The Music of Japan

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					Pages 134 -158
Japanese music has a very long history but has
changed little in hundreds of years

 maintaining tradition is important

 teaching and performance emphasizes playing the
music without innovation or change

 styles are transmitted from teacher to student
through specific lineages, without influence from
genre to genre

 a reflection of the Japanese value of stability
 Japanese music is closely tied to ritual, history,
literature and dance

 in Hogaku (traditional music) vocal music predominates
   - music serves primarily as a vehicle for words and
     literature
   - all Japanese instruments were developed to emulate
     the human voice
   - the first instrumental solos (tegotomono) were
     interludes between the verses of songs

 among Japanese genres, music for the theater is the
most important.
 originally music (especially instrumental) was
performed exclusively by men
  - the koto was a court instrument played by male
    professionals
  - the shamisen was played by banished samurai
    who also used the shakuhachi as a weapon
  - the shamisen was also played by men to
    accompany the various theatrical genres

 during the Edo period (1600-1850) women began to
play these instruments as part of sankyoku ensembles,
associated with the geisha (arts person)

 currently, both genders perform in vocal and
instrumental genres
 Japanese music utilizes a pentatonic scale for most
genres. These 5 pitches are lightly embellished with
auxiliary notes

 stereotyped melodic patterns are used in creating
new compositions

 time is marked with regular, recurring rhythmic
patterns

 Japanese music is predominantly chamber music
(one player per part) and small scale in conception

 common instruments
 although textures are largely monophonic and/or
heterophonic, great emphasis is placed on subtle
differences of timbre and ornamentation

 basic aesthetic concept in music is called jo-ha-kyu
(statement-development-denouement). This is
applied to various kinds of music and genres
  - jo – a slow introductory section which displays the
    mode for the piece
  - ha – the rhythm becomes regular and the main
    body of the composition is played
  - kyu – the tempo increases to the end followed by
    a slowing down at the final part
 performances are uniform with great formality

 traditional Japanese music is performed in concert
halls inside great department stores in the shopping
district of the Ginza

 styles include court music, chant, chamber music
and music drama

 genres are linked to social class and historical
considerations
 musical/theatrical genres refer to Japanese history
and social values

  - gagaku is a symbol of the “art” music of the
    Imperial court
  - noh is the art of the samurai and emphasizes a
    life of simplicity and enlightenment through self-
    understanding and reliance
  - kabuki and bunraku show the Japanese fondness
    for theater and storytelling
  - sokyoku is the term for koto music either in solo
    or ensemble formats
 musical/theatrical genres refer to Japanese history
and social values

  - gagaku is a symbol of the “art” music of the
    Imperial court
  - noh is the art of the samurai and emphasizes a
    life of simplicity and enlightenment through self-
    understanding and reliance
  - kabuki and bunraku show the Japanese fondness
    for theater and storytelling
  - sokyoku is the term for koto music either in solo
    or ensemble formats
  - religious music is performed by followers of both
    Shintoism and Buddhism
 Japanese court orchestral music, developed in the
Heian period (794-1185)
   - literally means “elegant” or “refined” music

 originally imported from China and Korea during the
Nara period (553-794)

 Japanese Music Bureau established in 701 and
staffed with Korean and T’ang Chinese musicians

 between 833 and 850 a group of nobleman and the
retired Emperor Sogo codified the instrumentation
and repertoire of the Gagaku ensemble. (Instruments)
 repertoire divided into two categories
   - togaku (music of the left) – pieces of T’ang
Chinese and Indian origin
   - komagaku (music of the right) – pieces of Korean
and Manchurian origin

 if the music is strictly instrumental, it is called
kangen. If it is used to accompany dance, it is called
bugaku

 different repertoires use different instrumentation
and different costumes
 Gagaku also follows the jo-ha-kyu formal structure
   - jo has a slow introduction performed by hichiriki,
    flute, and kakko
   - ha, the “expository” section, establishes a regular
     rhythm and the main body of the composition is
     performed by the full ensemble
   - kyu increases in tempo and rushes to the
     conclusion, after which the pace slackens before
     the end and instruments gradually drop out,
     leaving only the biwa and gaku-so

 Gagaku is characterized by its smoothness, serenity,
precision, and absence of virtuosity. Maximum effect
is achieved from minimum material.
 Noh theater developed during the Muromachi period
(1333-1615), a time of continuous military strife

 exclusively an art of the samurai class, it originally
included folk dance, musical theatricals, and the
religious courtly entertainment of Medieval times

 main figures in Noh development are:
   - Kannami Kiyotsugu, who developed it into a
     serious Buddhist art
   - Zeami Motokiyo, who further developed it as a
     refined court art, the major theme being the
     redemption of human suffering through the love
     of Buddha
 unlike the lavish entertainment of kabuki and
bunraku, noh is simple and restrained. Today it is
supported by the intellectual classes

