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Bock-a-da-bock: Wikis


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Classification Hand percussion, idiophone
Playing range
Single note

The Bock-a-da-bock is an idiophone type of musical instrument in the percussion family. It is made up of two metal discs, usually steel, formed into a domed shape.



The Bock-a-da-bock was invented by orchestral percussionist, Billy Gladstone [1]. He shaped the discs such that they were 8 centimetres in diameter, and slightly domed. These discs were then mounted on sprung tongs which could be held by the drummer playing the instrument.
Sometimes the Bock-a-da-bock would have been used to substitute a drum kit. Due to the recording limitations of the 1920s, Drums were not always practical to be included in a recording.

Use and Technique

That instrument is played with a stick in one hand, whilst the other (usually the left hand) controls the grip. The two metal discs would then be pushed together to create a sound similar to that of a milk bottle being hit.


Noteworthy players of the bock-a-da-bock are Kaiser Marshall, who played it on several Fletcher Henderson records, and Chick Webb, who played it in the song, "Dog Bottom". [1].
Zutty Singleton from Louis Armstrong's Hot Five also played a bock-a-da-bock on Louis' 1928 recording of 'West End Blues'.

Songs that use audible Bock-a-da-Bock parts


  1. ^ a b "The Bixography Discussion Group" (HTML). Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  2. ^ A Student's Guide to AS Music by Paul Terry and David Bowman. Rhinegold Publishing LTD, 2005; ISBN 0-96890-90-0


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