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”.





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Published by Chris Sampson

Chris Sampson is a musician, web developer, videographer, and writer who has been working in the music industry for 20 years including radio, web, performance, concert promotion, and instruction.