Tambourine Facts

Tambourine Facts
The tambourine is an instrument of the percussion family commonly used in a variety of music from around the world. Tambourines have existed since ancient times in Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, India, the Middle East, and in Mesopotamia. They were originally used for religious purposes. The name 'tambourine' originates from the French word 'tambourin' derived from the word 'tambour' which means 'drum'. The tambourine can be played while held in the musician's hand, or it can be mounted on a stand. It can be shook, struck, jingled, or tapped against the body to produce sound and is commonly played by the lead singer in a band or by the drummer in rock or modern music.
Interesting Tambourine Facts:
Tambourines today can be found in a variety of music styles including rock and roll, classical, marching bands, pop music, and almost every other style imaginable around the world and in different cultures.
Tambourines in many cultures are used by dancers in religious ceremonies or in entertainment.
Tambourines are common in folk music, and have been an important instrument in this genre in Europe for many years.
The tambourine is often used to teach music to children and is commonly used in music created for children's entertainment.
The tambourine is traditionally made of a wooden hoop, with jingles attached, and often with a head or soft shell. The jingles are referred to as 'zils'.
The head of the tambourine is often stretched over a hoop and then attached to the wood hoop.
A traditional tambourine used for an orchestra has 20 jingle pairs. This number can be smaller for ensemble tambourines and orchestras.
Tambourines do not usually require tuning as the sound of striking the instrument is overshadowed by the jingles.
There have been changes to the tambourine since they were first invented but in most regards they are still very similar to the original instrument.
The tambourine is considered a drum when it is struck and it is considered a rattle when it is shaken by the musician.
When striking the tambourine the musician must know where and how to strike to produce the desired tone.
If using a tool to strike the tambourine the musician can use drumsticks, felt beaters or even triangle beaters, as well as other tools they choose to create the desired sound.
One of the earliest composers to use the tambourine in his compositions was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Tchaikovsky included the tambourine in the famous ballet The Nutcracker Suite.
The tambourine's sound has been described as rustling, jingling, sparkling, brilliant, rattling, and festive.
The tambourine is often combined with other instruments such as the snare drum, triangle, tenor drum, and bass drum as well as the marimba, wood blocks, castanets, tremolos, and a variety of string instruments such as the acoustic guitar.
Musicians who have used the tambourine include Freddy Mercury, Robert Plant, Peter Gabriel, Roger Daltrey, Stevie Nicks, and Jim Morrison.
U2's drummer Larry Mullen uses the tambourine - he has it mounted above his hi-hat stand.

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