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Tamboo Bamboo

By Bamboo Grove on April 26, 2018

Tamboo Bamboo? It might sound like a song you’d play for your young child. Well it’s not that, instead, it will be 800 school children from England attempting to break a world record as part of the third annual BBC Music Day on June 15th, 2017. Tamboo Bamboo came from the carnival traditions of the Caribbean. It involves hammering carved sticks on the ground to create rhythms. It’s origins are in Trinidad, and came to be when the British government banned skinned drums in 1884. Tamboo comes from the French word for drum. Carnivals were deemed noisy and disruptive after the emancipation of 1834. The government began to clamp down on the use of sticks and drums. Tamboo Bamboo was banned in 1934 after violence involving rival gangs started to become an issue. Some drummers were using their stick for shivs and not drums.

Steel drums were adopted as a replacement to the old tradition, but recently, Tamboo has caught fire again. It is seen as a cheap and easy way to introduce children to music making. The world record attempt will take place in Bradford’s City Park on Thursday, June 15th. Children in Portsmouth will assemble to create a new world record. Both attempts will be covered by the BBC. BBC Music Day was established in 2015 as a celebration aimed to “unite communities and generations.”

Once again, we see the importance of bamboo and how it’s proliferation in the world allows for some pretty interesting and unique experiences in music and beyond. Bamboo shows us that simple tools can be made from this versatile material, and can inspire new generations to pursue the spirit of making music. Maybe you can practice Tamboo with your own children? We need to take Bamboo out of the world of taboo and niche and into the mainstream.

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