Tam-Tam

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tam-Tam

 

(an onomatopoeic term of Indian origin), a percussion instrument, a type of gong. The sound is produced by striking the center with a felt-tipped beater. The tam-tam is used in symphony orchestras.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Well before the advent of print, in the spoken literature, the citation of the first words of a zabyuure or proverb was equivalent to quoting the full zabyuure or proverb, as Pacere explains in the introduction to his poetry collection, Saglego ou le poeme du tam-tam pour le Sahel: The zabyuure les petits tamariniers ne produisent pas quelque chose de fade ("The small tamarinier trees do not yield something insipid") is often referred to by "the small tamarinier trees" when addressing learned people (Pacere 1994: 18).
Des entrailles de la terre is replete with further references to the spoken literature of tam-tam, especially the use of zabyuya and patronymic names, as in the following lines: ENGLISH MOORE FRENCH My origins Mes origines Trace back to the Old Land.
Des entrailles de la terre is thus a transcription of the literature of tam-tam. Refrains and zabyuya constitute the threads that make up the fabric or text of the spoken literature of the bendre.
The unusual beating of the tam-tam with one hand, which produces a monotonous sound, reflects oppression, hardships and lack of freedom of opinion.
Despite his mastery of this style, he gives it up to be the demiurge of orature by showing off his genius of inventiveness and wit in finding out methods to transcribe the spoken literature of tam-tam. He succeeds in representing even the rhythm of the poetry of tam-tam in the print medium, as in these following examples: And then, And then; And then, And then!
6 is defined by an acoustically homogenous set of six gongs of different sizes (or alternatively six tam-tams or six cymbals), joined at the dynamic climax by a lastra (the well-known stage "thunder"--a thin tin sheet struck by a stick or just vibrated) and a large drum.
8 is technically extremely difficult, especially in terms of the rhythmic coordination of the players, who together play the following range of instruments: bells, temple-block, three differently sized large tam-tams, two large drums of different sizes, a small drum and a snare drum.
The percussion group presupposed once again six players and the following instruments: marimba, xylophone, vibraphone, group of tubular bells, set of campanelle, 1 temple-block, 1 small drum, 4 bongos, 4 tom-toms, 1 large drum, 3 kettledrums, 2 triangles (of different sizes), 4 hung cymbals (diameters 26, 35, 46, 58 cm), 3 gongs, 5 tam-tams.
Apart from the obligatory pair of kettledrums, the composer uses a small and snare drum (with strings and without), a large drum, two tom-toms (small and large--designated in the score as "tamburini cinesi"), a large tam-tam, two cymbals, a hung cymbal and a triangle.