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Taiko had head membranes that were stretched extremely taut, resulting in sharp high-pitched drumming sounds. Shako was a small hand-held drum, and odaiko was a massive drum with a diameter up to twice the height of a man.  In traditional court music a huge laced-head drum known as dadaiko was played. A tsuridaiko was a drum where the head was nailed directly to the body of the drum. The Rokugani also played a laced-head drum called ninaidaiko, carried during processions on a large pole. 
Taiko were often played during the Bon Festival, with people dancing in large circles. During the rice-planting festival a smaller taiko was hung around the drummer's neck, to accompany dancers to the field where the seeds were planted. Often, the boundaries of a village were determined by the headman as the farthest point to which the taiko could be heard. 
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