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Mar 10, 2008

what kind of instrument is this?

Train stations and bus depots, the world over, are blessed with an interesting variety of people passing through. Not only that, but they are blessed with an interesting variety of people who do not pass through, but choose to hang around the station. there are the homeless just looking for a warm spot or a handout (or both), there are those playing instruments hoping people will throw them a few coins, other forms of entertainment, etc.

We get blessed with all sorts of interesting people in the station I pass through in tel Aviv - 95 year old panhandlers, African musicians, other musicians, a guy who played for the Russian Symphony Orchestra, some other random misfits...

Once in a while you get to see something other than the standard interesting people. Somebody who just came back from his backpacking trip through Thailand or India or Australia. He will be sitting in the station with his robes or whatever strange dress he picked up and will be playing a musical instrument never before seen in this part of the world.

I once posted about some guy playing an unusual instrument that ended up being identified as a didgeredoo.

I just saw another interesting instrument. I have no idea what it is called. It looks like an upside-down garbage can cover - maybe even a pita maker. The guy bangs on it, but it does not sound like a drum or a bang. It has a soft sound and kind of tony...

here it is...

anybody able to identify it?


  1. I have no idea what it is, but I saw the same guy last week with the same instrument (or maybe it was a different guy with the same style clothing) in the artists' shuk on Nahalat Binyamin. It was a very cool sound. I commented to my mother that he could have been randomly banging away, and noone would know the difference.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.


    but seriously, isn't it just a steel drum? Or at least from the steel drum family...

  4. you'd think that by seeing it, but it gives out a very musical tone, not just a bang bang bang clang

  5. I've been trying to identify that sound for quite some time now... I have the audio recording, but I don't recall what it was called, and my attempts at describing it (or searching google) have lead me nowhere.

  6. Rafi: I can "har" the sound in my head...I remember from (30+ years ago) an episode of Seasame street where we saw the making of that particular instrument. If I recall correctly, it was from Jamaica.

    Heh. Found it.


    (Mike's audio file was right on the money)

  7. that's it? all it is called is a "steelpan"? disappointing.

  8. Looks like a Caisa drum:


    Or a Hang:


  9. that looks more like it than the steelpan... though they seem to be based on the steel pan

  10. Rafi: The sound is that of the steel pan.

    (I'm telling you, I saw it on Seasame Street :)

    However, it looks like it was made from a Saj. (Pita maker)

  11. Cool I work right around the corner from there. I have always had a lot of respect for buskers, its not an easy way to make a living, and some of the good ones are amazing.

  12. it is called a hang drum pronounced hong or hung in swiss, made in switzerland by two man shop, go to wikipedia for a good start, were $500.00 now $1,800.00 with a waiting list up to a year. very imilar to a caisa drum and both are in the steel pan drum family. take care...ed


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