 plays are classified according to type: god plays,
warrior plays, female-wig plays, possession plays,
and demon plays. A typical Noh performance consists
of two or three of these interspersed with comic
interludes called kyogen

 plays are in two acts: the first is in four subsections
called dan. the second is a single dan in which the
main character undergoes a spiritual transformation
 music consists of two types of songs (uta)
   - sagueta; short, slow, and in a low register
   - agueta; longer and in a higher register
   - both can be sung by soloists or a male chorus

 vocal music (yokyoku) can be recitative-like,
  heightened speech (kotobe) or melodic aria (fushi)

 instrumental music played by ensemble (hayashi)
which carries specific instrumentation

 role of hayashi is to provide introductory music and
interludes between vocals, mark the entrances and exits
of characters, accompanying songs and dances, and
setting the mood for a scene
 developed at the same time as opera in Europe (late
1500’s) Kabuki Video

 closest Japanese form to Western opera
   - large scale
   - drama and dance
   - vocal and instrumental music
   - over time developed from entertainment to high
     art (although Kabuki is patronized by all society)
   - lavish costumes
   - elaborate stage equipment and scenery

 Kabuki borrows from other Japanese genres such as
the Noh theater and Bunraku puppet theater. It also
uses large amount of dance
 originally performed by all female cast, then boys,
and finally adult males (including female roles)

 predominantly dance theater with musical
accompaniment. Dance is essential movement toward
a climactic static pose known as mie

 main stage has two revolving stages, inner and
outer, which change scenery and entire sets. This has
been standard since the beginning of Kabuki

 also includes a hanamichi, which is a raised ramp
that extends the acting area to a more intimate
setting
 musical accompaniment/groups consist of:
   - degatari – onstage group
   - geza – offstage group used for sound effects
   - chobo – a pair of onstage musicians borrowed
     from puppet theater. One is the narrator, while
     the other accompanies on the shamisen
   - debayashi – the “coming-out orchestra”. Comes
     onstage to accompany a specific scene or dance.
     Singers and instrumentalists
   - kyogenkata – plays the woodblocks (hyoshigi) to
     announce the rise of the curtain. More of a stage
     hand than a musician
 main form of Kabuki music is the nagauta or “long-
  song”.
   - played by an ensemble consisting of singers,
     shamisens, bamboo flute, and percussion
     ensemble
   - parallels the aria in Western opera

 Kabuki Example

 Kabuki Video
 developed around the same time as Kabuki and was
also patronized by the merchant and artisan classes

 Bunraku Video

 golden period during mid 17th century. A theater was
founded in Osaka in 1685 by the singer Takemoto
Gidayu and the playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon

 narration, both sung and spoken, is provided by the
tayu, accompanied by a single shamisen (taken from
Kabuki Chobo ensemble)

 narrative style (gidayubushi) includes chants,
heightened speech, and lyrical songs
 popular koto and vocal music of the Edo period

 two types:
   - kumiuta – a koto accompanied song cycle
   - danmono – for solo koto. It is in several sections
     (dan) (Example)

 a hybrid form of koto music is called jiuta
(sometimes called tegotomono). It combines
techniques of kumiuta and danmono and is usually in
three parts
   - a foresong (maeuta)
   - an instrumental interlude (tegoto)
   - an aftersong (atouta)
 today jiuta is played by an ensemble called sankyoku
which consists of koto, shamisen, and shakuhachi

 koto plays main melody while shamisen and shakuhachi
play an elaboration of it in heterophonic texture

 koto and shamisen music best represent the music of
the Edo period
   - shamisen associated primarily with theater and
     entertainment
   - koto developed from court tradition and
     gradually came to be played in the home by the
     merchant class as a sign of cultural accomplishment
 mikagura – ancient Shinto court music which can be
heard today. It is performed by male chorus and
accompanied by instruments

 two main types of songs:
   - torimono – songs paying homage to the gods
   - saibara – songs meant to entertain the gods
   - dance is an integral part of both

 music for Shinto folk rituals is called satokagura
   - one type is used in shamanistic rituals paying
     homage to the gods
   - another type, matsuribayashi, is used for festivals
   - both types have specific instrumentation
 Buddhist chant (shomyo) is performed by a male
chorus in responsorial style

 texts are in several languages
   - those in Sanskrit are called bonsan
   - those in Chinese are called kansan
   - those is Japanese are called wasan

 music is made from two Chinese derived patterns,
ryo
and ritsu
  - each pattern has five basic notes and two auxiliary
    notes

 chants usually begin slowly and then get faster
 Hogaku, or traditional Japanese music, comprises many
styles, fro religious and dramatic music to court and
popular genres

 the earliest known Japanese musical style is gagaku, the
traditional music of the court

 also fairly ancient are the religious Shinto music and the
chanting of Buddhist monks, known as shomyo

 the major Japanese theatrical styles are Kabuki drama,
Bunraku puppet theater, and the earlier Noh theater

 typical Japanese instruments include the shamisen,
koto, shakuhachi, sho, and various drums

				
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