Agnese Coffman, Denise Mongeau, Jen Lueck, Mary Arrington, Karen Epps, Robin Bashor


Below is all the info we used in this slide show
The drums used for the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics are a modern variation of an ancient instrument called Fout (缶).

The Fout is originally a music instrument. It is a large pot like container to store wine or other liquid. Since most are made by earth, few of them have make it to today after thousands of years. You can find one made by bronze in Shanghai Museum as the photo below. It must be used by aristocrats since it is covered by gold.

The Fou shown here has two layers. Ice or hotwater can be put in between the layers to keep wine cool or warm.

How did the Fou become a musical instrument? When you are drinking and you want to sing you grab anything you can reach and make music. Even today, people often cling glasses with a fork to call attention. The Fou naturally became the instrument of choice for casual music. However, the Fou sounds kind of like a pot filled with water.

2,008 dancer/percussionists performed by striking large square fou with glowing red sticks. Since its publicity, there has been some scholarly disputes on whether the fou used during the Olympics were actually musical instruments, as they could simply have been containers.

external image moz-screenshot.jpg
youtube link to military marching videooly7.jpg
external image moz-screenshot-1.jpg

The drum occupies a prominent place in Chinese culture. The exact origin of the Chinese drum is still under debate. Ancient literatures show that it is about as old as Chinese history itself. The earliest documentation of its application in ancient China to the 16th-11th century BC).
The drum finds application in almost every aspect of Chinese social life, including sacrificial and worshiping ceremonies, farming, and warfare. Some drums are masculine, giving off a sense of invincible might; some are more delicate and graceful. And there are still others that possess both qualities. Chinese drummers give full expression to the vitality of the Chinese nation.


Quick Facts about People's Liberation Army (PLA)
Name of Chinese armed forces: People's Liberation Army (PLA)
PLA Founded in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province on August 1st, 1927.
Total Army Members: 2.3 million (2003 )
Budget of National Defense: 350.92 billion yuan RMB (about US$44 billion) - Click for budget of the past years.
Chairman of Central Military Commission: Hu Jintao
Minister of National Defense: Cao Gangchuan
Chief of the General Staff: General CHEN Bingde
Chief of the General Political Department: General XU Caihou
Chief of General Logistics Department: General LIAO Xilong, Political Commissar: General ZHANG Wentai
Chief of General Armament Department: General CHANG Wanquan ; Political Commissar: CHI Wanchun.
China's Seven Military Commands (Regions)

Quick Facts About the U.S.Military
Air force personnel 370,300 [1st of 49]
Armed forces growth -37 [108th of 132]
Armed forces personnel 1,366,000 [3rd of 166]
Army personnel 479,400 [6th of 49]
No conscription.
Conventional arms exports $5,453,000,000.00 [2nd of 40]
Conventional arms imports $533,000,000.00 [8th of 85]
Exports to developing nations $90,929.00 million [1st of 7]
Forces in Europe > Aircraft 235 [10th of 24]
Forces in Europe > Battle Tanks 684 [14th of 24]
Gulf War Coalition Forces 697,000 [1st of 30]
Iraq Coalition casualties 2,484 [1st of 18]
Iraq coalition forces > Troop strength 133,000 [1st of 10]
Iraq pledges of reconstruction aid $20,900,000,000.00 [1st of 40]
Manpower > Availability > Males age 15-49 73,597,700 [3rd of 175]
Navy personnel 380,600 [1st of 49]
Tanks 16,000 tanks [2nd of 22]
US deployment 65%
Weapon holdings 38,538,000 [1st of 137


U.S. Drummer

“Drums have always been a symbol of the power of the ruler and the destiny of the army.”
-Chinese Drumming Troupe
Comparison to Chinese Military


TourChina January 22, 2009.

2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony January 22, 2009

Fou Drum January 22, 2009 Blog
The Home of Chinese Learners January 22, 2009.

The Drum that Opened the Olympics January 22, 2009.

The Olympics Opening Ceremonies January 22, 2009.

Olympic Opening Betrays Chinese Culture January 22, 2009.

Culture of Chinese Drum January 22, 2009.