety, all being generally this accompaniment was wholly or no

attention

to pitch.

homogeneous,

some

generalizations

whole. Amerindian have appeared in considused for singing accompaniment. Since of a rhythmic nature, there was little

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

own language, customs and traditions.

32

thus comprise

many

tribes, each

with

its

AMERINDIAN MUSIC

33

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 prac-

tically 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.* 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 “Ave Maria” has been employed ical changes take place also in example, played near an egg for The

music

used

Hospital psychiatric ward, Schubert’s to quiet violent patients). Subtle chemmuscles and glands. Shrill music, for half a minute, will spoil it.

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 important event in the life of a male has its accompaniment in song. With the impact of European civilization however, many customs have been retired. Among some

tribes, ancient songs are now used for purely social dances. Training:

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;

when

his skill

has reached a certain level, he is allowed to sit at pow-wows and thus further his education.* There are also drumming games and contests held among the drummers. 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 and singing ability (drumming without song is un-

known).

He must have a good

memory

as well, for he must be able to

sing many songs. He must keep perfect time, a more serious and difhcult 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 nals for the beginning, end, and internal sections

two

distinct parts), generally

by three loud

classified as war songs, general patriotic

sig-

(nearly all songs have

drum

(or “flag’”)

strokes.

Songs

are

songs, social songs,

ceremonial songs and prayer songs; many of these with vastly different meanings may have the same beat pattern.* * *A pow-wow

**e.z.,

A

is a social gathering and dance.

seven-beat

pattern

might

be

oa

ae

1234567

a five

beat

one, aa

a

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 Sioux; Turtle shells or half gourds, found among Mexican

(c)

(d)

Baskets

of closely

woven

grass,

uncovered

and

Indians;

inverted,

popular with the Yuma, Pima and Papago of southern Arizona;

(e)

Water drums, found in North America.

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 on war drums — his

was

thought

to

command

courage.

Eagle

feathers

similarly

efhgy

inspired

bravery. Likewise, much symbolism went into the construction and decoration 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 PI 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.2” The Mayans

called the “Tunkul,” a kettledrum.

have a sacred drum

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 he 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 cul-

ture.

PLATE

Ke-l-you

I— Picture No.1) Amerindian Panhuehuetl (Modern)

(Sewyak)

Drone Flue... Chief Drum

Teponaztli

OF

E.

(Modern)

Hilevas de Tenabaris (Hand Drum)

Picture No. 2 (COURTESY

ILC.

Cajas QUITO,

Drums

ECUADOR)

° AMERINDIAN DRUMS OF NORTH AMERICA ARCTIC

COAST

The Eskimos of Northern Alaska could be grouped in three major

ecological patterns:

the people

around

the tareumiut

the caribou;

of the land, whose people

life is developed

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, the quasi-ceremonial gathering place or dance house. 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 instru-

ment 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 incanta-

tions 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,

types of drums are traditionally predominant: idiophone

drum.

yau,”

at Point

and

In Greenland Barrow,

it is called “kilaut.” In frame drums may vary Sewyak (Savvit): throughout Alaska, but

the frame

“kelyau,”

and

drum

and

violin,

two

the frame drum and the

among

is referred

to as “ ael-

the central

Eskimos.

Alaska it is called “sewyak” or “Savwvit.” These in size but remain consistent in construction. (See Pl. XII — No. 241 also varies in size 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 diam-

eter. 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

(

FRAME

SIDE

VIEW

BONE

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 represent

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 mav 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, leader with a small decorated baton. Kalookock

XXIV —

(Kalluyaq):

Box

Drum

—-

The

being set by a

“kalookock

(See

PI.

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. It also not incidentally accents the social status of the men sponsor the feast.”

of substance

who

Skinless Drums: The “Kalookock” 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.

40

DRUMS

Man discovered early that hollow objects duced louder and different types of sounds than were solid. Beating of clubs against hollow logs and widespread method of producing loud sound cussion. The highest development of log drums

IN THE

AMERICAS

when struck prothose objects that became a common and rhythmic perwas 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 construction as well as in material used for their Aleut and Alaskan Eskimos have been influenced by beria on the west and northwest coast culture on the

Eskimo drums in construction. Both the culture of Sisouthwest. But un-

like the

the Eskimos

Eskimos,

the Indians

strike

the

skin

while

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 instru-

ment, 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

41

MACKENZIE-YUKON The Nahane

Indians of northern Canada, which embraces the Tahl-

tan, the Tsetsaut, and the Kaska,

might

use the drum

use a frying pan, a tambourine

drum

in gambling. The

Kaska

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 standa-d 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 and the special dances of the Shaman. In this area drumming is an intrinsic part of the songs and cannot

be separated from them. The rhythm of the tunes is exceedingly complex; but the most striking characteristic is the fact that a syncopated

beat is used.®

Gau: The Tlingit Indians of Alaska refer to all 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, and other occasions, and the frame drum.** Hand

Drums:

The

Nootka

Amerindians,

death

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; duck, eagle, whale, walrus, human effigies, skulls and others.

“hérta” the bear, wild

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 hoof

of gourds, rattle

turtle shells or cocoons,

is also

common.

Flutes,

fitted with

tubes

with

pebbles.

reeds

and

The

whistles

deerare

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

im-

portant 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.

considered important officers, second only to the fire tenders.” Drums

They

are

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 and the drum

was placed over it, hollowed side down.

The instrument was played in two ways. One was to have two or

three men stand on top of the drum and dance in time to the singing.

The second method was to have two or three men stand 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

death. (1890)

dead,

would

return

and live happily

forever without

misery

and

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.*®

GREAT BASIN The simplest musical 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 designs. The drum-stick had a padded end with deer’s hair enclosed in skin. Drums and drum-sticks are sometimes ornamented with deer hooves and feathers.*! PLAINS In the Central states, South, East and West, on plains and prairies, are the remnants of the Comanche, Winnebago, Crow, Dhegiha (Omaha and

Osage),

Pawnee

and Gros Ventre

cultures.

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: the large, two-

headed dance drum, which up to six older men beat in unison POW-WOW DRUM Pl. XV — No. 34) and a hand drum, a hoop

(See with

a dry skin stretched over it. They also used the bull-roarer and rattles

of many types. (See Pl. XVII — No. 39.) Nexe-Gaku (Gaku meaning “to beat”):

The large Omaha drum was made from a

Nexe

water

vessel



section of a hollowed-out tree,

partially filled with water containing charcoal.* Skin, dressed or undressed, 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.#

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 frame drum; a large dance drum, accommodating four or five drummers; 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 sixteen-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 Dance, they used was held to teach there were beings

were used by the pieces of rawhide the men how to act who watched over

dancers of the One-Horn

Red Lance society. In the Wolf for drums. The One-Horn Dance in battle and to remind them that them and gave them courage. The

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 cere-

monies.

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

panding) drug from the cactus illusions and delirium.

is a hallucinogen

(consciousness

ex-

(lophophora williamei) — it produces

AMERINDIAN

DRUMS

OF

NORTH

AMERICA

47

The Peyote drum is made from a 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 is laced around the pebbles and body of the instrument. Before the head is attached, charms

(medicine)

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, using 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. XIX — No. 45.)

(See PI.

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

Bungi, Missisauga,

EASTERN CANADA (Chippewa) of Ontario include and the Ottawa,

all of whom

the Saulteaux,

have

the

interesting drum-

ming 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

of the drum, is used by the Shaman.

“snared”

in the center

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

The

Midi

Drum:

The

instrument

used

in

IN THE AMERICAS

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 dominantly an Amerindian contribution to Amerindians believed that water in the drum ual carrying power, as it certainly changed

in the Americas is preAmerican percussion. The produced a greater spiritthe 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 among the woodland North Amerindians,

centers

around

the

north

central

area

of the

conti-

nent. We find this type among the Chippewa, used as a medicine drum; and the Chippewa 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 of South America

and the West Indies.*

The drum of the Midi is made by hollowing out a sixteen-inch basswood log. A wooden disk is fitted to the lower end of the cylinder and

a small hole drilled in one side. Heavy tanned deer-skin, 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

Africa. The

Korand

to the American

continent, were and are today known

Hottentots, according to Kirby, had a water drum

in

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 deco-

ration. 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,

struck against the drumhead, produces a slapping sound.51

when

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 instrument, 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

drum, fifteen feet or more away; the instrument,

dancers move

clockwise

around

the

is generally

the

four or more drummers sit around

hitting it in unison.

This

instrument

central object in the community, symbolizing community spirit and solidarity—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 prescribed 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 the Labrador Peninsula the drums of the Montagnais-Naskapi show constructional resemblance to the drums 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

DRUMS

OF NORTH AMERICA

51

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 com-

mon in the past. A musical rasp was also used but the bow, as an instru-

52

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

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

whistles.

True

flutes were

used

in sacred

and

official

secular

cere-

monies.

Powunv’-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 thirlytwo 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 through-

out 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

DRUMS OF NORTH AMERICA

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.

the

SOUTHWEST 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

found in this area.

and true flutes are also

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 improvised 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 mistake, 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 hy “Once it has been used as a drum, the vessel car never be used as a cooking utensil; it is believed by the Navajos that the food would make anyone ill.

54

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

the handles. Holes for the eyes and mouth are also punched in the head for each new use.” The drum-stick is made of a piece of bent wood, similar to that used by the Pueblo people. The drum-stick can be made of cedar, scrub oak or wild cherry, a long twig, carefully bent into a looped end and tied. The flat end of the loop is used for beating. After the ceremony, the stick is again straightened out and deposited, with pollen, under the bark of a cedar. (See Pl. XXVI — 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 which are made from the leaves of the yucca by the shaman. are constructed for each ceremony, just before the singing leaves of these sticks must come from the same plant; all

drum-sticks New sticks begins. The 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 hy two or three drummers who sit around the drum in a “cobbler” position.

AMERINDIAN

DRUMS

OF

NORTH

AMERICA

55

disposes of it. In any case, it must not be used for serving food. When the

basket

drive

out

is raised

from

the

the evil influence

ground,

it is fanned

of the songs

with

collected

the

under

hands

to

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 flute, and whistle are also used.

Gweltilkomid:

teau Yumans

The

(Havasupai)

and

two-headed

of Arizona.

hoof

drum

rattles. The

found

It is made

bull-roarer,

among

from a

the

pla-

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 mahog-

any. 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

IN THE

AMERICAS

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

day of Santiago’s

Day,

snare

drum,

is called “o-ya-pinitz.” The

used

on the feast

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

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

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 DRUMS OF NORTH AMERICA

57

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 lac-

ing used on the shell. There are four general types of lacings: the perpendicular, angular, interrupted and the diagonal. The bright, natural

58

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

colors, favored by people who live close to the earth, are used for designs 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.

30.)

Pur-Shuk-Pi-Po-Ya

(Hand

drum):

An

(See Pl. XIV — No.

Amerindian

(Hopi

tribe)

drum. The shell is made from a decayed cottonwood tree trunk. This cylindrical instrument has two goat-skin heads which close the sound chamber. They are laced together with a continuous thong passing 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 onehalf 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 at once, kneeling beside it and striking it with their hands. 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 arrival 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

DRUMS

OF NORTH

AMERICA

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 of the conquest, the Church militantly opposed ritual dances and songs. The dances and songs of contemporary Mexico are entirely Spanish in structure;

but, in their new

environment,

these airs have

tropical accent and other native variants. A typical Mexican

is composed clude flutes, We still occasions by

acquired

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 belliger-

ently 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 few

non-Christian

tribes)

and

the Yaquis.

We

AMERICAS

(one of the

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 importance 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 huehuet! 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 by heating. The huehuetl came in three general deer-skin head stood about three feet and was played with bare hands; the

panther-skin, was used to summon

and the instrument was tuned

types: the huehuetl with the high, was used for dancing tlapanhuehuetl, covered with

the warriors for battle; and the teo-

huehuet] 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

DRUMS OF NORTH AMERICA

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. Teponazili: was

carved

from a

An

idiophone-type solid block

drum

of wood.

used

It was

in long,

ancient round,

Mexico 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

their construction.

(See

Pl. I— No.

1, and

PI.

XXITI — No, 55.) 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 “tin.” Plate No. XXIII — No. 55 Museum of Art, October, 1963

(Courtesy of the Los Angeles County to January, 1964: Master Works of

Mexican Art from pre-columbian times to the present), shows a “Teponaztli 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

IN THE 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

of the

Each

mouths

of both issues the war-cry, “Atl-Tlachinolli,” i.e. “burnt water,”

the material

of feathers,

orders

Aztecs.

symbolizing

of the warriors has a headdress

military

and from

and spiritual conflict, the dynamic

union

the

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 instrument

is Aztec,

and is carved

from

a tree trunk;

stands thirty-eight and five-eighth inches and measures one-quarter inches in diameter.”

and it

nineteen

and

Matlazinca: A.D. 1324-1521. (Malinalco, Mexico). (Courtesy of the Museo de Arqueologia e Historia del Estado

de

Mexico, Toluca, Mexico, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, October, 1963 to January 1964, Master Works of Mexican Art from

pre-columbian times to the present.) Tortuga (Ayotl): A large turtle shell hung 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.) Huehueil (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 DRUMS OF NORTH AMERICA

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

two inches, including the limb.

