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Percussion


On this page you will find audio clips and descriptions of three percussion instruments commonly found in Northumbrian traditional music.
  • Spoons
  • Bones
  • Tambourine


  • SPOONS

    tambourine


    'Spoons' are in fact actual dessert or soup spoons commonly used as percussion instruments to accompany traditional dance tunes. They are used for a number of reasons: They are easy to keep in tune, weigh considerably less than conventional percussion instruments (such as a string bass), and can be carried around easily in a pocket to be produced on any occassion.

    In this short audio clip hear a pair of spoons playing a simple dance rhythm.

    This short audio clip is available in Mp3 or Real Audio format.

    play real audio

    If you select the RealAudio option the clip will play in your RealOne Player (If you do not have RealOne Player, follow the link below to download).

    play mp3

    If you select the Mp3 option playback will be through Windows Media Player or any other Mp3 player that you have set as default.

    Download RealOne Player
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    To find out more about how FARNE audio files have been created follow this link - Audio Technical Notes.




    BONES

    Another equally portable percussion instrument are the bones. Use of the bones in musical performance dates back thousands of years, from the Eastern Europe of 3000 BC to the black minstrel shows of the late 19th century. The tradition of playing the bones was carried on throughout the twentieth century on street corners, in dance halls and throughout the 'folk revival'. The instrument itself consists of two parts, held between the fingers of the hand. They strike together as the player moves his wrist and arms to produce various rhythms. Although the two parts were originally made from bone, various types of wood were later used to make the instrument and bones are now made from a variety of materials. Both of the above instruments were commonly used in informal sessions of musicians in public houses on Tyneside.

    In this short audio clip we can hear the bones being used to accompany this lively set of popular melodies played on the accordion.

    This short audio clip is available in Mp3 or Real Audio format.

    play real audio

    If you select the RealAudio option the clip will play in your RealOne Player (If you do not have RealOne Player, follow the link below to download).

    play mp3

    If you select the Mp3 option playback will be through Windows Media Player or any other Mp3 player that you have set as default.

    Download RealOne Player
    To download free RealPlayer click here.


    To find out more about how FARNE audio files have been created follow this link - Audio Technical Notes.




    TAMBOURINE

    tambourine


    The tambourine is a percussion instrument consisting of a single drumhead mounted on a ring with small metal jingles. It is held in the hand and can be played in numerous ways, from stroking or shaking the jingles to striking it with hand or stick or using the tambourine to strike the leg or hip. It is found in many forms of music, from classical music, to traditional music, gospel music, pop music and rock and roll. Many older musicians remember the tambourine being played for dancing. Border fiddler Tom Hughes left school in 1921 and would travel by bicycle through the border areas around Hawick and Jedburgh to play at all the important rural events such as village dances, weddings, kirns and hiring fairs. The line at these dances was usualy just two fiddles, sometimes with the addition of a tambourine or tin whistle. Toms father, his grandfather and uncles all played fiddle and other instruments including the tambourine, melodeon or tin whistle. His father Thomas Hughes (b.1880) was known localy as a maker of fiddles and tambourines.

    In this short audio clip we can hear a tambourine playing a simple dance rhythm.

    This short audio clip is available in Mp3 or Real Audio format.

    play real audio

    If you select the RealAudio option the clip will play in your RealOne Player (If you do not have RealOne Player, follow the link below to download).

    play mp3

    If you select the Mp3 option playback will be through Windows Media Player or any other Mp3 player that you have set as default.

    Download RealOne Player
    To download free RealPlayer click here.


    To find out more about how FARNE audio files have been created follow this link - Audio Technical Notes.









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