Yearly Archives: 2014
A wonderful drum, I managed to pick up on my travels in India. Whereas the Tabla and Pakhavaj are used more in classically influenced situations the Dholak is widely used in folk music in India.
A wonderful afternoon at Barona reservations 7th annual Gathering listening to traditional bird singing and watching the dancers. Unlike many other tribes, where the drum is the instrument of choice, a gourd or tortoise-shell rattle filled with native palm seeds accompanies the Kumeyaay bird songs. Read More
Was it the wind in the trees that got man to recognise the possibilities of using our breath to create sound through bone, cane, wood and plants? If vocal sounds were the beginnings of music, and percussion a close second – then maybe wind instruments were next in the exploration of sound and music. The day when man realised that a bone or a plant had its own voice must have been a special moment.
Martin’s musical mystery tour – This month’s blog comes from Switzerland. I have just come back from Geneva where I have been working for the last 10 days – also had a couple of days exploring inland and re-visiting Montreux, a lakeside city that has had links with the music industry since the 70’s – Smoke on the Water!!
Check out this world record gathering of 508 Alphorn players in 2013. What an incredible sound!
What an amazing sound – apparently they were used to signal to each other from across the valleys, in order to summon help, communicate to each other, and announcing daily activities, such as calling a council, or gathering for war!
If you would like to learn how to play – check out the Alphorn project.
Talerschwingen or talerrollen is a fascinating tradition used with yodeling in the east of Switzerland. The players take a 5 Swiss franc coin and throw it inside an earthenware bowl. The bowl is then slowly rotated as they sing. Three bowls of different pitches are often used in a performance. The sound created is inspired by the cow bells heard in the fields.
A wonderful tradition of singing that many people associate with Switzerland although there are many forms that have been traced back to Georgia, Persia, Central Asia and Central Africa. In Appenzell, they come in two forms: the Zäuerli and Ruggusseli yodels. The Ruggusseli is thought to be a sadder yodel due to being sung in minor keys.