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Membranonphones - Drums
(cumulative list, from all years' programs)

Instrument: Tree Stand Drum
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Sogochum

Tree stand drums are dragon-shaped small drums, suspended from wooden stands one hung at center and the others on both sides . The drums are played for the dance, sam-go mu ("tree stand drum dance" or "three drum dance") by the dancers themselves as they dance. Various rhythm patterns are played by hitting drumsticks against each other and at either the center or the rim of the drums. They can be played in a set of 3 with one person, or 5 with 2 people, 7 with 3 people or 9 with 4 people. Legend has it that a high-ranking government official of the Koryo period (918-1392 AD) by the name of Yi Hon found a piece of wood on the seashore where he was exiled, and made a drum out of it that had a wonderful sound.

Instrument: Sogo Drum
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Sogochum
The sogo (“so” meaning little, “go” meaning drum) is a small, framed drum that is held by a handle with the left hand and beaten with a stick by the right hand. The size and appearance of the sogo vary according to the region it is in. The sogo is featured in the Korean farmer’s dance (nong-ak) as both a musical instrument and a prop that the dancers hold as they dance. The other drums in the nong-ak band are the changgo, and puk. In sogochum, one of the most popular solo performances of the farmers’ dances, the sogo players usually occupy the front line on stage, with the solo performer leading. The sogo player is called "popkonori" or "supopkochum." 

Instrument: Djembe
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Mandeng and Wolof, Masked Dances of Liberia, Liberian Dance

The Djembe is a single-headed goblet drum from West Africa. Its body is carved from the trunk of a tree and the widest end is covered with skin. The unique shape of the drum gives it a deep tone when played in the center and higher-pitched tone played closer to the edges. It is played by hand.


Instrument: Bombo
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Maculele, Andean Dance
The Bombo is a cylindrical shaped drum from the Andean region and popular in the styles found in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru. The drum is played with a stick and a mallet, which strike the wooden rims and the head. The body of the drum is made out of a hollow tree, with the mounted skins retaining the animal's fur, thus producing a very distinctive mellow and deep tone.

Instrument: Batá
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Afro-Cuban Folkloric Dance: Lucumí
Bata drums consist of a set of three conical or cylindrical drums, each having two laced heads, one larger and one smaller. The largest drum has a belt of pellet bells attached at the middle. Each drum is laid on a player's lap and the three players sit side by side, playing by hand. As an ensemble, bat‡ drums accompany Afro-Cuban singing and dancing for Yoruba spiritual entities called Orishas. The intricate rhythms of the bata are based on prayers in the tonal Yoruba language, so the drums are actually speaking! The smallest drum, called the okonkolo, is the timekeeper, and generally holds a repetitive phrase to help the rhythms stay on track. The largest drum, called the Iya or mother drum, "calls" or initiates the changes in rhythm, and holds conversations with the middle drum, the itotele.

Instrument: Cajón
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Afro-Peruvian Folkloric: Festejo & Zapateo, Veracruz Dance and Music
A cajón is a rectangular wooden box played as a drum. Its varied form and dimensions depend on the player's comfort, since the player usually sits on it while playing. The cajón usually has a circular hole called "boca," or mouth, in the rear face, to amplify sound. Some have two rectangular holes on the sides of the cajón instead. The cajón is played by beating with both hands on the front side, which is the thinnest side. It is played on the sides and even sometimes on the back as well. There are many ways to play, including with the base of the palm of the hand, with the forefingers excluding the thumb, with the palm folded, or with tapping of the fingertips.

Instrument: Cajita
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Afro-Peruvian Folkloric: Festejo & Zapateo
The cajita is a wooden box with a hinged top. It is hung from the player's neck with a string, hanging a little bit above the waist, allowing the player to walk while playing. Its size and shape is that of a shoebox. The cajita is played by opening and closing the lid with one hand, while the other hand hits the instrument with a stick.

