is a bodhrán?
bodhran is the traditional drum of Ireland. The literal translattion
from Gaelic to mean "deafen" or "dull sounding."
It could be because the traditional bodhrán had a slack skin
on it which produced a dull thud when struck, or perhaps because the
left hand was held inside against the skin thereby dulling or diminishing
However, it does
closely resemble a Middle Eastern drum called the def, and could have
very likely traveled to Ireland with the ancient Celts thousands of
What makes the
bodhrán unique is the method in which it's typically played.
While the def and other similar frame drums are played finger-style
(the open back of the drum towards the player and the skin facing
outwards with the fingers and palm striking the skin), the bodhran
in held vertically with one hand inside applying pressure against
the skin varying the pitch while the other strikes the skin with a
tipper or just the hand itself.
Regarded by the
famed Irish composer Sean O'Riarda as Ireland's native drum, it owes
a good portion of its present day popularity to his work, as well
as the talents of those who have continued to raise the standard of
bodhrán playing the world over.