| ISO

Temple First Drum Tower

   The Temple Drum is found on the second floor of the Drum Tower, on the left side of the Mountain Gate.
Drum in BTRTM

A metre deep and wide, the temple drum’s well-polished maroon body is a hollow rosewood vessel with two pieces of cowhide or drumskins stretched over its two circular open ends. The drumskins are fastened to the edge of the shell via two rows of closely spaced alternating metal studs. Six rings are mounted on its body with two each on the top and left sides and one each at the bottom and right sides (if you are facing the drumhead used for drumming). These rings may be used for suspending the drum from an elevated height and to ease transportation.

Also known as a double-headed barrel drum, it is supported on its side by a wooden stand similarly polished and lacquered to reveal rich dark brownish red veining.

The drum stand is a minimally decorated two-piece structure with its top ‘U’-shaped ends supporting the two drumheads while the base of its legs—in an inverted ‘Y’ shape–—are joined at the base forming a square. To strengthen this support, the two legs are also joined in the middle. Attached to the back of its front leg near the base is a cylindrical container holding two drum sticks.
About Drum Tower and Drum

The term Drum tower (Chinese: 鼓楼; pinyin: Gulou; Japanese: korō or kurō [鼓楼]) is used to refer to a tower in the center of an old Chinese city, housing signal drums. The drum tower is often located in the symbolic center of a city. Hence the downtown districts of several Chinese cities have been named after the tower.

Drum towers can be found in a number of Buddhist temples in China and other countries of the regions as well.

In Japan, the drum tower housing a drum marks the passing of time. It used to face the shōrō and lie next to the kō-dō, but now the drum is usually kept in the rōmon.

Bells and drums were musical instruments in ancient China. Later they were used by government and common people as timepieces. The Bell and Drum towers were the center of Chinese chronology during the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments, which is technically classified as the membranophones. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player’s hands, or with a drum stick, to produce sound. There is usually a “resonance head” on the underside of the drum, these are usually tuned to a slightly lower pitch than the top drumhead. Other techniques have been used to cause drums to make sound, such as the thumb roll. Drums are the world’s oldest and most ubiquitous musical instruments, and the basic design has remained virtually unchanged for thousands of years.
Development of BTRTM Drum Ven Shi Fa Zhao visit numerous drum factories in China and Taiwan to evaluate the sound and quality of the drums produced.Finally, the drum selected was specially handcrafted by Chuan Lung Art Co Ltd, Taiwan, with traditional materials and techniques from a single piece of rosewood. This large 1 meter drum produces a deep and loud resounding boom to complement the Temple Bell.It was also consecrated in a special blessing ceremony on 28 April 2007. Drum ritual takes place at drum tower during the morning opening ceremony and evening closing ceremony.
Bibliography:

  1. Japanese Architecture and Gardens, Hirotaro Ota, Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai, 1966, page 90

Websites:

  1. Drum Tower – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  2. Drum – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  3. Glossary of Japanese Buddhism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  4. :<<>>: JAANUS :<<>>: Terminology of Japanese Architecture & Art History

Back to top