R and S from the A to Z of percussion



Rain maker (Brazil) Tube with baffles and seeds inside.

Ratchet Usually made of wood with a cog turning against fixed slats. Translations Italian raganella, French crecelle, German ratshe, Spanish carraca.

Rattle (Aboriginal/ Australia)- Container or gourd with seeds inside.

Reco-reco (Brazil) Scraper, often metal springs stretched on a piece of exhaust pipe.

Requinto (Puerto Rico) Lead drum in Bomba music.

rGna rGna (Tibet) Drum supported on a pole or suspended in a frame struck with a crooked stick.

Riq (Middle East) Similar to the tambourine though the jingles are larger and heavier sounding (consequently less pairs on the instrument).  Performed with the head mainly in the vertical plain with fingers and palm.

Rolmo Rolmo (Tibet)- cymbals held one above the other and struck by vertical movement.

Rototom (USA) tuneable tom tom with no shell

Rullante (Italy) Snare Drum (or Tenor Drum)

Rute- see Switch


Sakara (Nigeria) Drum with pot shell

Sandpaper Blocks (Western) effect of train/ sandance etc.

Sansa- see Marimbula

Segundo (Cuba) Larger tumbadora of pair (conga)

Shaker Tube or box shape with beads, seeds, stones, shot… inside (pictured). Translations Italian tubo, French chocalho, German schlittelrohr, Spanish chocalho.

Shekere (Africa) (Cuba) Gourd strung with beads

Silnyen Silnyen (Tibet)- cymbals struck by horizontal movement.

Singing Bowl (Tibet) Metal bowl produces a note by running stick round the edge.

Siren- Wind whistle to swoop up (and down with a little practice) Also air raid siren, larger mechanical version.

Sistrum (Arabia) or Spurs Metal discs in a frame.

Slapstick see Whip.

Sleigh Bells Collection of metal bells (often different sizes) with an internal clapper. Translations Italian sonagli, French grelots, German schellen, Spanish sonajas.

Slit Drum (Africa) see log drum.

Snare drum Drum (usually double headed) with a wire, hair or gut snare or snares touching one or both heads. Translations Italian tamburo piccolo/rillante, French caisse claire, German kleine trommel, Spanish caja clara.

Spoons A pair, wood, metal or bone struck together.

Spring (USA) Suspended shock absorbers from vehicles.

Steel Drums (Jamaica) Cut down and tuned oil drums, also known as Pans.

Sticks- or Mallets, Beaters, Rute, Switch, Rattan- mostly made with wooden handles but with various types of heads or tips: wood, felt, metal, rubber, plastic, wool, cloth, fur, leather- to produce different sounds from the instruments.

Stones (World) Struck together of struck with stick(s).  There are also stone and slate keyboard percussion instruments (rare).

Surdo (Brazil) Large and long drum (deep/ bass sound).

Swanee Whistle Whistle alters pitch by changing the length of pipe, swoop up and down.

Switch or Rute (World) Bunch of twigs or split wood that is used as a sound or as a stick.

www.prbpnews.info for the latest news about percussion publications.  The A to Z is taken from the Drum Kit and Percussion Jotter.

(c) Peter R. Birkby 2015


About derangeddrums

Composer, percussionist, musical director, teacher and educator. My music has been written for audiences in palaces and in the street. Music is my vocation and my passion and I hope you enjoy it too.
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1 Response to R and S from the A to Z of percussion

  1. Pingback: A to Z of Percussion | Peter R. Birkby

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