Monkey 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

Curacao.

down,

and

beaten

with

two

sticks. Used

in Mexico,

Cuba

and

(See Pl. XXII — No. 52.)

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 direc-

tions. 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 to the revolving platform. At a given signal, the flyers fling themselves backward into space with the ropes attached to their feet. The weight of their bodies causes the ropes to uncoil and rotate the square cap. The five flyers swing around in a 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 are very popular in Vera Cruz, are constructed from a small frame 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 also provides a loop which is used as a handle. 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 tree trunk. The

tension lacings have

leather

ears.

If one

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 square, covered with wet buckskin and beaten with one stick. The Amerindians

of Mexico,

like the Amerindians

inches

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 percentage 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 ob-

jective criterium for this classification is the language or mother tongue. Does the person speak Spanish or an Indian dialect? The subjective requirement with them by pathies and those of the

is that the individual feels he is an Indian. He identifies joining in their actions and reactions and shares their symantipathies. His ethical, esthetic and political ideals are Indian. 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

music, except for the music of Panama.

a native

version

The native instruments common to all Central “gu” or “xul,” which is a vertical flute; a small wind “tzijolay”; the “chirimia,” which is the general name like wind instruments; “tun” or “teponaztli,” which drum;

and the “tot,” an encrusted shell.

65

of

European

America are the instrument called for the clarinetis an idiophone

66

DRUMS

Pottery or kettledrums probably

IN THE

AMERICAS

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

of horn are used as well as the jingle types.

tubes

and

Musical

hollow

pieces

rasps were

used

and the musical bow may have been pre-columbian in Central America.

Whistles and flutes flourished, the latter playing an important oficial and religious ceremonies.

part in

When water is used with the kettledrum, it is referred to as a “‘waler 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

and produces an unusual and surprisingly loud sound. No. 51) Timbal

De

Barro

(Clay

Drum):

A

with

two

sticks

(See Pl. XXI —

two-chambered

drum

of

Guatemala. A similar instrument in Mexico is called “Huehuetl de Barro.”

It stands about twenty inch wide superimposed

inches high and is made from two eightclay “bulbs.” The higher bulb, open at the

top, is covered with lizard skin. The lower bulb has an opening water. It is played with one light stick. Most timbales de barro

found in Central America, nearly always as water drums. — No. 45)

for are

(See Pl. XIX

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:tifmi.” This drum is also used in the drinking

bouts among the Mosquito people.* M: Kunbi (Kuribaya, S:paratan, Paritam) — 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

means

of

funerals

head,

either

a strong

and

cord.

similar

deer,

iguana,

Played

memorial

with

toad

or tapir,

is held

taut

by

bare

hands,

it is used

only

at

ceremonies.

These instruments correspond to the huehuetl of ancient Mexico.

The

Mosquitos

shaman’s

also

use

gourd

rattles,

bamboo

one-tone

flute is six feet long), reed flutes, pottery

flutes

(the

whistles, conch

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

and

harmonicas.”

Bribri Drum:

Found

in Costa

Rica

is probably

the most

typi-

cal instrument of the Talamanca tribe of Central America. 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. drum,

The Boruca, another the shell of which

*Mosquito: (Woolwa)

An Indian tribes.

hands.

tribe of the Talamanca, is carved from a piece

tribe, found in Nicaragua,

Similar

instru-

have a two-headed of cedar, balsa or

includes the Matagalpa, Sumo

and Ulva

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

of Central America, with the exception of the zambumbia,

a two-headed

snare drum, copied from the European field drum. or

The vertical flute, the chirimia

carimba

(a

type

of

used in Nicaragua),

found in The majority customs

(a primitive clarinet),

monochord),*

(the

and the marimba

same

as

to all

the caramba

the

Quijongo,

(type of xylophone),

are all

El Salvador. music of Nicaragua is predominantly Amerindian, though the of the population is mestizo (mixture). Native Amerindian and rituals are often combined with Catholic religious rites.

The folk music and folk instruments Quiche cultural regions of Central

are products of the Maya America. Some melodies

and 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 huacaén.”

The

Sihu

or “magiiey.”

drum

In Cuba

of Trinidad,

“La Jicara de Joba”**of Cuba Americans in those areas,

are

the

it was known

Bastel

found,

of

as “mayo-

of Curacao,

course,

and

among

the

Afro-

“Monochord: A one-string violin. **Jicara de Jobé: 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.

America,

The

The

South

wind

instruments

dominate

the musical

scene

but in North America we find the rattles more American

rhythms

are

more

complex

and

the

single

sticks

are

in

South

in South

frequently. 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

used

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

is also found in Central America,

South rarely

drum,

found

frequently in Central America,

America, but the idiophone used in North America, are

drums, found ,in 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 South

America,

through

Peru

and

Bolivia

Peruvian

highlands.

The

Ecuador, along the west of into

Chile.

It was

at its

height in South America about the time the Aztecs were ruling Mexico. The Incas were remarkably bridges, and irrigation ditches

great builders of granite buildings, 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 sufhciently 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 resounds 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 small, carved, painted gourd. (See Pl. XIV — No. 30)

The Incas also use three types of rattles: snail-shell rattles (also shell anklets), pods called “gacapa,” and silver and copper bells. The ‘Incan flutes (‘‘quena,” “quna,” “qina-qina”) are of bone or cane; trumpets are single-note of shell (“pototo”) clay, gourd (“waylyakipa’”), or wood; whistles are referred to as “timbrels” and the panpipes 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

of an

instrument,

their instruments play

the

are not mixed

the

drum

with

same

sometimes

instrument.

is used

each man

a dance,

orchestrally —a

However,

all groups.

and a

one

fiesta. Generally,

group

combination

Sometimes

one

of men

large drum

plays a drum with his right hand

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

will

is common—

is used;

and a wind

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 “haugafia.” The Aymara also use a laced barrel drum,

which

“tundiki.”

they

claim

they borrowed

Other instruments of the Aymara racket” and “timbrel” rattle); flutes flutes, “pinkilu” with the tone of clarinet-like instrument); trumpets

“charango,”

a three-string

guitar

from

the Afro-Bolivians,

called

of Bolivia include: rattles (‘“‘rasp(end flutes, duct flutes, large right a flageolet, panpipes, “tarka,” a of cow-horn; notched cane rasp;

made

from

the

“carapace”

of an

armadillo; whistles; flageolets; and small bells.

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 noie; the “pifullka,” a small reed pipe; the “kiinkiilkawe,” a double musical

bow;

the “wada”

or “huada,”

a fruit shell filled with

dry seeds; the “‘kiillkill,” an animal horn; the “pinkiilwe,” flute; and the “kultrum” are some of the instruments.

a vertical

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 as a drummer and when this occurs, two slender sticks are used. The

head

of the drum

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 “rafinmapu” meaning the middle of the earth. To the Araucanians, anyone who does not originate from “rafifimapu”’ 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

they play with

grotesque forms.

two

sticks;

but

they

area have a similar drum which paint

the heads

of the drum

.

with

CHACO The instruments of Argentina are European (or European copies) and Amerindian. Even though the folk music and popular music have been profoundly 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, the tango, and the zamba, as well as in the names themselves.

The

the

kettledrums

Choroti,

are

Ashluslay,

common

Lengua

to the

and

the

Chaco

Mataco

cultural tribes

use

area

where

them.

instrument is also found in other cultural areas in South America:

This

the

Borora of Goyaz, the Chiriguana and the Caripuna of Bolivia, the Tehuelche of Pampean, and the Araucanians of Chile. In North

America it 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

consisted

the Kiowa in the southern states the body of the drum

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

initiation

South

rites,

America

signaling,

it has

America:

death

been

magic,

ceremonies

associated

with

religious, love making,

and

others.

In

North

agricultural people.

and

The body of the kettledrum consists of a closed vessel made from clay or a hollowed tree trunk, with the bottom closed. The head, generally 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, con-

sisting of a clay pot, covered with a goat’s or deer-skin and partly filled with water. Only one stick is used. This instrument is used for ritualistic or spiritualistic purposes to drive

away

evil spirits

causing

sickness,

drought,

hurricanes,

influence good spirits to bring rain and good harvests.

and

to

The Tobas use this instrument for feasts connected with celebrations of important milestones in the life of the male: birth, wooing, marriage, and passing from one station to another.”

Bombo: This instrument, used by the Amerindians 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 IN THE AMERICAS

74

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 padded tip.” (See Pl. XIV— No. 30)

with

a stick with

a

Huankar (Hatun-Tinya): A two-headed frame drum from Argentina

which is called “tinya” in Quechua, “uancara” in Aymara and, in Span-

ish, 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

drum

is hung

is held with

from

the wrist and

the left hand

struck with

two

sticks.

(3)

and struck with the right hand.

The

In Tucuman we find a square drum or “caja,” a square frame, cov-

ered with two skins, and laced together with an extra loop for a handle. This drum is held in one hand and struck with a stick in the other. The music and the instruments of Paraguay

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 in-

struments 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,” “memby-guazt,” and “memby-carara”;

the “congoera,”

a rasp;

the primitive

and the drums.

*Guarani Indians from the Guarany Area in South America.

trumpet called “inubia”;

AMERINDIAN

DRUMS

Trocano:

An

OF

SOUTH

idiophone

AMERICA

drum,

75

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 (Ketiledrum): 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 decorated with metal mountings, is generally used. 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,

method

and

beat it with

two

knobbed-end

sticks. This

is an

unusual

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 of Paraguay.” EASTERN LOWLANDS Ouarara: In the northeast 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 keep time. Three types of idiophone drums plank drums, the simple hollow log Pl. XXI — No. 49) The slit drum is hollowed out small

and

narrow.

IJt is found

end is pounded on the ground to are found in South America: the drums, and the slit drum. (See

through an aperture that is quite

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

a

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 north-

eastern 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 Chocé tribes, who use them as magic instruments to frighten away evil spirits.” Trocano:

inches

long

A

and

massive

PARA log, approximately

fifty to fifty-seven

inches

thirty-nine

in diameter,

resonant wood, and used by the Amanaye Amerindians signaling.

to

seventy

of light and

of Brazil for

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 America,

since two-

with Mexico

and Central America.”

headed

drums

are the general

rule, whereas

it is mainly

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

rather communicate with each other by whistling.

hunting,

but

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, the Wintum, and the Pomo.™

Catuquinaru pit,

filled

with

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 vt ‘ tn

° Hite

HOLLOW

79 HARO

PALH

.

my t at

Ta " 1

WOOD

RUBBER

h

FRAGMENTS

oF wood, HIDE & RESINS

CROSS-SECTION

OF CATUQUINARU

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

Catuquinard tribe, and is probably one of the strangest found in the Americas. LORETO Tunduli

(Tundui):

A Jivaro Amerindian

drum

of Ecuador, closely

associated with the spirit appearing in the shape of the great water boa or anaconda, made of a light wood called “shimuta.” This instrument is approximately fifteen inches in diameter and sixty-three inches 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,

drum

the drum

is made

is buried

to accompany

was originally a strictly secular and religious.

with

him

and

with

each

instrument,

but

new

chief,

a new

him through his reign.” The ‘“tunduli”

religious

today

it

is both

Uchichi-Tambora: Another drum, a copy of a European type, also

80

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

used by the Jivaros of Ecuador. It is a bimembranophone

one head

covered

with

the skin

of a common

instrument,

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

clearly of European

origin. The

drum

body

of the Tucuna

tribe of Brazil,

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

(sometimes

with

hums

the head

when

a bead

or a small

is struck.

The

piece

of metal

instrument

head

tied in the center)

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-partj), 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 covered 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

OF

SOUTH

AMERICA

Indians 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

made

giving

eight feet long and twelve to sixteen inches thick, depending on whether they are “male” or “female.” The wood from which they are is hard, fine-grained,

heavy

and

unblemished,

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

approxi-

mately: 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” away,

and

messages

Witoto, Bora, Andoke,

are

carried

can be heard up to twenty miles

even

near the Bora, communicate

in this manner.

GUIANA In the Guianas we find the drums wanderers of the Caribbean Sea. Sambura

farther

by

relay

drums.

The

Okaina, Nonoya, Resigero and other tribes living

(See Pl. XXI — No.

of the Carib

tribes,

once

49)

the

(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 toothpicklike 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, forming two “lips” that produce two tones. The “caverre” 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

rafters,

branches,

or even

from

the player’s

neck

and

is

beaten with two sticks. The skins are sewn to a wooden flesh ring and laced across the body. It is believed that this instrument is modeled after a European field drum.” (See Pl. I— No. 2)

AMERINDIAN Tortoise

DRUMS

OF SOUTH AMERICA

Tambor:

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 pirates, soldiers, farmers, bonded

some sort: adventurers, plunderers, 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 representa-

tives. With the basic necessities satisfied, the development of leisure time

began

to increase

books, musical

the luxury

of nostalgic

urges.

