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Bodhran

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The Bodhrán (pronounced bow-rahn) is a Celtic frame drum ranging in anywhere from 10" to 26" in diameter, the most common being in the 14" to 18" range. 3 1/2" to 8" deep, a goat skin head (others such as kangaroo, and synthetics are used as well) is tacked to one side. The other side is open ended for the left hand to be placed against the inside of the drum head to control the pitch.

The drum is usually played in a seated position, held vertically on the player's knee and supported by his upper body and arm (usually on the left side, for a right handed player), with the hand resting on the inside of the skin where it is able to control the tension (and therefore the pitch) by applying varying amounts of pressure. The drum is struck with the other arm (usually the right) and is played either with the bare hand or with a lathed piece of wood called a tipper or beater. There are numerous playing styles, mostly named after the region of Ireland in which they originated. The most common is Kerry Style[?], which uses a two-headed beater.

Although the bodhrán has ancient origins, it was not often used in Irish traditional music until the 1960s, when it was popularised by bands such as the Chieftans.



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