Jingling Johnny Percussion

THE LEGEND OF THE JINGLING JOHNNY...

 

The Turkish Crescent was a rhythm instrument of great antiquity in the Middle East that was first adopted by military bands in the late 17th century. It consisted of an ornate stick with brass and silver bells that was played by shaking it in time with the music. The British Army called it the Jingling Johnny and it was taken up by the popular military bands of the 19th century.


It then became widely used in British and Irish folk music and was played by buskers and Gypsies in London around the Victorian era. It is constructed from a stout pole with metal "jingles"along the shaft. When played on a wooden floor common in Ale houses at the time the sound produced was a combination of a kick drum and a tambourine.

It has recently been made famous again by Rend Collective's drummer Gareth Gilkeson who has revived the instrument and made his own unique Jingling Johnny as well as setting a new style of playing to match their Irish folk songs.