The Cymbalum by Maria, Age 20

The tambal was reported in Romania at the end of 18th century as part of a chamber music ensemble in the court of the Wallachian prince, Alexandru Ipsilanti. Later documents no longer refer to it since, as it often happens, the moment it became popular the instrument was no longer of any interest to the intelligentsia. Nonetheless, after 1877, the year of Romanian independence, which included Wallachia and Moldavia, the tambal was seen in sketches and photos of national music groups sent abroad as ambassadors for the Romanian nation.

Later ethnological literature and documents tell us that towards the end of the century, the zimbalon was also played in city and rural taraf (traditional music groups). In the taraf, the zimbalon replaced the older cobzã (a kind of folk lute). The soft-sounding cobzã no longer met the needs of village communities. But the little tambal would soon meet the same fate. Around the time of the Second World War, the accordion substituted or doubled for the zimbalon. In its turn, the accordion is now giving way to the electronic organ...

Nonetheless, the tambal has not completely died out. It can still be heard at country weddings in the south and east of the country because old country folk cannot do without its form of accompaniment (tiituri). On the other hand, musicians have recently found an ingenious solution to satisfy these country folk by recording the tambal tiituri and entering it into the memories of their electronic organs. They can thus play the tiituri during their "modern" renditions and "that is how everything old is new again", as they say.


Canadian Heritage Information Network
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Centre des recherches et études andalouses, Centre des musiques arabes et méditerranéennes Ennejma Ezzahra, Musée de la musique, Laboratoire de recherche des musiques du monde, Musée acadien de l'Université de Moncton, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Musée d'art et d'archéologie de l'Université d'Antananarivo, Musée ethnographique Alexandre Sènou Adande, Musée national du Mali, St. Boniface Museum, Lycée de langues étrangères Alexandre Dumas, Museum of the Romanian Peasant

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