[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Re: Loopable percussion (was: Tabla...)

Outra vez, eu ofrezco meus "dois cruzeiros"
(I know, Matthias, they're "reales" now, but they were cruzeiros
back when I was learning Portuguese !)

>James contributed infos more than 2c worth ;-):
>>I'm not a tabla player, but do know a bit about the drums, so here's my
>>>Do you like the defined tonality in other situations or would you
>>>prefer a modified tabla which has "enough overtones to smooth over
>>>harmonic clashes"? Could this be achieved by uneven tension of the skin
>>>irregular form of the black mass (whats its name?) on it?
>>>Do we disrespect the milenar indian culture?
>>That "black mass" (sounds kind of Goth!) on the tabla is called "syahi" 
>>Hindi, meaning roughly "blackness."
>>This is usually made from rice flour, iron filings, etc. as is applied to
>>the skin in many layers over time until it gives the right "ring" to the
>>drum.  On the treble drum this is essential to tuning, since this drum is
>>tuned to the tonic pitch of the vocalist or instrumentalist.  In
>>non-traditional performance situations this can be very frustrating for
>>"harmonic clash" mentioned above.
>So, since the size of the treble drum is not a problem, could we say that
>the syahi only serves for the pitched ring we might not want?

>But serious: Why dont we try then to stick such a mass onto some small 
>tom (with a natural skin, probably)?
>Out of center or with a non circular form it should ring less and might
>aproach a bass drum sound?
>In the mass there could be a movement sensitive pickup (not so much a
>piezo, which is pressure sensitive).
>Maybe a metal piece in it allowes to pick it up with a magnetic pickup

Something I neglected to mention about tabla is that the "skin" or drum 
is actually three separate layers of skin, of varying thicknesses.  This 
to the brightness and crisp "ring" of the treble drum, when tuned well.  
drum has far less tension on the skin, as well as a comparatively smaller
and so is capable of the wonderful-sounding pitch fluctuation produced by
the pressure of the palm while tapping the head with one's fingertips.  I
don't see
why a similar mass could not be applied even to a plastic drum head.  On 
hand, in extremes of humidity, the tabla skins (like any real drum skin)
cannot sustain
as much tension and go flat, sounding something like an old cardboard box.