Japanese drum

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Possible Answers: TAIKO.

Last seen on: NY Times Crossword 29 Nov 2017, Wednesday

Random information on the term “Japanese drum”:

Kuchi shōga (口唱歌), also known as kuchi showa or kuchi shoka, is an educational musical notation for traditional Japanese drums, particularly the taiko and the tsuzumi.


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Kuchi shōga phoneticizes (that is, phonetically articulates) drum strokes using Japanese sound symbolism. Each syllable conveys information about how the drummer is to play a particular note.

Kuchi shōga notation is written in katakana, a syllabary familiar to all literate Japanese language speakers. Kuchi shōga can be transliterated from katakana to a Latin alphabet using one of the various systems of rōmaji.

Although kuchi shōga does not have a fixed vocabulary, some phoneticizations are ubiquitous. Don typically means a deep, sustained sound from the center of the taiko. Do sometimes represents a short beat that is not allowed to resonate (i.e., one with a short decay). Doko, dogo, or doro means two drum-beats played in rapid succession. Tsu represents a lightly struck note; tsuku implies two soft tsu beats in rapid succession—one on the right side of the drum, the other on the left. Ka means a sharp tap on the rim of the taiko, and kara describes alternate right and left taps.

Japanese drum on Wikipedia