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Drums and percussion

Stringed instruments

Sound toys, objects and inventions


Drums and percussion

Atarigane -- a small Japanese hand gong played with a deer antler mallet (shumoku).

Chappa -- Japanese hand cymbals.

Conch (horagai) -- a conch shell that has been cut and filed on one end and is played like a trumpet.

Hyoshigi -- two wooden clappers which are struck together.

Kalimba -- a thumb piano.  This one is made of redwood and metal.

Qasba -- Moroccan metal castanets.

Savong -- a set of eight bronze gongs suspended horizontally on a wooden stand and played with soft mallets.

Taiko -- Japanese drums with rawhide heads and wooden bodies and played with long tapered sticks (bachi).  Shimedaiko is a small, rope-tied drum.  Chudaiko is a medium-sized barrel drum.  Hiradaiko is a medium-sized hourglass-shaped drum tied with ropes.  Odaiko is a large barrel drum with two tacked heads.

Xylimba -- a xylophone-like instrument with graduated bars of hardwood, tuned either in a pentatonic or diatonic scale and played with yarn-wrapped mallets.

Sound toys, objects and inventions

Bell wheel -- Ela Lamblin created this unique instrument, a bicycle wheel with telephone bells mounted on the rim.  The entire wheel is mounted on a stand so that it can be spun at varying speeds.  The bells and spokes can be bowed, plucked or struck.

Baliphone -- Our own Susie Kozawa invented this wind instrument using a plastic film canister, a metal pipe and a plastic straw mouthpiece.

Kelp instruments -- Susie Kozawa uses bull kelp dried in interesting shapes, drills finger holes and attaches oboe, clarinet and recorder mouthpieces.

Waterphone -- invented by Richard Waters.  Made of stainless steel and bronze, a waterphone uses water in the interior of its resonator to bend tones and create water echoes.  Metal tines of various lengths can be struck or bowed. 

Stringed instruments

Chin-chin -- a banjo from China with a snake skin, wood and metal body.

Dilruba -- a fretted long-necked Indian fiddle with three or four main strings and numerous sympathetic wire strings.  The instrument below is from Bombay and made of rosewood and goat skin.

Dulcimer -- Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer.

Erhu -- a two-stringed classical violin from China with a snakeskin-covered wooden sound box.

Gimbiri -- a three-stringed lute from Morocco made of goat skin stretched over a carved wooden body.

12-string guitar -- Epiphone 12-string acoustic guitar.

Blue guitar -- Mitchell 6-string acoustic guitar.

Hajouj -- a three-stringed bass from Morocco, made of carved wood and goat skin with rawhide strings.

Koto -- a Japanese zither made of paulownia wood with 13 silk strings set on movable bridges and played with ivory picks.  The movable bridges allow the koto to be tuned in various ways. 

Shamisen -- a Japanese long-necked three-stringed instrument with a square wooden sound box, covered on the top and bottom with either cat or dog skin.  It is played with a large ivory plectrum (bachi).

Oud -- an Arabian lute, a plucked stringed instrument with a round body in the shape of a halved pear, a flat neck with seven or more frets, and a separate pegbox set perpendicular to the neck.


Been -- a reed instrument made from a gourd.

Fue (shinobue, takebue or yokobue) -- a Japanese small bamboo flute lacquered on the inside with seven holes.

Dizi -- a Chinese bamboo flute.  A thin bamboo membrane covering one of the holes gives the dizi its distinctive buzzing sound.

Harmonium -- a reed pump organ from India.

Khaen -- a free-reed bamboo mouth-organ from Laos and Thailand, ancestor to the harmonica and the harmonium.

Lira -- a Moroccan cane flute.

Lu sheng -- a Chinese bamboo mouth organ.

Rhiata -- a double-reed Moroccan oboe.

Shenai -- a wooden Chinese oboe.

Sho -- a Japanese metal mouth organ.

Zurna -- a wooden Turkish oboe.


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Last updated: 12/28/06.