Ok, so you won’t be able to play Name That Tune with this post, but I’ve been wanting to introduce this “music” on here for weeks now. This is Taiko drumming.
About Taiko Drumming
Taiko is an ancient Japanese form of percussion using large drums. The drums range in size from roughly a snare drum (“shime”), to drums as large as a car (the “o-daiko”). The most common drum size in taiko is the “chu-daiko” which is the size of a wine barrel.
During the 1900’s, Taiko drumming became a musical art form that involved a music ensemble and tightly choreographed movements. This is taiko as we know it today.
One of taiko’s most defining aspects is it’s dynamic playing style. Taiko playing is loud, hard, and fast, and involves a lot of choreographed movement which many identify with Japanese martial arts.
There are more than 8,000 taiko groups in Japan, but it is only over the last 30 years that taiko drumming has taken root in the western world. Even if you have not seen taiko drumming live, you have probably still encountered it in movies with a Japanese theme, such as Rising Sun, or The Hunted. (http://www.tamashii.co.nz/about/taiko/)
I LOVE Taiko drummers. Drollery and I have seen them many times at the Egyptian Theater in Ogden, Utah, and we always make it a point to get in the front couple rows. Why? Because you can feel the beat echo through your feet all the way up to the top of your head! It’s darn near what you’d call audience participation! I love any music that makes me FEEL the beat.
So here’s a YouTube clip. These guys are totally awesome. And if you’ve never had a chance to see any Taiko drummers, keep an eye on your Buddhist temples because they’re usually sponsored by them. This stuff makes me feel really wired! I just wish they had some of the BIG drums in this video.