The

instruments, latest-styled clothing, house

teachers for their children.

84

settlers sent for furnishings and

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. when

The

Moors

brought

they migrated

the tabor and tambourine

to England,

these

instruments

to Spain, and later,

became

very pop-

ular. 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 monuments 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-

86

DRUMS IN THE AMERICAS

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, except the “timpini” drum, which is tuned, is important only if it clashes with the pitch of other sounds. Percussion,

from

the

European

point

of view,

is not music;

it is

not a vital constituent of the harmony, which is almost invariably complete without it. Time

intervals of the drum notes reinforce, as a whole,

and

ends

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 played

on

both

with

stuffed-knob

and

is used

by

the

in-

fantry 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

systematizing

was developing all the time. There was a need for

drumming.

In 1933, 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 rudi-

ments 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

bass, side, and snare drums have been adopted by

in the Americas.

These

European

instruments

are

being used to play Asian, African, Amerindian and European rhythms. They are also being used for folk, popular and, of course, classical music.

Most music falling 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. It is neither “Afro,” Amerindian, nor European. It is “mestizo”; 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, gitiros and marimbas.

EUROPEAN-AMERICAN

PERCUSSION

PLATE JI — 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 In every country

the European

DRUMS

settled and colonized he gave un-

selfishly of his music and his musical instruments for all to enjoy. In some countries European music was accepted “en tod6,” 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 for classical and generally popular music. In some

areas,

the

acceptance

of European

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 tra-

ditional 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

Toral,

91

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. (See Pl. IX — No.

14)

counter

to each

Surdo: 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 hoops

are connected

bolts and tensed with wing-nuts.

other down

the body

with long

It is very popular in parades

and

processions, and is most always used with “toral,” making a set. The bodies of both instruments are made of metal, and the set is used for

both popular and folk music. Parade Set: The drums used in the United States for parades, drum corps, drum 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

drum.

at the same

time as the kettledrum, tenor drum, and the bass

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 of the side drum. The heads were generally made from calf-skin and the snares from lambgut. (See Pl. V—No.

stretched

is struck.

3)

across

The snares are several strands of catgut or steel wire

the lower head

which

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

The skin is tightened by metal rods and thumb

IN

THE

AMERICAS

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 popular, 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.

Tenor Drum: A two-headed European-American drum, which is the survivor of an eighteenth century instrument. It has a deep wood shell with cord tension for the head.*’ Without

“Rienzi,”

“Die

snares

this

Walkiire,”

instrument and

was

“Parsifal.”

employed

The

sound

by

Wagner

is much

in

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

tenor

drum

entered

the orchestra

with the bass and the kettledrum and 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, twenty-two inches; and an

eighteen-inch tenor marching drum. 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 eine Popula*Brum-Sei

chamber,

1

used _ generally.

TS eSaphe

Modern

(See Pl. II)

dance

bands,

roups, orchestras, and jazz groups from Nome to Buenos Aires

theaded drums in different combinations; the snare’the bass drum, the tom-tom, -and the coektail drum. (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

uséd>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 instruments 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 “combos” — commonly in cocktail lounges. Tom-Toms:

term among drums. The come in two and the floor

is used

only

in small

The term “tom-tom” has come to be used as a generic

musicians. It represents all small, two-headed unsnared tom-toms used in the modern orchestra in the Americas types. The bass tom drum is bracketed to the bass drum 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 aver-

ages about nine inches in height and thirteen inches in diameter. Tom-toms struments

are

are used.

generally Each

two

head

has

headed, its own

but

some

tension

single-headed castings,

in-

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 orchestra 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 a fairly loose snare head. The batter head is played with two hardwood sticks. It is recommended that tension not be relieved in either head after a performance. Tightening and loosening of the head shortens the life of the skin. Some of the modern 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 drumroll

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 instrument in classical music about 1782 in “Il Seraglio.” Hayden employed

it in 1794 in his military symphony. This drum. originally had-a wooden, bedy and cord tension. The

modérn’

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 utidergone 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 was first used in concert music in Europe in the late Middle Ages. The tambourine is struck against the body, hands, fingers,

elbows,

knees,

head,

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;

(“tamba

y chirimia)

used

in many

but the “tambor” parts of Central

and

“chirimia”

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 “Landsknechttrommel,” 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 ap-

pear only occasionally on parade grounds. (See Pl. XVI— No. 36) Tympani (Kettledrum): A large cauldron of copper or brass covered

with 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

produces

consist

of three

sound, tensors—a

parts:

mechanical

and tuning. It is a matter of personal preference There are five general types: pedal-tuned, justable, cables or bicycle chains, universal Heads for the tympani are calf-skin — calves not more

kettle — resonator,

means

of retaining

head —

the head

as to which type is chosen. screw principle, crank adjoints. or slunk calf-skin. Hides of

than eight weeks old are best. Slunk, or unborn calf, is

better for the snare side of a snare drum. Today, modern machines re-

move

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 standardization 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: The French version of the field drum in the Americas.

It has four or more gut snares.

Tambour

four gut snares. Tambourin

Militaire:

Similar

(Tambour

to the caisse

de Provence):

roulante,

A deep

drum,

but with only snared

or un-

snared. 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 2

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

and fifteen and three-quarter inches in diameter. Grosse Ruehrtommel: Formerly a single-headed

without

snares,

it was known

about

the

size

of the

French

as ‘“Landsknechttrommel.”

century found this drum

German

tambourin.

With

in depth

drum, snares

The middle of the eighteenth

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 Ruehrtrommel 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”

was reduced again, and the (little jazz drum) of five and one-quarter inches in four inches in depth, with

(concert drum). This drum

concert drum became “Kleine Jazz Trommel” and one-quarter inches in depth and fourteen diameter. Today we find the “bop” trommedl, 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” are words used in Italy for drums (box or chest). Tamburo Rullante: Italian version of the French caisse roulante with or without snares.

Tamburo sticks.’

Piccolo: A small snared Italian drum, played with two

EUROPEAN-AMERICAN

DRUMS

AFRO-AMERICAN

101

MUSICAL

UO PWONE

. Brazil

. British Guiana

. Surinam

. Uruguay

_ oso

ND

. Venezuela Honduras Panama

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 con-

tinent 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 impossible to make a single description to fit all west African music, but

there are certain characteristics which are found in nearly all the countries 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 employed 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 These men are employed and paid by the master and secondary drummers. Secondary persistent contrasting rhythms, or underline

at all major state occasions. authorities. There are both drummers usually fill in with 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 majority 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 elemental 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 Nafigos 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 B AFRICAN THEOLOGY There

were no written theological

but where there was by which the rituals secret ritual language in some West African

texts to which

no literature there were passed from was employed for religious cults. One

men

could

refer,

was a common oral tradition one generation to another. A this which can still be found 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 attributes and manifestations of God and the secondary deities.

106

DRUMS

The supreme

being--God

appeal

may

The

final resort—the

who

directly or through ancestors, or minor

be

last Court

IN THE AMERICAS

of

approached

intermediaries, deities. God is

thought to be very remote and is appealed to directly in time of great stress. \

\

Deities or natural forces which must he propitiated lest they be-

7 come

angry

the seasons

at neglect

to fail.

and

cause

SKY The Supreme power from all life Hows and returns.

which

A Goddess a producer of food and the burying place for the dead. On the earth lives man and his chiefs and Kings are rungs in the ladder between himself and God.

/

/

N

/

Man

beneath

the sky

lives on

the

land, not in a void, but as a sovereign vital force. It is his duty

On one side of the triangle are the

to replenish

ancestors rising up in the hierarchy by their increased powers—Dead Kings and Chiefs or their leaders and potent to help or harm.

it. He able Gods, man

the earth, and

subdue

seeks the help of every availpower, the spirits and the which share this earth with as 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 spirit. ual 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

IN THE AMERICAS

upon his enemy. Hence it becomes an instrument of so-called “blackmagic.”

Fate, theological — nothing is believed own case,

or destiny, is extremely important in relation to the African view. Fate rules the universe — everything is predetermined happens by chance or accident. Nevertheless, the individual to have a fighting chance to alter the course of destiny in his provided he can be forewarned in time to invoke the super-

natural 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)

The Voodoo

is of the utmost importance.

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 Afri-

can 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,

bones, and feet. Other musicians

sat alongside, beating the sound 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 interchange-

ably 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 God has a certain day of the year when homage is paid him with song, rhythm, and ritual dance. The word “Yroco” in English means

silk cotton tree, which, in Lucumi, is the allegorical symbol of the “Santo

Shang6,” known

as the harvest warriors— the Lord and Master of fire

and war. Shangé 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 strongest 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 fundamental 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.’ 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

111

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. cult

Drums, iron implements and rattles are indispensable to the modern 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 drum, which plays a counter. rhythm to the

small one. The deep-tuned tinually changing patterns.

Cult drums

dance;

drum

is the solo instrument,

are not casual and incidental

they are a vital elemental source. The

playing con-

accoutrements

“power”

of the

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 godfather and godmother, and a proper name.'” Each year the drums are dressed, “fed” and reconfirmed, so they will not lose power. The food 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 drummers

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 al-

lows 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 giiro, claves, bell, or iron, log drums, marimbas, gourd (cabaga), jawbone (quijada) 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

INFLUENCE

113

Gradually, the African element 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

ragtime and jazz; the Candombe

American’s

“shout,”

spirituals, blues,

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,

lambo,

Conga,

Macumba,

Rumba,

Yambii

Somba, and

Bomba,

Samba.

Fandango,

Candomblé,

Ma-

114

DRUMS

PLATE ItI — AFRO-AMERICAN DRUMS Congas Quinto Cota Bata Pilén Tamba Bongées Bata

IN THE AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

Conga

115

PLATE V, #1— CUBAN BATTERY Timbales Giliro (Reco-Reco)

PLATE V, #2— PETRO Ti-Baka

Juba Asson

DRUMS

(HAITI)

Gras Baka

Bongés

IN THE

DRUMS

116

ie

PLATE V, #3 — PARADE

Field Drum

Scotch

Bass

DRUM

(COURTESY OF DRUM CITY)

PLATE VI, #4— MYDOL Signal

Drum

DRUM

SET

Tenor

SET (JAMAICA)

Festival Drum

Flute

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

PLATE VI, #5— CUBAN CONGA DRUM SET Quinto Tumbador Conga Mambisa

PLATE VI, #6 — CUBAN BATA SET (LUCUMI CULT) Amelé Itétele Ateheré (Cabaca) Iya

117

118

DRUMS

PLATE VII, #7 — TIMPANO SET Pedal Type Hand Type Screw Type (COURTESY OF DRUM CITY)

IN THE

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

119

PLATE VII, #8 — SHANGO DRUM SET (TRINIDAD) Chacha (Maracas) Bembo Congo Amalie

Saka-saka

PLATE VII, #9 — SURINAM Apinti Loango Dra (Snake Giiiro)

BATTERY Kauna Dra

120

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

PLATE VIU, #10— EARLY AMERICAN INSTRUMENTS (U S.A.) Courd Rattle Harmonica Sheep Shanks — Banjo Tom-Tom Bel Tambouye (Quijada) a Jaw Bone = Jew’s Harp Bone Flut i Quills ws ones Comb Triangle

PLATE VIII, #1) — PANAMANIAN DRUM SET Repicador Pujador Requinto Guachara (Reco-Reco)

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

121

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

Tarol Surdo Ganza

Botija (Botiiao)

PARADE

Zambumba Queixada Chocalho

DRUMS (Quijada)

AMERICAS

DRUMS IN THE AMERICAS

PLATE IX, #15 — ATABAQUES (BRAZIL) Rumpi Le Rum Frijideiro Pitodo Agogo

123

124

DRUMS

PLATE X, #16 — MODERN Floor Tom Bass

Snare

JAZZ SET

Bass Tom

IN THE

Top Hat

Cymbals

(COURTESY OF DRUM CITY)

PLATE X, #17 — NANIGO DRUM BATTERY (CUBA) Ekue Kuchi yerema Eribé Enkrikamo Obiapa Binkomé Bonké Ekuenén Empeg6

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

PLATE XI, #18— BOLIVIAN PARADE (LINARES) “Cajas” and “Panpipes” on parade

PLATE XI, #19 — PASADENA PARADE (PASADENA, CALIF.) Tambourines in parade

125

126

DRUMS

PLATE XI, #20 — WONTEVIDEO Chico

Snare

IN THE AMERICAS

PARADE (CARNIVAL MONTEVIDEO, Repique and Piano

PLATE XI, #21 — MARINE Tom Drum Tenor Tom

PARADE (US.A.) Cymbals

URUGUAY)

Scotch Bass

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

PLATE

127

XII, #22 — GIANT Cumaco

DRUMS

N. Assotor

(IN-THE AMERICAS) Assolor

128

DRUMS

PLATE XII, #23— TLAPANHUEAUETL (TOLUCA, (COURTESY OF EL MUSEO DE ARQUEOLOGIA E HISTORIA DEL ESTADO DE MEXICO)

