Dancing with the magic drum

Steps to make a drum

Procedures to make a drum
1 Cowhide 2 Drying cowhide
Remove cow hair, whittle cow hair, and remove the fat within it. The thickness of cowhide can be adjusted flexibly. Buffalo hides are usually used.
Drying cowhide in the sun will take a week to a month. The cowhides dried naturally natural dry are not friable and indefectible after usage. This method can increase the service life. When necessary, a hole can be drilled firstly.
3 Barrel 4 Threading hemp rope on drum head
Combining wood chips into a drum. Phoebe zhennan is best suited to be used to make drum. After artificial drying of wood, it should be dried in the sun for at least 10 months. After smoking for a week, drums can prevent insects, which are not easily to be damaged.
Digging a hole in the drum head and threading hemp rope on the drum head is the pre-operation of tightening drum.
5 Tightening drum 6 Trampling drum
It usually takes 30 days. According to different approaches, sometimes, it will take over a month to make it produce sounds stably.
people stamp on the drum: the cowhide fiber will be opened to make it soft, and sounds sustainable.
7 Tone tuning 8 Done
When tightening drum, the higher of the jack, the tighter drum head is, and the higher the tone.

Reference : Ching Shi Lin drum manufacturer / Xiangrenhe drum manufacturer
Photo credit: Thunder King of Drums / Ching Shi Lin’s blog

Machine planer, jack, steel or black drum nails,
knife, the original regulation, hammer, ruler,
flat knife, and brush.
Cowhide, wood, hemp rope, paint
Reference: Ching Shi Lin drum manufacturer / Xiangrenhe drum manufacturer
Photo credit: Thunder King of Drums


Video about making a drum
Media name PTs 2015.6.11
Interviewee Mr. Xi-kun Wang of Xiangrenhe drum manufacturer
Topic Great drums by trampling
Content Introduction to the steps and methods of making a drum by Xiangrenhe
1.Remove cow hair 2.Whittle cow hair 3.Whittle thickness 4.Dig holes 5.Dry cowhide 6.Combine wood chips into a drum 7.Smoke drum 8.Thread hemp rope on drum head 9.Tighten drum 10.Stamp drum 11.Turn tone 12.Nail 13.Cut drum head 14.Done
Video photo
Reference Performance in PTs
Video credit https://www.youtube.com/


Form of performance

Drum plays an important role in the national music. It often used with the gong and cymbals as the accompaniment in traditional dragon and lion dance. The rhythm of drum is easy to control. Its loud sound inspires the performers. The combination of drum and other percussion instruments shows a warm passion or lively atmosphere through rich and complex sound and changes in rhythm and intensity. In addition to the traditional front soundtrack, the drum music is also combined with the dance. Together with physical performance, drum can show the art within drummers. U-Theatre is a representative.

Photo credit: http://chatelet-theatre.com/fr/event/u-theatre

Photo credit: http://www.haokoo.com/drama/5024068.html
Skills of playing the drum
Types Horizontal drum Transverse drum
Elements Focusing on music Focusing on dance
Body movement Playing the drum is the most important. Fancy movements are secondary. With dance and martial art
Music rhythm Complex and fast-paced Pure, repeated, and slow-paced
Video photo
Video credit



Chih-chun Huang, Music Director of U-Theatre, founds the basis of performance, based on the concept of "Learning to sit and learn drumming". He combines Gutovsky's physical training, Oriental Martial Arts, Tai Chi-Guiding, meditation, percussion practice, dancing, and other elements to combine Tao (self-improvement) and skill (the learning and maturity of art). People of U-Theatre raise sticks to beat the drum with great concentration, conveying the energy of their pure soul. The pure soul, together with performance and audience can form a moment of "living in the moment." This unique performance is a good presentation of high-quality theater performing arts of Taiwan.

One person, One Drum

Name of work: Blooming Enlightenment of U-Theatre
Mode of presentation: Drum and dance
Playing the drum with dance makes the body movement fuse strong rhythm, which is amazing. It is co-crate by Ruo-yu Liu, Chih-chun Huang and the Youth U-Theatre. The arrangement and choreography are finished by Youth U-Theatre. It is live performed by string orchestra.
Video photo:
Video credit: https://www.youtube.com/
Name of work: Classical flag dancing to drum up the military
Mode of presentation: Drum and flag dance
"Flag" is the symbol of leaders, and important element for front and vigor enhancement. It makes people feel ambitious and excited.
Video photo:
Video credit: https://youtu.be/QZ9mD2HmUX4
Name of work: "Lover" of U-Theatre
Mode of presentation: Music Theater of China and Western Creation
Integrated elements: Dancing and sticks
The profound and sincere singing of nearly 100 people, together with striking percussion music and physical performance of U-Theatre runs through the love, which shows the state of being neither friendly nor aloof. It performs an unforgettable romance epic crossing literature and music.
Photo credit: http://tifa.npac-ntch.org/2016/public/asset/img/index/_000001.jpg

Video credit: https://youtu.be/a93OU5zEb6Q
Name of work: "Chinese Lion Dance" of Zhenzong Performance Art Troupe
Integrated elements: Lion Dance
Chinese folk traditions believe that lion dances can evade evil spirits, so they will put on lion dance, and play the drums and gongs. The performance will present a happy atmosphere, which can gather people.
Video photo: 祥獅獻瑞
Video credit: https://www.youtube.com/
Name of work: Thousand-Hand Drum to pray by Songkun
Mode of presentation: Thousand-Hand Kwan-yin
The performance is themed with the Thousand-Hand Kwan-yin, incorporating the dance movement of Thousand-Hand Kwan-yin into drumming and musical composition, manifesting the ever-changing drumming art. It’s a complex of drum, dance, music and even stunts.
Video photo:
Video credit: https://www.youtube.com/

One person, More than one drum

Name of work: Performance of children flower-drum group of Beiguan Primary School, Shanxi Province
Mode of presentation: Traditional Xicheng flower-drum
The form is very rich and colorful, with lively rhythm and tremendous vigor. It belongs to the traditional dance of Han nationality in Shanxi Province. It is very lively and fascinating.
Video photo:
Video credit: http://v.youku.com/
Name of work: Meeting With Bodhisattva of U-Theatre
Mode of presentation: Modern U-Theatre
Drum performance includes the form of one drum for one person, one person with more than one drum, and combination of bass and snare drum. The energy of the drummers is amazing. The play symbolizes that as long as the external confrontation is overcome, troubles and doubts are solved, people can finally achieve self-harmony with all things.

Video photo:

Video credit: https://www.youtube.com/



  1. http://utheatre.glis.ntnu.edu.tw/content/劇團介紹
  2. http://art.tnnua.edu.tw/ethnomu/room_lo4.htm
  3. http://www.scm.org.tw/