A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater (including attached or enclosed beaters or rattles); struck, scraped or rubbed by hand; or struck against another similar instrument. The percussion family is believed to include the oldest musical instruments, following the human voice.
The percussion section of an orchestra most commonly contains instruments such as timpani, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, triangle and tambourine. However, the section can also contain non-percussive instruments, such as whistles and sirens, or a blown conch shell. Percussive techniques can also be applied to the human body, as in body percussion. On the other hand, keyboard instruments, such as the celesta, are not normally part of the percussion section, but keyboard percussion instruments such as the glockenspiel and xylophone (which do not have piano keyboards) are included.
Taiko (太鼓) are a broad range of Japanese percussion instruments.
Taiko performance near Nagoya Castle. The Giant Taiko drum was made out of a single piece of wood of a 1200 year old tree, and weighs about 3 tons.
In Japanese, the term refers to any kind of drum, but outside Japan, it is used to refer to any of the various Japanese drums called wadaiko (和太鼓 "Japanese drums") and to the form of ensemble taiko drumming more specifically called kumi-daiko (組太鼓 "set of drums"). The process of constructing taiko varies between manufacturers, and preparation of both the drum body and skin can take several years depending on methodology.
Taiko have a mythological origin in Japanese folklore, but historical records suggest that taiko were introduced to Japan through Korean and Chinese cultural influence as early as the 6th century CE. Some taiko are similar to instruments originating from India. Archaeological evidence also supports that taiko were present in Japan during the 6th century in the Kofun period. Their function has varied through history, ranging from communication, military action, theatrical accompaniment, and religious ceremony to both festival and concert performances. In modern times, taiko have also played a central role in social movements for minorities both within and outside Japan.
Did you know
The world record for clapping is 1020 claps in a minute, set by Eli Bishop, of Boston USA, on the 5th of May 2014.
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