The Music of Little Egypt


Percussion is a late arrival on the musical scene at Little Egypt. Some cynics say that its arrival is a sign of the spread of arthritis through the knees of your author. I don't deny this: it is easier sometimes to stand still hitting something than trying to hop up and down trying to hit somebody. My orthopaedic surgeon thinks so too.

The side acquired a traditionally-made side drum at an early stage. We have to be careful who we let loose on this beast as its resonant tones can, if we let it, become dominant, and it does not, as yet, have a built in metronomic feature, so it can run away with the dances.

The bodhran is, as many have noted, an instrument which looks very easy to play but is devilishly difficult to play well. Its use with Little Egypt is far-removed from its Celtic origins; the style of playing has been adapted to Morris tunes, more as a muffled side drum than the rhythmically-complex instrument of slip jig and reels. Our player makes regular use of (normally-deliberate) rim shots.

We also make use of tambour and tambourine. Woodblocks and claves feature occasionally, and we are also loooking to introduce a recently purchased Cajun-style triangle.




Page maintained by Steve Clarke, Copyright(c) july 30 1997. Created: 28/08/97 Updated: 13/09/97