Simin Palay compares this instrument to “a kind of tympanon”.
Nowadays, the tambourine with cords is still played traditionally at the time of employers' festivals to make dance or to accompany by the processions, but it is also employed in various current musical formations, whose kind can go from the medieval musics to the experimental musics.
The instrument is appeared as a case of oblong resonance out of wood, opening from two to three rosettes, on which are tended between 5 and 9 cords, either in bowels, or more recently out of Nylon. This case, of approximately 80cm length (but being able to border the meter in the case of the Aragonese tambourine) by 20cm broad, for a thickness of ten centimetres, is often cut in the mass and very ornamented.
It is about a percussion which produces at the same time the rate/rhythm and a “grésillant” bumblebee, which accompanies the melody played by the flabuta or the txirula (which are both of the flutes with three holes). These two instruments are used by a single musician: the flute with three holes is played by only one hand, which makes it possible to fix the tambourine under the arm which handles the flute and counters the bust of the musician.
Go to the - "Photograph of Mr. Jean Passimourt" link at the foot of this page: Photo of Tambourin (Ttun Ttun) & Player for a good photograph of a modern day musician playing his Tambourin or Ttun Ttun.