John Bergamo 1940-2013

The frame drum world has lost one of its modern masters. John Bergamo has passed away and leaves us a full body of music, students and family.

For now, enjoy this panel with John, and the amazing tribute by CalArts Ensemble and Hands OnSemble joined by Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Houman Pourmedhi and a special tribute by Alfred Ladzekpo.

The music world and our frame drum family is in eternal gratitude for your contributions, Master Bergamo.

Enjoy this interview with John conducted by N. Scott Robinson

Ganesh Kumar on tour with Sankara this spring

Mar-30 Boston, MA Learn Quest Academy of Music
Apr-06 Raleigh, NC Indian Classical Music & Dance Society
Apr-07 Washington DC Shiva Vishnu Temple
Apr-12 Rochster, NY India Community Center
Apr-14 Detroit, MI University of Michigan
Apr-19 Omaha, NE University of Nebraska
Apr-27 Portland, OR Sankara Music Academy
May-05 San Francisco, CA South India Fine Arts
May-12 Tampa, FL Hindu Temple of Florida

NAFDA Midwest 4-Missouri Frame Drum Festival

NAFDA Midwest® 4- Missouri Frame Drum Festival
April 27, 2013 in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA


Hosted & Sponsored by
Forest Park Campus of St. Louis Community College – Mildred Bastian Center – Theater
5600 Oakland Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63110 USA

FREE – all-inclusive for 4 workshops & concert

(lodging, travel & meals – not included)
To come for free you must pre-register!
PRIVATE LESSONS with NAFDA artists for attendees only are available at any NAFDA event for an extra charge per lesson and must be pre-arranged.

INFO: Reservations
NAFDA Midwest Director: Dr. Thomas Zirkle
Michael Bissonnette – Irish Bodhran
Todd Roach – Lap Style Frame Drum
N. Scott Robinson – Tamburello
Thomas Zirkle – Riqq
Guest Musician: Michael Mullins (Uilleann Pipes)

Ten Steps to Becoming a Better Frame Drummer

check out Layne’s blog

Part One, Steps 1 – 5

Let’s begin by getting to the root of the issue of being a drummer or percussionist or perhaps any type of musician:  Repetitive Obsessive Behavior.  I prefer Behavior over Disorder!  But just face it, if you are a drummer you are OCD:  Obsessive-Compulsive Disordered tapper on table tops and steering wheels, pots, pans and anything else that has an interesting sound.  However, lucky you, drumming is the perfect channel for this syndrome.  In fact you must have some shading of this within your makeup to really excel at drumming!  A conventional definition of this syndrome includes: repetitive, ritualized behaviors you feel compelled to perform.  You are unable to resist them and break free.  Well, just pick up your frame drum and pour it all into practicing!  Let the incredible harmonic overtones of your frame drum bring you into a balanced and relaxed state.  And speaking of relaxed, that brings us to the first rule.

1.  Relax.  Number one, figure out how to play tension free!  Hah! I’ve always found that walking up to a fear stricken, tensioned out student and saying, “relax” serves to send them into total rock like paralysis. So I use the word soften.  Focus on teaching your body to soften while you play.

If your fingers are cold, warm your hands and arms up before you play.  I rub my hands and arms vigorously with a medicated dark roasted sesame oil, an aryuvedic yoga oil treatment, and then soak in a sink of hot water.  Take a dark hand towel reserved for this purpose (sesame oil is persistent) and vigorously rub dry your arms, hands and fingers.  If there’s not time for oil treatments, tackling that pile of dirty dishes works great also.

