Pro Musica Nipponia
Japanese English
PERCUSSION

[O-daiko]
O-daiko is like a Bass Drum in western music instruments. Its body is made of zelkoba, top and bottom surfaces are covered with tanned bull leathers. We don't hit only on only the surface of leather, but also hit on the wooden rim, or the side of its body. When we hit on the center of leathers, it sounds much lower overtones. Otherwise, hitting near the rim, it sounds much higher overtones.
We often use a thick stick that has 45cm length and 3cm in diameter, and use a long taper stick. Both of them are made of oak. So they are very hard and heavy.
You can note X marks in staff, when you want the player to hit its wooden rim or the side of its body.

[Shime-daiko]
Shime-daiko is like a Side Drum in western music instruments. But it doesn't have snare. It's made of zelkoba, pine, and so on. Top and bottom surfaces of its body are covered with bull leathers. Two thick ropes tighten both leathers. The tighter we tighten these ropes, the higher tone it sounds.
In traditional playing techniques, we can play without lingering sound. This technique is called "Tsuke-bachi".
Though we often use sticks made of pine or Japanese cypress, we can also use mallets, brushes, or our hands in modern music.
It is recommended that you note different tones (higher one and lower one) in staff, when you want the player to use several Shime-daikos tuned in different pitches.

[Okedow-daiko]
Okedow-daiko is like a Tom-Tom in western music instrument. Its wooden body is long. Top and bottom surfaces of its body are covered with bull leathers. A rope tightens them. It sounds lower tone and less lingering sounds than Shime-daiko does. Though we ordinarily hit the surface of leather by stick, we can hit with our hands. We can use the same sticks as we play Shime-daiko.
It is recommended that you note different tones (higher one and lower one) in staff, when you want the player to use several Okedow-daikos tuned in different pitches.

[Daibyoushi]
Though Daibyoushi's structure is the same to Shime-daiko, it has longer body. We use thin bamboo sticks, which is creeping when we hit. It sounds much higher than Shime-daiko.

[Ko-tsuzumi]

Ko-tsuzumi is like a talking-drum in western music instruments. Its body is made of cherry tree, and constricted in the middle. Top and bottom surfaces of its body are covered with tanned horse leathers. Two ropes tighten these leathers. We put Ko-tsuzumi on our right shoulder, and hold two ropes with our left hand. Then we swing up our right hand to hit the center of the leather. We never use sticks to play Ko-tsuzumi.
<Playing techniques>
"Pon" / "Pu" : It is a common playing technique. mf~f
"Ta" / "Chi" : Holding two ropes tightly, and hitting the rim of the leather with our fourth finger. mp~p
We can play portamento when we play "Pon" with tightening or loosing two ropes. However, we cannot play a sound in specified pitch.
You can note higher tones (for "Pon" / "Pu") and lower tones (for "Ta" / "Chi") in staff. It must be 20 seconds before beginning to play Ko-tsuzumi, as it is a very sensitive instrument.

[O-kawa]

O-kawa's body is made of cherry tree. Top and bottom surface of its body are covered with bull leathers. It sounds like Wood Block. Though it is a little larger than Ko-tsuzumi, it sounds higher tone. Because its leathers are stretched very tightly by ropes, and heated and dried up before playing.
We put O-kawa on our left knee, hold its ropes with our left hand, and hit the center of the leather with our right hand's third finger. This finger is covered with a hard fingerstall. Otherwise we can use bamboo's sticks. When we use them, it is easy to play fast rhythm.
<Playing techniques>
"Chon" : Hitting the center of the leather strongly. f
"Tsu" : Hitting the center of the leather softly. p
"Don" : Hitting as same as "Tsu", after playing "Tsu", we hold our right hand's finger on its leather.
When we use a sticks, we call its playing technique "Ka". We cannot play "Ka" in ff, as we use a very light and thin stick.
You can note aforementioned three types of techniques with only the strength of tones (f~p). Because they sound a vary similar tone.

[Gaku-daiko]

It is like Bass Drum in western music instruments. Though it sounds like O-daiko, it has a short body. It is good at bass tone in special. Because of its short body, we cannot play rim shot at the side of its body.

