Darrell DeVore also known as Dr. Um, was an enigmatic figure, and a free jazz instrument builder. He is known for his use of bamboo as well as inventing the rubber band Bullroarer. He lived in Petaluma, CA. Little information is available about his instruments and work online but plenty of context to understand he has made more then a few idiosyncratic instruments.


Darrel DeVore is written about in two articles in EMI magazine, and has authored an article of his own as well. 1)

VOL. 3, #4 DECEMBER 1987

“Bamboo” by Bart Hopkin, 3 pages
An introductory to Darrell DeVore’s following article on how this natural material lends itself so easily to the making of a great variety of instruments: flutes, necks for string instruments, lamella for mouth harps, drums, trumpets, single and double woodwind reeds, panpipes, bows, marimbas, rattles, wind and water chimes, aeolian pipes, guiros and scrapers, stamping tubes, and many others. Various species, the growth and cultivation, and physical properties of bamboo are described.

“Bamboo Is Sound Magic” by Darrell DeVore, 3 pages; 4 photos, 4 drawings.
The author describes his first-hand experience, the ancient universality of this material, and his own constructions. Among these are the bootoo, a stamped idiophone. Bootoo flutes, bootoo percussion, listening-tubes, singing-tubes, membranoflutes, and the Bambow spirit catcher are described with accompanying photos and drawings.


“Percussion Aerophones”: Bart Hopkin. 4 pages (1 & 12-14); 1 photo; 1 drawing.
“Percussion Aerophones,” also known as “plosive aerophones,” are aerophones in which the column of air is set into vibration percussively, usually by some sort of sudden jolt. The most common and practical form for a percussion aerophone to take is a cylindrical tube. Traditionally, the representative example of a percussion aerophone would be a stamping tube – a tube, sealed at the bottom end, which is tapped against (usually) the ground. Stamping tubes are found around the world, but principally in Oceania. The performance ensemble From Scratch makes extensive use of percussion aerophones, and their creations are discussed extensively in the present article (From Scratch are also featured in an article by Phil Dadson in the following issue of EMI – Vol.6, #4).

Gravikords Whirlies & Pyrophones

Darrell has a feature in Gravikords Whirlies & Pyrophones about his bamboo instruments called Boos


Rubber band Bullroarer

I'm looking for more information on this, Christopher Cohn (Moderator of Weird Instrument Tribe) claims Darrell DeVore is responsible for the invention of the rubber band style bullroarer (Before Martin St. Michael).

Music Style

Interest in Universal Music
Future Primitive Ensemble

members included Steve Rosenthal?


From the Pages of Experimental Musical Instruments Volume II, III, V
Gravikords Whirlies & Pyrophones, Bamboo Is 2)
Keep the Change 3)


Short Bio 4)
Darrell DeVore is persent on an album along with Greg Cohen, Tom Waits, Ric Cole, Bob Hobbs, Bart Hopkin, Stephen Kent, Tom Nunn, Doug Carroll, Spoonman, Rick Hill, Richard Waters and Alex Meier 5)
His relationship to what are largely key EMI figures is unknown
Here is a soundcloud made to host some of his work 6)
Obituary 7)
Discogs entry 8)
Eulogy 9)
Another article 10)

darrell_devore.txt · Last modified: 2020/05/20 11:57 by mete
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