Re: (more ConCulture than ConLang) tube zithers, board zithers & kites
|From:||Padraic Brown <pbrown@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, June 24, 2000, 3:49|
On Fri, 23 Jun 2000, Jonathan Chang wrote:
> The following is interesting in that similar ideas could be used in a
>ConCulture or two, but there are some ConLang points of
> In my latest musical research - via both books & Internet - into
>seemingly "primitive" string instruments, I have come across a Malay
>idiochord zither called _keranting_ - which exists in several differing
>forms, under different related names.
> It is made from a single joint of large diameter bamboo - closed off at
>each end by the bamboo node. There are anywhere from 2 to 7 strings (actually
>strips of the bamboo itself) raised from the bamboo's surface - played either
>by plucking or, in some versions, played by striking with hard wood sticks.
Oo! I saw one of these at a flea market last year. I passed it up
for lack of interest. Nice to know what it is, though! It was a
foot long variety and in nice shape. Probably should have bought
it. Oh well, if bought _every_ horn that came my way, I'd need
a lot more room!
> Lengths range from a foot to as long as 5' or thereabouts. Bridges
>inserted under the strings serve for tuning; rings of rattan prevent the
>strings from splitting away from the bamboo tube. There are holes in the
>bamboo to bring the sound out of the bamboo. When the strings are fairly
>thin, the sound is slightly percussive, with noticeable plucking noise and
>little sustain. Thick, heavy strings produce a dual fundamental - an unique
>"quaint and attractive effect."
> Some forms of this instrument have bamboo frets under the strings. In
>recent versions/adaptations, the traditional fiber strings have been replaced
>with strings of rattan or wire (wire having the advantage of being easier to
>tune & having a clearer, louder sound with a longer sustain).
> Very similar - even identical in many respects - are the _kullibet_
>zithers (also bamboo idiochords) of the Philippines.
> (There are oodles of highly unique bamboo tube zithers created & played
>by different peoples all along the South China Sea down to Papua New Guinea -
>for example, the tribal highland people of Vietnam have some very odd -
>sounding & looking, spacey-alien-like bamboo tube zithers).
> Some scholars believe that bamboo idiochords like these originally were
>from Yunnan, China, and that these instruments are the ancestors and close
>relatives to Asian long board zithers like the Chinese 7-string
>_ch'ing_(_qin_), the Japanese _koto_ & Ainu 5-string _tonroki_, and the
>Korean _Kaya-go_, 6-string _komun'go_ & the 12 string _kayagum_.
> Intriguing, eh???
They do indeed look somewhat similar, if I'm thinking of the same
instrument. Kind of long and narrow wooden affair with a rounded
top? Has a number of strings parallel with moveable bridges.
Today's musical research at my end involved carving out a four
holed bamboo flute (don't know what notes it plays yet) and some
whistles, as well as teaching a young fellow how to do same.
The whistles worked nicely, though (notch flutes, without blocks
like you get in penny whistles), and my friend _finally_ figured
out how to blow them!
> Havin' FUN, havin' a ball learnin' new stuff... how about you?