The bubon consists of a wooden ring with a diameter of up to 50cm (20in) which has a skin tightened over one or both sides. Occasionally, holes are made in the wooden sides into which metal rings are placed which rattle when the bubon is struck with the hand or a stick. The first mentions of the bubon date back to the 11th century; It was also a popular instrument among the Ukrainian Cossacks.
The Cymbals (Tarilky)
The cymbals were used in Kievan Rus' and are depicted on the walls of the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev. They are also depicted in the Kiev Psalter of 1397. They were used in the military music of the Zaporozhian Cossacks. In the 19th century the cymbals usually formed part of a drum kit. One cymbal attached to the side of a drum was struck by another cymbal held in one hand, while the other hand struck the drum with a stick.
The Kettle Drums, Timpani, (Lytavry, Tulumbasy)
The kettle drums were used in Ukraine from the times of the Cossacks, and probably earlier as a signaling device to announce meetings and enemy attacks. They have been recently introduced into folk instrument orchestras.
Illustration (p35) Cossack striking kettle drum (Remove this illustration. The cossack is not holding the sticks correctly.)
The Bass Drum
The bass drum is often used together with a cymbal to provide rhythmic accompaniment in the troyista muzyka. This instrument is sometimes called a bubon or bukhalo.
The Bukhalo (Drum kit, Bass drum)
This is a type of large drum often used in dance music. It is fixed to the player with a belt so that the performer can also dance and move about when needed. The bukhalo is struck with a stick and often has a cymbal joined to the side of the instrument which is struck by a metal rod, or another cymbal, to produce unexpected rhythmic devices. The sticks are called bubinky. The one used to strike the drum is made of wood, and the one used to strike the cymbal is made of metal.
The Buhay (Buhai, Berebenytsia, Bika, Buga, Bochka)
The buhay is an instrument that originated in Western Ukraine and is classified as a friction drum. It consists of a conical barrel sometimes a bucket. At one end a sheep membrane is stretched with a hole in this skin's center. Through this hole a tuft of horse hair with a knot at one end is passed. Usually two performers are needed to operate the instrument, one to hold the instrument, the other to pull the horsehair with moistened fingers. In recent times versions of the Buhay have been made which are held in position by the players feet. These instruments can be played successfully by one player without assistance. Five to six different sounds can be obtained from the instrument, depending on the skill of the player.
It plays an important part in New Years and Christmas rituals and can also be found in Romania, Moldova, Hungary and Lithuania, where it is known as the Bukhai.
The derkach is occasionally used in Ukrainian folk instrument orchestras, but is usually found as a child's toy. The derkach was made by taking a piece of rounded hard wood and cutting teeth into it. Another piece of wood is joined to this with a tongue. As this piece rotates around the rounded piece, the tongue makes a noise as it passes over the teeth.
The rapach is a huge version of the Derkach. Huge rapaches were used by churches in the Priashiv region instead of bells.
The Torokhkalo (Kalatalo, Torokhkavka, Klepach)
This is an instrument used in folk ensembles whenever a drum is not available. It was also used by night guards to scare away intruders. The instrument is made from a piece of wood with a handle. A second piece of wood shorter than the first is joined to the original piece by metal rings near from the handle. A hole is drilled through both pieces at one end and a wooden bolt is placed through the hole so that the additional piece can move a small distance. When the instrument is spun around it produces a very loud sound amplified by the stillness of the night. A variant of the torokhalo is the klepach that consists of a wooden hammer on an axis which is swung from one side to the other.
This is an instrument consisting of copper or brass plates strung from a wire. In the past it was made of silver. When the instrument was shaken, it produced a jingling sound reminiscent of small bells. The instrument is now no longer used.