14. AUGUST 2019
The history of percussion instruments dates back to several millennia. The first percussion instruments were simple – anything that could be slapped on to create a tone.
By definition a percussion instrument consists of a sonorous corpus. Shaking or beating creates vibrations which in turn produce sounds with specific or unspecific tone pitches.
You will find percussion instruments in all geographical regions and in every society of the world. They play a big role in traditions and cultures and continue to do so today. In many cultures they have a ceremonial meaning and holy or symbolic power.
There is a vast variety of percussion instruments. Many instruments of different cultures are related and thus, the musical development of these cultures is closely connected.
In our new World Percussion Workout we take you on a sound journey to India, Arabia and Brazil. Pete Lockett and Emilio Martins will be your tour guides.
The 5 courses of the World Percussion Workout at a glance:
Agogô consists of two or three metal bells connected by a bow and is played with a metallic or wooden stick. It is based on Yorouba bells originated in Nigeria.
Cajón is a wooden box of Afro-Peruvian descent. The playing surfaces consist of wooden plates which are played with the hands while sitting on the instrument. On the back is a sound hole. The characteristic sound is achieved by metal strings inside of the front plate.
Kanjira is a South Indian frame drum with a diameter of about 7 inches with a single pair of fixed jingles. It is similar to the Western Tambourine, yet the jingles are less frequently used. Traditionally the head is made of the skin of an endangered lizard species, but today it is replaced by goat skin.
Konnakol is a musical form that can be assigned to the Vocal Percussion in a broader sense. It derives from the South Indian Carnatic music. The sounds of the Mridangam drum are vocally recited with the syllable language “Solkattu”. Beyond India Konnakol often serves as an auxiliary method for composing music since you can use it without the rhythms of drums or percussion.
Malacacheta (also Caixa) is the Brazilian version of the Snare Drum. It has a diameter of 76-90 inches and the head is covered with two to four strings which are comparable to coated guitar strings. The drum shell is made of aluminum, the skin of nylon. It is played it with two wooden sticks and is often held in the crook of the left arm.
Pandeiro is a small frame drum with a diameter of about 10 inches has a rim holding so-called platinelas (jingles). The instrument is held with one hand and played with the other. It can be struck, shaken or you can run a finger along the head to produce a roll.
Repinique (also Repique / Repenique or Hepinike or Hepike) is a small drum used in Samba percussion ensembles. It is played with one hand and a stick, has a metallic sound and a rather high pitch. It is used to lead the Samba Bateria (percussion ensemble).
Riq is a single-headed frame drum with a diameter of about 8-10 inches from Arabia played with the hand. The frame holds 5 pairs of jingles. In former times it was traditionally covered with fish skin, nowadays mostly goat skin is used.
Shaker (also Ganzá, Chocalho and Rocar) is a rattle filled with metal balls or similar material. The Chocalho and the Rocar consist of an aluminum frame with jingles.
Surdo is the basis of the Samba Bateria (percussion group) and the heartbeat of the band. The large bass drum is played with a big padded mallet with one hand. The other hand is used to dampen the drum and to create the characteristic Surdo groove.
Tamborim is one of the essential instruments in Samba Batucada (Samba Bateria) and in Brazilian carnival. It is a very small drum played with a plastic stick.
Timbão (also Timbal or Timbau) is a conically shaped hand drum of Brazilian music, played with two hands, mostly worn with a shoulder strap and hanging in front of the belly. The head has a diameter of 12-14 inches and is made of nylon. It is mainly used in Samba parades.
Triangel is a percussion instrument in the shape of an equilateral triangle open at one of the lower edges and made of steel. It is hit by a steel mallet.