[Bou-sasara]
Bou-sasara is a wooden long stick, and a bamboo blush. Its wooden stick is 30 cm length and 4cm in diameter, and it is cut off many lines. We slide its bamboo brush on these lines to play noisy sound. When you come right down to it, it may be like Guiro, you note in staff as if you play Guiro.

[Bin-zasara]
Bin-zasara is ten or more wooden plates linked by a long rope. These plates are made of oak, ebony, or other light tree.
We hold a first one and last one, hit every plates at a same time, then Bin-zasara makes a loud and crispy sound.
Especially heavy Bin-zasara makes a very loud and shocking sound. We can swing it horizontally; it sounds rolling (You note like tremolo in staff).

[Shaku-byousi]
Shaku-byousi is like a Slap Stick in western music instruments. It is two wooden plate made of cherry, or plum tree. We hold one on our hands, and hit the side edge of the other to the former.

[Hyousigi]

Hyousigi is wooden clappers like a clave in western music instruments. It is not for playing music, but telling audience the progress of play in Kabuki drama. So, it can make a very loud and crispy sound. We strike two oak sticks (20 cm length) together.

[Naruko]

Naruko is a bamboo wind chime. It is a unique playing technique that we strike every bamboo stick together. It sounds very crispy and makes clear rhythm.

[Mokusyo]

Mokusyo is a woodblock in western music instruments. Mokusyo has many different sizes, and various pitches.

[Mokugyo]
Mokugyo is originally a Buddhist object, but it has been used in western orchestra named "Temple Block". Mokugyo has many different sizes, and various pitches.

[Itagi]
We strike a wooden board (30cm*50cm*3cm) with wooden hammer. We usually use our right hands only, so we cannot play in fast rhythm.

[Kin]
Kin is originally a Buddhist object. It is made of copper or bronze. Its shape is like a rise bowl. It has many kinds of sizes and various pitches. A very long lingering sound is unique of Kin. In modern music, we use a mallet or hard stick for playing it. Otherwise, we rarely rob the rim of Kin with a hard stick, or use a double bass bow.

[Atarigane / Kontiki]
Atarigane is also known as Surigane-Chantiki. It is a palm-sized gong bell made of bronze. A small and light one is Atarigane, otherwise a large and hard one is Kontiki. Though each gong bell sound a little different, both of them are like a agogo bell. We often use a thin wooden stick with dear's bone head. We can use any hard sticks.
Atarigane
We often play it, by changing tone color and lingering sound. We hold it with our left hands' palm, and strike its center by stick with our right hands. Otherwise, we swing the stick on it from side to side. We change length of lingering sound, by putting our left fingers on it or releasing them from it.
We sometimes hang it and strike the rim or center. In modern music, we put it on a table and strike it with a stick.
Kontiki
We use two Kontikis and hang them. In traditional music, we ring them at the same time to make acoustic distortion.
We cannot hold it on our hands, because of its heavy weight.

[Souban]
Souban is a little larger than Kontiki. We use a wooden hammer or wooden mallet. We hang it on its rope with our hands, or with a stand.


[Matsumushi]
Matsumushi is a smaller than Atarigane. Though it doesn't have rope on which it is hung, it has three legs. We sometimes use some Matsumushi in different sizes.

[Dora]
Dora is named Japanese-Dora. It is 40 cm in diameter. It has a boss at the center. We cannot make a crash sound. We use a wooden hammer covered with a cushion, or a wooden mallet wrapped with soft cloth. We sometimes use a hard stick.

[Myohati]
Myohati is a cymbal made of copper or bronze. It is 30 cm in diameter. We set only one myohati on a cymbal-stand to strike with a stick. Or otherwise, we use both of myohati to strike each other. We cannot make longer lingering sound than an ordinal cymbal.

[Tyappa]
Tyappa is a small-sized cymbal made of copper or steel. We always use both of Tyappa to strike each other. It sounds higher than myohati.

[Miko-suzu]
It is like Sleigh Bells in western music instrument. It sounds like Jingles.

[Jyunrei-suzu]
It can be called "Rei". It is a small-sized Hand Bell. The pitch of its sound cannot be fixed and changed.

[Orugoru]
Orugoru is four or five Rin on a board. Rin is a very small Kin. Each of them has different size. Orugoru can make long lingering sound. We often strike one of Rin with a stick, or each of Rin to play arpeggio.

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