PLATE XII, #24— FRAME Pandero

Tamborin Pandereta

DRUMS

IN THE

MEXICO)

Tambourine Sewyak 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

PLATE XIII, #27 — SINGLE-HEADED Mellicin

Tumbilla Balcié Tambi

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

131

PLATE XIII, #28 — SINGLE-HEADED Tambi

Boku

PLATE XIV, #29 — TWO-HEADED Tambora Caja Tambor Guayo

DRUMS

Matrimonial

Rabardage

DRUMS Tymale

132

DRUMS

PLATE XIV, #30 — TWO-HEADED Tombe Tinya Maracas

AMERINDIAN Bombo Caja

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

PLATE Triangle

Musik

WOW

DRUM

XVI, #35

Di Zumbi

Benta

Cachoe

IN THE

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

PLATE XVI, #36 — TAMBOR

135

AND PITO (MEXICO)

DRUMS

136

PLATE XVI, #37

Taikos

Chang Ko

Ok-tsusumi

PLATE XVII, #38 — Kubu Dhol

Bongo

IN THE

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

137

PLATE XVII, #39 Laced Square Drum

Tambor

HAND

DRUMS (AMERINDIAN) Chippewa Medicine Drum Sioux War Drum

PLATE XVII, #40 — Sioux Hannd Drum Ground Rattle

De Tloxcula

Deer Hoof Rattle

138

DRUMS

Musiic Sticks Bullroarer

IN THE AMERICAS

PLATE XVII, #41 — Pahu (Oceanic Kettledrum) Puili

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

PLATE XVIII, #42 --OCEANIC KETTLEDRUMS Puhi-Hula Puhi Puniu

Tasa

PLATE XVIII, #43 — (Trinidad) Tasa (British Guiana)

139

140

DRUMS

PLATE XVIII, #44—AMERINDIAN Kultrum

(Araucanion)

PLATE XIX, #45— WATER Timbal

DRUMS

de Barro Peyote

IN THE

KETTLEDRUM Chaco

(AMERINDIAN)

Potawatomi

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

141

‘a PLATE XIX, #46 — (CURACAO) Bastel (Drummer) Chapi (PHOTO BY VAN F. FISCHER)

(Player)

PLATE XX, #47 — FRICTION DRUMS El Coco de Efik Obutén Ayotl

142

aera

DRUMS

|

PLATE Kinfuiti

XX, #48 — FRICTION

Furruco

Cuica

Basse

Puita

DRUMS

IN

THE

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN

THE

AMERICAS

PLATE XXI, #49 — SKINLESS DRUMS Tambor Semeistico (Manhuaré) (COURTESY OF PERUANESTICO)

143

144

DRUMS

a

any

1) arty pp

oer

hak

vy

LL

Ted,

ay

hd bdls

|

775

; dan dt Lbi dian



M14a 144 Add.

iis: LDP

ae

My

7,7

vy

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

Cajita

XXII, #54— La Guagua

IN THE AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

147

PLATE XXII, #55 — TEPONAZTLI (TOLUCA, MEXICO) (COURTESY OF EL. MUSEO DE ARQUEOLOGIA E HISTORIA DEL ESTADO DE MEXICO)

PLATE

Tullis

Lali

XXIII, #56 —

Touette

Ipu

148

DRUMS

PLATE XXII, #57 — MOKUGYO

PLATE XXIV, #58 — Stamping Tube Ipu Hula

IN THE

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

PLATE XXIV, #59 — KALOOKOCK (BOX DRUM) (COURTESY OF NOME MUSEUM)

149

150

DRUMS

Pechu Di Calumba

PLATE XXIV, #60 — Tambour Maringouin

IN THE AMERICAS

(Mosquito Drum)

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

PLATE

Chocalho

151

XXV, #61 — DRUM

Marimbula Sansa

Atcheré

ACCESSORIES

Cabaca

PLATE XXV, #62 — Stamping Tubes

(Mbira or Thumb

Piano)

Flute

Asson

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

THE

AMERICAS

cal

IN

ng somone

DRUMS

PLATE XXVI, #65 — DRUM STICKS Asian-American European-American Aframerican

PLATE XXVI, #66 — AMERINDIAN

DRUMSTICKS

Lo4

DRUMS

PLATE XXVII, #67 -— RATTLES Rattles

Turtle Shell Rattle Maracas

Cha Cha

IN

THE

AMERICAS

UARISISOUCEOR GSE CRICASSRLORANCOUURACa sc c ae saeauaaacaecai aa ccacseecni i

etneaecncunenina

DRUMS IN THE AMERICAS

Guayo

PLATE XXVII, #68 — Wiri Reco Reco Giiro

155

Rasp Sticks

156

DRUMS

Ndango Ngoma

Ngalabi

Ndere

IN TIE

PLATE XXVIII, #69 — (Harp) Bambala (Flute)

Ndingidi

(Fiddle)

PLATE XXVIII, #70 — Tamalee Brekepe Dundun

AMERICAS

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

157

PLATE XXVIII, #71 — Odomankoma Atsimevu Mpentima

Turu

Bongon Ser Tehen Mbira

(Banga)

(Sansa)

PLATE XXIX, #72 —

Ngoma

Darabukkas

Trough Zither 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 ASHANTD)

11 AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

African rhythms are the most obvious contribution made by the Afro-American to American jazz, popular and folk music. 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

DRUMS

161

Besides drum “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,

America;

Honduras

and

Surinam,

Panama

Uruguay,

and

Venezuela

in Central America;

in South

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

Lundi,

the

Maracatd,

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 Macumba, 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 caxambi (bass-drum), the tabaqué or atabaqué (high drum), the trocano (the jungle drum made out of a hollow tree trunk). The

cults

of

Brazil

are

Orixds and the Candomblés,

dances,

are used.

the

Alufas

Cambindas

of

Mohammedan

or Macumbas.

origin,

the

In all of them,

songs, and characteristic instruments according to the rituals

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 worship.’”° 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

hand

stick. Originally these

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 and a

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;

carved,

but sometimes

found

painted

with

they are seldom

symbols.

(See

if ever

Pl.

IX —

of Brazil —a

small

No. 15) The rumpi and 1é are generally played with two thick sticks. Cuica

(Omelé):

A cone-shaped friction drum

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. (See Pl. XX — No. 48) Friction

Drums

—In

the

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 membrane or body causing the instrument to vibrate when the stick, cord, or reed is rubbed with resinous fingers. In some

cases, the

skin is rubbed 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 European, 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

single-head

instrument

Congo —- The

Set:

smallest

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

solo instrument; drummer

can be used as a

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 divided into three groups. One group is found in the urban areas. They use different instruments, have

a different way

of life, and

their music

reflects this. The

two

re-

maining groups are found in the bush. There are two tribes, the Djuka and Sardmaka; both began during slavery. They are descendants of

runaway 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, musical instruments and rhythm are similar.

their

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

165

Surinam Batteries and Sets: Drums are the most important

instrument

culture in the small country of Dutch Guiana

in the all Afro-Bush

(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 Djuka’s apinti drum is not carved, but is similar in other respects. With 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

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

when 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 instrument, 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 keeps played.’

on

talking

the Lya Ilu, the Emele, and the Agago. The

in proverbs

when

dance

music

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 the right head. The instrument is eight inches in inches long. Kwakwa: An idiophone drum made from a the only drum women are permitted to play in

playing with a stick on diameter and eighteen

hard top bench, and is 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, but we do find Amerindian and Afro-Uruguayian instruments.

Chico, Repique, Piano Set: These are three single-headed congotype drums of Uruguay. The heads are made from cowhide or goatskin and are tacked to the body, which is made from staves. These barrel-

shaped drums stand from thirty to and one-half to nine and one-half to seven and one-half inches across hand and one stick. The left hand against the body and head with the

thirty-six inches high and are seven inches across and five and one-half the foot. They are played with one strikes the head and a stick is used right. The shells are brightly painted.

These Afro-Uruguayian instruments are very prominent nual carnival in Montevideo. (See Pl. XI — No. 20) Aboriginal Amerindian,

VENEZUELA Colonial

Spanish,

during the an-

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 complexity of rhythms, preference for a minor mode,

simultaneous

use of

duplets and triplets, etc. In the plains we find music brought by the Spanish colonists. Venezuelan rhythms, designed for dance, are kinetic and its 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 meaning 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 AMERICAS

be laid horizontally when played, while the drummer sits astride, extending the head out between his legs.!"* One drummer plays the head with bare hands, another 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 pegs, which are inserted in square holes in the body of the instrument. On both 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]. XIII—

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 held has the

“mina” with two small sticks called “laures.” The basic rhythm is by the curbata which is constant with very few breaks. The “mina” complete freedom. The singer adds to the flavor with the playing of 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.

There are two types of furrucos found in Venezuela. Both types have

external

friction

sticks,

but

in

one,

the

reed

is attached

to the

head, 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.”

—No.

(See Pl. XX

48)

Mayer or Arriero

(Respondén 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

IN THE AMERICAS

of the flesh ring for four inches, then down behind the flesh ring to the body ring where it is looped up again. In order to tune the skin, wedges are forced between the body and the body ring. It is played with one bare hand and a cylindrical stick. The

head is made from deer-hide, and mayor comes in three sizes: Medio Mayor. The mayor is approximately mouth, about thirty-two inches in base. The media golpe is similar in twenty-five

inches

high,

seven

the body is made of balso wood. The Golpe, Segundo Tambor Mayor, and ten inches in diameter across the height, and seven inches across the construction, but smaller. It is about

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 (tapdron) 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:

two-headed

proximately

A generic term in Latin-American countries for a

instrument played with sticks. In Venezuela, twenty-seven

inches

in

diameter,

nineteen

it is ap-

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

DRUMS

171

Panama, 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—

Juan

del Instituto Cultural Venezolano-Bri-

Liscano,

in the Boletin

No. 29)

tanico of August 6, 1942, summed up the interdependence of the Indian,

Spanish, and Afro-Venezuelan

influence in Venezuelan

music in the fol-

lowing 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.”!5>

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 Amerindian 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: Amerindian, AfroAmerican, and European Americans. 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-Amer-

ican rhythm found is the Cumbia.” Caja (Box) or Tambor de Panama Battery: The caja is a double-membrane 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. VIIJ — 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 puja-

dor, along with the caja

The

caja

(box).

tamborito orchestra

(box),

and singers.

the repicador

of Panama

is usually composed

(picker), the guitar, hand-clapping,

of the maracas

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

diameter across the bottom. Pujador

Drum

across the skin and

(Pusher):

The

pujador

six to eight inches

is twenty

to twenty-five

inches in height and ten to twelve inches in diameter across and eight to ten inches in diameter at the foot. The pujador is used to produce the richness of the bass the beating of the other drums. The tone can be modulated or lowering both knees which are holding the drum, but its configurations are limited. The caja

(box)

or tambor

de Panama

in

the head

effect on by lifting rhythmic

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 by the combined six-eight and three-four time, while the Afro-Cuban 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

emo-

tional 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 AfroAmerican drum is found among the Afro-Cubans.

Cuba has several well-organized cults, Arard of Dahomean

Lucumi

of the Yorubas,

the Abakwa,

and

the Kimbisa.

Their

ments, music, and rites are distinctive and individualistic. Many

thythms have been used for popular secular music.

Cult life is stronger in Cuba than in Haiti in many

origin, instru-

of their

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 Arard 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-gin” (the largest), “xumpé,” “hun-hogulé,” 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 “huntér.” 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 ent,” 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 parchment. 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 “tchaworé.”!* The second drum is called the “‘itétele” and the smallest is called “omelé”

and

sometimes

called “Konkolo”

or “Okénkolo.”

The

sacred

name of the Lucumi drums is “afia” 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 “kpuarm

99

taki,” 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 without the lacing; the heads are tacked on. Since the Spanish-American War, Aframerican cult festivities of every kind have virtually been outlawed and are now referred to by the European-Americans

as “bembé.”*

This

is still in effect, though

not

universally enforced. Ceremonies take place with the permission of local

police. During carnival and designated feast weeks, 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. drumming).

(In Africa, it is a type of royal

176

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

The instruments must be carved by hand with African tools. The iya is twenty-seven to tweny-nine inches long, twelve to thirty-three

inches in diameter across the “end” 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.

Okénkolo 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

dry

the

inside

and

outside

of

the

drum.

To

ritual drums in Cuba, either snake oil (aceite de la culebra Maja)

grease

or a

certain palm tree oil (manteca de corojo) 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 instrument 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 “end” 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, drawing them tight on the shell. With the strands or “tina mali” 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 Chang6, 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

They

have

priests

of the

cult,

or

“olibata,”

are

consecrated

musical

ministers and do not respond to the mercantile appetites of outsiders. music;

an

and

extensive

then,

too,

rhythmic

there

are

divulge or expose to profane eyes.!” The Yorubas

of Africa have

and

melodic

cult

secrets

repertory

they

identical drums,

do

which

of liturgic

not

want

to

are referred

to as talking drums. Most African languages are tonal, so the African: are able to speak and recite poems on their two-tone drums or on two drums. The African set consists of four drums: (1) emele abo, (3) the emele ako, and (4) the kudi.

the iya ilu, (2)

the

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 “Ilamador” 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 Nafiigos into Cuba. The drums are tuned

178

DRUMS

about

one-fifth

apart.