At first you’ll need to concentrate on relaxing your fingers, wrists, and arms as you play.  But once you’ve accomplished that you’ll notice that perhaps your neck and shoulders, back or even your legs or hips are tense.  Just know that tension, or tightness steals energy from you. When going for playing fast and clean for a long period of time you don’t want to waste energy by keeping unnecessary tension in any muscle group.  When you practice for more speed or harder techniques, try for softer or easier. Your best performance will come when you are at your most relaxed.  One of the ways I work at relaxing while playing is by taking long deep breaths timed to my rhythms.  And of course I’m practicing with my metronome.  So you want to find a comfortable length of time for your deep slow breaths, perhaps four measures breathing in (or whatever is comfortable) and then four measures breathing out.  I find that doing this type of breathing while working on more complex and faster material mysteriously changes my perception of time and actually seems to make time slow down.  At first you’ll have to concentrate and practice to keep the breathing going but soon it will become automatic and you will just drop into your deep breathing rhythms while you play.  This is so great for many reasons – it keeps you calm, relaxed and oxygenates your body to meet the energy needs of your muscles.

One specific thing to watch out for when playing a frame drum held in your hand is: No death grip.  Keep the holding hand as relaxed as possible for what it needs to do.

Olympic Gold Medalist track sprinter Carl Lewis’ coach said, “the faster you want to go, the more relaxed you have to be”.  A quote from Bruce Lee on the subject of speed, “The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

2.  Professional instruction.  See your teachers on a regular basis, don’t spend all your time playing with people not as advanced as you are.  (Special warning for teachers!!)

If you don’t live within reach of a frame drum teacher you can:

Practice with instructional dvds.

Play along with YouTube videos, there’s tons of instructional videos for many styles of frame drumming on YouTube.

3.  Practice with a metronome.  I always practice with my metronome, I love it!  In fact it is hard for me to practice seriously without one.  A metronome is essential for many reasons, including:

A. Developing memory of tempo

B. Developing your internal pulse, which gives you the ability to keep solid time

C. Developing the ability to record in the studio to a click track. When you get called for studio work you’re going to have to nail your part first time out to make the right impression.

D. It is a great tool for measuring and improving yourself systematically.

There will be a whole upcoming blog devoted to using your metronome!

4. Sing your rhythms.  This is such a powerful way of learning new rhythms. Make the rhythm into a mantra that completely captivates your conscious mind.  Almost all traditional cultures teach you to sing the rhythm – if you can sing it, it won’t be long before you can play it!

5. Practice in front of a mirror.  This is an incredibly powerful and somewhat magical way to improve your playing.  You can notice strange ways the body is expressing tension or an out of balanced posture or tense facial expressions.  If you are working with a video of a good teacher set a mirror up next to the video monitor facing you so that you can watch the video and then check your posture and technique against the posture and technique of the teacher.

Part 2 of Ten Steps Coming Soon!

Subscribe to make sure you get it!

For those of you on Facebook a typical drummer doing his homework:



International festival of frame drums art and culture


13 > 17  june 2012



Frame Drums Italia is an International Festival born with the aim of providing its participants a broad view on the study and practice of frame drums in relation to both the traditional and modern musical languages in which they are applied. In addition to this, the Festival features some high-interest activities for both the performes and teachers wishing to broaden their instruments possibilities, such as the scenical use of drums in theatrical settings as well as their use in music-therapy. All of this will take place for four days in the beautiful italian countryside of Marche, more precisely in the charming medieval town of Montelparo, where a nice ex-monastery will host the event as usual. This 2012 Festival edition is conceived to offer an even more organic and articulated tuition path than ever before, by a close-knit team of teachers. Frame drums different languages and applications will be covered with a comparative and multidisciplinary focus, offering students an invaluable opportunity for learning and deepening their knowledge.





by Andrea Piccioni


“Total Tamburello” is a style created by Andrea Piccioni as a result of many years of deep studies and revisioning of several frame drums languages, carrying out his research through the extraordinary and multifaceted world of italian traditional music and applying the resulting principles to the italian tamburello both with and without jingles. The resulting approach deriving from this methodology is a “total” one, and it’s aimed to develop a deep relationship with the instrument allowing the player the freedom to move within any kind of rhythmic cycle and musical environment, resulting into some kind of “fusion” between the player and his instrument. This methodology pays special attention to the development of soloing skills, with the purpose of creating a symbiosis between mind and body that allows the player to harmonically flow throughout the almost neverending possibilities given by the instruments, thus greatly broadening their timbral and soloing possibilities. We’ll work on warm-up and technique-development exercises through the focusing on movements and joints stretching, thus diminishing in a significative way all the tensions deriving from practice and execution, so to avoid the possibility of suffering from tendinitis or other diseases related to an improper use of joints and tendons. At the same time we’ll apply the same exercises to the drums, thus creating a boundary between training and live performance, crystallizing the most appropriate movements into body memory, slowly eliminating the unneccessary habits in a harmonic, flowing way, without unuseful stressing factors. The method focuses on several goals, which are:

