Tsuzumi goes "pong pong" in Patapon

Last Revised: Friday, October 12, 2012


I am in obsession with Japanese culture and their music.

Let's start of this post by telling you how I discover this interesting instrument. It took me a long time to realize what this odd shaped hourglass instrument is called...

How many of you knew about this PSP game, Patapon??? It's a fairly engaging rhythmic game.. whereby you need to march those little black eyeball imps to fight off monsters..with the help of the different drums..

So I was playing this game on my psp.. there is this particular mini game that caught my interest... I 'll show you a clip of the minigame that I was playing.. pata pata pata pon..

Cute game eh(可愛いですね) .. my favourite game on the psp.. So whenever I am playing this mini game I will be wondering what made that sound ... I kept looking and searching every where on the net.. I Cant FIND IT! I have no idea what Im searching for.. I only know how it sounded
-_-.. pong pong pong! in the background. so frustrating! Grr (write in if you have the same experience like I do?)

After much battles with my best friend Google.. I decided to give up the hunt..
(by the way my Best friend is crawling my pages like snail)

Few months later, one boring afternoon, I decided to look up on Japanese traditional music..  I was listening to Kabuki theatre music at that moment. I got weird taste in music? wadeva. immediately I recognise that this is the sound I've been searching for..  天助我也(god is on my side).  From there I manage to uncover the identity of this wonderful music instrument.

This drum is call Tsuzumi.. basically it comes in 3 different sizes papa, mama & baby
Normally they are used in Japanese theatre music..but there are some pop music that uses tsuzumi.
(I even use it in my composition Otsukimimashio)

How to play this drum?
From what I know the small Tsuzumi drum is to be placed beside the right shoulder when playing whereas the big papa drum sits on the lap. To get a higher sounding pitch, the performer squeeze the red strings together bringing the membrane on both sides to tension.

Picture speaks a thousand words, video speaks so much more.. Yeah I like to put videos in my posts..

Below is a video on how to set up a ko-Tsuzumi.. (aka. baby Tsuzumi)

Now you have learnt so much about this drum, would you like to listen to some music with tsuzumi?

This is a cover of Bad Apple by Touhou Project done with Traditional Japanese musical instruments

Sakura Mankai by Morning Musume

If you happen to know of any modern music that uses tsuzumi, please share with me..:)
Comments are also welcome and encouraged. :)
Durian Opened by Simon Ooh

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