Religion and “noise”


Once again, we turn to religion as a source of “noise/sound”. Church bells, Zen gongs, pipe organs, the loud Hindu celebrations noted in earlier postings – all of these are linked to religion.

These noises are usually messages, signals, calls to prayer, calls to “gods”. But as has been noted here before, they are also very loud.

Today we encounter a new one: the Toaka. It is also known as a semantron.


According to Wiki, Syrian Orthodox believers trace it back to Noah:

The Syrian Orthodox hold the semantron in great veneration, based on an ancient tradition that Noah invented it. According to the story, God told him: “Make for yourself a bell of box-wood, which is not liable to corruption, three cubits long and one and a half wide, and also a mallet from the same wood. Strike this instrument three separate times every day: once in the morning to summon the hands to the ark, once at midday to call them to dinner, and once in the evening to invite them to rest”. The Syrians strike their semantra when the liturgy is about to begin and when it is time to summon the people to public prayer. Their tradition also links the sound of the wood to the wood of the Garden of Eden that caused Adam to fall when he plucked its fruit, and to the nailing to the wood of the cross of Jesus Christ, come to atone for Adam’s transgression.[15] (Wiki)

 Here you can hear one in action.

So, there you go – another gong-like instrument to add to your collection, if you happen to collect percussion instruments.

And, since it is so HOT around this part of the country, get your earplugs in if you are running air conditioners!  Have a cool one!



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