the balance and the posture of the body, working on the relationship between body and mind

the development of the vocalization and rhythmical concept system specifically conceived for the instrument

the development of specific techniques on the instrument related to warm-up exercises

a spatial conception of the drum and its performance-related movements

the elimination of any kind of tension during both the training and performance session

the fusion between vocalization and fingering

the harmonization of all of the above mentioned elements which allow the player to flow through multiples techniques aimed at the construction of rhythmic melodies

Andrea’s workshops and masterclasses will therefore focus on the tamburello drum with the aim of developing one’s mastership on this instrument for a “total” use of it, from traditional to ancient music, from world-music to jazz. The workshop will also focus on FRAME DRUMS played in the upright position – that is, the drum lifted in front of the performer’s face – and in the lap style position – with the drum leaning on one leg while sitting – : we will analize techniques and ideas for technical development for both situations, so to gain awareness and skills in soloing besides strenghtening one’s deep relationship with the instrument and with rhythm.




By Aleix Tobias


The Pandereta and the Pandero Quadrado with porra (stick) de Peñaparda are believed to be among the most important percussion instruments in traditional iberian music.

The workshop will be focused on learning their proper techniques, starting with the traditional rhythms played in their original settings, to eventually show the possibilities to adapt other musical languages and rhythms to this instruments.




By Aleix Tobias


There is a long tradition in creating arrangements for percussion ensembles in many countries’ popular cultures: rhythms, styles, sounds and timbers interlocking in a perfect way. When approaching this process for the first time, we have to find the way to make rhythms fit with each other: we’ll see how – starting from a parent-cell – everything else will develop as a consequence. We’ll focus on each instrument’s function, on sound and timbers’ balance and their function, as if our percussion instruments were an orchestra.




by Francesco Savoretti

The course is suited for those who are approaching both frame drums and darbouka. The first part of the course will focus on posture and fingers positioning on the instrument; very simple warm-up exercises will be presented to facilitate the switching between the single fingers and to strengthen the joints involved into the process of playing the instrument. As far as concerning the riqq, we will take in special care the transition from the soft position (with muffled cymbals) to the cabaret one, also working on the specific functions that cymbals have in each of these techniques. Moreover, we’ll study the main strokes regarding the specified instruments, showing the related notation systems and their specific fingerings, gradually moving to more advanced applications such as:

Finger techniques


Split hand techniques

We will pay particular attention to the vocalization of both the rhythmic cycles and the kind of pulsation that we’ll study, so to improve the balance between mind and body and the one between what we think and our real rhythmical phrasing as we play.

We’ll finally work on some tips about improvisation regarding the studied rhythmic cells so to put into practice our tuition and to give freedom of expression to participants.



by Davide Bernaro


The workshop is made of two main tuition environments, as you can choose to attend both or just one of them: a course (“modern techniques for pandeiro”) focused on pandeiro’s performance practice and a special (“special pandeiro”) dealing with the development of this instrument and its evolution in different musical settings. The course “modern techniques for pandeiro” will be rooted into:


. sound, customization and main pandeiro techniques: the all around instrument and the split-hand technique

. exercises and strokes; independence and synergy between the free hand and the one holding the pandeiro

. traditional brazilian and contemporary rhythms: samba, baião, samba de partido alto, funk, 6×8, etc.

The special (“special pandeiro”) will present the pandeiro in a perspective focusing on its evolution since its arrival in Brazil at the beginnning of the 16th century, together with the Portugues settlers, up to the present days. To do so, we will showcase live examples as well as audio and video information.