Each

drum

has

a single

IN THE AMERICAS

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 bongé 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 bongé 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

Turkey,

Palestine

similar,

but

is made

of clay or metal — there is a resemblance also in the playing technique. Today

it is found

XXIX — No. 72)

in Greece,

and

Syria.

(See

Pl.

The word Bongé can be found among the “bantu” 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 ele-

ments and mulatto factors. In any case, it is a mulatto

ing both African and European characteristics.

instrument, hav-

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 approxi-

mately 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,

Ilamador,

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 bongé, it has become associated with Afro-Cuban music all over the world. It is played in Europe, Asia, the Americas, and now has returned to be played in

Africa. (See Pl. VI— No. 5) 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. is sewed to a rope flesh ring which is in turn laced to the head is tensed or tuned by forcing wedges down between the the body. The conical body is fourteen inches high and eleven

The head body. The lacing and

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 left the the

skin and released. The motion of the hands is downward with the hand following the right, alternately gripping the reed shaft with thumb and index fingers which are wet with sugar cane juice or blood of a cock in Nafiigo 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 Nafigo 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

weird, hoarse, raspy sound, which added mystery to the sound coming

a

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 Gud-Gud:

(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) “Ndnigo” Drums or Abakuds Drum Battery: The Nafiigo 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 Nafiguisms. The “Nafiigos” 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

skin is tensed

by knocking these wedges down. One large drum and three small ones are used. The largest is called bonké enchemiyé; 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 abakud 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

closed

fingers,

one

open,

and

IN THE AMERICAS

one

closed;

Kuchi

Yerema — three beats on the edge with closed fingers one open, one closed, and another open; Bonké — one beat with the right hand cupped in the center of the skin, and the second

The

sounds

of

all

synchronized

on the rim.

into

a

harmonious

hold.

The

bonké 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 abakud ritual drums: the empeg6, ekuefién, enkrikamo, and the eribé. These drums have to be baptized before they are used

in the cult. All these drums

are of the same

wedge

structure,

execpt the eribé. They are ornamented with tufts of feathers of different colors. These tufts of feathers are called “mufén” stump. The eribé has four stumps and the others, one each. The feather

sticks represent a spirit. Three of the drums have a fringe, except the

eribé. 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 eribé 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 fafiigo 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 bonké when it is played while marching. The tyo 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 bonké 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 instru-

ment 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 adjust-

able 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 which is available.

shell wet;

the middle, the mule to the right, and the pipe to the left. shells are generally hewn from the trunk of an avocado tree, ideal because it has a soft center. It has no taper and is easily The ox neck is preferred for the head, which is tacked onto the 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 mayor (big stick),

Republic (Santo Domingo) drums are called palo palo segundo (second stick), and palo auxiliar

(helper), and are very similar to the Yuka

Set.

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 bongé. The flat top side is struck with the fingers and bare hands. In Cuba,

the quinto box is the solo instrument for the rumba,

yambi, and the danzon.

conga,

son,

184

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

The quinto box has two sounds. When 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 tambi or skin drum was outlawed for the slaves. All tambtis 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) — Musik di Zumbi: Big Drum

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 in the making, and heavy to carry around

to parades,

harvest

feasts

and

the like, a small

wooden

barrel

was substituted. Plate XITI — 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 the left arm or between the knees and played with the bare hands.

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

Italian organ; the triangle THE DOMINICAN The Island of Puerto Caribbean. It is the most cupies about 3,435 square though

Puerto

used

as a rattle;

wiri, a friction

iron;

the

and the chapi (hoe), another type of bell. REPUBLIC AND PUERTO RICO Rico lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the European of the Caribbean countries. It ocmiles, 95 miles long and 35 miles wide. Al-

Rico is part of the United

States, it is culturally con-

nected with the Latin American world through common Spanish American ties.

The Dominican Republic is a small country of 20 thousand square miles, occupying two thirds of the island known as Hispaniola or La Espafola 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 bimembranophones 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 Chimbangiieles del Zulia drums of Venezuela have similar type tensing mechanisms. No.

15)

The

fourth

type

head

(See Pl. VIIE— No.

attachment

used

is the

11 and Pl. IX flesh

ring

and

counter ring with wing bolts for tension. (See Pl. XII] — 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

stated previously.

with

the heads

attached

in different

ways

The bodies or shells were carved from logs as well as made

barrel staves. The carved shells are made

as

from

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 tighten-

ing 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 and a pandereta or tambourine.

(See Pl. XIJI — No. 27)

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 smallest drum of the trio. It is played with

two small sticks. (Palitos.)

All three of these drums are used in the ritual dance,

“Fl Baile de

los Palos.” 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,

the Virgin

SPEAKING Islands,

ISLANDS:

Carriacou,*

Trinidad,

and the Ba-

hamas, English is the official language and the populations are predominantly 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

Calypso. All are the products of the intermingling

Trinidadian

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

ments

drums.

are sometimes African,

The methods

but the rhythms

of playing these instruplayed

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 Christi-

anity in mixed denominational forms. The secular side of Pocomania is

called “Mydal.” Like Obeah, it is practiced to cast meeting place is secret and often changed to avoid music are always a part of the ritual. Many ceremonies, particularly those associated continue for days. Dancing is almost continuous, sessions”

and

trances.

In

the

usual

ceremony,

or remove spells. Its arrest. Dancing and

with the death rites, punctuated by “pos-

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. 1

*The rhythms are built around this basic patter. J d J J t J J t The Jamaican rhythms including mentos, are slow and repetitive like the Cuban rumba, the calypsos and digging rhythms.

190

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

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, using two snare drums and one bass; polyrhythms are furnished by tambourines, rattles, clapping and foottapping. The sermon is interrupted by singing, possession, prayers, and finally by mass dancing. These meetings are in effect very similar to Afro-ritual ceremonies, but are legal. 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, rattles and a scraper. Rhythms are quite different from 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.”

drum

like the quinto in secular music

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 much

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

composed

John

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

maracas,

the

group of Jamaica, which uses two drums a triangle,

and

a Shakka

instrument

is used with

(Kbandu

to furnish

and Playing Cast).

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. This

another,

similar

piece of is held in the body the knees

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.

192

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

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. No. 4.)

(See Pl. VI —

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 participate until the festive drum arrived.

nor dancers would

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

DRUMS

193

women, and a 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. 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 and re-established. CARRIACOU

Carriacou-Bass: The Carriacou bass drum is a two-headed drum laid on the lap and played with one stick and one hand. It is approximately 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

IN THE AMERICAS

set topical words in Creole (a mixture of French, African, and English). These

some

of

instruments

the

“nations”

are also used of West

in dances bearing the names

Africa:

Ibo,

Cromanti,

Temnee,

of

and

others.!”

Cutler or Kupe:

(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 ment of a Carriacou battery, is high pitched and played with Its beats are eccentric, improvised to the steady beats of the drums usually played with the Kupe. It averages eight diameter and twenty-four to thirty inches in height.

solo instruthe hands. two “Fale” inches in

Fale Drum: The

Fale

drum

is Aframerican,

and

this

instrument

is found

in

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

and rites of the Rada people. Towonde

Drum:

in the religious

ceremonies

It is a single-headed peg instrument used in a

battery of three. It is the main drum, played by the lead drummer. It oc-

cupies a central position drummer uses one crooked The drum is held between the calf- or deer-skin head sewn to a flesh ring and angle. This thirty-inch

between the other two drummers. The lead stick fourteen inches long and one bare hand. the legs at an angle, allowing the sound from to escape from the footed shell. The skin is laced to pegs inserted into the body at an

body

is cylindrical in shape and twelve

in diameter across the mouth. The companion drums of the Towonde Hwen’domasu,

which

are smaller

and

are the Wyande

inches

and the

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

weaves the more intricate rhythm.

pattern

while

the Towonde

Kionu or Sihu Drums:

Kionu is a ritual for the dead held nine days after death for highly

placed members ritual,

for they

of the community.

are

only

used

The

in death

drums

are named

ceremonies.

One

after the

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

*The Shango ceremonials are called “feasts” or “sacrifices”.

(baby).

The

skins

196

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

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 objects 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 percent 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 smooth concave surface. The center of the pan is now about two inches below the rim. With chalk the pan is faced or sectioned off in a scalloped petal-

like manner. These markings indicate where the notes will be. The number of scalloped sections marked off depend 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 instrument 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

IN THE AMERICAS

was played with the fist and the edge of the open palm—the “whoompwhoomp” was the main sound. The next development in this exciting period was the discovery that when one hammers 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, developing 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

spectability. He wrapped his drumstick with the top of an oil drum off at a length of about or “seamed” his pan with a number of radii, other. He found that by tapping these areas, With all the notes emanating from a common a rubberized

drumstick,

the sound

was

liquid,

to the threshold

of re-

strips of rubber and cut eight inches, then marked equi-distant from one anthe pan could be tuned. center and produced by 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.

(See Pl. IX — No. 13)

Tamboo Bamboo: When all skin drums were outlawed in Trinidad, the islanders took to bamboo as a substitute for drums and formed tamboo bamboo bands.

The musicians of these bands made rhythmic music by knocking together pieces of bamboo in a truly startling symphony of sound to

the remarkable

merrymakers.

accompaniment

of the chanting

and

singing

of the

The instruments of this band are of well-cured lengths of specially cut bamboo. It is said that they had to be cut in the full of the moon and the owners were as proud of them as Heifetz of his violin. Each has its own pitch, ranging from the long, wide, and heavy bass bamboo to the small, light strips known 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 inspiration. Their drumming tradition is African drawn from other Caribbean islands and South America. Two or three drums are used. The

head

of de-haired

high,

thirteen

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 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. III)

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

brooding, forbidding mountains where drums never have made Haiti a country of mystery and intrigue.

supremacy,

sleep—these

the

all

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 metaphysical beliefs of Voudoun. The form and the rhythms of the drums are determined by the religion. Assotor Drum: The

Assotor

or Assortor

is a Haitian

drum

connected

with

the

Dahomey’s rites. It is generally five-and-a-half-feet or taller and from

fifteen

to eighteen

inches

in diameter

across

the head.

It has

small

200

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

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 of calf is attached to the body by means of seven pegs and rope lacing. 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,

handkerchiefs of the various colors of the loa (Voudoun

mainly

with

deities). The

worshipers execute the dances, such as the Mayoyo and the Nago. No other instrument of the Voodoo cult of Haiti is so sacred as

the Assotor drum.

It is beaten on solemn

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.'!4 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

campaigns are referred to as anti-superstitions campaigns.

eradicate

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, linen, pipe tobacco, matches, spoons, knives, forks, money, plates, and all sorts of blood known as tchiman-

assoto. All members of the family sign witness papers to the effect that

they have made an offering to the 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 PI] 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.!*6 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,

hoop, just large

enough

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 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 horizontally 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 keg with one end open and a laced goatskin head on the other.

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. VIII — 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 are laced from the quarters

to Rada drums, hewn from solid logs, but the goatskin heads to the body by cords and not to pegs. The lacing cords run counter ring in a Y fashion to a body ring of sisal cord three 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

IN THE AMERICAS

hide. The larger of the two drums is called Manman or Gros Baka, the smaller one is called Pititt or Ti Baka. The Gros Baka is played with bare hand and holds the most important 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,

Salongo,

Bambarra,

Congo, the Loangue and other dances. In religious dances of the Petro cycle, two of these drums with one

or more

chestra;

and

rattles,

an

ogan,

occasionally,

(See PI. V— No.

2)

one

and

an

asson

or more

are

bamboo

used

to form

an

or-

trumpets—vaccines.

