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Traditional Japanese Drumming

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1 Traditional Japanese Drumming
太鼓 Taiko Traditional Japanese Drumming

2 Origins Century old style of drumming (1400 yrs)
Rumbling sound of the drum associated with the gods Drum is inhabited by a god “It is said that the furthest point at which the village could be heard marked the edge of the village.” Originated in temples and shrines Festival related Holy men allowed to drum

3 Okede-daiko Nebuta festival in Aomori Multiple sizes
Extremely large to very small Not ALL sizes are possible Produces a “ka” sound when struck Strike the outermost metal ring of the body Weak wood, easy to damage


5 Taiko in Warfare Used to motivate troops, set marching pace, make announcements Six paces per beat of the drum Nine sets of five = ally summon Nine sets of three = pursuit Sped up x3 or x4

6 Taiko as an Art Pre-1950s not viewed as an art form
Previously used in courts to perform Gagaku music Most popular current use is in a taiko ensemble Post war phenomenon in Showa (1951) Daihachi Oguchi (kumi-daiko style)

7 Taiko Terms Bachi (ばち) sticks used to play the Taiko
Ma (ま) a Japanese term for “space,” used in music to describe periods of rest Oroshi (おろし) series of hits, sped up into a roll O-uchi (おうち) main rhythm Ji or Jiuchi (じうち) basic supporting rhythm, described as the meter Jikata is a person who plays the Ji rhythm

8 Taiko Drums The word taiko (太鼓) means “fat drum” in Japanese
Daiko is a suffix used to describe a type of drum or ensemble The nagado-daiko (長胴太鼓、long body drum) consists of two pieces of cow hide stretched over a wooden barrel Tsukeshime-daiko (付締め太鼓)heads are stretched over iron rings with smaller body, tight ropes

9 Other Drums Okede-daiko (桶胴太鼓, barrel-body taiko)
Uchiwa-daiko (内輪太鼓、fan taiko) Hira-daiko (平太鼓, flat taiko) O-daiko (大太鼓, big taiko) The okede-daiko can be played on a stand, but are often strapped to the body so a drummer can walk as he plays


11 Kodo An elite taiko drumming ensemble
Based in Sado, Japan they helped to revitalize taiko drumming post WWII Kodo (こど) means heartbeat, and also children of the drum


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