Bilo: what is it, instrument composition, sound, history, use

Bilo: what is it, instrument composition, sound, history, use

At the end of the XNUMXth century, a tradition appeared in Russia to ring the beater. The oldest percussion musical instrument became the prototype of the bells that came later from the Byzantine religious culture.

Tool device

The simplest ancient idiophone people created from available materials. The most commonly used wood. Ash, maple, beech, birch sounded better.

The beater was a piece of a wooden board, it was hung up or carried in the hands. The sound was reproduced by hitting a wooden mallet. The metal was also used to make the idiophone.

Bilo: what is it, instrument composition, sound, history, use

The tool was called “riveting”. It gave a louder, richer sound, later it was called a flat bell. Sometimes the beat was made in the form of an arc. She symbolized the rainbow, the sound made a powerful, like thunder. The sound of “riveted” depended on the thickness of the material.


The first written references to the use of the simplest idiophone date back to the second half of the XNUMXth century. Chronicles tell about Abbot S. Theodosius, the founder of the Kiev Caves Monastery. Saint Theodosius lay ill for five days. Having come to his senses, the abbot asked to be taken out into the yard, to call the monks. For these purposes, wooden boards with mallets were used, the sound of which gathered people.

Around the same period, bells came from the West. Their ebb was a costly, lengthy business. The bells had a small size, a sharp sound. Until the XNUMXth century, they could not completely replace the riveter.

The most common beat was considered in the south of Russia. In the northern regions, a musical instrument was less common, more often made of wood. In Kievan Rus, riveters were made of copper, steel, cast iron – local wood was not capable of producing a bright, rolling sound.

Bilo: what is it, instrument composition, sound, history, use


The inhabitants of Ancient Russia used the beat as a means of attracting, gathering people. The ringing of the riveter announced the approach of the enemy, fires, the need to gather in the square in order to learn about important messages and decrees. The instrument was hung from a pole; it also served as a bell in churches, gathering residents for worship.

In the XNUMXth century, the beat “moved” to musical institutions. Several boards made of metal, wood or stone of different sizes, shapes, thicknesses were hung on a plank. When struck with a mallet, each board gave a unique sound, and all together – music.

Now the riveting is used by the ministers of the monasteries of the north-west of Russia. There are two types of bila – great and small. The first is hung on belfries, the second is carried in the hands, striking with a mallet.

The oldest idiophone can be seen at some enterprises. Usually this is a piece of rail, hitting which the workers were notified of the onset of the lunch break or the end of the working day. The riveter cannot be called a primordially Russian ancient musical instrument. Similar examples are still in use around the world.

Старинный ударный инструмент било в Коломенском

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