• Nobuo Yasuda
  • Hiroh Yamamoto
Keywords: drum, Taikobics, intensity, japan


INTRODUCTION: A diversity of forms of Japanese drum playing (JDP) has survived and developed the performance of not only 'traditional styles' in the Japanese drum groups of Kaga-d(t)aiko, Konkoro-d(t)aiko, Gojinjyo-d(t)aiko, and Sagicho-d(t)aiko, etc., but also 'compositional styles' in modern hybrid groups. While historical evidence is elusive, much of the JDP in the rituals and festivals of Japan has clearly consisted of forms derived from ancestors. JDP has now become an art of music and exercise, often performed on stage and taught by professional instructors. Above all, the solo style of Japanese drum playing (SSJDP: Hitori-uchi) has been practiced all over the world. In the impressive variety of JDP, Hitori-uchi exhibits specific features or attitudes of the unique nature that the right and left stick arm movements alternate dynamically. And also, players perform aerobic exercises of 'Taikobics' (Figure 1) with the whole body, using a huge Japanese drum and sticks. Thus Hitori-uchi players have various skills of beating, involving grading, spacing, and timing, just as Japanese drum players themselves deeply appreciate the importance of major 'space' - a concept embracing the silence between sounds as well as the elastic Japanese sense of musical timing (Bowring & Kornicki, 1993). Since Hitori-uchi is an activity as a cultural form of importance especially in Japan and since such an activity would provide an extremely attractive alternative to many other exercises, it seems reasonable to investigate Hitori-uchi's potential as a cardio-respiratory fitness aid. Although some investigators have analyzed the physiological and biomechanical data in music instrument playing (Bejjani & Halpern, 1989; Bouhuys, 1969), such research regarding solo style playing is nonexistent. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to quantify the exercise intensity of Hitori-uchi as an aerobic exercise of 'Taikobics'. METHODS: Virtuosi Japanese drum players (n=8) participated in this study. Physical characteristics of subjects are presented in Table 1. A huge Japanese drum (Ohdaiko) and sticks (Ohbachi; 40 cm~3.8 cm, 0.53 kg) were used in this study. Figure 2 illustrates the schematic diagram of the experiment. Each subject performed playing the Ohdaiko for 5 minutes voluntarily in their own preferred rhythms. The sound levels were recorded using a digital sound level meter (NIHON IRYOKIKI NS-311). For all trials, oxygen uptake (VO2) was measured during the last minute of the 5 min trial. Heart rate (HR) was recorded by radio-telemetry (NIHON KOHDEN EC- 6201). Expired respiratory gas was collected using a Douglas bag. VO2 was determined with Douglas bag technique. Gas volume was measured in a dry gas meter (SHINAGAWA SEIKI DC-5). Gas samples were analyzed according to the Scholander technique for O2 and CO2, respectively. An estimate of caloric cost was obtained by multiplying VO2 (l/min) by 5.05, which represents the caloric equivalent of a respiratory exchange ratio of 1.0 (McArdle, Katch, & Katch, 1991). Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded immediately after each trial using the 15-point Borg scale (Borg, 1982). Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) tests were conducted on a Jonas body guard bicycle ergometer.