Rabardage: The only Afro-Haitian drum played by women. It is a single membrane, miniature drum and is held in the armpit to play. The coneshaped

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 Pl. 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 rung with an iron rod. This instrument

sets the rhythm followed by the Bula, Seconde, and Manman. The Manman dominates the group; its freedom and intensity stand out clearly

from the sonorous background. It is the solo instrument and is supposed to produce “possession.”* 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 placed on its foot and the tune, the pegs are simply are generally headed with The

districts from

IN THE AMERICAS

is then poured out of the drum and it is pegs driven in a little. If the drum is out of driven in a little farther. The Rada drums goatskin, bull or ox cowhide.”

which

these

drums

originated

drums,

Ogan,

and Asson.

are identifiable

by the carving in the foot, and the method used of inserting the pegs. The Dahomey—(Vadoun) or “Voodoo” Group—This orchestra consists

of three

Rada

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. (See Pl. XXV — No. 61) 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 requires a special ceremony, and these instruments are thought to be a means

of communication

between humans

and spirits. Only after bap-

tism 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. VIII — 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” at Easter time. The cata is a hollowed cylinder bamboo or wood, used as a timekeeper. (See Pl. XXIV — No. 60)

of

In Haiti, the drum is an integral part of the people’s life. It expresses the heart beat of communal living. Drums lead inevitably to 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 with old African

gods they have never forgotten.’ The training of a cult drummer requires more preparation than that of any other ritual activity. He has to be able to play the rhythms of the different cults as well as to dances

to deities. 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, pacing, tone or volume. it is possible for the drnmmin« to become intense. This is accomplished by breaks 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 orchestra,

the

dancers,

the

dances,

and

on the large

one

the setting for Congo dances held in New Orleans. We 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 placed lengthwise on the ground and straddled. They were beat on the heads

with fingers,

fists, and

feet, slowly

and rapidly on the small ones. Sometimes an extra performer sat on the ground behind the larger drum at its open end and beat on the wooden

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 were outlawed in the United States, as well as African religion; so were they in other places, but the cult went 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? It could have been any one of those things, all of them, or none of them. Whatever

the reason, the

AFRO-AMERICAN

DRUMS

drum

the hand-clapping,

rhythms,

us. The

drums

drum

ASIAN

AND

the foot-tapping

Chinese-American



East Indian-American

States, but not heard, at least, the

OCEANIAN

AMERICAN

Japanese-American Others

1. Hawaii

2. U.S.A. a. California b. Washington c. Illinois d. Louisiana

e. Pennsylvania

f. New

are still with

once heard.

A.

OO

and

are felt in the United

true “Afro”

(J

209

York

3. Central America a. British Honduras 4, West Indies

a. Jamaica

b. Trinidad c. Bahamas d. 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 in-

dentured 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

the Americas, came Oriental

Polynesian,

and the Oceanic

traditional

of Asians and Oceanians to

absorption of Hawaii into religious practices. Islam,

religion,

and

Hinduism

Americas. Each of these groups used music in festivals. All of the groups brought drums their music. Each had its own philosophy Centuries before the birth of Greek and

are

the United States, Shinto, Buddhism,

all found

the

their forms of worship and that play a major role in of music and arrangements. Roman empires, the Chinese

possessed musical instruments and a system of music. They 210

in

ascribe the

OUR ASIATIC AND OCEANIC

HERITAGE

211

invention of their instruments to Emperor Kai-Tien-Chai, who is supposed to have invented them about 2500 B.C. 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), metal (bells), clay (whistle or flutes), silk

bamboo

stone (musical stones), (strings of silk) lyre,

(flutes and panpipes), calabash and reed (reed organ—calabash

resonator).

All

these

materials

nature

provided,

and

man

made

the

To the Chinese, the sounds of music, the tone colors are more

im-

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. 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 percussion. The orchestras are generally

composed

of modern

of one large drum, two small drums, two little bells, a pair clappers

and

a flute. Most

non-tunable bimembranophones.

of their

drums

are tack-headed,

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

skin drums

are used in the service.

Neither European nor African music is characterized by a high

development of melody such as we find tation of East Indian music. Their scale is of modes (against our two modes, major is divided into twenty-four quarter-tones

in the rich melodic ornamenarranged into a large number and minor), and the octave (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. deity

The notes of Hindu music are thought to be presided over by a 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 for the ensuing song. The singer and the musician improvise according to mood. 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 successive 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

became

a fundamental

factor

in

all

religious rites and ceremonies. From the point of view of sheer physical exertion

involved,

non-physical

as a physical

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 that those who behold

will forget the body

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

Indian believes that the moment

213

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 not exhibit the artist, but the art.

does

With such an understanding of the Indian’s unconscious psycho-

logical

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

Northern

India by East Indians who

heritage.

The “tasa” and “dhol” were introduced into the Americas from

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 of American culture, but are being used in the Americas nevetheless.

*Background men, or “rhythm men” are terms used by modern musicians, to identify the musician who holds the basic rhythm for improvisation. **1946 Census of Trinidad show 35.09% of population to be of East Indian descent.

DRUMS

214

PLATE IV — ASIAN AND OCEANIAN-AMERICAN Ami Dance Drum

Taiwan Hand Drum

Cocoanut Banjo Rattle

Kubu Drum Taiwan Floor Drum

Mrdanga

Skull Drum

Tabla Set

IN THE AMERICAS

DRUMS

Burma Tabla

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 “popé.” 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. XVIII — 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 convex bottom is left intact two-thirds of the way down the body. 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 studs* alternately and in an indirect method; the “olona cords” (lacing cords) are threaded through two or three rows of holes to form two patterns and cords run from the skin lacing to the studs. The drummer sits in a squat position and plays with bare hands. (See Pl. XVIII — No. 42) Puniu: 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 ring is extended to secure the drum.

and a cord from

the bottom

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

IN THE AMERICAS

solid log of the coconut tree. The head is made from 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 in the shape of Oro-tiki (Oro, name of God; Tiki, meaning God). This instrument is two-and-a-half feet long, four inches high, 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 wide, and one-and-a-half- inches deep and nine-and-a-half inches long. The Tuili is a Polynesian instrument found in Hawaii. It is used for both music and signaling. The instrument is struck with a stick on the side of the main body and held with the other hand. (See Pl. XXIII — No. 56) 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 ofa wooden body

(do), two skins

(kawa), and two sets of

ropes (shirabe). The body of zelkova wood, like a good violin, comes from just the right zelkova tree growing in just the right place, and it is highly finished. The inside is hand carved with spiral patterns (kanname), deemed very important to tone or sound. The horse-hide skin is stretched over iron rings and then stitched at the rear with hemp thread. The stitches 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 controls reverbera*Noh: Japan's classic dance drama.

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 separate 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 movements) 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

IN THE AMERICAS

Odaiko: A large, two-headed Japanese drum used to add gravity to the choreography of certain dances. It is used in the oldest orchestral art music in the world, the Gagaku,

or court music.

Even though these instruments are played in court music, they are

also used in the folk, popular and 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)

(See Pl. XVI

Uchiwa— Daiko (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. sewed

The Uchiwa drum is beaten with a wooden stick. The head, which is 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 and prayers. This instrument, even though it has only one head, has two playing surfaces; it has no body, just a head.

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 inches to four or five feet. It is These instruments are seen areas where we find groups of being used in dance classes for souvenirs.

diameter of the heads runs from six often found in temples. played on special festive occasions in Chinese-Americans. They are also seen keeping time, and also as ornamental

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 is the Pakhawaj

Mrdanga,

and

the Dhol

have

drum

divided into half. The Pakhawaj,

an irregular

cylindrical

shape,

tapering

slightly at the ends. They taper more markedly toward the right hand

with a smaller 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 right hand is made

(brass)

of wood

and is semi-spherical. The drum for the

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 (Daina) is made in three pieces: —.

JO

- 1, 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,

oo

~

@)

\

Vea ;

---- Part 1 has the sound Na or Ta 1. :

Part 2, Tin or Tun - Part 3, T or Tr

Banya

Part 1—Ge or Gey Part 1 & T—K

ASIAN AND OCEANIAN-AMERICAN

DRUMS

223

The arranging of drum syllables to fit the beats of the rhythmic cycle is called Theka. The rhythmic cycle is referred to as Tala or Tal. (x) — The

down

beat or

(#1)

“Sum.”

(1) — bar (0) — 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 tal — 6 beat cycle x 1 x

Theka:

2

Dha

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

2

123 x

Dha

4

Dhin Dhin

/5 2

Dha Dha/

0 6

7

Dhin Dhin

8

/9 0

Dha

3 10

11

Tin

Tin

12

/

Ta/Ta

13 3

14

Dhin

15

Dhin

16

Dha

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 cylindrical 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 P]. 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 ead 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 and American instruments are used to play American little blending on the surface that shows. At least it has in any innovation in the construction and use of

to play Asian music music. There is very not manifested itself 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

Aframericans.

places in the Americas in the hands of the

The African slaves brought with them to the New World a distinc-

tive 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 In most

from

Sierra

areas where

Leone

to Angola.

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 rhythms and style very prominent in the music,

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

difference

is differential treatment

shown

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 boys make drums of of animals to imitate their musical careers on

the

drum,

and

children are taught rhythmic games and the little cans and calabashes, covering them with bladders their elders. The boys generally are started on at about the age of six years. They are started

once

the

basic

rhythms

are

learned,

they

take

up

other instruments. A typical West Africa orchestra (Ewe) consists of three sections; these are the background rhythms section, the drum section, and lastly the choir and hand-clapping section. The background section consists of the double bell (Gankogui), rattles (axatsi), and the gongs (atoke). The Gankogui 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, which are the more common, and skin drums. When the skin drums are used in Africa, they are often referred to by the natives

228

DRUMS

as twin drums. The modulating

“dundun”

IN THE AMERICAS

is also used

drum; in this case only one skin drum is used. The slit drums of Africa, used for communication,

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 lan-

guage. 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

words

corresponds to the high-pitched syllable. Distinctions of the

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:'57C

AFRICAN DRUMS

229

1. 2.

A signal for attention or a chief’s refrain. Name of desired recipient (repeated three or four times).

3.

The name of the sender

4.

The message

(omitted if the chief refrain is used).

itself (repeated several times).

5. 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 manner but do not carry language tones. (See Pl. XXII — No. 53) Daraboukkeh:

An

of

clay

(Darabukka)

Egyptian

single-headed

or

It is traditionally

metal.

goblet, or vase-shaped found

in

Greece,

drum — made Palestine,

and

throughout the Middle East, but is also found in the Americas. It is held in the armpit and played with the fingers. 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. (See Pl. XXIX — No. 72) Dundun-Kalungu

(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 tightening strings (lacings) while the right hand beats the drum with a curved stick. The left hand is employed as a soft accompaniment to the fortissimo note of the stick. More than a complete octave can be played and, consequently, a great many variations are possible. It is called the butcher’s drum because of its common

use by men in this trade.

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 Dundun can be

made

to imitate

all the

tones

and

glides

used

in Yoruba

230

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

speech, therefore, it is most suited for talking. It is the only drum in Africa used to add percussion to the playing of a large “gage” or fiddle orchestra. The

Kalungu,

shown

in

Pl.

XXVIII— No.

70,

was

made

by

a

Hausa tribesman in Ghana. It is claimed by many Africans that the Hausa instrument is the finest made in all Africa. It is six-and-a-half inches in diameter

across the head, fifteen-and-a-half inches in height,

and three inches in diameter in the center. 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 drums that I have had the pleasure of actually examining. 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 and he was so loved by them that they deified him 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

or bark bound with leather. Ngoma

with two soft-leather sticks— usually rags

(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. have When

The

Ashanti

a soul

or

tribe

spirit

of West

residing

Africa

in

believe

them

which

that nearly

all should

all things

respect.

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 fashioned 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 tweneboa 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 con-

tinuous tension thongs. The drumsticks are approximately twenty inches long with an offset head, set at an angle of forty-five degrees. The

number one drum is tuned higher than the other. The drummer stands and the heads are inclined 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.

15 RHYTHM Percussion

expression musical

is, of course,

back

the

to the time when

activity.

still is in many

AND

Rhythm

was

DRUMMING

oldest

then

parts of the world.

form

tree-trunk

the only

of instrumental

beating

element

was

musical

the main

of music,

In the music of western

as it

civilization,

rhythm became subordinate to melody and harmony. Up to the present

century percussion was used only for occasional emphasis in the orchestra. 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) b)

“Rhythm

is flowing meter

Charisius — 400 A.D.

and meter is bonded

“Rhythm is Flow.” Fawele

c) “Rhythm is order of time.” Aristophanes

(d)

“Rhythm

is order of movement.”

Plato

e) “Rhythm is the horizontal aspect of music.” Apel f)

“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

squareness of East Asiatic melodies;

weird

modern

art music;

regular

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,

heart

and

light, event

or object,

at

patterns

of

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

beat —

life

death

itself-—— are

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

ing the sick.

used more

in war, wooing,

and cur-

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 thythms

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,

has

reached

its greatest

without benefit of notation.

development

notation is a great science,

in western

Harmony

civilization,

to date

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 [email protected] The Americas can boast of many kinds of exciting and exotic rhythms. 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

Aframerican

societies

music

is thought

of in rhythmic

patterns. For example, if one has attended many “jam sessions,” the rhythm section starts a mood 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 the phrasing and rhythmic configuration the musician will next take. 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-

hibitions. It is doubtful whether any group of people are born with a greater sense of rhythm than any other, but the environment into which an 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 characterized by unusual accents not equally spaced. The rhythm of the drum differs from singing rhythms. The rhythms of song may speed up or be retarded,

while

the

rhythm

of

the

drum

remains,

on

the

whole,

con-

stant. The Amerindians use a great deal of syncopated rhythm in many

of their songs. Broken rhythms and simple rhythmic patterns are used in the drumming. The rhythm of the drum beat varies with the character 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

found

are

in the

many

diverse

Americas,

and

drumming

indeed,

styles

diverse

techniques

to be

styles to be found

and

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,

called “tumbadora”

or “beginner.” The

sometimes

to

referred

as

“caller,”

the

basic

second

drum,

“salidor,”

and

rhythm

drum

is

or “Ilamador,”

is

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 rigorously observe

its configuration.

