The bladder fiddle (also known as bumbass or poispil) is a folk instrument used throughout Europe. The instrument was a simple large monochord made with a long stick, a thick gut string, and a pig's bladder. It is bowed with either a notched stick or a horsehair bow. It is known under different names; in Germany it was called the bumbass, in France the basse de Flandre, and in England a drone, "drone and string" or bladder fiddle. In Germany sometimes a bell or cymbal was added to the top for decoration or additional sound. In England it was used by traveling musicians.
The drum, made of an inflated animal bladder or taut animal hide, is secured to the centre of a long stick. A thick string is then attached to each end of the stick, securing the bladder. It is usually played standing upright by drawing the bow over the string.
- David M. Guss (2000). The Festive State: Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism as Cultural Performance. University of California Press. pp. 188–. ISBN 978-0-520-92486-4.
- Anthony C. Baines. "Bumbass", Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy (accessed August 20, 2006), grovemusic.com (subscription access).