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date: 14 November 2019

Keirōko [keiko, keirō]locked

  • Henry Johnson

Extract

[keiko, keirō]

Double-headed barrel drum of Japan. The heads are nailed to the wooden body. It is usually about 15 to 21 cm long and 18 cm in diameter. Two rings are attached to opposite sides of the drum, through which a cord is tied and worn around the player’s neck so that the drum hangs upright; the upper head is struck with a single wooden beater. The keirōko is used in gagaku (court music) and is colourfully painted, as are other gagaku drums. The performer is a dancer who uses the instrument as a prop, and the instrument is used in conjunction with another drum, furitsuzumi, in the bugaku dance ‘Ikkyoku’. The furitsuzumi is held in the left hand, and the beater for the keirōko in the right hand. The instrument was introduced to Japan with gagaku from Tang-dynasty China.

E. Kikkawa, ed.: Zusetsu nihon no gakki [Japanese musical instruments, illustrated] (Tokyo, 1992)....

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