Alligator drum

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Alligator drum
Percussion instrument
Classification Membranophone
Hornbostel–Sachs classification211.2
(Tubular drums)
DevelopedChina

The alligator drum (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: tuó gŭ) is a type of drum once used in Neolithic China, made from clay and alligator hides.

Alligator drums have been found over a broad area at the Neolithic sites from modern Shandong in the east to Qinghai in the west, dating to a period of 5500–2350 BC. In literary records, drums manifested shamanistic characteristics and were often used in ritual ceremonies.[1] Drums covered with alligator skin for ceremonial use are mentioned in the Shijing.[2][3][4]

During the Archaic period, alligators probably lived along the east coast of China, including southern Shandong. The earliest alligator drums, comprising a wooden frame covered with alligator skin, are found in the archaeological sites at Dawenkou, as well as several sites of Longshan.

Typical acoustic characteristics of the alligator drum are as follows: frequency: 4100–2600 Hz, amplitude: 3000–2000 dB, and wavelength: 2300–1900 Hz.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Liu, Li (2007). The Chinese Neolithic: Trajectories to Early States. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-01064-0. p. 123
  2. ^ Sterckx, Roel (2002). The Animal and the Daemon in Early China. New York: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-5270-0. p. 125.
  3. ^ Porter, Deborah Lynn (1996). From Deluge to Discourse: Myth, History, and the Generation of Chinese Fiction. New York: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-3034-0. p 53.
  4. ^ Classic of Poetry, "Major Court Hymns - Decade of King Wen - Ling Tai", quote: "鼉鼓逢逢、朦瞍奏公。" tr: "The alligator-drums rumble and grumble; while the tunes are played by the blind musicians' ensemble."
  5. ^ Liu, Li (2007). The Chinese Neolithic: Trajectories to Early States. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-01064-0.