Type: Membranophones > Drums > Barrel.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 211.221.2
Bayin: 革 Gé.
Region: Far East Asia.
Description: The tanggu [in Chinese: 堂鼓; pinyin: tánggǔ, pronounced [tʰɑ̌ŋkù]; the literal transition is “ceremonial hall drum” sometimes spelt as “tang gu”. It is a traditional Chinese drum from the 19th century. The Tanggu is known as “Tonggu”. During the Qing Dynasty, it was called “Zhanggu”. Orchestral works which uses the Tanggu includes Fisherman’s Song of the East China Sea and The General’s Commands.
Playing Techniques: The pitch and tone of the sound produced are not definite. It depends on the strength and which part of the drum skin is being hit.
Construction: Being a medium-sized barrel shaped with two heads on either side of stretched animal skin. It is played with two sticks. The tanggu is usually suspended by four rings in a wooden stand. There are two types of Tanggu – the Xiao Tanggu and the Da Tanggu. The only difference is that the Xiao Tanggu is smaller in size, and thus produces a higher pitch sound.