does anyone play the Lambeg?
Does anyone among you still remember the Bodhran’s big (or huge actually) brother?
Does anyone among you still remember the Bodhran’s big (or huge actually) brother?
Yes, last time I was in Belfast on the 11th July, there it was, giving everybody a headache. Certainly there are people who play the Lambeg. The question is, how can they be prevented?
And when I say everybody, I mean EVERYBODY in Belfast.
How is it pronounced?
Is Lambeg the simplified form of an original Gaelic?
(Laoimbeigh or something?!)
If that is the lamBEG, how big is the lam-MOR? Would it be one of those trampoline-sized reindeer skin frame drums used by Shamans in Lappland?
There is a place not far from Lisburn called Lambeg. It’s near Drumbeg. It seems possible that the Drum is named after the place.
As for the Gaelic, I’d think it might be: La Amu Beag - Small Day Wasted. That would account for the 11th July. The Big day wasted, would of course be the 12th.
I was given the opportunity to fool around with someone on parade pipes with my bodhran. I could barely hear the bodhran. Then I saw that the piper had earplugs and had a mischieveous smile. I can understand why there are Lambegs for the purpose of doing parades. He got out his "parlor pipes" and we continued at equal volumes.
Mountain Goat: I am interested in the comment about the Lappland frame drum. Do they play it open side up with a large drum stick, like the Inuit (Eskimo)? It is an effective technique for moving herds of caribou.
I’ll pass up my opportunity to make a comment about "Lap Dancing." I am "Finished."
Isn’t this Lamberg a two-sided drum hanging on the stomach of the player? A bit smaller than the bass drum of a Highland pipes band. I saw this in a Riverdance-like performance.
A Lambeg drum is definitely much bigger than the Bass Drum of a highland pipe band. It takes a big man to carry the thing. In Northern Ireland it is traditionally played in competitions on the afternoon and evening and night and wee small hours of the 11th of July. It is played not with regular drumsticks but with with very whippy objects like withies. The competition is to see who can last longest, just beating the drum, for hours if possible. When one man shows signs of flagging, the drum is immediately passed to the next contender. In fact it plays the exact same function as drums in the jungle the night before the fort is attacked. It is, in truth, a war drum, in the same way as the highland pipes are war pipes. The noise of a lambeg drum is continuous, penetrating and dominating. Its function is to sap the concentration and morale of the opposition. It works very well.
Why would you want this object in your band or session? Well, if your mashall stack doesn’t give you enough volume… maybe that’s what you need. The only reason that the Heavy Metal dudes haven’t used one yet is they are all weedy weaklings. (AFAICS)
Innocent Bystander: I would NOT want one of these at a session. Maybe they would fit a Wicked Tinkers show. Loud parade pipes and drums with didjeridoo, balancing the massive didge vertically from the chin, lifting the kilts to bare *ss the audience, etc… Maybe a huge Lambeg could be used as a trampoline for fans jumping off the stage. I need to learn some of the acronyms on used on the other side of the big pond: AFAICS, LOL, CCR.
Ceol Cairdeas - I don’t recall seeing one of these Lapp drums played, only hanging on the wall at the Folk Music Museum in Kaustinen, FInland. I can’t remember exactly how big it was, but, suffice to say, it was huge.
Have a look at this thread,
This was a discussion I started a couple of years ago about a BBC TV documentary programme about the lambeg drum. Lots of good stuff.
Now using the correct spelling (LAMBEG with no R between B and E, my mistake) I found tons of photos about this interesting instrument: e.g. http://www.drumdojo.com/world/ireland/lambeg.htm
What I saw in that Riverdance-like show was a smaller-sized (even smaller than the bass drum of pipe bands) variant of lambegs, but played with exactly the same way as lambegs.
Four guys played accompanying jigs and reels, while the good-looking curly haireds were stepping their long naked legs.
What is the name of this smaller sized lambeg I saw in that Irish dance parade?
Where did Bodhran Bliss go? I guess he’s afraid others know more about his Norn Ireland drum than he does (let’s see if the bait works).
Mountain Goat: If the world globe were turned and centered on the North Pole, and the Inuit culture highlighted in some color, it would probably be apparent that the Lapplanders may be part of this widespread culture, or an Inuit-European mix culture. It would be interesting to see how many cultural traits the share.
The Japanese have a huge traditional drum to drive away evil spirits. I don’t know if it was used as a war drum. It would be effective.
You might find it interesting to check out some of the Ulster-Scots Folk Orchestra recordings or there’s a clip with Willie Drennan (from said orchestra) here:
(note there’s a suggestion that only protestant ears can hear the music of the lambeg, so best of luck to those of all religions in that quest)
Maybe I’ll get a little sympathy for all early morning greetings à là lambeg….
Loads of people "play" the Lambeg. They actually have competitions, and I advise Mr Gill to stay well clear, because, unfortunately, the Lambeg is really a war drum, it’s main intent to fill the enemy with fear. They are not very musical. As the song goes;
"Our drums were beating out like thunder, and as the 12th draws near, fill your fenian heart with fear, we’re the loyal orange heroes of Comber".
The drums are played by the Orange Order, and their main intent was to cower the local Catholic population.
Nowadays, in the peace process we have parity of esteem, so Orange culture has to be equal to Irish culture. To further this we invented a language called Ulster/Scots to counteract Gaelic, and the Lambeg is now discussed on TV by experts, comparing sounds and tones. Now these things are massive and deafening.
The competitions are just people beating the drums, there is no accompanying music. Imagine a fleadh bodhran competition where the competitors just played the drum without music, amplified by 10 sm58’s or whatever. Mr Gill’s idea of heaven, no doubt.
I was once at one of these Lambeg competitions, for a newspaper, and had a go but couldn’t stand up with the weight of the things.
To play one at a session, the session would need to be in the Toronto skydrome or somewhere like that.
Spoon, you asked for the ‘LamMOR’ - so here it is, …… Lambeg players look away!:
Miki, you asked - "What is the name of this smaller sized lambeg I saw in that Irish dance parade?" - in some circles I believe they call it a "Rattly"
- “…. a double-headed goatskin side-drum, a bit like the old Long Drum but with larger skins. Like many drums used today, these drums have military origins going back to the 16th century.”
- "…. a drum of this type, which was used by the Covenanter armies, is preserved in Ayrshire (Strathern). Such Drums would have been common in armies which operated in Ulster during this period, including the Catholic Army of Ulster and the New Scots Army."
- "The Rattly is traditionally used in Ulster in combination with the Lambeg and fife, producing a deeper sound than the crack of the larger drum.”
Hello all, I play the fife and lambeg drum.
The lambeg drum is played in two distinct varities - competition style and fifing style. In competition style the drum is played constantly and judged upon the tone, balance and sound of the two heads of the drum.
Traditionally the lambegs are played to the fife (a fife being in Csharp or D). Fifers play a variety of jigs, reels but mainly hornpipes accompanied by the drum played at a much different style of playing.
Gary Hasting book ‘With Fife and Drum’ has a good explanation of fifing and drumming.
"so Orange culture has to be equal to Irish culture. To further this we invented a language called Ulster/Scots to counteract Gaelic" by bodhran bliss - I think you should try researching the history of the ulster-scots. Many good books dating from the 18th, 19th century describing the Ulster people, language and culture not the ‘made up’ peace bargaining tool as some would believe.
All the best,
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