You Must Romance The Music Out Of The TambourineCommentary • Entertainment • Opinion • music • ISSUE 38•23 • Jun 19, 2002 By Pierre Henry Pierre Henry My lord, what are you doing? Your crude handling of that beautiful instrument borders on the obscene! You cannot carelessly strike a tambourine and expect it to sing its beautiful song. You must coax it out of her. You must romance the music out of the tambourine. The way you strike that tambourine makes me cringe with horror and disgust. Would you strike a beautiful woman? Of course not. You would gently stroke her, caress her, whisper sweet nothings in her ear. So, too, you must with the tambourine. Tell the tambourine you love her, and your reward will be a beautiful music. Treat her roughly, and she will slap you in the face with her velvet glove. The tambourine can be deceiving. True, she has a taut skin and round figure like the drum, but that is where the similarity ends. Take your finger and run it along her edge. There. Do you feel it? Little miniature cymbals! That... that is the secret of the tambourine. If you gently tap her, the little cymbals will sing the body electric. If you clumsily hit her like your fingers are sausages and your hands spicy hams, she will recoil in disgust. Make no mistake, this is a courtship. A grand design of love. You must carefully woo the tambourine to make her do your bidding—and not through deceit or treachery. To a tambourine, what matters most is honesty. Your playing must come from a place that is pure and true. You cannot play the tambourine one shake at a time, preventing her from stretching her long legs and reaching her natural, majestic stride. You must think three shakes ahead, but still live wholly in the moment, adjusting your movements to her mercurial moods. Only then will you prove yourself worthy of the tambourine's affections. Take in the wholeness of the tambourine. A tambourine is an endless river of mystery. There is a depth there that most men do not see. They see only a noisemaker, some paper horn with streamers or a metal box that clicks noisily when you spin it around. But those are for little boys, not men. Do you want to be a little boy playing with a toy? Or do you want to be a man with a muse? If you wish the latter, then you must surrender yourself to the tambourine completely. She will not be deceived by pretenders. She will only bear her fruits to those who devote themselves fully to the task of tilling her fertile soil. The tambourine has an endless bounty of love to offer, but you must first favor her with your own affections. Do not clutch her as a baby does a rattle. Grip her firmly but knowingly. Tap her lightly with your finger. I said lightly, you buffoon! Try again. There. Does she not coo for you now? The timbre of the tambourine should set the stage for romance, but only if you draw it out with patience and sensuality. Banging her repeatedly, as you were just doing, produces music unfit for a tableau of fez-wearing clowns in tiny cars. Now comes the question: What is your endgame, O wooer of the tambourine? Do you shake her for her sex appeal? Have you seen men playing tambourines on stage, using them to attract painted women in short skirts, and decided that you, too, would like to use the tambourine to attract a painted lady of your own? Then you love the tambourine for all the wrong reasons. Lay her down gently and walk away. You are among the undeserving. Do not feel alone. Most are undeserving. But if you are pure of heart and prove yourself worthy of her considerable charms, the tambourine will treat you well. This, however, is a long, hard road, and the journey down this path requires great seriousness of purpose and commitment. If you decide that you are incapable of such things, then you should seriously consider the oboe. That is an instrument for the true vulgarian.