When

claves, themselves,

being used occasionally a cow-bell is used for the pattern, pattern need not be physically present. While each country where clave rhythm predominates has its own clave pattern, known pattern is the traditional Cuban one. The Clave* pattern for Afro-Cuban music can be written in ways for both the reader and non-reader of music: A

TA

wy

TA

are not

but the or area the best different

7a-TA

r

z

yry

Beverse Clore

Wsed in Montano

z

Zz

I72754H*

S42

Yo” oS



"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

The

and is used

Ewes of Ghana

also composed

of two

to strike the cupped

clave, producing

use an iron instrument called “Akogo” pieces

of steel or iron;

loosely-fitting

a sharp

pentrating

sound.

in a similar fashion. It is

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.1°’

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;

nearly always within the clave framework.

and their solos are

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.

ad

2. 4. 5.

The use of a minimum of two or three drums in a battery or

set, or a three-drum rhythm. A good drummer can keep as many as four distinct rhythms going. It is not unusual to find one drummer carrying two rhythms, and a third if the need

(i.e., scarcity

of drummers)

arises.

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 tunable).

The drummer placing the drum between his legs in the sitting 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. High, brittle, staccato tone — (seco) produced by muting the head with the left hand and hitting it with open fingers of the other hand. 2. Medium tone is produced by half-pressing and half-striking the head with the ball of the hand and finger tips. 3. An open tone is obtained by striking and immediately rebounding, and allowing the head to vibrate. 4. 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. 5. A stopped or closed sound is produced by muting with finger

240

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

or hand, a tone previously struck; it often takes the of a rest or pause. Solo drumming calls for considerable musicianship; thus the master drummer who plays all solo parts. The solo drummer play not only the stereotyped phrases, but must improvise as well, ducing cross rhythmic or “‘contrapuntal” effects.

fone

place it is must pro-

4 patterns combined:

AGH, Deum { Slap

single playertwo drums

9eCCA

Low /' DauM

heel

Lone f

Drums

Ne

C Fingers

Nt



at

R

2.H Slap

Single Drums

LH. feel ro Tone

{

Slap

Secco

Tone

Singer Jone

{

Slap Heel& Hand

7

Jd

7

ah

Indryrdual

RHYTHM

AND DRUMMING

241

Afro-American 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 repeat the rhythms their implications transferred to the The

other

into two categories. The young drummer is taught to orally with nonsensical syllables. These syllables with of sound giving color as well as rhythm are then drum.

technique

is similar,

but

direct;

drum

(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 manner; 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 drumming is not merely rhythm, but has aspects of melody. 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 AMERICAS

terns for each time signature and their embellishments improvised. (See basic conga pattern. |

BASIC

Count 4/4

CONGA

RHYTHM

1 & 2 & 3 DU K KA K DU BBall of the hand

PATTERN

& K

4 KI

F

Fingers

F4

Four fingers simultaneous.

FOR

4/4 TIME

are generally

ONE

DRUM

8&8 KI

Fs Fingers in sequential order from small to index finger. Stress skin depressed or 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 ex-

hausted 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 three, loud —

soft — soft,

or

four

beats

without

any

accent,

and

so

on.

In

any case, most of the rhythms are simple, consisting of single strokes with accents at definite intervals. This is particularly true of the Amerindians of the United

ducing

seven

States. Their drums, however,

distinct sounds.

One

is produced

are capable

by striking

of pro-

the center

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.

dds S

WAR DANCE

S SIOUX

ROUND

DANCE

>

>

S

S

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 gener-

ally 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 requiring 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, casta-

nets,

tambourine,

triangle,

gongs,

giliro,

scraper,

maracas,

claves

and

such special effects as wind machine, marching machine, siren, etc. Early jazz drumming was greatly influenced by the military aspect

244

DRUMS

IN THE

AMERICAS

of the European tradition. This tradition tended to “fill up” marching

beats with many

EUROPEAN

notes.

MARCH

a

NOTATION

FOR

FIELD

DRUM

AND

BASS

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

“traps”

miniature

Krupa later simplified Dodds’ complexities, returning to the four-beat militarism of the earlier style. In the twenties, as “Chicago style” drumming came into vogue, the drum solo developed, calling for myriad new and

sounds

such

as gourds,

cow-bells,

wood

blocks,

xylophones, cymbals, pots, bottles, and whistles, though since the twen-

ties, 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)

the place of sticks. By

and the use of wire brushes in

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

or assimilation

process

going

on

between

certain

bodies of music within the Americas as well as with non-American music sometimes referred to as an 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 AfroCuban rhythm on jazz, and especially bop, reached a new high in 1947

when Dizzy Gillespie hired Pozo as a drummer with his band, and demonstrated the potentialities of this instrument in jazz. Drummers 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 THE AMERICAS

in popularity through the world and the United States government, recognizing the fact, is financing bands and arranging tours for our 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. It is the symbol of free 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

are

animals,

nuts,

pottery,

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

ferred to as “gongiié” or “agogo.” and in Trinidad “gan.”

or “‘cencerro,”

double

In Surinam,

2

bells in Brazil

they

in Peru, are re-

are called

iron

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,” or “gankogue.” 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 produced. 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

as a sound chamber — when the mouth the sound is altered. The Benta is a folk instrument of old Aframericans in the benta bands on are found in the West Indies, and also

Amerindians.

(See Pl. XVI — No.

35)

serves

is opened wider or constricted, : Curacao. It is played by the the island. Similar instruments in South 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 the second type The third with a brush or Many

they are held in each hand and slapped together. This is of cymbals. type is a single cymbal, seen in jazz bands — struck a drumstick.

of these

circular

brass

plates

saucer-like depression in the center, and which they are supported.

are

slightly

convex,

with

a

are pierced by a hole from

DRUM

ACCESSORIES AND AUXILIARY INSTRUMENTS These

instruments

are

used

for

working

249 the

rhythm,

fill-in

and

effects in popular and classical instrumental groups. DRUMSTICKS:

The most elaborate drumsticks in the Americas

the North American Indians.

are found among

The Aframericans make less use of drumsticks than any other group. The ones used are seldom, if ever, carved or decorated. If they

produce the sound desired, the drummer 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 cov-

ered 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 diameter 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 symbolic designs of

the Amerindians. They are used as drumsticks for medicine hand drums

and dance drums. The heads give a counter maraca sound with the drum beat. When the drummer goes to the dance area, the stick serves as a dance rattle. Semi-Hard Drumsticks:

Drumsticks with very little padding on the

head 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.

as standard

used

as a drumstick.

equipment

for popular

(See Pl. XXVI — No. 65 and 66)

This type of

drummers

in

FLUTES—PANPIPES—WHISTLES: Among the people of Central America, South America and the Caribbean area, flutes are very popular and frequently used with drums. They

are

made

of

clay,

bamboo,

bone,

wood,

reed,

metal

the

Pandian

and

cane.

There are both nose and mouth flutes, and they appear both as singleand

multi-piped

instruments.

In Peru,

we

find

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 Uapitzallis and chililihtlis, and Central America its ocarina.

DRUM

ACCESSORIES

AND

AUXILIARY

INSTRUMENTS

251

No instrument is more adaptable to the gentle side of the Amer-

indian’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.” XXV — No. 62)

(See PI.

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 in the drum orchestra for religious dancing among the cultists.

Grate (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, marimba, claves, and bass drum,

in secular music.

Guayo: A metal cylinder made from a flat piece of tin—dented

252

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

over the entire surface and rolled into a tube and welded. A metal handle and cone-shaped cap are welded on to complete the instrument. The guayo is used in the Dominican Republic by both popular and folk musicians. The instrument is played by stroking the rough external surface with a heavy-gage 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 Giiiro 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 gitiro 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

outside

the container,

and

of seeds, beads,

classified as an external rattle.

or shells

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 giliro, 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.

In Brazil, Mexico,

Curacao,

and

Hawaii,

the gourds

are used as drums. 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 are both indigenous and imported from Africa. This instrument reaches its highest 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

255

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 moving the instrument in a rotary motion with one hand, causing the network of beads to rotate on the gourd. The rhythm is marked by striking the instrument with the palm of the other hand. It is used for both secular and ritual music. A similar type instrument used in Cuba by the Lucumi cult group

is called “atcheré,” and larger ones called Bakosé

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 America. 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 the tips and strung in a

cluster.

These

clusters

are

sewn

to bands

for

making

belts,

anklets,

256

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

bracelets, and rattles for dancing. When 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

to all the Americas.

They

are also

inserted. One maraca is generally held in each hand and is shaken or struck.

The

maracas

are common

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

as a percussion instrument in Cuba.

in three

different ways.

It is shaken,

struck, depending on which sound is desired. When

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. VIIIT— No. 10) RHYTHM

These Manimba,

hole

in the

rhythm and

boxes, also known

Marimbula,*

center.

In front

are

BOXES:

as and called Marimba,

in the form

of this hole

of a wooden

is a series

Malimba,

box, with

of metal

a

strips

mounted in such a way that they may be plucked with fingers. 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 gen-

erally from three to seven keys which *U.S.A. Marimba Brett. Brazil—Marimhba Haiti—Malimba, Manimha.

Jamaica—Rhumha Box, Rhythm Cuba—Marimbula.

box.

are plucked with both hands.

DRUM

ACCESSORIES

The marimba

AND

AUXILIARY

INSTRUMENTS

is a bass accompaniment

257

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 Pl.

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) for better sound and speed. Rhythm

sticks in the Americas come

in several forms. 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,

or partner

to mark

or “Battonie,”

the

a Haitian

Carnival dance, in which peculiarly only men participate, attired in women’s clothing.'* 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 six inches and from one inch to an inch-and-a-half in

width—used

as a rhythm

instrument

in the United

States.

The

two

bones are held in the right hand with the middle finger separating them. The long portion extends down the palm of the hand. 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. VHI — No. 10) Bones were used to augment the drum in the early slave instrument groups. *Chirimia, a clarinet-like wind instrument found in Central and South America.

298

Castanets

or Castanuelas:

The

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

castanets found

in the Americas

were brought in, no doubt, from Spain, and were in all possibility origi-

nally 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 ment. The castanets are used in pairs—the right-hand pair is the bra” (female), marking the rhythm, and the left-hand pair is the and cruder, accenting the beat of the ‘“‘macho” (male) part. When together by the fingers, the hollowed wooden

instru“hemlarger struck

discs meet with a clicking

accent of special resonance. In Spanish, the sound is described as “‘castafieteo”; the motion as “castafetear”; and the snapping of the fingers,

“pitos.” . Clappers: The knicky-knackers known in the Middle Ages and referred to by Shakespeare as tongs and bones—used today in the concert

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

clave pattern.

for this body

The clave is an instrument

consisting

of music

of two

are made

round

in the

sticks, one

ap-

proximately 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) any).

and of ébano

(ebony)

or caoba

(mahog-

DRUM ACCESSORIES AND AUXILIARY 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 the pressure of the hembra. The cupped hand acts as a sound chamber. The claves have been called the spirit of Afro-Cuban

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 two has yet to be proven — but

there is a connection between the

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 unsplit end including a node serving as a handle. The other, longer end part is split into narrow widths of about one inch. The length is from twenty

to twenty-one inches. The unsplit handle parts on each side 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

TUBES:

Ganbo or ti Kanmbo: 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. The

they

were

bulatier,

the

used

as drum

man

handling

substitutes the

when

solos, works

skin with

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. The stamping tubes are found in Hawaii, Haiti, and Venezuela where they are called “quitiplas.”* In Hawaii, they are referred to as “ohe

ka’eke,

and pitch.

and

each

musician

(See Pl. XXV — No.

uses two, each

62)

with

a different

length

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-Americans. 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

are found in

folk and popular instrumental groups in the West Indies. 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 a mouth piece. This instrument is peculiar to Haiti; the vaccine is used as a signal horn by work groups and fishing fleets, and also used with drums in dances of the Congo group. The “arada”

festivals that come

in pre-Easter week 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, producing counter rhythms. The conch shells and pipes have been substituted for bamboo in some areas of Haiti, but the sound

favorite.

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

America and the West Indies — in FOLK

AND

POPULAR

in

North,

South,

and

Central

Haiti it is called “cayambouque.”

BAND

INSTRUMENTS

IN THE AMERICAS: The instruments used in the various countries in the Americas indicate 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 a cursory examination of the instruments indicates only one influence — but on closer examination, other influences are heard

in the music. The drum is the most widespread of all the various found in this continent. Other instruments vary from the lonely turtle to the piano. Argentina: In Argentina the instrument used by the folk instrumental groups are: the caja (a small two-headed *Horn with iron.

instruments shell of the popular and 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

skin),

guayas (a serrated gourd), the cowbell and the saw. Bolivia: two-headed

Sicu

(a

drum),

panpipe),

bombo

guena

(a

(a bass type

reed

drum),

big flute), charango

(armadillo shell guitar).

