The frame drum is a musical instrument that was quite famous in ancient times. It is further a sub-type of hand drums. The unique property of frame drums is that these were chiefly played by women in the ancient Middle East, Rome, and Greece. The instrument is hand-held in which the diameter of the head is greater than the depth of the shell. The shape of the frame drum varies as it can be round, square or octagonal and can either have one or two heads to strike and produce the sound. There may also have attached snares or jingles.
Its major use was for magico-religious ceremonies of shamans for purposes like curing the sick or divining the hidden in parts of North America, Arctic regions and in Central Asia. When it comes to frame drum types, then this musical instrument has its own variety in each part of the world. Some of the frame drums are listed below:
- Bendir(North Africa, Turkey)
- Daf(Iran, Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Middle East)
- Pandero jarocho(Mexico)
- Parai(India, Sri Lanka)
- Patayani thappu(India)
- Rapa'i(Aceh, Indonesia)
- Ravann(Mauritius) and many more
Shallow kettledrums were first seen in 600 BC in Persia. Later their reference was found in the 12th century. Originally made up of clay and braced with cord. Later metal was used for their manufacturing. With the start of the Islamic culture, frame drams started to gain popularity among masses in Europe, Asia and Africa.
Frame drums entered the orchestra purely as a musical instrument at the start of the 17th century and by the start of the 21st century, these become an integral part of the music industry. These could easily be seen in musical genres around the globe.