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6/50.- Plopis, the semantron, "toaca"

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The semantron or "toaca" in Romanian is a percussion instrument that predates the bell in The Eastern Orthodox church; it is made of wood (sometimes of metal )and a nun or a monk or other servant of a church strikes rhythmically with a wooden mallet to summon the faithful to mass. The semantron is Levantine, Coptic in origin and it can be found in most Eastern Orthodox churches and monasteries from early times until today being still used along with the bells to announce liturgy or other religious events.

In this photo you can see our guide Dan Comanescu demonstrating with two wooden mallets. For listening to a musical file featuring the semantron and bells you can access my page on Plopis at : www. emalecdesign. com/Plopis. htm This link will display a flash presentation of the church from Plopis with background religious music of semantron and bells which can actually be heard in any Orthodox church courtyard throughout Romania.

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