(a two-headed

played

Brazil: Tambor drum

(a two-headed with

flute), harp,

caja

guitar,

(a

anata

bombo

(a

drum played with a stick), surdo

one

hand

and a

stick),

atabaqué

single-headed cylindrical drum played with a bare hand and a (a large bass drum), triangle, chocalho

reco-reco (a rasp), gongue anvil) and the guitar.

small

(a

stick),

(a maraca type rattle),

(a double bell), agogé

(a single bell or

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, gitiro (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 (acordeén). Ecuador: The guena (flute), antara or sicu (flutes), guitar, char-

ango

(armadillo shell guitar), harp, caja

and the bombo

(a bass drum).

(a small tinya type 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 harp,

flute, clarinets,

(xylophone)

trumpets,

the

drum,

and

263 frequently

the marimba

or any combination of these instruments.

Panama:

Along with hand-clapping and singing, the mejoranera

(a five-string 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 (bells), quepa

used.

Puerto

Rico:

(oboe), chil-chil (maracas), are the instruments

The

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 for instrumental accompaniment. 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 (an iron bar or bell), maracas, cha cha (a rattle),

flutes, bamboo

tamboo,

and

skin

drums

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; some

have disappeared entirely. of

a

hewn

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. ‘1he 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

States, but is found

in Jamaica

as the rumba

box

and in

fiddle,

cornet,

Cuba as the marimbula. 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

clarinet, guitar, harmonica, accordion, saxophone, flutes; most of these

were of European origin.

The conga drums found in the United States today were re-introduced 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 percussion 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

ukelele. Venezuela: drum),

furruco

The

or ohe keeke

maracas,

(friction drum),

(bamboo

guitar,

stamping

cumaco

atabalejo

tubes)

and the

(single-headed

(two-headed

drum),

hand

violins

and flutes make their appearance in varied combinations in both the popular and folk instrumental groups. The harp and bandola or mandolin are also very popular in Venezuela

the guitar and drum. The

instruments

may

differ

from

where music is the offspring of 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 appreciate, feel, and does —

understand

otherwise,

it would

all types of music,

but somewhere,

not be in existence.

someone

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

is never touched—for

drum.

Indies, a drum

of another

drummer

fear of a curse on offending the power of the

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. 265

266

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

A black bull, without defect and untouched by stick 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

hymn now was chanted to the accompaniment

about

to be

done.

A

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 beer, wine, grease, Hittite alum and gall-nut. In Africa,

criminals

and

fleeing

slaves

fine

become

flour,

and

untouchable

with 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 worship 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 huehuet! 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

DRUMS

Their grief, however,

on account

IN THE AMERICAS

of the deaths of their 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 to fittingly praise his new gods.

instruments,

man

would

be able

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,

sea-cow,

formed

a

the

he

themselves

into

priest might pass over them. When Sun,

explained

the

motive

bridge

and

the

so

that

the

grief-stricken

of his visit.

The

Sun

however,

the priest arrived at the court -of not

wishing to diminish his own retinue of followers, forbade any of his servitors to listen to the priest’s entreaties. But, so eloquently and earnestly did the earthly messenger make his plea that two servants of the Sun, the one named Huehuetl and the other 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 first they heard the sad entreaties of the earthly

messenger.”

“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

the remainder might be drunk by the guardians. There woman, who was known as the wife of the drums, whose

and

was also a 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 to be red or white and those for the second,

black. These cows were sacred and the King alone might order one to be killed; no one but the guardians could eat the meat

of an animal

thus killed and the skin was kept for repairing the drums. It was from these cows that the milk was taken, which was daily offered to drums, and from the surplus milk, butter was used for smearing

drums.” “In 1901, a Reindeer was

at the time

when

Big

Koryak Raven

woman

(Kamchatka)

lived—while

still outside,

narrated:

the the

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;

he cut off his penis and ordinary drumstick.”!”

beat the drum

with

it, instead

of using

then

an

“In East Africa, coronation drums must be struck with sticks made

270

DRUMS

of human ones

after

IN THE AMERICAS

tibias, which have a phallic significance. To provide fresh 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 inside. When the Indians beat the drum, the Creator

can hear it.!” 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

not

271 be

devised.

As

she

sat

in

thought,

Hastséyalti,

the

Indian

God, tore from the overhanging juniper tree, a small spray and dropped it into her basket. Immediately it occurred to her to copy the design

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.!”* 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 dead

beside

chief had

him,

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 inside 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

family. The dead man is propped up in in his hand and a drum is set in front shakes the dead musician’s arm to beat then takes the drumstick from the dead

and

a member

of

the

lad’s

his hut, a drumstick is placed of him. The master drummer the drum. The son or nephew man’s hand and touches the

272

DRUMS

IN THE AMERICAS

drum at the spot where it has been beaten, 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 Abakuds (or fafigos) 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) (Américas Magazine, Nov. 1961), stated that Aframericans 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 themselves; help was sent at once and he was revived.

The Vodouns of Haiti believe if an impure woman

to a drum, the drum loses its tone. When

by

dances close

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

with the blood was beaten, the The Murle ming. Therefore young

boys

of the

and

Kaula

cow,

whose

of the Baganda skin

is used,

is to receive a new

is run into the

of a beheaded man. The idea was that when the life of the man added fresh life and vigor to the of Africa say that their God Lingo taught them drumming has become so important in the life girls that

an elaborate

drums. The tree must be cut be of a certain kind. Prayer tree. The log cut from the shape. After preparation, the

ritual

is connected

drum

drum king. drumof the

with

the

in June after the first rain falls and must is held and an offering is made to the tree is then hollowed out to the desired 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 emit a chord of twelve different sounds. The Sultan of Minang-Kabon 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,

“Ancient sacred scriptures of the Hindus of India.

but invoked

to

274,

ward

DRUMS

away

danger, such

as demons

and

enemies.

IN THE

The

used in sacrifices and battle. The warriors worshiped

playing

the drum,

The Hindu

drum,

which

he

a mantra

Brahmans made

from

or charm

was spoken

drum

AMERICAS

was

it, and

into it.

also

before

believe that the Creator invented the first the

blood-soaked

demon god whom he defeated in battle. The called ““myrdangras,” or clay-bodied drums.

earth

of

this

first Indian

enemy,

drums

a

were

By covering the drum with the skin of an enemy, one acquires his vigor. This was a well-known magic rite among the Amerindians of Central and South America. One ancient writer tells in detail how 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 avet-

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 is carefully cared for, its head tightened, and if it is not tuned properly, 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 some preliminary sounds, such as that of a falcon or

a sea

mew,

a slight

to

rolling

concentrate

noise,

attention,

like the buzzing

the

shaman

begins

of mosquitoes.

to

make

Moreover

the

shaman uses his drum for modifying 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

cries

like

whistle,

the

and

and more raven’s

the

decisive;

croak,

falcon’s

and

now

grebe’s

eagle’s

and then

laugh,

sea

screams.

it is broken

by wild

mew’s

sniper’s

The

wail,

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

people

are

often

reflected

in

myths,

stories,

narratives,

and

of a

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 ethnic,

or

cultural

is familiar to all men

background.

statement in the Americas. The King of Rhythm—the

We

have

not

regardless of social,

found

drum, is found

exceptions

to

the

in all the countries in

the Americas in some form or fashion. Its construction has been con-

ditioned 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

of drums

present,

in the Americas

there

is an

increase

are twoin

the

single-headed instruments. Most drums in the Americas can be classified ethnically by their construction, method of playing and use. All of these instruments are used for either secular Ethnically,

drums

or ritualistic affairs.

can be divided into six categories, in the Amer-

icas: Amerindian, European-American, Aframerican, Oceanian, AsianAmerican, and the instruments of mixed ethnic origin—those being

mulatto or mestizo. All the Americas

were

inhabited

276

by Amerindians

at the time

of

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 symbolically 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

and

Eastern

drums,

coasts

geographically,

of South

America,

are found

the West

on the Northern

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 restrictions 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

Hawaii in the Americas.

drums

are limited,

almost

exclusively,

to

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

to do with a specific racial culture.

Amerindian

IN THE AMERICAS

and

Aframerican

in-

strumentation expresses and mainfests the culture of a people. Because of the relationship of drumming to the whole 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 musie which will typify American music. European 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

notation,

orchestrations

scores

for

using

or weakness.

percussion

In Western

instruments

are

based upon a standardized instrument. 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

rhythms

be

noted

with

the

present

that exist. For example,

the Lucumi

cult of Cuba,

method

used;

much

less,

a set of three baté drums,

are all two

headed

and each

head

the

poly-

used carries

by 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.

It appears that there are six drums, other than American drums, that can be classified as indigenous to the American continent—the twin drums of Cuba, the “bongés,” timbales; the surdos of Brazil; steel drums of Trinidad; the “flat jacks” of the United States;

the the

basses of Haiti; and the modern popular drum sets. The bongé of Cuba in construction, method of playing, position held while being played, and the tuning of the instrument is surely uniquely American.*

in all the foregone

The timbales, the other twin drums

areas of difference

found

of Cuba, vary

in the bongés,

plus

the

material used in their construction. The surdo of Brazil is a bass drum typified by having African, European, and Amerindian characteristics, thus making it an American instrument in all respects. 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 a metal rim, thirty to thirty-six inches in diameter, and four

inches in height. The

metal

tension

brackets

are welded

within to six

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 instru-

ment is made in all models of non-tunable the snare, tom, bass, side and

Scotch

European

drums

such as

bass, with the bulk of the typical

European drum eliminated. The “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 (drums) in the Americas are being upgraded from

folk

instrument

to ethnic,

popular,

instrument, respectively. For example, the Conga

drum

slaves

with

and,

at first, associated

national,

of Cuba

was

cult practices,

and

international

introduced

by the

and

later

used

as a

occasionally

hear

this drum

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

being used even with semi-classical and classical orchestras. This process is also taking place with other folk instruments in the Americas.

This

acculturation

*“seca”—a

produced

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 sound

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

used

directions,

in many

by classical musicians

instances.

and

The

folk

instruments

it is not unusual

are

being

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 improvisers. 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. From these two groups it appears that the future of American

music,

probably

lies in their

hands,

and,

if true,

American

music is going to develop all of its potentialities. One of the great uses of the drum has been as a special instrument. Every possible form of social organization has been fostered and developed by its use. The drum will continue to serve man

its use

activities.

will

be’ limited

more

and

more

to

leisure

or

socially, but

recreational

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 the efficiency of the single-headed drum.

The future of drums in the Americas groups. It will depend on their reactions, evaluation of their own heritage. Folklore is changing with the needs of the people who a part of American folklore. Rhythmically,

the

drum

will

become

and

is in the hands of young their environment, and the never stale—it is constantly produce it, and drums are 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 drumming and drummaking, two activities men, could be called basic social activities.

common

to

most

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—The 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 —the atabal, or tambor, is a slit drum indian tribe of Cuba. {t is a hollowed tone than the other. Atabales—A single-headed drum found in Atabaqué—A

generic term

used

of Central America and the West Indies used by the Siboneyes, a former Amerlog with two lips; one lip with a higher Nicaragua.

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 fianigo 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

Banjo

Drum

group

of Haitians

(Viola)—A

preparing

banjo

drum in Cuba. Barrel Drum—A drum made

for Mardi-Gras

with strings removed

competition.

and the body

from a barrel.

Bass Drum—A two-headed cult drum found in Jamaica.

Basket Drum—A ceremonial basket used as a drum by the Navaho Battery—Two or more similar drums used in a group.

Beleme—The

used as a

Indians.

fringe around the symbolic nafigo 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 watch-

men for signaling alarm. Bop Trommel—Shallow snare Jazz drum. Botija—A bottle jug, used in Cuba as a wind instrument. Bototé or Bututi 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. Buni (Arara) Drum—An Arar4 cult instrument of Cuba.

Bututd

or pututi—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 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 headed hand drum found in Latin-America.

thought to be of European

called

“Pequefio.”

A

two-

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. j Cajon, El (Box) Any box played with the hands in Cuba.

Caqueltrum—A

two-headed Araucanian Amerindian hollow leg drum.

Caramba—A 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.

Carimbé—A drum of the Brazilian negroes. Caté—Afro-Cuban

drum

without

a skin, played

with

sticks. It is also a Haitian

board or box used asa time keeping instrument. Catalier (One who catas)—-The drummer who plays on the body of drum or box 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 of the drum. Coco de Efik Obutén, E]—A skinless friction drum made from a coconut shell. It is used by the fléfiigos 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

DRUMS AND TERMS

287

Coyapa—Amerindian drum. One-headed goblet-shaped body. Creole Drum—Afro-Surinam drum used by the townspeople. Cucumbi—A Brazilian drum—also an Afro-Brazilian song-pantomime the “congada.”

similar

to

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. Curimbé—A large conga type drum played with the hands in northern part of

Brazil. It is used in the Saint Benedict festival near Quatipurt. 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 After the ceremony the the local officials’ home, companied by the head

queen who was to represent them during the year. royal family and attendants formed a procession to for a gift and recognition. This procession was acof conga drums and dancing in the street. The com-

parsas 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—