Building World Music Collections: Japan Joe C. Clark Kent State University February 27, 2014 MLA Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA
Shamisen • Three string fretless plucked lute. Traditionally it accompanies the voice, with instrumental interludes. • Popular since the mid-17th century. Used in main genres, from folk and theatrical forms to classical and contemporary music. Image from Japan Information Centre; retrieved from New Grove Online.
Koto & Shakuhachi • Koto is a long zither instrument with movable bridge • Used in both court and non-court music • Shakuhachi is an end-blown notched flute with four finger holes and a thumb-hole
Biwa • Many forms of the instrument • Usually four or five strings with a fretted neck • Soundbox is usually cut from the same piece of wood as the neck • Traditionally provides accompaniment for dramatic story telling Image from http://music.kek.jp/12-2/concert41-e.html
Gagaku • The ancient traditional court music of Japan • Means “elegant music” • Dates from 701 CE • Repertory is broken into concert music (kangen) and music for dance (bugaku) • Concert music usually comprised of string, wind, and percussion instruments; dance music omits strings
Nō • Highly structured stage art that combines music, poetry, dance, and drama • Primarily for elite class • Professional groups usually consist of men, but amateur groups include both men and women • Originated in the 14th century • Seeks maximum effect from a minimum of means, although costumes can be over the top • Restrained Image from: http://www.wired-destinations.com/hotels/Japan/guide.php?path=intro
Bunraku: Puppet Theatre • The term refers to all traditional Japanese puppet theatre • Features narrative music, usually with a singer and a shamisen accompanist Image from http://www.museumofchildhood.org.uk/collections/puppets-and-toy-theatres/bunraku/
Kabuki • Began as theatre for the commoners around 1600 • Became “classical” theatre in the late 19th century • Much more flamboyant than Nō, with more actors, bigger stage, and more musicians Image from http://www.thefastertimes.com/arts-arts/2012/04/06/telling-stories-with-dance-nihon-buyo-at-the-japan-society/
Good Starting Point • New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. • Good news: • discographies are listed for most sections • Bad news: • it has not been updated since its publication in 2001 (even online).
Not So Good Resources • Garland Encyclopedia for World Music, Volume 7: East Asia: China, Japan, and Korea. Routedge, 2002. • 265 pages dedicated to Japan. • Of the 43 sections on Japan, only one offers a filmography and two provide short discographies. • JVC Music & Dance video series.
Japan Traditional Cultures Foundation: http://www.japo-net.or.jp
Popular Musics Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Volume V: Asia and Oceania. 2005. 25 pages of history, commentary, bibliographies, discographies, and filmographies. Regional musics.
Rough Guides 17 pages of commentary and context. Traditional musics are mentioned, but the focus is clearly on popular and regional music. 5 page discography. 1999
Revised Rough Guide The revised edition of the last title, this one offers 18 pages on primarily popular music, and a six-page discography.
Ashgate Research Companion to Japanese Music • Sixteen chapters on recent Japanese music scholarship • Covers a number of genres • Provides four solid pages of recommended video and audio
Music in Japan • By Bonnie C. Wade, 2005. • Part of the Global Music Series from Oxford University Press. • Offers several pages of resources.
Smithsonian Folkways • http://www.folkways.si.edu • About 15 CDs focusing solely on Japanese music • Also available through the Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries (Alexander Street Press) • Recordings are primarily from the 1960s & 70s
Great selection of Japanese traditional music • Include Lyrichord label recordings • Go to Genre World Music J for Japan
More Important Labels • King Records • Camerata • Denon • Lyrichord • Ocora • Nonesuch • Fontec • Celestial Harmonies
Video Resources continued • Films for the Humanities (www.films.com) • Bunraku: Masters of Japanese Puppet Theatre • Koto: The Music of Tadao • Portrait of an Onnagata • Shozan Tanabe: The Sound of Silence • Tsugaru Shamisen: The World of Michihiro Sato Marty Gross Film Productions, Inc.: www.martygrossfilms.com
Video Resources continued • Shimonaka Memorial Foundation’s DVD set on Gagaku • http://gagaku-dvd.net/ • Sixteen-volume DVD set of Kabuki plays first broadcast by NHK (Japan’s public broadcast company). A series of 33 Kabuki Theatre DVDs • http://www.artfilms.co.uk/Detail.aspx?ItemID=784
Another Great Video Resource • The Japanese Music Series, from the University of Oklahoma’s Early Music Television • Jazz in Japan • Gagaku: Court Music of Japan • Music of Bunraku • Shinto Festival Music • Nagauta: Heart of Kabuki • Music of Noh Drama • www.ou.edu/earlymusic
Addition Considerations • DVDs - Region 2 and region-free • Be ready for sticker shock • Buy when things are available, as titles frequently go out of print • Google translate is your friend • Let the programs you support and the faculty that you work with help determine what you purchase.
What Was Left Out? • Numerous genres of folk music • Western Classical Art Music of Japan • J-pop • Niche music, including multiple genres • Regional traditions • Lots more…
Resources/References • World Music: The Rough Guide, Vol. 2. Edited by Simon Broughton, Mark Ellingham, and Richard Trillo. London: Rough Guides, 1999. • The Rough Guide to World Music, Vol. 2 (3rded). Compiled and edited by Simon Broughton, Mark Ellingham and Jon Lusk. New York: Rough Guides, 2009. • The Ashgate Research Companion to Japanese Music. Alison McQueen Tokita and David W. Hughes, eds. Burlington, VT: Ashgage, 2008. • Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Volume V: Asia and Oceania. Edited by John Shepherd, et al. New York: Continuum, 2005. • Music in Japan. Bonnie C. Wade. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
Thank you! Questions/Discussion?