Musical Instrument Glossary R


Short-necked fiddle from North Africa that is used in classical Arabic music. It is also found in India, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Latin America under different names such as rebab, rbab soussi, rababa, rebaba, rababah, rabel, rabé, rebel, rabil, raben, rabec, rebec, rabeca, rebeca, rebeb, rebeba, rabebillo, rebequim, rabequim, rabecao, arrabil, arabi, arrabin, orabin, raben, garavi, and aravi.


Afghan lute with 13 sympathetic strings. The three main gut strings are stretched across a goat skin. Also known as rubab. Afghanistan.


A traditional folk music fiddle related to the rabab. Brazil.


A bowed folk instrument from Spain related to the rabab.

Rag dung

Long Tibetan ritual trumpets made out of brass. They are played in pairs for morning and evenings calls to prayer, preludes, and processions. Also known as Tibetan temple trumpet.


A small 5-string guitar from the island of Madeira. The rajão is one of the ancestors of the Hawaiian ukulele. Portugal.




Shaker made with gourd jingles. It makes a very loud sound when the gourd clack together. Also known as telewasa, wasembe and wasaumba. Ghana.


A Medieval European fiddle derived from the rabab.



A long hollow scraper popular in Angolan music. Also known as dikanza puita. 2. A Brazilian scraper of bamboo or metal, sometimes with springs. Also known as quererequexé and querrerreque


A European wooden longitudinal whistle flute made in various sizes. In recent times it has become popular as a tool to teach music to children. Newer models also come in plastic. Also known as flauto dolce (Italy), flauta de pico (Spain), flauta dulce (Spain and Spanish-speaking America), blockflöte (Germany), flûte à bec (France), flauta doce (Portugal), blockflöjt (Sweden), flauto a becco (Italy), flauto diritto (Italy), blokfluit (The Netherlands), blokkfløyte (Norway).

Redondo (culo e puya)

An Afro-Venezuelan drum set formed by long cylindrical drums. It is layed on the ground and the musician sits on top of the drum, striking the head with his hands and a stick.


1. A musical pipe made from a hollow stem.
2. A thin strip of a flexible substance placed within the mouthpiece of certain wind instruments. When vibrated by breathing, it produces a musical tone
3. An instrument with a reed.


A small samba drum with a metallic sound. It is played with one stick and the bare hand. Brazil.


Afro-Uruguayan candombe drum. Uruguay.

Reque Reque

(pronounced reh-keh reh-keh) a South American scraper found in Bolivia and other Andean nations.


1. A small clarinet-like instrument. Spain.
2. Small guitar used in Spain and Spanish-speaking Latin America. There are numerous variations: requinto aragonés (4-5 gut or nylon strings), also known as guitarrico (Spain); requinto argentino; requinto paraguayo; requinto colombiano (12 steel strings); requinto dominicano, also known as requinto de Santo Domingo, or micropunta (10 steel strings); requinto mexicano (6 strings); requinto peruano (12 steel strings); requinto venezolano.
3. Small drum, 20 cm long, from Tabasco made out of cedar. Mexico.
4. The lead drum in the Afro-Puerto Rican style of bomba. Also known as quinto.

Mexican requinto guitar
Mexican requinto guitar

Requinto jarocho

A small 4-string guitar from the Veracruz region. It is used in son jarocho. Also known as guitarra de son and javalina. Mexico.


A three-string long necked lute of the Uyghur community in China. The resonator is usually round, covered with python skin or other elements and sometimes there are elaborate wood, bone and horn inlays. Also known as rawap, rawapu, rawab, or rawafu.


One-string fiddle of the Acoli people. Ugandan


Middle Eastern and North African tambourine. Also known as rik, riqq, rigg.



One-string fiddle, also known as nyanyero in the Fula language. Gambia.


Tibetan horn carved from human thigh bones.


Domed cymbals used by Tibetan monks in Buddhist rites. Also known as wrathful cymbal.
(linked from Wikipedia)


European friction drum. Also known as Brummtopf, Rummelpott Rummelpot, Büllhäfen.


Small cane panpipes arranged on one row. Ecuador and Peru.


Roneat ek

A curved high pitched xylophone shaped in the form of a boat. It’s known as the leading xylophone in an ensemble. Cambodia.

Roneat thung

A low-pitched curved xylophone. Cambodia.


An Andean string instrument that is part of the family of charangos. The ronroco has five double-strings and it is the largest of the charangos. The sound box was traditionally made from the shell of an armadillo or tortoise; currently is made out of wood. It is also known as charangón.


An Istrian shawm made out of wood. Croatia.

A trumpet made out of wood, also known as Vladimir horn. Also known as rhozhok, ragiok, rajok, rojok. Russia.


A short-necked fretted Chinese lute with a round body and four strings. Also known as moon guitar.




Plucked lute with a short neck with double chambers and three main playing strings made of animal gut or string. It also has several drone and sympathetic metal strings. Also known as robab. Afghanistan.


The southern Louisiana version of the washboard. Used as a percussion instrument by Cajun and Zydeco artists. Also known as rub board, zubboard, scrubboard, wash board.

Cajun Rubboard
Cajun Rubboard


A washboard consisting of a piece of wood with grooves that is used a percussion instrument by rubbing a wood rod. Russia.


Transverse flute made out of bamboo. Also known as dragon flute. Japan.


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