Frame drum

Frame drums consist of a frame, which is usually covered on one side with a coat, very rare, there are drums that are covered on both sides. The frame is generally round, but can also have other shapes (e.g., triangle or rectangle). The sound is made ​​by striking with the hand (or fingers) or a mallet on the fabric. Some instruments have additional bells, bells, metal rings or the like. Feature of all frame drums is that the frame depth is always less than the diameter of the skin.

Sometimes the frame drum is referred to as the oldest drum type. In the illustrations in Mesopotamia it is already detectable years before 9000. One can related with animal skin drum implements this type ( eg frame sieves) lead back.

It is found almost everywhere in the world, eg as Shaman Drum in northern Europe, Sapmi ( " Lapland " ), Asia and North America or played with the fingers accompanying instrument in the Orient: Tar, Bendix, Riq, Daf ( Duff), Daire, Mazhar, Tamburello.

They played a special role in the fertility cults of the Mediterranean and Mesopotamia, which were held in honor of a mother goddess. The drums usually had a diameter of 20 cm and were covered doppelfellig under certain circumstances and filled with seeds, as they were associated with the fertility cult. Then indicate ancient Sumerian paintings.

In the Bible, the frame drum is mentioned as toph Miriam.

Even today, they play a major role in the dhikr ceremonies of many Sufi orders.

After South America ( pandeiro ) they passed through the Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors.

The naming of the frame drums is quite confusing, as most names are not unique to a specific variant, but rather denote different regional types. Bendir eg, actually refers to a special variant of Morocco with snares. In France, Greece, Turkey and other countries Bendir is the generic term for all large frame drums without clamps.

In recent years, played with the fingers frame drum is experiencing a large increase in their popularity. With musicians such as Glen Velez existing in various cultures playing techniques were interrelated and further developed the frame drum to a modern, multi-faceted and in many musical styles usable instrument. This is associated with the development of clamping systems. Traditionally, frame drums were usually excited by heating only the fur on fire. Later, there were several developments with tuning screws. The latest development is a voting system with air pressure.

Smaller frame drums with diameters of about 25 cm have been found in recent decades entrance to the Orff -Schulwerk and have since been widely used in basic and music schools, and increasingly in local nurseries. The frame drums of this type are played both by hand or with a mallet.


  • Tambourine (Spain )
  • Pandeiro (Brazil )
  • Tamborim (Brazil )
  • Riq ( Arab countries )
  • Kanjira (South India )
  • Bodhran (Ireland )
  • Shaman Drum (including North America, Siberia, Sápmi ( Lapland )
  • Daf (Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, the Middle East )
  • Daira (Iran, Central Asia, Balkans)