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Re: Dumbeks

Poster: Corun MacAnndra <corun@access.digex.net>

Caitlin wrote:
> Good gentles, I am considering making a dumbek, and am looking for someone 
> who is knowledgeable about these instruments to answer some (relatively 
> simple, I think) questions ("are these period" "metal or ceramic" "how in 
> the world do they get the head to stay on the ceramic ones".... things like 
> that ).  Advice or a referral would be very welcome.

The doumbek is period for the Middle and Near East. It is usually ceramic
as that is the easiest material to make in this shape and easily come by.
They can be made out of wood, and in Iran still are. The heads are usually
made from goat skin, though in Egypt they makes some of fish skin. I don't
know what fish in particular, but I've seen them and they are not only
pretty, they are very tough. The head is tied on, and I suspect this is
one reason for the basic shape of the doubmek, as the strings come down
the sides of the bowl and tie around the narrow part.

If you want more comprehensive info, then I can recommend a drummer/drum
maker at the House of Musical Traditions in Takoma Park named Stream Orstrim.
He teaches (or at least has taught, don't know if he's still doing it) doumbek
and has made drums. I have one of his bodhrans, and it's very nice quality.

For drum rhthyms, I highly recommend two tapes called Uncle Mofoufo's Basic
Rhythms Vols I and II. This will definitely take you out of the realm of
'basic' beledi.

Hope this helps.

In service,

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