Home » Arts and Entertainment » Music

The Tambourine: The Unknown Drum

Sep 15, 2008
I have to admit it, I did not know that the tambourine was originally, and sometimes still is, a type of drum. I mean, it's obviously a percussion instrument, anyone can see that. But it wasn't until I started to look at the surprising variety of tambourines in the world that I realized that it is, at least in its classic form, a drum. Actually, if you look up the instrument in the Merriam Webster Dictionary, the very first definition is "a small drum." Admittedly, many variations have no drumhead, and these do not qualify for the category. But many tambourines do have drumheads, and these should not be forgotten or discounted when considering the drums of the world.

The tambourine seems to be an international phenomenon. Its distinctive notes can be found in the music of Europe, the Middle East, South America and Asia (specifically India). The word "tambourine" comes from Middle French word "tambourin," which in turn has its roots in the Middle Persian word "tambur," meaning lute drum. Although it is most commonly circular in shape, some variations resemble a crescent moon. The frame is shallow and usually of wood or plastic, and the head, which is of animal skin or a manmade material, is on only one side. All tambourines have pairs of loose metallic discs on their sides that, when the instrument is shaken or struck with the hand, create a jingling sound.

As mentioned, tambourines can be found in the music of countries all over the world. The "pandeiro," for example is a Brazilian percussion instrument that is certainly a type of tambourine. The only differences specific to this instrument is that the tension of the "pandeiro's" head can be adjusted and its metal discs have a notably crisp quality. This instrument is prevalent in a great deal of traditional Brazilian music, and it is valued for its strong percussive qualities.

In Eastern Europe and Russia, the "buben" is native to the areas of the Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic and the Republic of Slovenia. This instrument follows the usual structure, having a wooden or metal hoop with a tight membrane on one side, although some instruments lack this last feature. The sides of a buben may be adorned with metal rings, plates, cymbals or little bells, slight variations from the usual metal discs. Still, it is undeniably a tambourine, and this instrument is often used in the folk music of the region.

The Middle East has a very strong tradition of tambourines. There is the "dayereh," a medium sized frame drum with the prerequisite metal discs. It is used in Iran, the Balkans, and several other countries of Central Asia. Although larger than the usual tambourine, it nonetheless follows the basic principle. Then there is the "daf," another larger tambourine. It is popular in a number of countries, although its name sometimes varies. Its appellations include "tef" (in Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran), "childirma" (in Uzbekistan) and "dafli" (in India).

Finally the "kanjira" or "ganjira" is a tambourine used in South India. Although deeper than the typical tambourine, it too follows the basic pattern of a drumhead on one side and metal disks on the sides. It is mostly used in Carnatic music, the classical music of that region.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for guitars, drums, keyboards, sheet music, guitar tab, and home theater audio. You can find the best marketplace at these sites for drums, tambourines, sheet music, guitar tabs, and home theater audio.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 148
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources