Instruments

 

Bansuribansuri-Prashant-large

The Bansuri is a six-holed transverse bamboo flute originally used as a folk instrument and to accompany dance. It has been adapted by the master, Pannalal Ghosh and used in classical Indian music only since the 1900s. The glissandos are made by bringing the fingers near the holes of the flute. Half closing the holes, and adjusting the embochure create half tones and microtones.


cumbus-Prashant-large_verticleCumbus 

The Cumbus is a Turkish instrument developed in the early 20th century by Zeynelabidin Cümbüş as an oud-like instrument that could be heard in a larger ensemble. The word cümbüş is derived from Turkish for "fun", as the instrument was marketed as a popular alternative to the more costly classical oud. When Mustafa Kemal Atatürk decreed that families take surnames, Zeynel Abidin adopted the name of his famous instrument. In construction, the cumbus resembles both the American banjo and the Middle Eastern oud. In shape, though, it closely resembles the banjo with a metal resonator bowl and skin body sintir-Prashant-large_verticle head. It has a loud, metallic, resonant tone and is widely heard in Middle Eastern popular music. The Cumbus is approximately 29 inches long. It has movable nylon frets (microtonally tuned) tied to the neck and 3 courses of 2 strings each. 

 

Sintir

The sintir is also known as the Guembri (Arabic: الكمبري‎), Gimbri or Hejhouj, is a three stringed skin-covered basslute used by the Gnawa people. It is approximately the size of a guitar, with a body carved from a log and covered on the playing side with camel skin. The Sintir has a rounded long neck with one to three strings, made usually with sheep gut; the strings are tuned not with pegs, but with leather bands. Its resonator is rectangular in shape and covered with hide, so it's often used as a drum by slapping and thumping it with the thumb and fingers. The Gnawa brotherhood of Morocco adds a metal jingle on the top of the neck to obtain a special buzzing effect.


erhu-no-background-largeErhu

The erhu appeared in China more than one thousand years ago. It is believed to have evolved from the xiqin from Central Asia. The erhu is a two-string stick fiddle that is played while held on the lap. Er means two, and hu refers to the people living in the north and west of China. The strings are tuned to a fifth, with the bow placed between them. The erhu has no finger board. The player places the fingers on the strings without pressing them against the wood neck. The folk versions of the erhu vary in the shapes and materials of the sound boxes. The erhu is usually made of sandalwood or red wood, with a snake skin resonator. A popular instrument in solo and ensemble music, its expressive sounds resemble the human voice.

 

 

Tabla

Tabla-crop-largeTabla are the most popular hand drums of Northern India. They consists of two drums – a brass or copper bass drum and a tuneable higher pitched drum made from a variety of woods. The word ‘tabla’ can be traced back to the arabic word ‘tabl’, meaning drum. Playing technique involves extensive use of the fingers and palms in various configurations to create a wide variety of different sounds, reflected in the mnemonic syllables (bol). The heel of the hand is used to apply pressure or in a sliding motion on the larger drum so that the pitch is changed during the sound's decay.

 

Marimba

The marimba is a wooden keyboard percussion instrument, tuned chromatically. The modern marimba was developed by Japanese and American builders based on the Hispanic-American traditional marimba. However, marimbas originated in Africa hundreds of years ago and were imported to South America in the sixteenth century. Modern uses of the marimba include solo performances and various chamber and orchestral settings. Contemporary composers have utilized the unique sound of the marimba more and more in recent years.

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