Special’s general program:


from bendhir to pandeiro: intrument’s historical setting and origins

the balanço or swing in brazilian music

the pandeiro in Brazil’s music among Rio de Janeiro, Bahia and Pernambuco

the pandeiro and his protagonists: from tradition to innovation, from samba to jazz


Participants will receive a little booklet featuring a synthesis of the main topics discussed during the lessons, a list of reccomended listenings and readings as well as the scores of all of the exercises and rhythms presented in the course.



by Peppe Frana

This four-hours workshop usually hasn’t its focus on the world of frame and goblet drums, but it’s a generic introduction to musical systems of modal non-european traditions done in a comparative way, with the goal of giving to musicians with an european musical oriented training the conceptual instruments, the terminology and the historical elements to orient themselves in the vast and articulated world of the so-called “oriental” types of music.
In this Frame Drums Italia edition we’ll deeply focus on the role of rhythm in the above mentioned traditions related to their melody and modal repertories including a theorical and practical survey on their principal systems of rhythmic notation.
The workshop includes a guided listening to classical examples regarding arab, ottoman, persian, middle-asian (Azerbaijan, Afghanistan) and hindustan music.
The workshop wiIl be focused on the following issues:

What is modal music?

The East in the West: a brief history about the invention of oriental music, from “Music of the orient” (1934) to world music.

Court and traditional classical music: which is the one that western musicians meet when studing non-european musical traditions?

Mode and rhythm. Musical structures and composition styles.

Orality and writing. Musical pedagogy in non-european traditions.

How to listen to a makam. Focus on ottoman musical system as an example for guided listening.

Possible and impossible syncretisms: creative use of traditional elements.


Participants will also receive a brief guide resuming the issues discussed in the workshop, plus a selected discography and bibliography.



Workshop about interaction by frame drums in music therapy session

Music therapy is a science that has one main object: to open relations between people, through musical dialogue and creative use of space. The workshop will include both practical and introspective activities. The experience can be interesting and funny for students of all ages that do not necessarily need to have a deep knowledge of music and its language.
This workshop offers insight into: – a simulated individual music therapy session – a group music therapy with various musical instruments (frame drums and others) – a short theory lesson about Paolo Rossetti’s working method (Benenzon method) and its scientific framework.
– a course handout and bibliography will be distributed

Prerequisite: No experience necessary, all levels welcome.



Workshop about the encounter of music and theater
By Alberto Ferraro


Both frame drums and theater are strongly linked to ritual and creative aspects; besides, they are both common features of the evolution of society from the point of view of the freedom of expression. The objective of this workshop is to prepare the body of the actor-musician to the drum, to its use and exaltation on the stage. We will try to walk the line of fusion between the body of the musician, the main element that actually “carries” the instrument, and the drum that will vibrate on the stage.
The work will be divided into three stages.

Body and lines:

Vocal and physical training that will allow the body to prepare for the stage through theater exercises that are based on improvisation and on the use of Commedia dell’Arte masks.

Frame drums on the stage:

The aim is to encourage working together as a group and to develop the sensibility required to listen to ourselves and our partners on the stage.

It’s also a fun, new and original way to express oneself with one’s own drum.

Frame drums at the service of theater:
Through investigating the expressive value of the chorus – working with an extract of “Antigone” by Sophocles – we will try to create a theatrical action using a group formed around a common rhythm: that of the context in which it acts.

Materials provided:

Commedia dell’Arte masks, frame drums, textual material from Sofocle’s “Antigone”.





WEB Resources:





What kind of pandeiro should I buy?

Brazilian Voices with Rafael Pereira – Article 1 – What kind of pandeiro should I buy?
Hello Everyone –
Let me first start this journey by stating that is a pleasure and an honor to be part of this community.Specially in a way that it will help all of us learn from each other in this beautiful,free enviroment called the internet.

I will be posting an article here at monthly; all kinds of grooves,techniques and tricks about the pandeiro, and its related music.How to approach the instrument in numerous situations within its traditional and modern applications.
I hope that you find this useful and will enjoy this as much as I do.

Let’s get started!

