Taiko

Taiko, in general, are stick percussion instruments. With the exception of the kotsuzumi and ootsuzumi, all taiko are struck with bachi. They have heads on both sides of the drum body, and a sealed resonating cavity. Taiko are also characterized by a high amount of tension on the drums heads, with a correspondingly high pitch relative to body size.

One of the most defining drums of any Taiko ensemble is the ōdaiko. The ōdaiko is the largest drum in all of Taiko if not the entire world. The largest ōdaiko are too big to move and permanently reside inside a temple or shrine. Made from a single piece of wood, some ōdaiko come from trees that are hundreds of years old.

Taiko were often used to motivate troops, to help set a marching pace, and to call out orders or announcements. Approaching or entering a battle, the taiko yaku (drummer) was responsible for setting the marching pace.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiko

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