Monday, July 28, 2014

Question Everything: What "isn't" taiko?

So I love the question of “what is taiko?” because it leads to some great discussions where everyone is right.  :D

But it’s interesting to consider coming at the question from the other side of things.  What ISN’T taiko?  And when does the line get blurred for you?

A trapset drummer on a trapset.  Not taiko.
A taiko drummer on a trapset.  Taiko?
A trapset drummer on a taiko set.  Taiko?
A taiko drummer on a taiko set.  Taiko.

Easy, right?  Keep reading…

An African drumming piece, played by taiko players on taiko drums.  Taiko?
Taiko drummers playing non-Japanese percusson, like snare drums or cowbells.  Taiko?
A beautifully composed piece of taiko music, but created - and played - electronically by someone who’s never touched taiko.  Taiko?
That same music, but played by actual taiko drummers.  Taiko?
Taiko drummers holding bachi, dancing/moving, but not actually hitting anything.  Taiko?
Taiko drummers playing Yatai Bayashi, but on phone books/cushions.  Taiko?
Someone’s first day in a taiko workshop, playing Renshu, with hardly any form, technique, or musicality.  Taiko?
Martial artists with a very taiko-like mindset, playing a taiko song that looks and sounds like taiko but with very little training in taiko.  Taiko?
Robots playing taiko.  Taiko?

For these, there are no easy answers.  You’ll find people on both sides, and probably many more in the middle.  To some, it’s not even an important distinction, but to others, tremendously so.   Where do you fall?

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