Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A hand-held goatskin drum used in traditional Irish music and often played with a stick.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A type of frame drum used in Celtic music, which was, by tradition, struck with an animal bone to produce its sound, now more usually this is wood.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Irish Gaelic bodhrán, from Middle Irish bodrán, from Old Irish, from bodar, deaf, deafening.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Irish bodhrán, from Irish bodhor ("soft or dull sounding") or Irish bodhar ("deaf")

Examples

  • The scholar Eric Lott has noted, “The very instrumentation of minstrel bands followed this pattern: the banjo and jawbone were black, while the fiddle, bones, and tambourine derived perhaps from an instrument called the bodhran were Irish.”

    A Renegade History of the United States

  • And with a bodhran, which is a hard word to spell, so it is!

    Army Rumour Service

  • A modern day rockabilly queen, May breathes new life into an old genre, and her use of a bodhran is a quirky touch that fits her highly percussive sound to a T. 's 24-year-old bright young thing Victoria Hesketh AKA Little Boots is being tipped by the

    Expecting Rain

  • Emulating a bodhran is a great way to "learn" irish rythm, and when you do it live ...

    Mandolin Cafe News

  • And then I was like wait, but I have the djembe and the bodhran.

    Decision

  • A fiddler or two, I think one on bodhran but it was very low key and background.

    Ennis, Ireland « Colleen Anderson

  • To Myron Bretholz, a gifted player and teacher of the bodhran a hand-held Irish frame drum who lives in Baltimore and was CIAW artistic director in 2001, prestige alone doesn't explain its full appeal.

    The Green Hills of the Catskills

  • I play the piano, bagpipes, bodhran (a type of Irish drum), the tin whistle, the guitar, and the harp.

    YA BOOK CLUB PRESENTS: INTERVIEW WITH MAGGIE STIEFVATER | Open Society Book Club Discussions and Reviews

  • A discreet virtuoso, Yates adapts skipping folk-fiddle melodies to trumpet, flugelhorn and tenor horn, and his engaging themes – full of light, fluttering figures – are compatibly supported by Bende's bell-like chording and Byrne's galloping low-register sounds on the bodhran drum and Latin-American cajon.

    Neil Yates: Five Countries – review

  • I dislike the black leather sofa (it says "executive office" to me, when this place is surely all about switching off) and the orb lights could be suspended by something more sympathetic than metres of nasty white flex, but we like the witty addition of an acoustic guitar and bodhran hanging on the wall.

    Hotel review | Annie's Ecolog Cabin, Ludlow

Comments

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  • Since it's not in my dictionaries... From www.ceolas.org:

    This ancient framedrum is traditionally made with a wooden body and a goat-skin head, and is played with a double-headed stick called a cipín, tipper, or beater. The modern Irish word bodhrán is properly pronounced bow-rawn, like Cow brawn, with a slight emphasis on the first syllable.

    Usage:

    There was Harry the banjo and Dunne of the swan

    With whose bone from the wing he'd beat the bodhran

    And the song that he'd sing was of ganders and all

    He'd never get drunk but stay sober...

    --"Gartloney Rats," the Pogues, c. 1989 Terry Woods

    February 7, 2007