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History of Frame Drums

Nov 11, 2007
The family of percussion instruments consists of several interesting members. Perhaps one of the oldest members of this family is the frame drum. Believed to have originated in the ancient Middle East, India, and Rome, the frame drum has made its place in many civilizations across the world. Frame drums reached medieval Europe through Islamic culture.

Historically, drums apart from being a part of music played an important role in spiritual rituals. They are primarily musical instruments with a piece of animal skin stretched over a hollow body. Frame drums are generally round, made of wood with animal skin and sometimes metal rings or plates fitted into the drum to produce jingle. Usually it has a drumhead diameter greater than its depth. Some of them have mechanical tunings. They come in various sizes and have different versions existing in several parts of the world.

The frame drum was popular throughout the middle ages in all parts of Europe. The earliest evidence of the frame drum was during the Pre Christian period, especially the pagan Goddess period. Pictorial representation on the walls of Egyptian birthing temples illustrates priestesses playing frame drums. It is supposed that the hypnotic rhythm of the drum influences the breath and heart beat, charming the listener or drummer into a spell.

Some of the well known types of frame drums from different corners of the world are bendir from North Africa, bodhran from Ireland, tar, tambourine, mazhar from Egypt, daf from Iran, Kurdistan, Azerbaijan and Middle East, dayereh from Persia, Central Asia and balkan, pandiero from Brazil, kanjira from South India, tamborim from Brazil, riq from Egypt, and ramana from Thailand.

Perhaps one of the reasons of popularity of frame drums is their versatility factor. These drums are extremely portable and handy. Another added advantage is that due to its simple structure it is not much expensive. Hence one can play these drums in places where other drums stand no chance.

Frame drums are basically hand drums with the diameter greater than the depth. Chiefly men play the larger drums in spiritual rituals and mostly women play medium size drums. The size, shape, and materials take on the qualities of the region in which they developed. Some have jingles or rings or strings that buzz, most are round, but a few are not. Since the frame drums are such ancient instruments, often they have a lot of Celtic designs made on their heads.

The quality of their sounds differs depending on manufacturing and playing techniques. With the current developments the drums now consist of synthetic drum heads instead of goat, calf, horse, or lizard skins. There are long established techniques and playing traditions throughout the world. However in the modern times we also get to see considerable developments in fusion techniques developed by contemporary musicians.

As the frame drums got more and more popularity, a huge fan base had already developed throughout the world. The enthusiasts consist of both drummers as well listeners of world music, jazz, folks, and etc. Various manufacturers of musical instruments offer different varieties of frame drums. The brandings come with a lot of sophistication on the part of the structure and constructions. You can get some good quality frame drum offers on the online shopping sites for musical instruments.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for guitars, drums, and synthesizers. You can find the best marketplace for guitars, drums, and synthesizers at these 3 sites: guitars, frame drums, tambourine, and synthesizers, keyboards.
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