History of tam tam instrument

tam tam instrument
tam tam instrument

Tam tam is a percussion musical instrument, a type of gong. It consists of a large convex disc made of metal, most often bronze. The beater used for playing is a wooden handle with a felt tip. When struck with a beater, the disc vibrates for a long time, resulting in sound waves of rise and fall, which creates the feeling of a colossal sound mass. Tam tam has a solemn, sad and formidable timbre. Playing Tam tam is possible in different ways. To obtain complex rhythms, drumsticks or metal rods were used, which were driven around the disc. Sounds were also extracted from the double bass bow.

Stagg TTG-20 20-Inch Tam Tam Gong with Mallet

  • Package Dimensions: 50.8 cms (L) x 50.8 cms (W) x 2.54 cms (H)
  • Product Type: Percussion Instruments
  • Package Quantity: 1
  • Country Of Origin: China

African or Asian roots

tam tam instrument 2
tam tam instrument 2

There are two versions of the origin of the instrument. One of them says that the instrument may have Asian roots, which is evidenced by its similarity with the gong family. Sound comparison of the Chinese gong and Tam tam confirms this version. According to the second version, Tam tam they are considered an instrument of ancient African tribes. Previously, coconut shells and dried buffalo skin were used for its manufacture.

In east, west and central Africa, there are two species out there. The first type is solid wood, cut or hollowed out in the trunk along the length of the tree, has two surfaces for impact. The second type is drums covered with leather on top: one plays on a high note, the other on a low one. In addition to these species, there are many more out Tam tam. The sizes of musical instruments vary: from 2 meters to very small ones, similar to rattles.

Tam tam as a means of communication

tam tam instrument 3
tam tam instrument 3

In Africa, it was used Tam tam as a means of communication to inform fellow tribesmen about birth or death, the attack of enemies, the approach of a catastrophe. Magical rituals such as omens and curses are associated with it. Just a few centuries ago, the ruler of the Congo spread his orders with the help of Tam tam, the sounds of a drum were heard at a distance of more than thirty kilometers. To transmit information over long distances, the method of phased transfer of information was used: from one Tam tam to another. And in our time, in many villages in Africa, such a ritual of transferring information has been preserved.

Meinl Sonic Energy Tam Bags, inch (MGB-28)

  • For gongs/tam tams up to 28″ in diameter
  • Heavy duty nylon stitching
  • Strong carrying grip
  • Soft inner material prevents from scratching

Tam tam in classical and contemporary music

tam tam instrument 4
tam tam instrument 4

In classical music, Tam tam was first used by the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer. The modern instrument began to look a bit different from its ancestor. For the manufacture of the disc, bronze is used more often, less often an alloy with copper and tin. The disc itself has a convex shape and a more impressive size. In musical compositions for orchestra, Tam tam makes it possible to convey to the music a special mood: majesty, anxiety, and menacingness. Tam tam sounds are heard in famous works: “Scheherazade” by Rimsky-Korsakov, “Ruslan and Lyudmila” by Glinka, at the end of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6. Glinka’s instrument can be heard in the episode when Chernomor kidnaps Lyudmila. In Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” tragic sounds are heard when the ship is wrecked. D. Shostakovich used Tam tam in a number of works to emphasize the tragic climax in his works.

tam tam instrument 5
tam tam instrument 5
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