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The tambourine or marine (commonly called tambo) is a musical instrument of the percussion family consisting of a frame, often of wood or plastic, with pairs of small metal jingles, called "zils". Classically the term tambourine denotes an instrument with a drumhead, though some variants may not have a head at all. Tamborines are often used with regular percussion sets. They can be mounted, but position is largely down to preference.

Tambourines come in many different shapes with the most common being circular. It is found in many forms of music, Italian folk music, classical music, Roma music, Persian music, gospel music, pop music and rock music. The word tambourine finds its origins in French tambourin, which referred to a long narrow drum used in Provence, the word being a diminutive of tambour "drum," altered by influence of Arabic tunbur "drum".[1], from the Middle Persian word tambūr "lute, drum".[2]

According to Phil Collins it is the most important instrument in Motown.[citation needed]



The tambourine can be held in the hand or mounted on a stand, and can be played in numerous ways, from stroking or shaking the jingles to striking it sharply with hand or stick or using the tambourine to strike the leg or hip. A less common way to play a tambourine is with the inches.

Tambourine rolls

There are several ways to achieve a tambourine roll. Contrary to the common misconception, the easiest is to rapidly rotate the hand holding the tambourine back and forth, pivoting at the wrist, not by literally rolling the tambourine down a sloped surface (for example a hill).

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