FOCUS Page 18Bottles and gourds


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Stamped Idiophones: bottles and gourds. In small gatherings, such as an individual playing for himself or in a circle of friends, a gourd will be used as a drum. The gourd gives off a pleasant percussive sound when played by the hands of a performer. A freely improvised pattern using the tips of the fingers, the palm over the top and sides and other techniques of hitting and tapping are used.

One of the most interesting uses made of found sounds as percussion instruments were two bottles, one about twelve ounces and the other about twenty ounces played in a regular alternating pattern along with a gourd as an accompaniment to love songs and dancing songs in Peno. The placing of a finger over and then off the top of the larger bottle also causes a pitch change.