Folk Percussion Instruments

Well, no, of course they're not wind instruments. But no one else will take them in, so we adopt them as the kindred insane. Or get distracted by them, depending on how you look at it.


The Russian style of (wooden) spoon-playing is rather a lot different from either American/Appalachian or Balkan traditions (the two I happen to be a little familiar with).

One easy way to start: take two spoons in one hand.

Now you have the spoons back to back, so to speak, in one hand, and you can "clack" them by bringing those two middle fingers up and down.

The fun part of the Russian style, though, is to add a third spoon. In your other hand. With it (held gently by its tail) you hit one or both of those spoons you're trying to clack together with your other hand. So... it ends up allowing you to do "clack-whap" (or better yet, "whap-whock-clack") polyrhythms, if you can imagine.

Treshchotki and Other Percussion Instruments

Treshchotki (pronounced approximately "tri-shOt-ki") are a set of wee boards on a string that get clapped together as a group. The more (and bigger) boards, the louder the sound.

Other percussion instruments I won't delve into further include the "rubel'" (a washboard-affair you scrape a spoon along), various tambourines and bones and drums, and the "circular treshchotka" (which you can probably hear in medieval European music).

Now you probably want to get back to the RussWind home page.

Copyright © 2006 L. Robin C. LaPasha.

Updated as of 3/5/2006. Comments and responses to Robin LaPasha