"Buben" redirects here. For the "Buben group" of Soviet spies, see Louis F. Budenz
is a musical instrument
in the percussion family
consisting of a frame, often of wood
, with pairs of small metal jingles
, called "zills
". Classically the term tambourine denotes an instrument with a drumhead
, though some variants
may not have a head. Tambourines are often used with regular percussion sets. They can be mounted, for example on a stand as part of a drum kit
(and played with drum sticks), or they can be held in the hand and played by tapping or hitting the instrument.
The origin of the tambourine is unknown, but it appears in historical writings as early as 1700 BC and was used by ancient musicians in West Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, Greece and India. The tambourine passed to Europe by way of merchants or musicians.
Tambourines were used in ancient Egypt, where they were known as the tof
to the Hebrews, in which the instrument was mainly used in religious contexts.
The word tambourine
finds its origins in French tambourin
, which referred to a long narrow drum used in Provence, the word being a diminutive of tambour
"drum," altered by influence of Arabic tunbur
from the Middle Persian
Woman holding a mirror and a tambourine facing a winged genie with a ribbon and a branch with leaves. Ancient Greek red-figure oinochoe
, ca. 320 BC, from Magna Graecia
. (Notice the coloured decorative woven stripes hanging on the tambourine, which can still be seen today on "tamburello", the tambourine of Southern Italy.)
playing a tympanum
. Detail from the Triumph of Dionysus, on a Roman mosaic from Tunisia (3rd century AD)
The tambourine can be held in the hand or mounted on a stand, and can be played in numerous ways, from stroking or shaking the jingles
to striking it sharply with the hand or a stick or using the tambourine to strike the leg or hip.
There are several ways to achieve a tambourine roll. The easiest method is to rapidly rotate the hand holding the tambourine back and forth, pivoting at the wrist.
An advanced playing technique is known as the thumb or finger roll.
The middle finger or thumb is moved over the skin or rim of the tambourine, producing a fast roll from the jingles on the instrument. The thumb or middle finger of the hand not holding the tambourine is run around the head of the instrument approximately one centimeter from the rim with some pressure applied. If performed correctly, the finger should bounce along the head rapidly, producing the roll. Usually, the end of the roll is articulated using the heel of the hand or another finger. Beeswax
is commonly smeared around the edges of the head to assist in the technique. These materials increase friction making it easier to execute. A continuous roll can be achieved by moving the thumb in a "figure of 8" pattern around the head.
Various European folk traditions include the tambourine. The Romani people
used the tambourine as a percussion instrument, and it was often passed around the audience to collect money after a performance. In the late 1700s, the tambourine had a surge in popularity in England, with some composers of salon music
writing parts for tambourine, indicating as many as 30 different playing strokes or moves. The tambourines of this era often had a circular hole in the frame for the thumb, as one of the moves was to spin the tambourine on the upright thumb. In the late 19th century, The Salvation Army
codified the tambourine as one of their important rhythm instruments. They preferred the term "timbrel
" which was taken from the Bible. By 1945, Salvation Army performances often entailed elaborate tambourine choreography performed by squads in para-military style, more for visual appeal than for musicality.
African American influence
slaves were denied drums which might be used for long-distance communication
. To supply rhythm in music, they turned to smaller percussion instruments such as the bones
and the tambourine, as well as clapping
and body percussion
. The tambourine could accompany the singing of spirituals
, and it was used for celebrations and dancing.
The tambourine became one of the main instruments of the American minstrel show
in the early 1800s, often performed by whites in blackface
such as Ned Christy
, or sometimes by actual black performers. On stage, the tambourine and bones players in minstrelsy stood to the far left and far right of the Interlocutor (master of ceremonies) and were titled Brother Tambo and Brother Bones: because of their position they were called the end men. The tambourine was also used in some vaudeville
acts, including the 1840s dance and musical performances of Master Juba
who was able to elicit a wide range of sounds from the instrument including the chugging of a steam train. Used for Pentecostal
praise in revival meetings
in the early 20th century, by the 1920s the tambourine was firmly established as the primary percussion instrument of gospel music
. The tambourine was played by gospel groups and choirs, and carried prominently by singers who did not otherwise play an instrument, notably by Bessie Jones
and Luther Magby
At the same time, the tambourine expanded from gospel music to various forms of African American popular music
. For instance, singer and guitarist Blind Roosevelt Graves
was accompanied by his brother Uaroy on tambourine and voice, singing both sacred and secular songs. Singer-songwriter Josh White
got his start as a child performing for handouts in the street with an exuberant tambourine performance, beating the instrument's drumhead on his elbows, knees, and head.
