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Antique Chinese Tom-Tom

February 27, 2015

This is a real piece of drum history here. Though the listing calls it a “bongo” (why does everyone call every small drum a bongo?), this is actually an old Chinese tom-tom. You’re looking at the forerunner to today’s modern toms. They were originally used like an effect, somewhat like how drummers use woodblocks or cowbells today. Gene Krupa brought them to the fore with tom features like “Sing, Sing Sing.” Eventually, the curved shells were made straight, wraps replaced the paint, the tacked heads were replaced with tunable structures, and flatter mounts replaced the brass mounting rings. Voila, the modern tom!

This is a fine price for a really cool slice of percussive history. The painted finish is much cooler than the typical example, because it has a beautiful floral pattern over a black background instead of the common plain red background.

Click Here to View Listing


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