Article 1: The Instrument

How to find the right instrument for you.

There are two questions I need to ask you.

1. How much are you willing to spend in a pandeiro?

2. In what situation are you going to play this instrument?

The first questions answers itself like any other instrument out there.

You can spend as little as $50 or up to $500 in this frame drum.

You should be able to buy one in the $50-$200 range at online stores such as and These will be instruments that are manufactured by large companies, in a mass production form.

If you are starting out and you want a pandeiro that will get you going for the first 2 years. The 10″ pearl pandeiro is a good option. You can find those online for about $80.

Now we can start thinking about the second question:
In what situation are you going to play this instrument?

If it is in a samba or choro situation that you will be simply accompanying a giitar or cavaquinho. The pearl is your best option. But if you are thinking of playing the instrument in a more intricate rhythms such as funk, baiao, coco and odd meters, you should aim for the $200-500 range. These instruments will most likely be handmade by a single person.

Bira, Adalberto, Lanka, Fabiano Raposa and Tamina are all well known pandeiro makers in Brazil. Some of these makers are hard to get in touch with. But with the help of the internet you should be able to contact all of them via e-mail or phone. is also a great way to research, shop and understand the instrument. There you can find some of these makers.

My personal favorite handmade pandeiro is the Cooperman (
Cooperman drums are crafted right here in the U.S., in Vermont by some great human beings! And at a very reasonable price ($230), you get a handcrafted instrument that is light and balanced on weight and sound. Call Patrick or Shawn at the Cooperman factory and they should be able to help you.

I hope this article helped you clear your ideas on how to purchase a pandeiro. Next month I’ll be geeking out on how to Mic your pandeiro in a live situation.

If you have any questions regarding this article, feel free to log into my website an contact me:

See you next time!

Rafael Pereira

Frame Drum Workshops at REMO w/ Miranda Rondeau

Introductory & Basic/Intermediate
Lapstyle Position
Miranda Rondeau

Sunday May 20th, 2012
Two Workshops

:: Two Workshops ::

Join Miranda as she shares her passion for one of the oldest
archetypal instruments in the world. Come explore rhythm
and the unique sound of the frame drum for the first time
or come to get a refresher review.

For those more experienced, I will be sharing some personal
techniques as well as other stroke variations. We will pay
attention to the melodic aspect of the drum
and improve our listening skills

1- 2:30pm

No drum experience needed

*Learn basic strokes
*Learn basic music concepts
*Explore & Recite rhythm combinations
*Embody the rhythm


3- 5:00pm

( Solid Experience in the basics)

*Variations on Stroke techniques
*Tuning into the tones
*Roll variations
*Creating simple variations for rhythm combinations

INTRODUCTORY 1:00 – 2:30pm $20 / $15 paypal
BASIC/INTERMEDIATE 3:00 – 5:00pm $25 / $20 paypal

RSVP/ paypal

Remo Recreational Music Center
7308 Coldwater Canyon Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 91605
818 982 0461

Miranda Rondeau is a singer, frame drum artist and teacher.
Miranda has been performing since 1994 as a soloist and within different ensemble situations.She has performed at the Tamburi Mundi Frame Drum Festival, Freiburg Germany, North American Frame Drum Association Festival California, American Frame Drum Gathering, Asheville, NC, and the World Sacred Music Festival Los Angeles.

Miranda began teaching 12 years ago and has taught frame drum workshops at the World Sacred Music Festival,Gaia Festival, REMO Music Center, Bang a Drum, Project Butterfly,Goddess Temple of Orange County, Goddess Studio, Mental Health Centers as well as at yoga studios,universities,colleges and elementary schools.

Tamburi Mund 2012 – 7th international frame drum festival in Freiburg /Germany
Tamburi Mund 2012 – 7th international frame drum festival in Freiburg /Germany

From july 28th to august 5th the international frame drum festival again takes place in the cultural center „E-Werk“ in Freiburg
and course REGISTRATION(starting in the middle of march) : and +49.177.4606546

World’s largest International Frame Drum Festival.

