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(Struck/Shaken Instruments)


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Ideophones - Struck/Shaken Instruments
(cumulative list, from all years' programs)

Instrument: Gamelan orchestra instruments
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Drama Tari, Legong, Topeng

The word gamelan simply means "musical group" and may refer to up to 15 different kinds of Balinese musical ensembles. They usually include one or more drums, a series of gongs and metallophones (xylophone type instruments) and a bamboo flute.

On left: kendang, large, conical, two-sided "male" drum; a collection of metal gongs such as gangsa jegogan and gangsa pamade tuned to different pitches; and the langang, a smaller, conical, two-sided “female" drum.

Balinese Gamelan

The two drummers are the leaders of the Gamelan orchestra. They hold the drums in their laps and use both hands or rounded sticks to play. The drummer on the right is from the Gamelan Sekar Jaya Ensemble.

Sekar Jaya drummer

Instrument: Balafon
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Mandeng and Wolof

A balafon is a framed xylophone played by the Maninka or Mandeng people. It usually has from 16 to 20 tuned wood bars, with calabash (gourd) resonators below the bars. The resonators have holes cut in them, over which cigarette paper is stretched so as to make a buzzing sound when the wood bar is struck. The balafon is believed to date from the time of Sunjata, the legendary founder of the Mali Empire in the 13th century.

Instrument: Ghungroo
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Kathak

Ghungroo (ghunguru) are the brass bells that kathak dancers wear wrapped around the ankles. Dancers typically wear between 101 and 151 bells. The bells have iron balls inside which add quite a lot of weight, and make it necessary for the dancers to develop leg and body strength with intense training. Kathak dancers can make many different sounds with the ghungroo, making possible various intricacies of rhythm.

The bells "ground" the dancer upon the floor and earth, and act as an extension of the dancer as a musician, and as an expression of the soul. After a dancer receives ghungroo from their teacher or "guru," the bells must be treated with care and respect. Before dancers put their bells on to dance, they hold them to the forehead, mouth and over the heart, unifying mind, body and soul.
ankle bells

Instrument: Mbira
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Mbira
mbira in gourdZimbabwe 's mbira "dzavadzimu" (mbira of the ancestor spirits) is the primary traditional instrument of the Shona people, and has been played for over 1,000 years at religious rituals, royal courts, and social occasions. It consists of 22 to 28 metal keys mounted on a hardwood soundboard and is usually placed inside a large gourd resonator (deze). The keys are played with the two thumbs plucking down and the right forefinger plucking up. An important feature of mbira music is its chiming, cyclical nature, with each new repetition varying slightly from the last.

Instrument: Hosho (Shaker)
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Mbira

Hosho are traditionally made from gnarly maranka gourds, hollowed out and partially filled with hard hota seed. Snapping the hosho so that the seed cracks against its interior wall makes the desired sound. It sounds easy enough, but hosho can be one of the most challenging instruments to play well.

A common rhythm played on hosho to accompany mbira music is a triplet pattern. Often the back swing just before the beat is emphasized. Rather than accompanying the other instruments, the hosho often lead the way, cutting the rhythm and giving the music a fine edge. The heartbeat of a marimba or mbira ensemble is the hosho player, who uses a pair of these deceptively simple-looking instruments to keep the pace.


Instrument: Agogo bells
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Maculele, Capoeira
The agogo bells are similar to cowbells, they are small high- pitched bells which traditionally come in handheld pairs, but modern versions often come as a set of three and/or ready for being mounted on a stand. They are usually tuned a small interval apart such as a second or minor third. Agogo bells are particularly used in Brazil, and can be used to play more elaborate rhythms than the hand cowbell.

Instrument: Maracas
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Sones Antiguos
Maracas are hollow shakers made out of empty gourds or carved from wood. A maraca is filled with pebbles, dried beans, seeds, or some other hard and light material. The sound comes from the pebbles hitting the inside of the maraca. Maraca players usually hold one in each hand.

Instrument: Gankogui
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Kpanlogo
Gankogui is a vibrating iron bell hand forged in a distinct traditional shape by blacksmiths. Popularly referred to as gakpevi (ga - forged iron + kpe - carrying + vi - child) "the forged iron carrying a child," the structure of gankogui consists of a larger low pitch forged iron and a smaller high pitch one permanently stacked together. The larger forged iron bell is considered as the parent and smaller high pitch one is considered the child in the protective bosom of the parent. Gankogui is the foundation of the entire ensemble. Its voice provides the metronomic background around which most Anlo-Ewe music is structured. A performer is often described as blind if he or she lacks a good sense of the guiding patterns of gankogui.

Instrument: Quijada
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Afro-Peruvian Folkloric: Festejo & Zapateo
Quijada is a percussion instrument used in Peruvian lando music, as well as in Mexican Son Jarocho and "costa chica" music. It is build with the jawbone of a donkey, horse or cow, and is weathered until the molars rattle in place. The playing technique involves striking the large end of the jaw with the palm, thereby rattling the teeth, and/or scraping the instrument with a stick.

Instrument: Rainstick
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Maya

A rainstick is a long, hollow tube which is filled with small baubles such as beads or beans and has small pins or thorns arranged on its inside surface. When the stick is upended, the beads fall to the other end of the tube, making a sound reminiscent of a rainstorm as they bounce off the pins. The rainstick is generally considered to have been invented in Chile, and played in the belief that it could bring about rainstorms.

Instrument: Gourd
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Maya

A gourd is the name given to the hollow, dried shell of a fruit in the Cucurbitaceae family. It is in the same family as the pumpkin. Gourds can be used as a number of things, including bowls or bottles. Gourds are also used as resonating chambers on many stringed instruments and drums.



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