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The Asturian Traditional Percussion

La percusión en la música tradicional asturianaSánchez-Andrade Fernández, Julio. The Asturian Traditional Percussion. Gijón: Red de Museos Asturianos (2006).


Percussion instruments are an essential part of the traditional songs and dances accompaniment. Those used in Asturias are, basically, the and the dancers castanets –with regard to the idiophones–, and the drum, the tambourine, the jingle drum, the frame drum o pandeiro, the bass drum and the piccolo snare drum –in relation to the membranophones–. There are also other ones that –although of less incidence– play a significant rhythmical role too; they are the tarrañuelas, the mouth harp o trompa, the carved bottle o botella labrada, the ballicu, etc. Even, the church bells used to call the faithful to liturgy –though not used to accompany traditional music– have had an outstanding presence as percussion instruments in the asturian sound scenery until recent decades. The description and structure of these instruments, the technique employed to hold then and make then play, the way of rendering the repertory, and musical and social scene of the performers constitute the main subjects which are dealt with in this book.