There are many types of frame drum which are played around the world, and the one most commonly played alongside the tin whistle is the bodhran.
An Irish instrument which is created from a round wooden frame, complete with an animal or synthetic skin stretched across the top, the bodhran is played using a stick called a ‘tipper’ which is used to rhythmically beat the skin.
Similar to a tambourine, but without the cymbals dotted around the edge, the bodhran’s name comes from Irish words meaning ‘dull’ and ‘hollow sound’, perfectly describing the sound that is makes when it is played.
The first bodhrans were poor quality, and made a loud and displeasing noise, but over the years the instrument has been experimented with and altered into a drum which is now much-loved, especially by those who enjoy playing Irish music.
Popularity of the bodhran soared in the 1960s when Sean O’ Riada, a composer who played a big part in the revival of Irish music, declared that it was Ireland’s national drum. Before this time, it was more famously played in a ceremony called ‘Hunting the Wren’ which took part every St Stephen’s Day.
Due to its link to the other instruments that we offer here at Clarke Tinwhistle, including the traditional tin whistle, harmonica, ukulele, and kazoo, we have decided to launch our own mini bodhran, which has been finished with our fun, colourful Whistling Billy image.
8 inches in size, our bodhran is ideal for children, or those who want to get started on a smaller version of this drum before moving onto something larger, and is lightweight, making it perfect for carrying to festivals or taking to a band practice.