Tsuzumi Drum

Tsuzumi Drum


Wood with lacquer and sprinkled gold powder (maki-e), hide, iron, and cord

Diameter: 20.4 cm (8 1/16 in.); Overall: 25.4 cm (10 in.)

The Charles G. King, Jr. Collection. Gift of Ralph King in memory of Charles G. King, Jr. 1918.349



Tsuzumi hand drums were used as musical accompaniment for formal theatrical productions such as Noh, but also in traditional folk music. Small tsuzumi like this one are set against one shoulder, and held in place with one hand, while the other hand beats the heads. The sound is adjusted by regulating the humidity of the hide with one’s breath or spittle.

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