The tambourine is a musical instrument in the percussion family consisting of a frame, often of wood or plastic, with pairs of small metal jingles, called zils. Classically the term denotes an instrument with a drumhead, though some variants may not have a head at all. Tambourines are often used with regular percussion sets and they can be mounted, for example on a stand as part of a drum kit, or they can be held in the hands and played by tapping or hitting the instrument. Tambourines come in shapes with the most common being circular. It is found in forms of music, Turkish folk music, Greek folk music, Italian folk music, classical music, Persian music, samba, gospel music, pop music. Tambourines originated in Egypt, where they were known as the kof to the Hebrews, from the Middle Persian word tambūr lute, drum. There are several ways to achieve a tambourine roll, the easiest method is to rapidly rotate the hand holding the tambourine back and forth, pivoting at the wrist. An advanced playing technique is known as the thumb roll, the finger or thumb is moved over the skin or rim of the tambourine, producing a fast roll from the jingles on the instrument. This takes more skill and experience to master, the thumb or middle finger of the hand not holding the tambourine is run around the head of the instrument approximately one centimeter from the rim with some pressure applied. If performed correctly, the thumb should bounce along the head rapidly, usually, the end of the roll is articulated using the heel of the hand or another finger. In the 2000s, the roll may be performed with the use of wax or resin applied to the outside of the drum head. This resin allows the thumb or finger to bounce more rapidly and forcefully across the head producing an even sound, a continuous roll can be achieved by moving the thumb in a figure of 8 pattern around the head. By drummers – Drummers such as Larry Mullen, Jr. of U2 mount a tambourine above the cymbals of their hi-hat stand, tambourines in rock music are most often headless, a ring with jangles but no drum skin. The Rhythm Tech crescent-shaped tambourine and its derivatives are popular, the original Rhythm Tech tambourine is displayed in the Museum of Modern Art. Jack Ashfords distinctive tambourine playing was a dominant part of the section on Motown records. The tambourine was featured in Green Tambourine, a song with which The Lemon Pipers. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was among the earliest western composers to include the tambourine in his compositions, gustav Holsts seven-movement orchestral suite The Planets also features the tambourine in several places throughout the suite, especially in the Jupiter movement. Originated in Galicia or Portugal, the pandeiro was brought to Brazil by the Portuguese settlers and it is a hand percussion instrument consisting of a single tension-headed drum with jingles in the frame
Image: Godward, La tambourine, 1906 (5613764847)
A traditional Central Asian musician from the 1860s or 1870s, holding up his dayereh.
An Iranian woman playing a frame drum, from a painting on the walls of Chehel Sotoun palace, Isfahan, 17th century, Iran.