As well as drums proper, with stretched membranes, Gehennese music makes considerable use of various types of tuned percussion instruments more properly classified as bells or gongs. For the most part these are made of timber, shell, bone, or bamboo, more rarely (and expensively) of metal. Some types produce different notes from the same instrument, depending on where it is struck. The other types generally come as sets, with a single drum to each note of the scale. (See gamelan.)

One notable model is made from the hollowed trunk of a tree, will produce either of two notes, usually a major third apart. The pitch of this instrument is very low, and it is capable of producing very loud notes, especially when struck simultaneously by many drummers. This ‘king drum’ is used in signalling as well as in some music, such as the music for the war-dance.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.