Frame Drums From Different Cultures: List with Pictures

The frame drum is one of the oldest known percussion instruments in history. It consists of leather stretched into a cylindrical body from wood, metal or terracotta. It is played by hand or stick. Although its form changes, it is an instrument used all over the world and in every society. Frame drums do not have much depth. Their diameters may vary. You can find frame drums in different sizes.

Common features of frame drums

Different sounds can be obtained by playing the frame drum with thick and thin mallets on the musical instrument. It is available in various shapes and sizes. All kinds of frame drum types are also available on our Sala Müzik website. It can be used as a means of communication in some cultures.

History of Frame Drums

The frame drum is one of the most common percussion instruments and has a place in the cultures of almost all peoples in the world. The same instrument can be called by different names in different parts of the world. It is known that ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, and Far Easterners used the frame drum long before written history. While the Native Americans danced in their religious ceremonies, they played frame drums to keep the tempo. People in Africa used the frame drum both while dancing and sending messages from tribe to tribe with coded beats. Frame drums are still used for this purpose in Africa. In the past, the frame drum was simply made and was often played to keep the rhythm. But there are also types of frame drums that can produce certain notes or tones. This is the type of timbal, or timpani, used in modern orchestras. These instruments can be tuned and played in high or soft tones. In many cultures, larger framed drums are mostly played by men in spiritual ceremonies, while medium drums are mostly played by women.


Different Types of Frame Drums


Bendir is one of the main percussive rhythm instruments used in classical Turkish music. It is used with the big def, nakkare, and kudum without a bell. Thanks to the beam stretched across the inner surface of his skin, he can produce two different tones at the same time.

Bendir is a form of the percussion instrument known as a circle or def in classical Turkish music and especially in Mevlevi Turkish Sufi music, unique to the Maghreb countries (especially Morocco and Algeria). Its standard diameter is 52 cm. Sound quality varies according to the hoop and material of the dam. It is made of plastic or leather.



Daf is a classical percussion instrument. Its history dates back to ancient times and different civilizations. A normal daf's pulley has a diameter ranging from 20 to 40 centimeters. The width of the pulley can vary between 4 and 6 centimeters. According to the usage area, purpose, and cultural characteristics of Daf, bells can be placed around it.

European nations gave this musical instrument the name "tambour" or "basque" in their own language, which they learned from the Arabs. The process of spreading from the Arabs started with the Spaniards bringing this tool to Europe.



Doyra is translated as "circle". Typically, this musical instrument is like a tambourine. The doira instrument is distributed in Central Asia, especially in Uzbekistan. The Uzbek doira consists of a rounded rib (edge) and a 360–450 mm-diameter membrane tightly stretched on one side. 

The most famous frame drums are available on our site. You can choose the best musical instrument suitable for you. You can take a detailed look at our products by examining our website. You will find everything you need to get started or enhance your skills on the SalaMuzik website.


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