clapper


clapper
/klap"euhr/, n.
1. a person who applauds.
2. the tongue of a bell.
3. Slang. the tongue.
4. Usually, clappers. two flat sticks held between the fingers and struck rhythmically against each other to produce abrupt, sharp sounds.
5. Print. a platen press.
[1250-1300; ME claper. See CLAP1, -ER1]

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 musical instrument consisting of pieces of wood, bone, metal, or other sonorous substance either held in both hands or, fastened together, held in one hand, sometimes with a handle, and struck against each other. Clappers have been played throughout the world since ancient times, often with a ritual, warning, work-coordinating, or signaling function, rather than a musical one.

      Clappers vary widely in size, shape, and number and arrangement of striking pieces. Varieties include spoons, bones, castanets, and small, tuned finger cymbals (“ancient cymbals”). Some Egyptian ivory sets (c. 2000 BC) are shaped like arms and hands, implying that clappers began as extensions of natural body sounds like hand clapping. The Greek krotala (Roman crotala) were dancers' rattles, or castanetlike finger cymbals, and an extant Greek statue depicts a satyr playing foot clappers. The Roman scabella, derived from their Greek counterparts kroupezai, or kroupala, were wooden sandals used for beating time.

      Oceania is rich in continuing examples: the Aboriginal peoples of Australia click two boomerangs, and Hawaiians click small stones set (ili ili) on each hand or two pieces of split bamboo (pu ili). Korean court-music ensembles preserve the ancient Chinese practice of signaling the start or end of a piece by quickly closing a set of six wooden slats strung together at the top (pak). Japanese courtly Shintō music is marked by the sound of shakubyōshi, two thin sticks, while Shintō folk dances may use long sets of attached wood slats (binzasara) with handles for each hand that clash as the arms are moved back and forth. In Kabuki theatre, a pair of thick wooden sticks (ki or hyōshigi) signals the opening and closing of curtains. In some neighbourhoods in Japan, following the English tradition, fire guards wander through the night, sounding clappers.

      The Anglo-American tradition of bone or spoon clacking as the accompaniment to dance music or jazz is further evidence that clappers retain their vitality in many cultures.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • clapper — [ klape ] v. intr. <conjug. : 1> • claper XVIe; d un rad. onomat. klapp ♦ Produire un bruit sec avec la langue en la détachant brusquement du palais. « Blazius, clappant de la langue, proclama le vin bon » (Gautier). ● clapper verbe… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Clapper — ist: Bang Bang, eine oder mehrere mit Luft gefüllte Ballonstäbe, die beim rhythmischen Zusammenschlagen krachen ein Nachname, Träger des Namens sind. Dit Clapper (1907–1978), kanadischer Eishockeyspieler und trainer James R. Clapper, US… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Clapper — Clap per, n. 1. A person who claps. [1913 Webster] 2. That which strikes or claps, as the tongue of a bell, or the piece of wood that strikes a mill hopper, etc. See Illust. of {Bell}. [1913 Webster] {Clapper rail} (Zo[ o]l.), an Americam species …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Clapper — Clap per, n. [F. clapier.] A rabbit burrow. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • clapper — late 13c., agent noun from CLAP (Cf. clap) (v.). Meaning tongue of a bell is from late 14c …   Etymology dictionary

  • clapper — ► NOUN ▪ the tongue or striker of a bell. ● like the clappers Cf. ↑like the clappers …   English terms dictionary

  • clapper — [klap′ər] n. 1. a person who claps 2. the moving part inside a bell, that strikes the side of the bell; tongue 3. the tongue of a garrulous person: used facetiously …   English World dictionary

  • Clapper — A clapper may refer to one of the following: Part of a bell Clapper bridge A sound activated gadget called The Clapper A character from the video game Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy s Kong Quest Clapboard used in film production Clapper (musical… …   Wikipedia

  • clapper — UK [ˈklæpə(r)] / US [ˈklæpər] noun [countable] Word forms clapper : singular clapper plural clappers the small metal object inside a bell that hits against the bell to make it ring • go/run/drive etc like the clappers British informal to… …   English dictionary

  • clapper — Knacker Knack er, n. 1. One who makes knickknacks, toys, etc. Mortimer. [1913 Webster] 2. One of two or more pieces of bone or wood held loosely between the fingers, and struck together by moving the hand; called also {clapper}. Halliwell. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • CLAPPER — v. intr. Faire entendre un clappement. Il fait clapper sa langue …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)