Definition and background:
Classified as a scraped idiophone, this is a variation of the washboard and is currently being used in the Zydeco style of music. It consists of a corrugated metal plate, often with flaps that go over the shoulders of the performer. This allows the performer to freely to move around while scraping the rub board that lays on the chest. The performer scrapes the corrugated surface with common finger thimbles (used in sewing). A musician uses the washboard as a percussion instrument to add a "raspy" or scraping sound to the rhythm of a composition. The sound is similar to that produced by a g'iro. ' Rub Board' '
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary