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Rhythm-A-Day Blog for February 4, 2020: National Day, Sri Lanka

Posted by Wolf Murphy on

National Day, Sri Lanka

February 4th is Independence Dayor National Day in Sri Lanka, It is a national holiday celebrated to commemorate the country’s political freedom. Sri Lanka achieved independence from British rule in 1948. It is celebrated with flag-hoisting ceremonies, dances, parades and performances—a celebration replete with pomp and pageantry that demonstrates the pride and spirit that Sri Lankans feel.

Flag of Sri Lanka (Wikimedia Commons)

Typically the main celebration is in Colombo. The President raises the national flag and delivers a televised speech remembering the challenges faced Sri Lanka's history. National heroes are recalled and two minutes of silence are observed. On independence day all these struggles are celebrated, but the independence movement against the British is the primary focus. bravery, confidence, dedication, national unity, patriotism, nationalism, peace, national responsibility and awareness of national history are promoted.

School children get the day off and dance and sing; there are performances to promote unity and honor Sri Lankan culture. Religious observances are also held around the country, praying for peace and prosperity. 

Sri Lankan Drumming (Wikimedia Commons)

The thamattama is a drum unique to Sri Lanka. The looped heads on the drum sticks facilitate fast play, bouncing away from the drum head after every stroke.

Sri Lankan Thammattama drum (Wikimedia Commons)

Here are some basic phrases for thamattama playing. In this first notation we are using bass for the bass drum strokes and tones for the high pitched drum strokes:

Here is the notation fot the Thamattama drum, if you want to try it. This will require two drums—or a drum and a pot lol; use what you got! (Not included in Video Lesson.) There will be cross-sticking: either arm will sometimes have to cropss over the other to strike the correct drum head. Which feels really bad-assed to do; we recommend it!

Today's Video Lesson

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