Places, Images, Times & Transformations

The Sound of (Japanese) Music Part IV: Taiko: Tradition as a Basis for Innovation

Part Four of the Sound of (Japanese) Music Series.

This session features a discussion and demonstration of taiko by Dr. Benjamin Pachter. Taiko can be found in a wide variety of performance venues in modern Japan, from the imperial court to regional festival processions to large concert halls. This presentation will explore the many ways in which taiko are used in Japan today, including the contemporary group performance style that has spread across the world since World War II and integrates a wide range of musical and visual influences.



Benjamin Pachter is Executive Director of the Japan-America Society of Central Ohio, a non-profit based in Dublin, Ohio dedicated to fostering the relationship between Central Ohio’s  Japanese and American communities. He received his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013, where he wrote his dissertation on the musical history of contemporary taiko performance in Japan and the United States. Ben is also a performer of taiko. He is currently the Assistant Director of Dublin Taiko, the largest K-12 taiko organization in North America, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Taiko Community Alliance.