The ''tympanon'' (drum)

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The ''tympanon'' (drum)


It was a percussion instrument (like the tambour), with stimulating sound, that was used exclusively by women mainly in religious events and orgiastic cults (e.g. those of the Bacchus).

It usually consisted of one shallow wooden cylindrical frame with stretched leather membranes usually on both sides of the open bases. More seldom, it had an incorporated smaller but wider frame (placed inside) for the production of different sounds. The drummer held it upright in the left hand and struck with the fingertips or knuckles of the right.

SOURCES: "M.L. West, Ancient Greek Music", "Curt Sachs, The History of Musical Instruments", "Plutarch, On Music", "Athenaeus of Naucratis, Deipnosophistai", "Julius Pollux, Onomasticon", "Euclid, "Division of the Canon", "Ptolemy, "Harmonics", "Aristotle, (Musical) Problems", "Aristoxenus of Tarentum, Harmonic Elements", "Aristoxenus, On Instruments", "Theokritos, Bukolika".