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What is frame drum

Daf Professional Concert Grade
Daf Professional Concert Grade

Frame drum is a percussion instrument that has a drumhead width greater than its depth. It is one of the most ancient musical instruments, and perhaps the first drum to be invented. Some models of frame drums have mechanical tuning, while on many others the drumhead is tacked in place. Metal rings or jingles may even be linked to the frame. In many cultures, bigger-frame drums are played mainly by men during spiritual rituals, while medium-size drums are played mainly by women. Percussion instruments come in all shapes and sizes, mostly depending on the origin of the drum and the culture that developed its use throughout the ages. Drums, however, have one thing in common – the basis of construction that is seen today in the simple, yet complex, frame drum. For versatility and historical significance, a frame drum is not only one of the most typical drums in all music today, but can benefit more than just the music it enhances. Bringing out the joy and love of music and rhythm, in a corporate setting, or as a therapeutic aid, has a ripple effect on the lives of those in the presence of the sound a frame drum creates.

Bendir, Daph, Daf, Dap, Doyra, Dayere, Doyra, and Kaval are the names for almost the same kind of frame drums, used for traditional music in the Middle East. It is a ring-like frame made of wood with skin or plastic top as a membrane played with fingers. Size, technique, and building vary from country to country, and regional practices and habbits.

Frame drums were played in the ancient Middle East (chiefly by women), Greece, and Rome and reached medieval Europe through Islamic culture. Their shape varies (round, octagonal, square, etc.), they may have one or two heads, and they may have attached jingles or snares.

What is the origin of Frame drum?

The frame drum came from Mesopotamia at an early date. The barrel drum was possibly known in Hellenistic times, for it appears in the Greco-Indian culture of Kushan.

What are frame drums used for?

Frame drum by Master Orestis
Frame drum by Master Orestis Moustidis

The frame drum was the primary tool used in ancient times, a tool of transformation, used by Shamans and High- Priestesses to use for healing, rites of passages and facilitate community. Today, the frame drum is commonly seen played by both men and women.

In the U.S., frame drums are usually found today in Native American practices and celebrations. The circular wooden frame is covered by an animal skin that is indigenous to that culture’s roots. Circular frame drums are also found in Latin American regions, as well as South Asian and Middle Eastern areas. Other cultures, such as those found in the Asian region, have square or rectangle shapes, and there are even octagonal-shaped frame drums, but the construction of these drums and their ceremonial use is generally the same around the world.

European frame drums include the Irish Bodran, a drum that was supposed to have developed from the repurposing of a serving tray, played by hitting the head with the hand or a mallet. Deff or Def drums hail from the Middle East, and can be found with jingles or rings attached, resembling the modern tambourine. North Africa’s frame drum is the Bendir and includes metal snares for a more raspy sound, while Plenera drums are the frame drum mainly seen in Puerto Rico.

Frame drums have been offered a new life in today’s world of music, outside of performance. As one of the most transportable drums that is easy to learn, frame drums are popping up in healing circles, music therapy settings, and facilitated drum loops. The ease of play makes frame drums a favorite in a wide variety of locales, enabling a broad range of uses for both the drum circle facilitator, as well as the patient in a therapeutic setting. Plus, frame drums are seen as less intimidating as other drums, based on the simple design and method of play, allowing beginners to beat out a rhythm easily, and encourage those with disabilities to reap the benefits of rhythm and music therapy.

Name of various frame drums

Adufe (Portugal), Bendir (North Africa, Turkey), Bodhrán (Ireland), Buben (Russia), Crowdy-crawn (Cornwall), Daf (Iran, Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Middle East), Daires (Greece), Duff, daff, daffli (India), Epirotiko Defi (Greece), Dayereh (Iran, Central Asia, Balkans), Dob (Hungary), Doyra (Uzbekistan), Dhyāngro (Nepal), Ghaval (Azerbaijan), Gumbe (Sierra Leone, Caribbean),,, Kanjira (India), Kaval (Armenia), Lag-na (Tibet), Mazhar (Egypt), Pandeiro (Brazil), Pandereta plenera (Puerto Rico), Pandereta (tuna, rondalla, estudiantina – Spain, Philippines and Latin America), Pandero (España), Pandero cuequero (Chile), Pandero jarocho (Mexico), Parai (India, Sri Lanka), Patayani thappu (India), Ramana (Thailand), Rapa’i (Aceh, Indonesia), Ravann (Mauritius), Rebana (Southeast Asia), Riddle drum (England), Riq (Arabic world), Sámi drum (Nordic and Russia), Sakara drum (Nigeria), Shaman’s drum, Tamborim (Brazil), Tambourine (Europe, USA), Tamboutsia (Cyprus), Tamburello (Italy) see tambourine, Tammorra (Italy), Tar (Middle East, North Africa), Thappu (India), Timbrel, Toph, Tupim (Israel), Uchiwa daiko (Japan), Yike (Cambodia)

Famous Artists

Govinda Rao Harishankar, was a player of the kanjira, Khanjira or Khanjari, a tambourine-like drum used in the Carnatic music of South India. He is the only kanjira player to be awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the highest national recognition given to performing artists.

Layne Redmond (August 19, 1952 – October 28, 2013) was an American drummer, percussion expert, writer, teacher, historian, and mythologist.

Glen Velez (born 1949) is a four-time Grammy winning American percussionist, vocalist, and composer, specializing in frame drums from around the world. He is largely responsible for the increasing popularity of frame drums in the United States and around the world.

Shop for Frame Drums today at EthnicTune.com. Buy Bohdran, Daff, Shaman’s drum, Ghaval, Riq with fast timely delivery. We ship wordwide.

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