Iskender Savasir asks:
>Would anyone have an idea as to why Rameau was particularly interested
>in the tambourine? Are there any precursor to the said interest? Or
>is it something we meet for the first time in Rameau?
It's a bit of a misnomer. The "Tambourin" dances in Rameau's operas are
not really meant to be played with a tambourine in the sense that most
people think of them nowadays--i.e. a small hand drum with the little
cymbals attached on the periphery.
Instead, the name of the dance refers to the use of a "tambour", or a
type of drum that was used in various areas of France and Spain. I've
never seen one played, but from recordings I would presume these are
played with sticks, not struck with the hand.
Thus a more 'authentic' rendition of a Rameau Tambourin would be played
with a drum, and not have any jangly tambourine sounds associated with
As for who might have been the first to use the jingle-jangle tambourines,
I have no clue.