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postgraduate thesis: Inventing taiko

TitleInventing taiko
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Chan, HY
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Carter, C. A.. (2013). Inventing taiko. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5060582
AbstractIn the mid-1950s, Japan’s Daihachi Oguchi revived the taiko piece Suwa Ikaduchi, which had traditionally been played at the Nagano Prefecture Suwa Shrine. Until then, the song was played by a single male drummer for ritual at the shrine, a common use of Japanese drums throughout history. Oguchi made changes to the music, creating an ensemble of drums that emulated the Western drum kit, resulting in a new musical genre, which we now refer to as “taiko” in English. Nearly 60 years later, this musical form has spread across the globe with great popularity. The main points of this thesis are to clarify the distinct reference to an historic past required to discuss taiko within Hobsbawm’s theory of invented tradition, to present individuals and communities involved in the formalization of taiko, and to consider what can be learned from the ordinary musician. All of these lead to a better understanding of the process of the formalization, or metamorphosis of taiko, which has not previously been examined. Following the Introduction, Chapters One and Two provide background on both the instruments and the music of taiko. A survey of the inception of pioneer taiko groups in Japan and the United States, where taiko developed simultaneously, can be found in Chapter Four. The preceding Chapter Three presents new research regarding the community where the Suwa Ikaduchi score was discovered, and begins to consider the relationship between the taiko ensemble and the community in which it is formed. This connection between the taiko ensemble and community is reinforced by the story of Eitetsu Hayashi in the fifth chapter, a former member of one of Japan’s first professional taiko groups. Taiko is still developing as a music and a performance art, but we are able to draw conclusions about what is special about taiko in considering the relationship between taiko and community throughout these early years of development. The final chapter tells the stories of two non-professional taiko musicians, one in the United States and one in Japan, concluding that the “traditional” roots of taiko helped to develop a musical genre today with a purpose greater than the music itself. Appendix I includes a copy of the Suwa Ikaduchi drum score, instructions on how to read it using taiko’s system of oral transmission, and a chart explaining the basic rhythmic value of the system. A chronology of events in Japanese American history can be found in Appendix II. Appendix III includes figures of the different kinds of taiko, photos of the Osaka region’s danjiri, and newspaper articles printed during taiko’s formative years.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectTaiko - History.
Taiko (Drum ensemble) - History.
Dept/ProgramMusic
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/188755

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorChan, HY-
dc.contributor.authorCarter, Carrie Alita.-
dc.date.accessioned2013-09-08T15:08:00Z-
dc.date.available2013-09-08T15:08:00Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationCarter, C. A.. (2013). Inventing taiko. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5060582-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/188755-
dc.description.abstractIn the mid-1950s, Japan’s Daihachi Oguchi revived the taiko piece Suwa Ikaduchi, which had traditionally been played at the Nagano Prefecture Suwa Shrine. Until then, the song was played by a single male drummer for ritual at the shrine, a common use of Japanese drums throughout history. Oguchi made changes to the music, creating an ensemble of drums that emulated the Western drum kit, resulting in a new musical genre, which we now refer to as “taiko” in English. Nearly 60 years later, this musical form has spread across the globe with great popularity. The main points of this thesis are to clarify the distinct reference to an historic past required to discuss taiko within Hobsbawm’s theory of invented tradition, to present individuals and communities involved in the formalization of taiko, and to consider what can be learned from the ordinary musician. All of these lead to a better understanding of the process of the formalization, or metamorphosis of taiko, which has not previously been examined. Following the Introduction, Chapters One and Two provide background on both the instruments and the music of taiko. A survey of the inception of pioneer taiko groups in Japan and the United States, where taiko developed simultaneously, can be found in Chapter Four. The preceding Chapter Three presents new research regarding the community where the Suwa Ikaduchi score was discovered, and begins to consider the relationship between the taiko ensemble and the community in which it is formed. This connection between the taiko ensemble and community is reinforced by the story of Eitetsu Hayashi in the fifth chapter, a former member of one of Japan’s first professional taiko groups. Taiko is still developing as a music and a performance art, but we are able to draw conclusions about what is special about taiko in considering the relationship between taiko and community throughout these early years of development. The final chapter tells the stories of two non-professional taiko musicians, one in the United States and one in Japan, concluding that the “traditional” roots of taiko helped to develop a musical genre today with a purpose greater than the music itself. Appendix I includes a copy of the Suwa Ikaduchi drum score, instructions on how to read it using taiko’s system of oral transmission, and a chart explaining the basic rhythmic value of the system. A chronology of events in Japanese American history can be found in Appendix II. Appendix III includes figures of the different kinds of taiko, photos of the Osaka region’s danjiri, and newspaper articles printed during taiko’s formative years.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B50605823-
dc.subject.lcshTaiko - History.-
dc.subject.lcshTaiko (Drum ensemble) - History.-
dc.titleInventing taiko-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5060582-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineMusic-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5060582-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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