Wood block

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This article is about the musical instrument. See woodblock for other meanings of the term.
Wood block
Dos bloques.JPG
Percussion instrument
Classification Percussion
Hornbostel–Sachs classification 111.2
(Percussion idiophones)
Related instruments
slit drum, temple blocks, Log drums, muyu, Jam block, simantra
Tubular wood block

A wood block is a slit drum made from a single piece of wood and used as a percussion instrument. It is struck with a stick, making a characteristically percussive sound.

East Asian musics use a variety of wood blocks ranging from small hand-held instruments to enormous (often immovable) temple blocks which may be sounded by swinging a large log against them.[citation needed] Log drums made from hollowed logs, and slit drums made from bamboo, are used in Africa and the Pacific Islands.

The muyu (simplified Chinese: 木鱼; traditional Chinese: 木魚; pinyin: mùyú) is a rounded woodblock carved in the shape of a fish and struck with a wooden stick. It is made in various sizes and is often used in Buddhist chanting, in China as well as in other Asian nations including Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Also in China, a small, rectangular, high-pitched wood block called bangzi (梆子) is used. In Vietnam, a slit drum called song lang is widely used.[citation needed]

The orchestral wood-block instrument of the West is generally made from teak or another hardwood.[citation needed] The dimensions of this instrument vary considerably, although it is always a rectangular block of wood with one or sometimes two longitudinal cavities. It is played by striking it with a stick.

In a drum kit, a woodblock was traditionally mounted on a clamp fixed to the top of the rear rim of the bass drum. More recently it is most commonly mounted on an auxiliary boom attached to a cymbal stand.[citation needed]

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