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tambourine(tăm'bərēn`), musical instrument of the percussion family, having a narrow circular frame and a single parchment drumhead, with metal plates or jingles set in the frame. The ancient Romans used it, and in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance it was used by traveling musicians and entertainers. In the 19th cent. it became a military-band instrument, appearing later and very occasionally in the orchestra. The timbrel or tabret of the Bible was probably similar to the tambourine.
a musical percussion instrument; a wooden or metallic hoop with a membrane (skin or bladder) stretched across on one side. Some types of tambourines are provided with clanging metallic rings, disks, small cymbals, bells, or jingle bells. Sound is produced by shaking the instrument and hitting the membrane. Tambourines are used to provide rhythmical accompaniment for dances and solo and choral singing. Genuine virtuoso performances on the tambourine reveal a great wealth of rhythmical patterns. The tambourine is included in several national and professional ensembles and orchestras.
The tambourine has been known in many countries since ancient times, particularly in the Orient. Tambourine-like instruments of other peoples include the def and diaf, or gabal (Azerbaijani); daf, or khaval (Armenian); daira (Georgian); doira (Uzbek and Tadzhik); daire, or def (Persian); bendeir (Arab); and pandero (Spanish). Since the 1820’s the tambourine has been used in symphony orchestras and brass bands, primarily in oriental-sounding music, and in Spanish, Gypsy, and Italian dances. In ancient Rus’ the term “tambourine” (büben) also referred to drums and military kettledrums.
K. A. VERTKOV