Hinode Taiko
Taiko Glossary

Note: Japanese words have the same spelling whether in singular or plural form
  • Atarigane (also called chanchiki) - small, shrill bronze gong played with shumoku (mallets with heads made from pieces of deer antler)
  • Chudaiko - 15-40 pounds, diameter 20-22", the mid-sized core instrument of most taiko performances. Drumhead is nailed directly to drumshell, therefore not tunable after manufacture.
  • Fuchi - rim of drum shell; used for accent strokes.
  • Hara - the “belly" or centre of the drumhead.
  • Horigai - conch shell, played as a simple trumpet.
  • Ji-uchi, ji - a base or backing rhythm. Usually a simple duple beat (“doko”), a swing beat (“don go”), or a “horse” rhythm (“don doko”). In most taiko groups’ arrangements there are two components to the drum rhythms: the basic ji-uchi and a main theme called the o-uchi.
  • Kiai - release of energy; a shout/yell/vocalization emanating from the body’s centre; used to release drummer’s own energy or to encourage others, and often used to mark time, thus an integral part of the song.
  • Kodaiko - smaller drum weighing about 10 pounds, sometimes called “sumo" for its use at sumo tournaments. Like the chudaiko and odaiko, not tunable.
  • Shime-daiko, shime - small shallow drum with characteristic high pitch caused by tightening the drumheads with ropes or bolts.
  • Odaiko - the largest taiko, whose sound is often likened to rolling thunder. Often played by two drummers simultaneously, one at each drumhead.
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