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The Joy of Chinese Tanggu Drum Performance

The Tianwei Tang Dynasty Drum Team participates in a grand parade in Taiwan. (Image: Vision Times)
The Tianwei Tang Dynasty Drum Team participates in a grand parade in Taiwan. (Image: Vision Times)

The Tanggu drum (堂鼓), which literally means ceremonial hall drum, is also called the Tang Dynasty drum (唐鼓), as it is believed that Tanggu was invented during the Tang Dynasty. It is also known as the Tong drum (通鼓), as it has a bright and adaptable “tong tong” sound when it takes the lead.

The Tianwei Tang Dynasty Drum Team members in Taiwan cheerfully practice. (Image: Vision Times)

 

Tanggu is a double-headed barrel-shaped percussion instrument. Its wooden shell is covered with two drumheads of cowhide. There are four lateral iron rings around the shell, which allow the drum to be vertically suspended in a wooden frame. It is usually used in percussion sections of regional operas and various religious ensembles.

Tang Dynasty Drum Team practicing at a park in Taiwan (Image: Vision Times)

Tanggu is struck with the narrow ends of a pair of wooden drumsticks that taper from thick to thin. The pitch and tone quality are different according to the strength and the striking point on the drumhead. The sound played from the side is higher, and that from the center is lower.

The Tianwei Tang Dynasty Drum Team performs on the street in Taiwan. (Image: Vision Times)

 

The Tianwei Tang Dynasty Drum Team is made up of Falun Gong practitioners from all walks of life in Taiwan, including school principals, teachers, students, business operators, government employees, military veterans, housewives, etc.

Aiming to carry forward this traditional Chinese culture, members of the Tianwei Tang Dynasty Drum Team usually get together on campuses or public parks to practice on weekends. It has been invited to participate in various festive activities and grand parades at home and abroad.

Their majestic melody and uplifting drum beats are highly acclaimed by spectators and passersby all the time.

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