Singers who rarely play an instrument are likely to play the tambourine at concerts:
among the most well-known examples are Mick Jagger
of the Rolling Stones
, Jim Morrison
of the Doors
leading Big Brother and the Holding Company
, and Stevie Nicks
as part of Fleetwood Mac
and as a solo performer. Very often, the instrument used in pop music is the headless tambourine
or "jingle ring", lacking a drum head. The singer should, however, play the tambourine with the overall song arrangement
in mind; in some cases, band members have purposely hidden the tambourine from an irresponsible lead singer who disregards the interplay of rhythm.
On the other hand, skilled performers such as Jagger have brought a fine sense of timing to their tambourine playing. In the Rolling Stones' 1964 U.S. single of "Time Is on My Side
", the less-known version, Jagger lays the tambourine on the front of the beat
while Charlie Watts
holds the snare to the back of the beat, which allows the longer decay time of the tambourine to synchronise with the snare at the end. The result is an intentional feeling of running to catch up.
In classical music
(Бубен in Russian
, Бубон in Ukrainian
) is a musical instrument
of the percussion family
similar to a tambourine. A buben consists of a wooden or metal hoop with a tight membrane stretched over one of its sides (some bubens have no membrane at all). Certain kinds of bubens are equipped with clanking metal rings, plates, cymbals
, or little bells. It is held in the hand and can be played in numerous ways, from stroking or shaking the jingles to striking it sharply with hand. It is used for rhythmical accompaniment
during dances, soloist or choral singing. Buben is often used by some folk and professional bands, as well as orchestras.
The name is related to Greek language
βόμβος (low and hollow sound) and βομβύλη (a breed of bees) and related to Indo-Aryan bambharas
(bee) and English bee
. Buben is known to have existed in many countries since time immemorial, especially in the East
. There are many kinds of bubens, including def
, or qaval
). In Kievan Rus
and military timpani
were referred to as buben
An Iranian woman playing a frame drum, from a painting on the walls of Chehel Sotoun
, 17th century, Iran
) is a large-sized tambourine or Perso-Arabic frame drum used to accompany both popular and classical music in Iran
, the Arab world
(where it is called tef
(where it's called childirma
), the Indian subcontinent
(where it is known as the Dafli
) and Turkmenistan
. Daf typically indicates the beat and tempo of the music being played, thus acts like the conductor in the monophonic oriental music. The Persian poet Rudaki
, who widely used names of the musical instruments in his poems, mentions the daf and the tambourine (taboorak) in a Ruba'i
: A common use of tambourine (Daf) is by Albanians. They are often played by women and bridesmaids in wedding cases to lead the ceremony when bride walks down the aisle.
Originated in Galicia
, the pandeiro
was brought to Brazil
by the Portuguese
settlers. It is a hand percussion instrument consisting of a single tension-headed drum with jingles in the frame. It is very typical of more traditional Brazilian music
pandero is a folk instrument currently played along with the trikitixa
(basque diatonic accordion) in a duo most of the times. Sometimes the players, who play in festivities to enliven the atmosphere or less frequently at onstage performances, sing along. At times the pandero accompanies the alboka
too. Yet these kinds of duos have not always been the case. As attested in 1923
, the youth gathered to dance to the rhythm of the bare pandero, with no other music instrument implicated but the player's (a woman's) voice.
(also spelled riqq
) is a type of tambourine used as a traditional instrument in Arabic music
. It is an important instrument in both folk and classical music throughout the Arabic-speaking world.
Widely known as "Shakers".
A traditional Central Asian musician from the 1860s or 1870s, holding up his dayereh.
is a South Indian
frame drum of the tambourine family. It is mostly used in Carnatic music
concerts (South Indian classical music) as a supporting instrument for the mridangam
. The instrument is called Dafli (डफली in the northern Hindi speaking parts of India, a common instrument in orchestras and solos. Nepal also has a variety of tambourines
, going by the names Daanf, Damphu
(Nepali: डम्फू), Hring, and Khaijadi (Nepali: खैंजडी).
Ta'r, Egypt, picture p.366 in Edward William Lane
(1836). An Account of the Manners and Customs of Modern Egyptians
(5th ed.) (published 1860).
Deff - Tambourine, Palestine, picture p. 579 in W. M. Thomson: The Land and the Book; or Biblical Illustrations Drawn from the Manners and Customs, the Scenes and Scenery of the Holy Land. Vol. II. New York, 1859.
of the ancient Hebrews
, the deff
, the adufe
of the Moors of Spain
), the principal musical instrument of percussion of the Israelites
, similar to the modern tambourine.
) is a one-sided traditional tambourine played with the hands, used in Sri Lanka
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Half moon tambourine rhythms
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