Category Archives: Cymbals

Cymbals

Majutaal

Name: Majutaal.
Type: Idiophones > Metallophones > Cymbals.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 111.141
Country: Assam, India.
Region: South Asia.

Description: Majutaal [Assamese: মাজুতাল] is medium size clash cymbal, Khutitaal or Harutaal [in Assamese: খুটিতাল বা সৰু তাল] is small size clash cymbal. It is also known name as Manjira. It is generally used in traditional, folk and classical music in India. It is also used in dance in Bharat Natyam, Kuchipudi Manipuri Mohiniattam Andhra Natyam Kathakali.

This Instrument has some other names e.g. thaaleaj [Kashmir], taalam, tala, jalra etc. Ramtaal or Khoritaal [in Assamese: ৰামতাল বা খৰিতাল] are two wooden handled musical instruments, containing multiple pairs of small cymbals. It is generally known India as Khartal.
 

Chap

Name: Chap.
Type: Idiophones > Metallophones > Cymbals.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 111.141
Country: Thailand & Cambodia.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: A chap or chhap [Thai: ฉาบ, Khmer: ឆាប] are a pair of symbols made from bronze. The chapp consists of two thin, round disks or plates with a bulge in the center. The plates are held against the hands like cymbals, using handles made of string, passing through a hole in the center of each plate.

The name comes from the sound the instrument makes when struck directly together, “chapp, chapp.” The “timbre or tone” change when struck at an angle.

Varieties: There are two kinds of chap: chap lek and chap yai. A chap lek’s diameter is 12 to 14 cm. A chap yai’s diameter is 24 to 26 cm. The Cambodian names for the two kinds of chapp are chapp thom [large chapp] and chapp toch [small chapp].

Citations:

Ching

Name: Ching.
Type: Idiophones > Metallophones > Cymbals.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 111.142
Country: Cambodia & Thailand.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: Ching [also spelled Chheng in Khmer: ឈិង or Chhing, Thai: ฉิ่ง] are finger cymbals played in Cambodian and Thai theater and dance ensembles.

History: Evidence of the ching has been found in Angkor, the great temple-city of Khmer civilization, where classical art flourished between the ninth to the fifth centuries. Scenes carved in the walls of the temple depict celestial dancers with their musical instruments, including small cymbals in the form of the ching.

Playing Techniques: They are struck together in a cyclical pattern to keep time and regulate the melody, and they function as the “timekeeper” of the ensemble. The rhythm typically consists of alternating the accented closed stroke with an unaccented open “ching” stroke. The name “ching” is probably onomatopoeic for this open sound.

Construction: The ching is Joined by a cord that runs through the center of each cymbal, ching are bowl-shaped, about 5 cm in diameter, and made of bronze alloy of iron, copper, and gold.

Citations: Bibliography: Sam, Sam-Ang 1994 ; Ebihara ; Sam, Sam-Ang. Miller, Terry E.; Williams, Sean [eds.]. “The Khmer People of Cambodia”. The Garland Handbook of Southeast Asian Music ; Tran, Quang Hai. “Pin Peat” – Stanley Sadie, New Grove Dictionary of Music ; Websites ;

Manjira

Name: Taal Manjira.
Type: Idiophones > Metallophones > Cymbals.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 111.142
Vadya: Ghanya Vadya.
Country: Rajasthan, India.
Region: South Asia.

Description: The taal [in Assamese: তাল; in Odia: ଗିନି Gini] manjira also spelled manjīrā or manjeera, jalra, or gini is a pair of clash cymbals. Which make high-pitched percussion sounds. In its simplest form, it consists of a pair of small hand cymbals. The word taal comes from the Sanskrit word Tālà, literally means a clap. It is a part of Indian music and culture, used in various traditional customs e.g. Bihu music, Harinaam etc. It is a type of Ghana vadya.

Types: The Taal Manjira, the clash cymbal, taal is made of bell metals i.e. bronze, brass, copper, zinc etc. Each cymbal is connected with a cord which passes through hole in its center. The pitch of different types of taal vary according to their size, weight and the materials used.

A player can also adjust the timbre by varying the point of contact while playing. The name manjira or khartal can also refer to a similar instrument made of a wooden frame with rows of cymbals inside.

In Hindu religious contexts it is known as karatalas [Sanskrit: करताळं, IAST: Karatāḷaṁ] pronounced “karataala”, literally beat-tala hand -kara. Typically used to accompany devotional music such as bhajan and kirtan. They are commonly used by Hare Krishna devotees when performing harinam, but are ubiquitous to all Hindu devotional music.

Construction: The clash cymbal, taal is made of bell metals i.e. bronze, brass, copper, zinc etc. Each cymbal is connected with a cord which passes through hole in its center. The pitch of different types of taal vary according to their size, weight and the materials used.

A player can also adjust the timbre by varying the point of contact while playing. Manjiras are usually made of bronze, brass, copper, or zinc. The name manjira or khartal can also refer to a similar instrument made of a wooden frame with rows of cymbals inside.

Citations:

Bortaal

Name: Bortaal.
Type: Idiophones > Percussion > Metallophones > Cymbals > Taal.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 111.141
Country: Assam, India.
Region: South Asia.

Description: Bortaal [in Assamese: বৰতাল] is the big size clash cymbal, Its weight approx. 1½−2 kg. The player who plays Bortaal is called in Assam as Gayan. Bortaal is a symbol of Assamese traditional culture. Sometimes, the players perform dance-music with both e.g. in Gayan-Bayan, Bortaal Nritya etc. Sometimes the player perform with only music e.g. in Harinaam, Dihanaam etc. The rhythmic high-pitched sound of the Bortaal makes the surroundings pure and sacred.

Citations:

Cymbals

A cymbal is a common percussion instrument that is classified as a an metallophone, based on the materials they are made of. While the symbol is associated with the drum kit.

Hand held cymbals are found throughout numerous different regions in the world. This includes, such regions as the Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia.

Playing Techniques: Handheld symbols are often played in pairs, held between the and middle and index finger by a string or chord tied from underneath the cymbal for support.

Construction:  Cymbals consist of usually thin, round plates of various alloys. The majority of cymbals are of indefinite pitch, although small disc-shaped cymbals based on ancient designs sound a definite note.  In South Asia and South East Asia the hand held cymbals vary in size, thickness, diameter and pitch.