Tag Archives: Percussion


Quijada De Burro

Name: Quijada De Burro.
Type: Idiophones > Percussion > Scrapers.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 112.211
Specimen: 1 in collection.
Country: Cuba & Veracruz and Oaxaca, Mexico.
Region: Caribbean & Central America.
Acquisition Source: “The Market” just outside the Vancouver Folk Festival.

Description: The quijada [pronounced; qui-ada] charrasca or jawbone [in English] it is an idiophone percussion instrument made from the jawbone of a donkey, horse or mule cattle. It is used in music in most of Central America from Mexico to Peru, El Salvador, Ecuador and Cuba.

Playing Techniques: The quijada is held by the left hand of the musician while being struck by the right hand. It can also be scrapped with a scrapper against the teeth in a similar manner to the guiro.

Construction: The jawbone is cleaned of tissue and dried to make the teeth loose and act as a rattle. Usually these instruments are plain.



Name: Chekere.
Type: Idiophones > Percussion > Rattles.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 112.1
Country: Many.
Regions: West Africa.
Acquisition Date: 1998.
Acquisition Source: La Habana [Havana] Cuba.

Description: The chekere is a shaken percussion idiophone. Its roots lay in Mandingo music in West Africa although it finds its self in Cuba under the same name [chekere] and Brazil. In Brazil the instrument is called xequerê.

Playing Techniques: The rattle is held by both hands the right hand holding the instrument and the left hand grasping onto the net. The rattle produces sound when the net is struck against the surface of the gourd.

Construction: The chekere is constructed from a gourd. Rather then having the rattle filled in with beans or seed such as the maraca or hosho. The rattle is made from a net consisting of string and seed loosely wrapped around the gourd.



Name: Axatse.
Type: Idiophones > Percussion > Rattles.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 112.13
Country: Ghana, Togo and Burkina Faso.
Region: West Africa.

Description: The axatse [pronounced in IPA: /ˈɑː.hɑː.tʃeɪˌ/ or /ˈɑː.hɑː.tseɪˌ/] is a West African rattle-like percussion instrument. The axatse is traditionally a dried gourd, wrapped in a beaded net. The axatse originated in Ghana, Togo and in the Volta Region by the Ewe people. The axatse is closely related to the shekere, though the axatse is usually made from a smaller gourd.

Construction: The Axatse usually has a hole on the bottom of the gourd as the Shekere usually has a hole on the top of the gourd, near the stem. These holes are made to remove the seeds and the water from the gourd. This action of removing seeds adds resonance to the gourd and stops the gourd from rotting. The Axatse is traditionally percussed between the hands and upper leg.



Name: Hosho.
Type: Idiophones > Percussion > Rattles.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 112.13
Country: Zimbabwe.
Region: Africa.

Description: The hosho are rattles that are from Zimbabwe. The instrument consists of a pair of “maranka” or [mapudzi] gourds with seeds. The hosho are Zimbabwean musical instruments consisting of a pair of maranka [mapudzi] gourds with seeds. They typically contain hota [Canna indica, Indian Shot] seeds inside them. The hosho are used to accompany Shona music, especially mbira music.

They make a rattling sound that differs to what Western ears are accustomed to hearing. However, this accompaniment is essential when playing mbira and / or marimba music. So essential, in fact, that extra vibrating elements such as mirlitons, or buzzing membranes made from spider webs.

The spider webs are attached to the resonating tubes of marimbas and machachara [miniature Hosho made from seashells or bottle caps] are attached to the mbira and its deze. Mbiras and marimbas from Africa; and even other instruments, such as drums, will have some kind of rattles associated with their use.

The role of the hosho are the lead instruments as viewed by mbira players in Zimbabwe. Contrasting with the western view in the rattles providing accompaniment to the mbira during performance. A smaller version of the hosho is made of a wild orange called a damba, tied together with sticks and filled with hota seeds or pebbles.

Other related percussion instruments from Zimbabwe include the magavhu [leg rattle] and ngoma [drum]. One of Zimbabwes most respected Hosho players is Tendai Kazuru from Mbira deNharira ;

Description: Bibliography: Novitski, Paul [2000] “Hosho”. Dandemutande Magazine ; Williams, Michael [1997]. “Machachara” [PDF]. Percussive Notes Magazine. Archived from the original [PDF] Berliner, Paul [1981]. The Soul of Mbira: Music and Traditions of the Shona People of Zimbabwe. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-04268-9 ; Williams, Michael B. [2001]. Learning Mbira: A Beginning, HoneyRock. ISBN 0-9634060-4-3


A lithophone is a musical instrument consisting of a rock or pieces of rock which are struck to produce musical notes. Notes may be sounded in combination by producing harmony or in succession by playing melody. A lithophone maybe a stone its self struck as a percussion instrument or with stone bars raised on a platform like the Vietnamese Dan Da. it maybe similar to the bars on instruments such as the glockenspiel, metallophone, xylophone and marimba.

In the Hornbostel-Sachs classification system, lithophones are designated as 111.22 – as  percussion plaques that are directly struck.