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Community Portal:Percussion

The Percussion Portal

Percussion is a group of musical instruments classified by being hit, shaken, scraped, rubbed, or manipulated by virtually any other means in order to produce vibration. It is an extremely wide range of instruments, encompassing multiple cultures and time periods.

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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.


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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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The Rainstick, a Mexican instrument made by drying a cactus, driving its spines inward, and filling it with pebbles and other small objects. Similar instruments are found in Africa and Southeast Asia, where they are made from bamboo.

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A rock gong, a type of lithophone constructed from ringing rocks. This picture was taken at the Monastery of Na'akueto La'ab in Ethiopia.

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