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Start with basic drums: gather gourds of different sizes, turn them over, arrange them in a line to become a tuned set, and get a rhythm going. Vary the sound by holding them against your chest, or by putting metal rings on your fingers while you tap. Shake rattles that range from a Mesoamerican Indian rain stick to the popular African shekere strung with a loose-fitting net of beautifully colored beads or other hard objects. Scrape and rub: when one rough surface touches another you get the rhythms of a Caribbean guiro. The stroking of a stick against notches in the side of a hollow resonator makes the instrument's sound. How about a small piano to play with your thumb? Try the gorgeous tones of the kalimba. Tiny metal tongues on a spring produce the melody; make it big or small enough to play as you walk.
Friction drums, with a skin that vibrates, can wail or roar -- depending on how much pressure you use! A Brazilian cuica makes a series of fun-sounding squeaks and squawks, and a version from the lvory Coast is an important part of ceremonies and rituals. Plus, you can fashion a kazoo, a musical bow, an Indian sitar, harps, and more, from Central and South America and the Far East -- even the familiar banjo and guitar. In addition to learning everything from making a drumhead to tuning the instrument, you'll also delve into the history of each type of drum and see photographs of hundreds of instruments, both contemporary and ancestral -- many of them actually being played in their traditional settings.
|Appendix||Constructing a Xylophone||134|
Posted February 18, 2000
This is truly a great book for anyone interested in building instruments from traditional materials. I often read books on instrument making, and in my opinion, this book has the best photos and clearest construction instructions of any that I have seen. It is not about making toy instruments - these are serious instruments that I would be proud of making. There are numerous photos of indigenous people making and playing gourd instruments. I told someone at work about this book and he was somewhat amused at my sudden enthusiasm for gourds. After carefully looking over the book, however, he was ready to start going to the farmers market in search of just the right gourds. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in instrument making.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.