Rkang gling (Foto: S. Guasteví)

Bones that sound

In Nightmare Before Christmas, with gorgeus soundtrack by Danny Elfmann, that these days celebrates its 25th anniversary, we see bones everywhere. Anyway, the main character, Jack, is a skeleton. Bones and music have different relationships: for example, the so-called "music bone" in popular pronunciation, to refer to the elbow joint at the back of the arm, very sensitive to dry blows.

We will also find bones in the decoration of all kinds of instruments: on the old keyboards, on the ribs and handles of lutes and archilauts, on mandolins and rababs, or on the frets of some guitars.

There are even whole percussion instruments made of bone, such as the rascadors or escaleta, also known as the "bone guitar". Although it also receives the name of guitar of cane, when this one is not made with bones but with stems.

Bones guitar, in Costumari català by Joan Amades

The xylophone is a habitual resource for similar the sound of the bones ringing, we can hear them in the Macabre dance or in the fossils of the Carnival of the animals of Camille Saint-Saënts. In the museum you can see on display a pincullo, a flute from Ecuador, made with a tíbia, and a rkang gling, a flute made with a femur, used above all in chöd funerary rituals.