tsuke


   Kabuki theater is a musical theater, with music provided by an offstage ensemble (geza) or an on-stage ensemble (debayashi). Geza ensembles are composed of a variety of instruments, one of the most important of which is the tsuke. The word is actually tsuke uchi, or "accompagniment beating," and is performed on the left side of the stage on a wooden board with two hard, wooden sticks. The tsuke player beats time to the movement of the actors on stage; in this case, the tsuke player follows the rhythm of the actor rather than the actor following the rhythm of the tsuke beats.   Individual kata get different types of tsuke beats; all running, especially on or off the stage, is accompanied by a regular beat called bata bata. And mie, the frozen pose that is the highlight of all kabuki performances, gets four beats: one beat as the actor makes the first preparatory moves, and three beats (battari) slowly pounded out for the mie itself (although sometimes only two beats are pounded out, called batan.