- Instrument Guaranteed for 6 months.
- Does not include cover, consult.
This percussion instrument is used in Andean cultures, especially of Quechua origin. It is a relatively small drum, formed by two leather membranes strained on both sides of the hoop, which is traditionally light wood (cardon is very used, a large dry cactus), although other materials can be used.
In the lower patch there are some boards (gut strings stretched over the membrane) usually called "chirlera" which bounce off the patch when the box is percussed, providing a characteristic sound. These boards can be accessories that can be easily put on or removed at will. However, when not present, the box timbre is much more "dry", since with the chirlera the original impact of the stick is enveloped by a variable number of micro-impacts produced by the rebound. This effect can be varied by changing the tension of the chirlera.
The box is placed with a wooden stick, the drumsticks, which hits the top patch. The lower one moves by the vibration itself generated when hitting the top. The sound of the box is indeterminate, (does not produce notes of defined height). The toothpick, as in the case of the bass drum, is divided into "stick" (the bare wood) and "mazo" (the head wrapped in gender or fabric). Thus, the high-pitched, dry and penetrating sound of the stick is complemented by the bass sound, with less harmonics, of the mallet.
The bag-bag and chayera box used in the NOA is a very flat drum in relation to the diameter, approximately 45 cm, and the height of the is 10 to 15 cm. This type of box is usually circular section (i.e. it forms a very sliced cylinder), although there are rectangular Argentine boxes.
In general such a case is percubated with a single toothpick in only one of its patches while the "cajisto" (sic) or performer holds with the other hand the instrument, often suspended from a leather loop tied to the string that joins and tightens both patches. It is also common to association with the erke, natural clarinet made of bovid horn, both in charge of the same performer executing the tunes and wheels.
The box can be found throughout Andean America, with similar and large specimens even among the Tarahumara of the Mexican Sierra. In some specimens there is a chaquira, small ceramic bead crossed by the embroidery, which modifies the timbre produced by the rebound. The same principle of the chirlera, but placed inside the drum and made e.g. with camel gut, appears in single-patch boxes (pandero) typical of the Semitic cultures of North Africa (Morocco e.g.) and in traditional tof or darbuka (sandglass patch drums) (in ceramics) from the same origin (even reaching Israel). The bimembranophone square box (documented in Argentina among others by Isabel Aretz) is similar to Portuguese adufe.
About the luthier, Diego Gandolfo
Diego Gandolfo, musician, teacher and luthier, workshop coordinator.