Instrument: Cauyaq
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Yup'ik Eskimo Dance
Eskimo hand drum: The Yup'ik Eskimos use this tambourine style hand drum to accompany many of their songs and dances. The name means in the Yup'ik language "One you look at," since when one is playing it, he faces the drum at all times. Pictured at right is performer Chuna McIntyre.

Instrument: Mridangam
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Bharatanatyam
The Mridangam is the classical drum of South India. The shell is hollowed out of a block of wood; both heads are fastened to hoops and tightened by leather thongs laced from end to end. The heads are tuned by tension wedges and tuning paste, similar to the way a tabla is tuned. The mridingam is played with the wrists and the fingertips.

Instrument: Surdo
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Maculele
The surdo is the master of the samba in Brazil, essentially the bass drum of the band, and produces a very deep tone. It is often hung on a rope around the neck, so it can be used in a march or on parade. The surdo is played with a single large headed mallet, while the other hand is employed to vary the sound by sometimes pressing on the head to create a slightly higher pitch 'closed' or muffled sound.
contemp surdo

Instrument: Tablas
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Kathak
Tablas are the classical drums of North India. A set includes two drums, one for each hand. The bayan is the larger, lower-pitched of the two; the tabla is smaller and higher-pitched. The black dot in the center of each drum head is a gob of iron and wheat flour that allows the drum to be tuned. The small drum is tuned to an exact pitch to match the music being played. The larger drum's head is looser than the tabla's, and the tabla player leans her hand into the head to raise the pitch in the middle of a note, creating the characteristic "doo-WUMP" sound unique to the tablas.

Instrument: Taiko
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Kyogen
In Japanese, the characters for Taiko simply mean "Big Drum." Long ago, during times of war, it's resonating pulse echoed through vast distances as a call to battle and a tool of intimidation against the enemy. In both Shintoism and Buddhism, the rhythms of the heavy wooden Taiko drum figure prominently within rituals and festivals. Only within the last thirty years has Taiko expanded beyond a traditional role. Thousands of local Taiko groups have sprung up. Members include men, women and children who, in taking up their drumsticks, leave behind the rational, linear world of modern day Japan and celebrate within the texture of their rhythms.

Instrument: Tambourine
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Russian Dance

The tambourine is a small one-sided frame drum with metal circles fitted in the rim. The metal circles add a jingling sound to the sound of the drum head. Tambourines are used in Russian Gypsy music and all over the world; cousins of the tambourine include the Brazilian pandeiru, played as part of a Samba troupe, and the Riq, played throughout the Middle East.

Instrument: Tar (Frame drum)
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Nubian Dance, Afghan Dance
A flat frame drum with a single head, played with the hand or the fingers, holding the drum in front of the body with one hand. This drum is found all over North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East, and has many names. About four inches deep and 14-24 inches in diameter, it often has a hole in the rim for the left thumb. Traditionally this drum is played with the fingers, holding the drum in front of you, drumhead facing out. It has a rich voice and produces clear bass tones and compelling side beats.

Instrument: Tumbadora (Conga)
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Maculele, Afro-Haitian Folkloric Dance
These drums, of relatively recent popularity, are played with the hands. They are originally from the Antilles islands. They are commonly used in a set of three, standing on the floor or putting them in special stands. The medium sized drum is called conga, the large size (low tone) is the tumba, and the smallest and highest in pitch is called quinto. The two biggest have approximately the same height, the tumba the largest in diameter. The tumbadoras have one head, on the top, and are open at the bottom.

Instrument: Cymbals
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Bharatanatyam
Cymbals are a modern percussion instrument consisting of thin, normally round plates. When struck, they produce high-pitched sound and are used to mark rhythm or add dramatic effect. They range in size from clash cymbals, most commonly used in orchestras, to finger cymbals, also known as Zills.

Instrument: Cantaro
Dance/Movement Style in PLM: Maya
The cantaro is a percussion instrument. It is a clay pot that is truck in its outer surface or mouth with a hand, creating different effects. Water can be used to pitch the instrument to a desired sound.



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