Something Different: Taiko Drums

  • The Carr Center 311 East Grand River Avenue Detroit, MI, 48226 United States

Kumi-daiko groups consist primarily of percussive instruments where each of the drums plays a specific role. Of the different kinds of taiko, the most common in groups is the nagadō-daiko.] Chū-daiko are common in taiko groups and represent the main rhythm of the group.[127]It is common for performances to begin with a single stroke roll called an oroshi (颪, "wind blowing down from mountains.The player starts slowly, leaving considerable space between strikes, gradually shortening the interval between hits, until the drummer is playing a rapid roll of hits

Drums are not the only instruments played in the ensemble; other Japanese instruments are also used. Other kinds of percussion instruments include the atarigane (当り鉦), a hand-sized gong played with a small mallet] In kabuki, the shamisen , a plucked string instrument , often accompanies taiko during the theatrical performance. Kumi-daiko performances can also feature woodwinds such as the shakuhachi and the shinobue.

Voiced calls or shouts called kakegoe and kiai are also common in taiko performance. They are used as encouragement to other players or cues for transition or change in dynamics such as an increase in tempo. In contrast, the philosophical concept of ma, which superficially describes the space between drum strikes, is also important in shaping rhythmic phrases and creating appropriate contrast.

Free concert in the Beatrice Buck Paradise Valley Park (directly in front of the Carr Center). Curated by Oliver Ragsdale, Jr.