Bladder fiddle

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The bladder fiddle (also known as bumbass or poispil) is a folk instrument used throughout Europe. The instrument was a simple large monochord made with a long stick, a thick gut string, and a pig's bladder. It is bowed with either a notched stick or a horsehair bow. It is known under different names; in Germany it was called the bumbass, in France the basse de Flandre, and in England simply a drone, "drone and string" or Bladder Fiddle. In Germany sometimes a bell or cymbal was added to the top for decoration or additional sound. In England it was used by traveling musicians.[1]

The drum, made of an inflated animal bladder or taut animal hide is secured to the centre of a long stick. A thick string is then attached to each end of the stick, securing the bladder. It is usually played standing upright by drawing the bow over the string. [2]

A related instrument was preserved amongst the Pennsylvania Dutch (German immigrant to the rural Eastern United States), and is known as a boom-ba.


  1. ^ Baines
  2. ^ Sherrard, Melissa. "Bladder Fiddle". Retrieved 19 September 2012. 

External links[edit]

The bumbass, lagerphone, and tromba marina connection - Jon Rose Web - Includes bumbass audio