“Begin the music, strike the tambourine (drum)…” - Psalm 81:2
Spirituality and Drumming
Many spiritual centers are taking part in prayer styles that involve drumming. Some may think it's a new thing but the use of hand drums is integral in our oldest spiritual texts and organic drums are noted for the ability to convey deep meaning.
Emotions can be sent out through the vibrations of the drum.
It is not new science or new age-ism or hippy-ism or hipster-ism. This powerful and ancient method seems to have remained constant because of how compelling communication through drums can be.
Jewish and Christian traditions link drumming to praise and worship.
Many percussion instruments are mentioned in the Bible but they are most often translations from the same Hebrew word "Toph". The Hebrew word is translated as tambourine, timbrel or tabret through the old testament.
"1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. 2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. 3 Praise him with the sound of trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 4 Praise him with timbrel and dance: Praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. 6 Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD." Psa 150:1-6
A little research tells us that these drums were frame drums, shallow, cylindrical shells with drum heads attached to one of the open ends. The instruments of the people mentioned in the Bible who were in Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Middle East, included frame drums, small kettle drums and vase shaped drums that were made of clay.
Exodus 15:20 – “Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister took a tambourine (drum) in her
handand all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing.”
Here is where synchronicity comes in to play. I've been writing this blog for a couple of days and finally decided to post it today. But before doing that, I logged on to Facebook and saw that my niece had tagged me in a post where she shared this video of just the kind of drumming and praise I was writing about.
The video shows a kind of drum circle and praise I'd like to have with people all over the world. When we tune in, synchronicity can reach past all types of boundaries.
Long history drum accompaniment for devotional music in the Middle East.
Musicians in Aleppo Syria are pictured below. The musician on the far right is playing a "daf" which is a type of Persian framed hand-drum used in popular and classical music.While there is some debate about the use of musical instruments in Islam, traditional drums such as the daf or dap are often found in Islamic music.
Wakeful Mind Drumming
Buddhists use drums in meditation to remain mindful and alert and the percussion music can create a trance-like effect. Buddhists drumming often puts one in a meditative state of mind. During the time of Buddha, the drum and the gong were used to call people to gather to hear the Buddhas's precepts and to announce meal times. Some believe that if you listen to a Buddhists drum call, you can hear the sound of wind, rain and thunder.