Taiko

1. Description

The three percussion instruments used in the performance of kangen music are the shôkô, taiko, and kakkoThe taiko drum is a large suspended drum of about 55 cm in diameter (22 inches) with heads of ox-hide.  It is hit with wood mallets covered with leather or rubber.

 

Taiko

Mallets for the taiko

Figure 1

 

The taiko has two types of strokes: the ‘female stroke’ called "mebachi" is a soft stroke with the left hand just below the drumhead’s center; the ‘male stroke’ is called "obachi"  and it is a loud attack of the right hand in the drumhead’s center. The obachi is the central orienting beat for the entire orchestra.

 

Female stroke: mebachi

Male stroke: obachi

 

TaikoStrokes.jpg

Example 1