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Toru Takemitsu. Presented by Ritsue Nagadome. Introduction to Music 1010-045 . Biography (Part 1). Occupation : Composer Birthday: October 8, 1930 Death: February 20, 1996 Birthplace: Tokyo, JAPAN. Biography (Part 2). Childhood: Spend his childhood in Manchuria, Dalian

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Toru Takemitsu

Presented byRitsueNagadome

Introduction to Music 1010-045

Biography (Part 1)

  • Occupation:Composer

  • Birthday:October 8, 1930

  • Death:February 20, 1996

  • Birthplace: Tokyo, JAPAN

Biography (Part 2)

  • Childhood:

    • Spend his childhood in Manchuria, Dalian

    • Came back to Japan alone and stayed with his uncle for 7 years to attend elementary school

  • Adolescent:

    • While he was attending a private secondary school he worked for the army supply depot in Saitama

Encounter with the usic

  • Chanson Music: Lucienne Boyer “Tell Me about Love”

  • Jazz Music:Radio broadcasts at the U.S. military campin Yokohama

  • Influence:

    • French composer

      • Claude Debussy

      • Olivier Messiaen


Experimental Workshop

Takemitsu’s Creation

  • “Lento in Due Movimenti” (1950)

  • "Crazy Fruit" (1956)

  • "Journey Galactic Railroad“ (1953)

  • "Summer and Smoke“ (1954)

  • “Wild woman“ (1955)

  • Commercials for Morinaga chocolate (1954)

Takemitsu’s Creation

“ requiem for strings ” (1957)

Source: YouTube

Takemitsu’s Creation

Source: YouTube

Takemitsu’s Creation

“ Eclipse ”

Source: YouTube

Takemitsu’s Creation

“ November Steps ” (1967)

Source: YouTube

Takemitsu’s Creation

Takemitsu’s Work

Takemitsu’s Passion

the Gulf War (1991)


Yoshio Yamura

Shinichiro Ikebe

Mori Kurando


“The art music of the West has developed throughout its history by means of individual geniuses, and out of the soil supporting them; non-Western musicians were born, and grew like the grasses of the field.”

~Toru Takemitsu~

Composition History

“To the Edge of Dream, for guitar and orchestra” (1983)

Composer: Toru Takemitsu

  • Was originally performed by Julian Bream (guitar) and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 1985

  • CD version was released on January 28, 1992 by John Williams (guitar) and the London Sinfonietta conducted by Esa-PekkaSalonen

Listening Guide

  • 0:00It started off with a dreamy harmonic combination sound of guitar and the orchestra.

  • 0:09Beginning of the melody of a strong flute sound.

  • 0:20The sound of the melody slowly start to build with the sound of the flute and the violent working in harmony together.

Listening Guide

  • 0:26Suddenly the volume increases than goes back right away to a soulful melody.

  • 0:35Orchestra joins in with a short but sweet melody.

  • 0:44The orchestra slowly fades away in to the back ground as a slow but sweet sound of guitar solo starts to unfold.

Listening Guide

  • 1:30The orchestra slowly join s back in with the guitar with a melody of beautiful soft sound of the harp, flute, oboe, and string instruments.

  • 1:39The sound of the guitar has this Spanish sound yet I hear the sound also this Japanese sound coming from his playing.

Listening Guide

  • 1:44The orchestra blends in together with guitar to produce a high pitch but beautiful sound.

  • 2:20The guitar slowly fades in the back as orchestra rebounds with soft but powerful Crescendo beautiful strokes on strings instruments with soft percussion sounds.

  • 3:00Smooth powerful orchestra accompany by strong and powerful sound from guitar.

Listening Guide

  • 3:30The guitar solo back up by a strong orchestra with very of sharp sounds.

  • 4:00The connecting sounds of the string instrument with the soft and dreamy sound of guitar, playing in the back ground.

  • 4:18Guitar solo gives me the feeling of drifting away into darkness.

Listening Guide

  • 4:30The orchestra joint in with a very strong and powerful sound then slowly fade away.

  • 5:55A mix of string instruments and guitar with the mellow sound of a harp.

  • 6:30The end of a beautiful guitar solo follow by orchestra with string instruments.

Listening Guide

  • 6:45The sound of a coronet with flute, oboe with the orchestra blending in.

  • 7:06I hear the sound of the oboe and flute flowing so softly together but with powerful feeling come over me.

  • 7:57String instruments combine with harp and flute send a beautiful message of harmonic. The sound of the harmonic is so simpler to the guitar.

Listening Guide

  • 8:15One or two stroke on the guitar with the orchestra play sweet melodies in the back ground.

  • 9:00The orchestra was sweet and mellow with the sounds of the flute and woodwind instruments playing in harmony. I think that there is the sound of a piano playing in the back ground with a light touch on a drum.

Listening Guide

  • 9:20A beautiful sound of a harp solo joins with guitar and orchestra make beautiful commendation that has a dreamiest sound. It makes you feel like you are on the edge of something.

  • 9:33It starts 4 seconds pausing moment with no music.

  • 9:39Music started again with combination of guitar and flute. Because the music is been playing very slow I can hear each guitar note.

Listening Guide

  • 9:57Guitar started playing a little faster along with the string instruments.

  • 10:03Again, it changed to slow tempo of guitar solo, and soft sound of guitar slowly building toward the end of the piece.

  • 11:32The orchestra performs with a momentary but magnificent ending with combination of guitar and the orchestra.

Listening Guide

  • 11:50Continually very low sound with a mysterious gong sound. The high sound of guitar contracted with a very dark background sound.

  • 12:00In the end, the music started slowly drift away with beautiful sound of the orchestra.

  • 12:25The End


“Confronting Silence” (1995)

P. Burt,” The Music of Toru Takemitsu” (2001)

C. Zwerin, “Music for the Movies: Toru Takemitsu


  • Toru Takemitsu. (2010). Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, 1. Retrieved from


  • Toru Takemitsu. (2011). Schott Music. Retrieved from

  • Toru Takemitsu. (2011). Retrieved from


  • To the Edge of Dream. (2011) MG Blog. Retrieved from

  • Toru Takemitsu. (2011). Retrieved from

  • Toru Takemitsu Quotes. (2001-2011). Retrieved from

  • All videos are retrieved from YouTube.

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