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Topic: Taiko Drum

  1. #1

    Taiko Drum

    So, I have a conundrum... in a way, going to college for Music Composition destroyed the "child" in me. Because of this professional education, I concentrate on and enjoy keeping my music realistic to play.

    Lately, however, I've been fiddling with the Taiko Drum sounds in GPO World and have found myself gleefully reverting back to some of my younger days where I wrote what sounded cool, not necessarily what was realistically playable. The Taiko Drum is just awesome... it's the most fun percussion instrument I know of (SQUIRREL!!! ... at least for now). I can do more with its sounds than I ever could with Timpani & Bass Drum--at least that's how it feel right now with me in experimentation mode.

    My question is this, however: As many composers go, I don't do this for a living and so recognize that it's not very likely anyone will actually play my stuff. With that being said, should I just allow myself to go crazy and write what sounds cool, or should I bring the conservative purist back to the foreground?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: Taiko Drum

    I just do what I like! If a piece needs a taiko drum or a nose flute, go for it.


  3. #3

    Re: Taiko Drum

    Why not? I'm considering using a Taiko drum in a live piece I've been working on, so I say go for it.
    Dan Powers

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  4. #4

    Re: Taiko Drum

    Hi, FossMaNo1

    I really like your post, your question. MIDI musicians/composers are constantly faced with that question - whether or not to stick to only what can actually be performed.

    People who are composing specifically for live bands/orchestras of course do need to stay in the realm of what's possible for a live performance. But otherwise, I give Big Thumbs Up to the replies you've gotten from Haydn and Dan - let loose that inner child and do what sounds cool! - That's the glory of MIDI and digital audio recording - you can create interesting pieces that may be beyond the realm of a live band, and--so what?

    In the case of using the Taiko - that's not really so impossible. Why not have an orchestra which includes a Taiko player (or two, or three, or four!) in the percussion section?

    And your post reminds me of a scene from my childhood. A good friend of the family was an excellent and professional musician. She played Oboe and French Horn, and was doing a lot of work in LA sound stages for commercials and films. One of those musicians who could sight read perfectly and needed virtually no rehearsal, like all the best LA studio musicians.

    But I was, at that point, a self-taught musician who had been writing piano pieces since pre-school. This pro musician would ask to hear my new stuff, and would always marvel at what I was coming up with. I remember her saying something like, "I can play anything, and have a deep respect for the great composers. I've been so educated in music that I'm afraid to even attempt composing anything, because I know what's already been written, and feel it's pointless to attempt competing with the greats. I'm too intimidated to compose! But you're unfettered, writing whatever you want - you have much more freedom and a natural musical savvy than I could ever have."

    That's the child you mentioned in your post. I think a lot of trained musicians go through the same thing, as the family friend I just mentioned - they learn the rules, learn respect for what's already been composed, and end up with their creative child stifled.

    Let 'er rip!


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