THE ART OF LION DANCING: INSTRUMENTATION
GENERAL MUSICAL CONSIDERATIONS
Metre: 4/4, (four beats per measure), you easily march to it.
DrumThe drummer in traditional times, was the most experienced player. Like a general or commander, the drummer had to observe the entire area, guide the lion through the obstacles, watch out for unexpected trouble and keep the rest of the team unified.
Lion dancing today is not much different. The drummer is like a team captain and signals to the team through the beat. Changes in the pattern, rhythm, tempo, or volume of the drum send a signal to the lion team who respond with matching steps. “The drum guides the lion, the lion follows the drum”. It is also said “the lion moves its foot and the drum matches the step”, meaning that the lion can determine what the instruments play.
Thus, there is dynamic collaboration between the drum and lion.
There are five primary patterns: