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Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra Premieres Noriko Koide's Güiro Güiro

Sep. 21, 2023

The Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Kentaro Kawase, performs the world premiere of Noriko Koide's Güiro Güiro on September 23 at NTK Forest Hall in Nagoya. Güiro, Güiro is Koide's first commissioned work for the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra where she is currently Composer-in-Residence. Written for a "Kids and Families" concert, the piece is both entertaining and educational. Koide describes her new work in charming detail:

"I love the güiro.

What I love about the güiro 1: I love that every drop of sound from the güiro is a dot, but that altogether they sound like a line. Is it a dot or a line? Where is the borderline between a dot and a line? What fun it is to wonder endlessly!

What I love about the güiro 2: I love the groove of the güiro. Its expressive, chatter-like rhythm. An enchanting groove that emerges only when the dot and line are masterfully given the right amount of weight and speed.

What I love about the güiro 3: I love that they are everywhere. Originally a South American instrument, the güiro was made by hollowing out a gourd, and its surface sculpted to make jagged lines which would be rubbed with a stick to make sound. It doesn’t have to be made of a gourd though. Güiros are made of all sorts of different materials like plastic and metal. Many are even hidden in your homes, schools and parks. Like these, for example:

Photo 1. the lid of a Japanese bath

Photo 2. a toy

Photo 3. tableware

If you come across any stripe pattern, try giving it a rub with a stick, and if it doesn’t make a good sound, try changing the stick. This way, most things can turn into a güiro. When you observe the world carefully, you will find that a güiro really is everywhere. Of course, within the orchestra, too. In the percussion section, there is the ratchet which makes the socket form a clattering sound when it spins, the cabaça that has many small prayer beads all around, and the sandpaper which can range from fine to rough in its coarseness, and many other kinds of ‘güiros’ that aren’t even called güiros. Even the glockenspiel becomes a güiro if you slide a mallet across the keys. This is true for string instruments too, if you stroke the stripe pattern made by the strings with your fingers. Wind instruments have flutter-tonguing, a technique performed by rolling the tongue that makes the dots sound like a line, turning them into güiros. On all instruments, the jaggedness can be expressed by the difference in the intonation. High, low, high, low, if you connect the notes, what a surprise! A güiro magically appears.

Let’s try to explore what kind of güiros are hidden in the orchestra today. Of course, you will see that the real güiro also has a starring role to play!"

To learn more about Noriko Koide, visit

Noriko Koide
Güiro Güiro (2023)
for orchestra