Fictional musical instrument from the fantasy short story "Bethmoora" by Lord Dunsany, published in the collection A Dreamer's Tales, 1910. A wind instrument, apparently. It is not described.
The above quote is discussed by Lord Dunsany in his 1938 autobiography, Patches of Sunlight:
In that tale comes a line that escaped from the obscurity that seemed in those days to wrap the rest of my work, and was sometimes quoted. I used of course to invent names for things in use in my unknown lands … On this occasion I threw down three invented names in a heap, rather perhaps in the spirit in which Beethoven amused himself with the calls of the quail and the cuckoo in the 6th Symphony; they were the names of musical instruments, and the sentence went, 'In little gardens at the desert's edge men beat the tambang and the tittibuk, and blew melodiously the zootibar.' As I wrote at the same time as what was known as the Irish renaissance, and as I am Irish, some vaguely associated me with it, and the tambang and the tittibuk were even thought to be Irish instruments.
Other writers have appropriated the instrument and inserted it into their own works.
- Garrett, Randall and Larry M. Harris. Pagan Passions 1959:
- "...along with men playing serpents and, behind them, a dancing group fingering ocarinas and adding their bit to the general tumult, and two women tootling madly away on hoarse-sounding zootibars."
- Silverberg, Robert. Majipoor Chronicles 1982.
- "... sitting crosslegged at the far side, playing a zootibar and singing songs to an audience of five or six ragged little boys."
- Dean, Pamela. The Secret Garden. 1985.
- “That's a zootibar.” “A what?” “It's from a story Ruth read us,” said Laura, “but I decided what it looked like, and it does.” “Huh,” said Patrick. He looked at her for a moment. “What's it supposed to sound like?” “The story didn't say,” said Laura.
- Schweitzer, Darrell. Mask of the Sorcerer. Wildside Press LLC, 2003.
- "So I prophesied, while Tica danced or played upon the tambang or the zootibar."
And look at this review from The Musical Times August 1, 1919:
At his pianoforte recital in Crane Hall on June 18, Mr. Joseph Greene introduced three remarkable 'Eastern Pieces' by Norman Peterkin, a young local composer who has musically illustrated subjects from Lord Dunsany’s 'Dreamer's Tales' with extraordinary suggestiveness. The music is saturated with Eastern rhythms and weird melodies. These appear to have an attraction approaching to an obsession of which the composer might well beware. At least his atmospheric harmonies are novel and cleverly contrived, especially in one instance which depicts 'little gardens at the desert’s edge where men beat the tambang and the tittibuk, and blew melodiously the zootibar, while here and there one played upon the kalipac.'