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Japan. Japan. Traditional Japanese music has been written down. Popular music in Japan comes and goes. It is not permanent. Essay. Shakuhachi – bamboo flute – Samurai/Zen Buddhist Koto – 13-stringed zither – palace Shamisen – 3 stringed lute – geisha. Shakuhachi Master, Yoshio Kurahashi

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Japan2 l.jpg
Japan

  • Traditional Japanese music has been written down.

  • Popular music in Japan comes and goes. It is not permanent.


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Essay

  • Shakuhachi – bamboo flute – Samurai/Zen Buddhist

  • Koto – 13-stringed zither – palace

  • Shamisen – 3 stringed lute – geisha


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Shakuhachi Master,Yoshio Kurahashi

Bamboo Flute

Notched end

Shaku = 30 cm

Hachi = 24 cm

Or 21 ½ inches.

Shakuhachi


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Shakuhachi History

  • Tokugawa era (1600-1867)

  • Shogun – military rulers

    • Samurai: warriors

    • Ronin: wandering Buddhist monks

    • Shakuhachi: Zen path to enlightenment

      • Breathing in and out.

      • Meditative


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Four Classes

  • Samurai – warrior

  • Farmers

  • Craftsmen

  • Merchants


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Zen Buddhism

  • Satori – “Enlightenment”

    • Koan - stories

    • Zazen – sitting

    • Shakuhachi

      • I choon jobutsu

      • Enlightenment in a single note. Breathing in and out.


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Tusuru no sugomori

  • Nesting Cranes

    • Depicts winter scene

    • Cranes making nests.

    • Trills: fluttering of wings


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Tusuru #2

  • Timbre: Tone color

    • Shakuhachi

    • Shamisen

      • Kabuki Theater

  • Texture: Heterophony

    • To versions of the same melody at the same time.

  • Form: Varied Repetitions

  • Mood: Meditative/Spiritual


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Tusuru #3

  • Beat: flexible pulse

    • Ma

  • Pitch

    • Long notes

    • Trills

    • Microtones

    • Finger articulation


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1.8 meter

13 strings

Movable bridges

From China

Gained popularity in Tokugawa era.

Palace

Merchant class after 1868

Koto


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Koto in society

  • Good breeding in women

    • Homes

    • Tea houses

    • Theater

  • Merchant Class


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Rokudan

  • Six Sections

    • Dan (section)

      • Koto

      • Shamisen

      • Shakuhachi

    • Only 2 dans on recording

    • Listen for repeat patterns

    • Heterophony


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Scales

  • Yo: pentatonic, no half-steps

    • D E G A B

  • In: pentatonic, half-steps

    • D Eb G A Bb


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Shamisen

  • 3 stringed

  • Long-neck lute

  • Membrane head

  • No frets


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Shamisen, use

  • Accompanies

    • Folksong

    • Kabuki (theater)

    • Bunraku (puppet theater)


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Hakusen no

  • “A White Fan”

    • Kouta- vocal with shamisen

    • Nokan flute

  • Wedding

    • To honor the couple

    • Geisha

  • Form: alternating lines of 5 & 7 syllables


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Minyo

  • Folk Song

  • City Dwellers

    • Nostalgia for rural life


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Song of Nikata

Asano Sanae

vocal

Shamisen

Nature

The temple town Kikata

A woman selling flowers

She doesn’t sell them

But enjoys them herself instead

On a high mountain

A cherry blossom tree at a mansion

Has seven branches

And blossoms abundantly

Nikata-bushi


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Matsuri-bayashi

  • Matsuri – Shinto Festival

    • Shinto – 500 BCE

      • Nature worship

      • Fertility cults

      • Divination

    • Shin-tao – “the way of the Gods”

      • Official religion (with Buddhism)


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Shinto – 4 Affirmations

  • Tradition and family

  • Love of nature

  • Physical cleanliness

  • Matsuri

    • Worship and honor given to ancestral spirits


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Matsuri-bayashi

  • Shinto festival

  • Neighborhood shrine

    • Kami – goddess who gave birth to the Japanese islands

    • Parade

      • Mikoshi; portable shrine


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Yatai

  • “The Festival Wagon”

    • 3 drums

    • Flute

    • Gong

  • Done by “amateurs”

    • More pious


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Enka Song

  • Political song/popular

    • 1880s

  • Now more sentimental


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Enka Song

“Song of the Lazy Man”

Violin

Heterophony – two versions of the same melody at the same time.

The lazy man rides a horse and it begins to run and won’t stop.

A child enjoys this, asking, “Hey, where are you going?”

“If you want to know where I’m going, better ask the horse!”

Nonki Bushi


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“Popular”

  • Enka

  • Gunka – military

  • Karaoke

    • “empty orchestra”


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Listening

  • Tusuru no sugomori

    • Shakuhachi

    • Nesting Cranes

  • Hakusen no

    • Shamisen and voice

    • A White Fan

  • Yatai from Matsuri-bayashi

    • Shinto Festival

    • Drums, flute, gong


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