14 May 2009

Something of a diversion…..

…..with a nod to two previous units (but perhaps I’ll leave you to work out which).

A rustling red plastic carrier bag was thrust into my hands the other day.  It happened shortly after our impromptu traditional maypole dance ‘performance’ the other day.  How would it be, it was wondered, if we had a look at another folk tradition.  A Russian one this time.

Not being one to turn down such an opportunity, I opened up the bag.  It appeared to be full of decorated spoons.  Very prettily decorated spoons.  Shiny golden spoons.  But spoons all the same!  Shiny golden wooden spoons, as we quickly guessed, having heard the sound they made as they knocked together inside the bag.

We were given a clue.  For this tradition, the spoons would have been used two at a time (so not for supping soup then!)  How so?


‘Maybe,’ suggested Tommy, ‘they filled up the two spoons with rice and used to shake them like maracas.’

‘Or,’ Shahrbano thought, ‘they hit solid things with them to make a noise.  Or they hit them together.’


Quentin, never one to miss an opportunity for a run-around, had this to offer.  ‘They might have used them to juggle eggs.  Maybe they threw the eggs up high and caught them in the spoon.’

‘Oh yes,’ agreed Aabis.  ‘Or an egg and spoon race.  But,’ he continued, ‘that might have broken the eggs.’

‘Perhaps they held the spoons in one hand and knocked them together like Spanish dancers.  You know; like castanets,’ suggested Amelia.

And you know, that’s not far wrong.

There is a special way of holding the two spoons in one hand so that they are ‘back-to-back’.


Then, depending on how you cup…..


or flatten…..


the palm of your other hand, you can change the pitch of the sound made as you hit it with the two spoons together.  Easy!

First get the grip right.


Then see what different sounds you can make.


You might even be able to make sounds by knocking the spoons together on a different part of your body.


With thanks to Ryoma’s mum for the introduction to a rhythmical Russian tradition.

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