Tambourine: what is it, instrument composition, history, use, how to choose

Tambourine: what is it, instrument composition, history, use, how to choose

France is considered his homeland. In the XNUMXth century, an instrument called the Provencal drum appeared in this country. But centuries earlier, the tambourine was used by shamans who performed magical rituals. The uniform sound and ringing of the jingles put them into a trance. Having passed through the centuries, the instrument has not lost its significance. Today it is used in rock bands, popular and ethnic music.

What is a tambourine

Membranophone from the family of frame drums. It consists of a frame and a leather membrane stretched over it. On it, the performer removes with his palms or wooden sticks with round knobs. In the modern version, the working surface is made of plastic. The rim is 5 cm high and the frame diameter is 30 cm. Different sizes and shapes are possible.

The tambourine is a musical instrument with an indefinite sound. Longitudinal holes are cut out in the body of the rim, metal disks are inserted into them – plates. They can be from 4 to 14 pairs. When struck, they produce a ringing, rattling.

Tambourine: what is it, instrument composition, history, use, how to choose

The shape of the tambourine can be round or semi-circular. The first is more often used by shamans, throwing up, making rotations, launching an “energy spiral”. The second is less common, but more convenient for the performer, as it actually becomes an extension of his hand. One side of the semicircular tool is straight and acts as a handle.

What is the difference between a tambourine and a tambourine

The difference between the instruments in sound, design, configuration. Some examples had strings stretched over leather. The French composer Charles-Marie Widor saw the main difference from the tambourine in the absence of a sharp sound and soft sound. Otherwise, both membranophones have much in common.

History of the tool

The south of France is considered to be the birthplace of the tambourine. Wandering musicians appeared on the streets of European cities, accompanying themselves on round instruments, striking the material stretched over the body with sticks. In the XNUMXth century, performers used a duet of flute and tambourine while playing two instruments at the same time.

Tambourine: what is it, instrument composition, history, use, how to choose

In Asia, long before the appearance of the European membranophone, tambourines were played. In their image, the tambourine was created. He quickly migrated to Italy, became popular in Iraq, Greece, Germany. In the XNUMXth century, he became a member of wind and symphony orchestras, firmly established himself in professional music.


Popularized in France, the ancient instrument was used by Indian and Siberian shamans long before it entered musical culture. He was sacred, the uninitiated did not dare to touch him. The material for the membrane was chosen carefully. In Siberia, deer skin was often used; in India, snake or pig skin was pulled.

During the ritual, the shaman made the tambourine sound like thunder or the rustle of grass, entered a state of trance, preparing to communicate with higher powers and gods. The shaman’s personal instrument could look like a real work of art. It was decorated with magical drawings, bells, colored cords, animal bones were hung.

In Europe, the tambourine became widespread later. Composers included it in opera, ballet, symphonic compositions. The Italians used it as part of the entourage in ballet performances. The dancers performed their parts holding a tambourine decorated with ribbons and bells.

Tambourine: what is it, instrument composition, history, use, how to choose
Semicircular model

How to choose a tambourine

Different dimensions, outlines, membrane material allow you to choose an instrument based on your own preferences. The more jingles on the body, the brighter, louder the sound. The sound of a leather tambourine is different from a plastic one. Size also matters. It is more convenient for beginners to play on a semicircular membranophone. One side is flat and acts as a handle. Professionals use round ones, throw them up during the performance, make rotations. Less common are triangles, and even star-shaped instruments.

The modern use of the tambourine has expanded the possibilities of professional music. The sphere is extensive – rock, ethno, pop pop compositions. Since the XNUMXth century, it has been actively used in symphonic scores, occupying its niche in the percussion group, adding mystery to the work, emphasizing important points.

Тамбурин. Как он выглядит, как звучит и каким бывает.
Tambourine Solo: Greg Sheehan at TEDxSydney

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