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Re: Doumbeks

Poster: Donald Wagner <falcone@bellsouth.net>


Corun MacAnndra wrote:
> Poster: Corun MacAnndra <corun@access.digex.net>
> Falcone wrote:
> >
> >
> > outside of egypt until after period.  Frame drums were mostly used in
> > Western Europe.  I used to have a source to site for that...alas.
> If you can find that source I'd be interested in seeing it. Sounds cool.
Hell, I'd be interested in seeing it again, too.  It had an objective
tilt on the drum, and showed a picture of a drum that resembled what we
know as a doumbek today.  It had some regional info, too, that concerned
some of what was played where.  It was like the World History of
Percussion, or something like that.  Gotta hit a library when I get a
free month.

> Caveat on the goat skin heads. Yes, it's the most readily available natural
> head you can get, but be sure you get one with very few if any tick bites.
> You can tell these because they have scarred the skin and it weakens it at
> this point. You risk having the head tear if you play the drum a lot or you
> tighten it too much when attaching it. You can tell the tick bites by the
> little black dots on the skin. Sometimes these are large (about a sixteenth
> of an inch).

I knew to watcdh out for them, but I didn't know they were tick bites. 
BTW, I get my heads from MidEast pretty much exclusively.  They let me
specify thin or thick and I have never gotten a head with the funky
black dots/holes from them.  In fact, I usually get the drum at an event
and intruct the owner to contact MidEast and have them drop-ship the
head to me.  I use a much larger head to stretch than is required.  It
doesn't cost much, and I can leave the extra on the head so it isn't cut
so perfectly.  This makes it look a little more period, IMO.  Take a
look at mine nextt time you see it.

> Also, natural skin heads (don't know if this is true with fish or not, but
> I suspect so) will take on moisture and get very loose and unplayable. One
> usually holds the head near a fire to heat it and thereby re-tighten the
> head (I know Caitlin knows this, but many others out there may not and my
> have found this discussion interesting).

Yeah, some nights I don't play or I borrow someone's Tyvek headed drum. 
I rip the heads off of factory stretched drums when I get them.  Little
attention is paid to sound quality and a lot to looks.  The result is, I
care for my head a little more than some.  Also, if you are using a
natural head that has been glued on with water-soluble glue, letting the
head get to moist can loosen the adhesion and cause the head to slip off
the drum, leaving a wrinkle in the look and a rattle in the

If you case your drum, you can put a load of rice, or a bunch of silica
packets in the case with it and the head and adhesive will stay rather
dry in the case, reagrdless of the humidity out.

> Falcone, one of these days I'll have to show you the ceramic drum a friend
> brought me from Israel. Bought it in the Bedouin market if I'm not mistaken.
> I don't take it out much because it's a very porous and therefore delicate
> ceramic.

I'd love to see it.  I have a couple around for reheading that are
market drums.  They are probably the most authentic left of the period
drums.  They are usually more of a terra-cotta material and although the
head is glued, sometimes it is laced also for show.  The best sounding
head I ever stretched was on HL Theyln's market drum bought here in the
states for about $40 bucks at some Middle Eastern grocery.  It came out

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