Week eighty-four: BODHRAN (probability 13538), by David Sutton

A BODHRAN is a shallow one-sided drum used in Gaelic folk music. The word is Irish.

Most cultures round the world seem to have hit on the idea that a reasonably pleasing if somewhat limited noise can be made by bashing some sort of membrane stretched taut over a frame, and so we have quite a few more exotic words for types of drum. Thus we have DAIKO or TAIKO, a large Japanese drum; DHOL, a large cylindrical drum used in Indian music; MRIDANG (or MRIDANGA or MRIDANGAM or MRIDAMGAM), a two-headed Indian drum, one head being larger than the other; TABLA, another type of Indian percussion instrument consisting of a pair of drums; DJEMBE, a West African drum played by the beating of the hand, and NGOMA, another type of African drum. Then there are older types of drum, such as the KETTLEDRUM or NAKER, the TABER, TABOR or TABOUR, a light medieval drum buckled onto the player's chest, and the TABORIN, TABORINE or TABOURIN, a small drum longer in body than the tabor.

The sound a drum makes is RATAPLAN; a signal to parley played on a drum is a CHAMADE; a RIMSHOT is the deliberate simultaneous striking of skin and rim of drum; a DRUMROLL is a series of notes on a drum and a PARADIDDLE is a kind of drumroll using left and right sticks alternately.

Oh, and Edmund Spenser thought that drum was spelt DROOME.


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