For my fieldwork topic I would like to study the taiko drumming group on campus. I have a friend who is in the group and have heard him mention going to/coming from rehearsal, but I realized I really know absolutely nothing about taiko drumming. All I know is that taiko means drum in Japanese, and taiko drumming is generally performed by an ensemble and is a relatively recent genre of music originating in Japan. I want to study something completely unfamiliar because I think it will give me a better perspective in terms of having no specific expectations or experiences to compare my research too. I am also attracted to the prospect of studying drumming because I have always been one to focus more on the melodic aspect of music - beat almost comes second, or is the background. I have never really studied rhythm purely on its own.
Some of the things I would like to focus on in this project is, how many people on this campus know what taiko drumming is, or have ever even heard a taiko performance before? I would like to interview my friend who is in the ensemble, and ask if he was also in an ensemble when he lived in Japan. I am curious to find out how both the ensembles and the audiences may differ, and the overall "enthusiasm" or interest in taiki drumming at Brown versus in Japan. I want to sit in on their rehearsals and attend as many of their concerts as possible between now and the end of the semester.