wood slit drum- "V" designs carved along edges of sides; diamond design at end of slit; four curved legs; barrel shape extensions on ends

Slit gong, about 1940

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Why would this elegant instrument sometimes be called a “talking drum”' Technically speaking, it’s not a drum—it has no membrane, the sound emanating instead from a narrow slit in the hollowed-out center. But slit gongs were used to communicate, as the sides of the instrument were made of slightly different thicknesses to produce two different pitches—a high tone and a low tone—when struck by mallets or bare hands. This contrast can mimic the words of a tonal language, essentially “talking.”

Details
Title
Slit gong
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2012.66
Curator Approved

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wood slit drum- "V" designs carved along edges of sides; diamond design at end of slit; four curved legs; barrel shape extensions on ends