Dear Friends of the frame drum music,

Tamburi Mundi is known worldwide as the most important festival for frame drums, and every year has more and more followers. It has assumed a leading role in the international frame drum scene and looks to future  highlights. Be it the concerts, the workshops of “Tamburi Mundi Frame Drum Academy” or with the successful “Tamburi Mundi Festival on Tour” events in Iran, Italy, Austria, and Turkey, the radiant world wide festival initiated by Murat Coskun brings together international frame drum cultures.

After the successful Tamburi Mundi Festival this year at Festspielhaus in St. Pölten (Austria) as a guest performance, it now opens its doors once again this summer in Freiburg E-Werk. Under the title, “Crossing Borders”, this year’s festival offers nine days of a broad program of workshops, concerts and participatory events, attracting workshop participants from all over Europe, but also from Iran, Turkey, South America, the United States and Canada to Freiburg. Nowhere else will you find such a unique meeting of international master drummers and musicians.

Workshops “Tamburi Mundi Frame Drum Academy”

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With over 50 workshops, there is something for everyone. Appropriate for both beginners and professionals, from traditional rhythms and playing styles of the various frame drums to modern grooves, to workshops for body percussion, rhythm, language, dance, improvisation and singing. Teachers, include  N. Scott Robinson (USA), Ramesh Shotham (D / India), Marla Leigh (USA), Gilson de Assis (D / BRAS.), Joelle Barker (GB), Michael Metzler (D), Andrea Piccioni (I), Maryam Hatef (Iran), Mohsen Taherzadeh (Iran), Sattor Fozilov (TAJIKISTAN) Yshai after man (ISRAEL), Bruno Assenmacher (D), Omri Hason (CH), Joss Turnbull (D), Phillip Kurzke (D) and Murat Coskun (D / TR) and others at the start of this year will be.

A detailed description of the courses and workshops as well as a timetable for complete overview can be found at the Tamburi Mundi website

The courses are divided into four levels (from “Beginner” to “Advanced”) and also in the level of cross-border offers. An individual can also choose the link information of each faculty to be made.

Tamburi Mundi concerts

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15 world-class concerts with an international cast await visitors to the frame drum days in Freiburg, including the renowned Sisu Percussion Trio (Norway), the Korean Samul Nori ensemble Noreum Machi, the Merasim percussion trio from Iran (including the Daf-master Mohsen Taherzadeh from Isfahan), Ramesh Shothams Global Tala Project (including Carola Grey), Sattor Fozilov (Tajikistan), a solo concert by Isao Nakamura (D / Japan), N.Scott Robinson (USA), the Oriental Jazz Ensemble FisFüz ( including Murat Coskun) Isturnbull (project by Joss Turnbull), Tamburello Cafe from Italy (with Andrea Piccioni), Brazilian music by canoe (including Gilson de Assis and Lygia Campos) and an evening of dance and drums (including the Indian dancer Shany Mathew and Henri assembly from Togo). A new feature this year is a musical reading with guest Paul Maar, the famous “Sam-author,” and include the Capella Antiqua Bambergensis.



The festival offers several activities for the whole family, such as the family’s Kids’ concert with the dream of designers (“The Tak and the flying barrel”), the traditional Tamburi Mundi Trommelzug through the city center of Freiburg, led by Rico Kirsch, a drum circle with Bill Zaragoza, a number of workshops for children and families, lectures and sessions. The festival is a wonderful experience for young and old …

In addition, manufacturers also offer this year from various countries, beautiful instruments in the instrument of trade. Here you have the opportunity to discover, new products on the market and also try frame drum.

Frame Drum Award 2012 (sponsored by percussion percussion)

For the first time the Tamburi Mundi Festival awards this year a “frame drum Award”. Murat Coskun (initiator and artistic director of the festival) has launched the award to revitalize the frame drum dance scene and frame drummers to give even more chances to to present to the public. 
The call is independent of age at professional and semi-professional frame drum players. Applications are open until May 1st.

 We look forward to seeing you again or meeting you at our festival in Freiburg!


Murat Coskun & Team