Klong Six Architect Drums “Have Faith in the Drum’s Rhythms and Composition”
Klong six architect drums “12 years, 9+1 drums, 100 drumsticks – what is present in front of each person may just be wooden sticks, animal skin, or a Thai musical instrument, but architect drummers perceive these items as a “teacher” that used to be alive. Present in the form of a drumstick or animal skin, the teacher had to sacrifice their body and consequently became what others would call a drum. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Klong six architect drummers are disciples, whom deeply love, cherish, and take care of their teachers. No one other than the respective drummer can touch or play the drum because the “teacher” is considered a spiritual anchor in every drummer’s hearts, and even for other Klong six architects.
The beginning of architect drums
An architect drum, or glong thad, is used in Thai orchestras, and is somewhat similar to double-headed drums, drums used during war time (glong ork rope), and victory drums (glong sabad chai). The architect drum got its name because Chulalongkorn University’s architects were the first in Thailand to play this drum. Previously, Chulalongkorn University played Tom-Tom drums, which were created by foreigners. HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has respectively awarded the glong thad as permanent drums for the faculty. Five universities that were respectively awarded glong thad were Chulalongkorn University, Kasetsart University, Silkpakorn University, Khon Kaen University, and Chiang Mai University.
Afterwards, the Faculty of Architecture in various universities across the nation have used drums as a unique symbol of the faculty, which evolved into a tradition that every Faculty of Architecture must have their own drums. Furthermore, each university deploys the same selection process. There is also an annual architecture drum (Archdrum) event wherein Faculty of Architecture nationwide gather to strengthen relationships. Event activities include cheering or drum duels, sharing and exchanging knowledge such as drum rhythms, and making new friends. Each university has its own songs and rhythms, which set it apart from other universities.
Klong six architect drums
Drums: The drums are made of cow skin and the drumsticks are made of keng wood, shorea obtusa wood, iron wood, and other types of hard wood. Equipment used for playing the drum include the drum itself, drumsticks, drumstick case, a secondary drum that is placed atop the drum stand, and a white calico cloth.
The uniqueness of playing the drum: Each university has its own way of playing the drum. To exemplify, when RMUTT (Klong six) plays the drums, it is projected as strong and aggressive. Drummers also have to maintain good posture when playing the drum as well.
The faculty’s song: The following songs: Kulthapad, Arceehip, Thapad Roob Ror (Handsome architect), Sor Thor Keemao (Drunkard), March Thapad (Architect march), Sathapad Pu Sang Fun, and Thapadthoranong (originally from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL)) rhythms have been adjusted so they are unique to RMUTT. The standard 10 beats rhythm is an exercise that everyone should be able to play, called the big percussion.
Becoming a drummer
Each drummer will be selected from their physical and mental strength. Prospective applicants do not need to know the basics of playing the drum but should have the intention to excel in it. Once applications are accepted, (solely open to first-year male students in the Faculty of Architecture), prospective applicants do not instantly become architect drummers. They will have to exercise, do sit-ups, run, and practice self-discipline. They may have to run up a building’s eight floors or run around the university depending on seniors in preceding classes.
Moreover, the physical test lasts one year, which may seem harsh, but, everything is done for the sole purpose of strengthening one’s body so one can carry the drum and handle the pressure. Every drummer is required to go through intense training until he may be considered a drummer. He has to undergo a selection process, the process of handling the drum for the first time, and induction. Playing the drum does not simply require strength, but the drum has to be played with one