Shake, Rattle and Music
There is music in the air at the Galt Museum & Archives because of the special exhibit From Pianos to Power Chords which is about the history of music in southern Alberta.
Long before the Tambourine Man played a song for Bob Dylan, tambourine-like instruments were being used by Ojibwe and Cree people, in several Middle Eastern cultures, in South India, China, and in Eastern Europe. Tambourines originated in Egypt, where they were mainly used in religious contexts by temple dancers and were used in festivals and processions by the Greeks and Romans.
Over in Western Europe, the tambourine began to gain popularity in the mid-18th century as an orchestral instrument, particularly when that infamous rebel of the classical music world, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, began to employ it in several compositions. Mozart was among the earliest western composers to include the tambourine in his compositions. Tchaikovsky included the tambourine in the famous ballet The Nutcracker Suite. Since the late eighteenth century it has become a more permanent element of the western orchestral percussion section.
Today, while the tambourine is still occasionally used in orchestral music, it's found in many forms of music: Turkish folk music, Greek folk music, Italian folk music, classical music, Persian music, gospel music, pop music and rock music and more commonly associated with Western folk music.
There have been changes to the tambourine since they were first invented but in most regards they are still very similar to the original instrument. Tambourines come in many shapes with the most common being circular. The tambourine is often used to teach music to children and is commonly used in music created for children's entertainment.
Come make valentines at the Galt Museum and Archives on Saturday March 11 from 1-2pm at the Saturdays at 1:00 family program – Maracas & Tambourines and get ready to make some music with home homemade percussion instruments. Admission fees apply, which include supplies and access to exhibits. Adults to attend with children. Registration not required.