The Bodhràn is the traditional Irish frame drum with a goatskin head played a with a single stick kown as a tipper. Commonly about 18" in diameter (although I've seen smaller and much larger drums). Some say the bodhràn is ancient, perhaps originally a military ceremonial drum, but most people feel it originated as a folk instrument. Early Irish bodhràns were probably simply raw goatskins tacked over a farmers grain sieve. Modern drums are often tunable. The bodhràn has become the principal percussion instrument in traditional Irish music along with the bones. Expect to see bodhran used increasingly in other musical contexts; it is capable of great expression because the flexibility of the head allows for wide inflection and pitch modulation. If I had to choose just one instrument to play exclusively for the rest of my life I'd take my Bodhràn. --Steve Forman
Click on the Bodhràn above to hear short reel. (mp3)
Here's a set of Irish traditional reels played live in a gathering at Tambourine Studio last June. (Melanie Nolley-fiddle, Olier Longuet-bouzouki,Nick Buckmelter-flute, Steve Forman-bodhrán.

I like playing the bodhrán so much I decided to make one myself. After several mediocre attempts the drums started sounding pretty good. This is the first one that "made the cut".--sf
...a recent Irish music session at Tambourine Studio
Today Steve Forman makes high quality bodhráns for serious players. Tambourine Studio offers these drums on a "custom order" basis for around $375.00. Shown here are two 15" X 4-1/2 " Tambourine Studio Bodhráns with handpicked heavy goatskin heads. Each drum is tunable with an adjustable brass bearing ring. Contact us if your looking for a professional instrument.
Steve Forman Bodhráns feature a solid brass bearing ring supporting the handpicked goatskin head. The brass ring cuts away from the head at 45º which inreases sustain and eliminates any buzzes at low tension. The ring is adjustable with 4 to 6 tuning posts depending on the customer's preference. With a rigid brass bearing ring 4 posts are quite sufficient and faster to tune., but it's up you. Cross-beams are available upon request at a an additional charge,
The brass tuning ring is an innovation applied to bodhráns first by our friend Albert Alfonso, a master bodhrán maker in the Dallas area. Brass is by far the best material for tone production and sustain and the finest professional quality drums require it in my opinion. I’ve tried many other materials but still prefer the solid projection and stability afforded by a brass bearing. I am humbly grateful to Albert for the idea and all the essential advice, counsel, and encouragement he extended to me when I decided to build a high quality bodhrán.
I still own and often play a couple of drums made by Albert, and recommend his work to people. Thanks again, Albert!
--Steve Forman
Brass ring and tuning posts...
Or click on a letter to return to the Instrument List
A - B- C - D - E -F- G -H- I -J- K -L- M -N-O - P -Q-R -S - T - U - V - W -X- Y - Z
Contact Steve Forman at Tambourine Percussion Studio: 471 N. Avenue 51, Highland Park CA. 90042 Telephones: Voice 323 344 8123, FAX 323 344 8550, E-mail: Steve Forman