38 Zikr Drum

38 • A Zikr Drum

Kashgar, 19th century
220 cm long
Wood, pigments

‘In prehistoric times, music, like dance and every other artistic endeavour, was a branch of magic, one of the old and legitimate instruments of wonder-working. Beginning with rhythm (clapping of hands, tramping, beating of sticks and primitive drums) it was a powerful, tried-and-true device for putting large numbers of people ‘in tune’ with one another, engendering the same mood, coordinating the pace of their breathing and heartbeats, encouraging them to invoke and conjure up the eternal powers, to dance, to compete, to make war, to worship. And music has retained this original, pure, primordially powerful character, its magic, far longer than the other arts.’

Herman Hesse, The Glass Bead Game (© Herman Hesse, 1943)