MATSUO BASHO’S OKU-NO-HOSOMICHI(THE NARROW ROAD TO THE FAR NORTH) THROUGH TAIKO Rebecca Baumann
TAIKO ~ A rhythmic style of drumming that is usually done in ensemblesHistorians are not positive as to where is originated, but it isknown to have been in Japan for over 2000 yearsThe taiko drum was originally used as a battlefieldinstrument, but soon it became a representation of the gods,nobility, and religious ceremony http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n-6KC2RdGQ&feature=related
MATSUO BASHO ANDHAIKUBorn in 1644 in Osaka, JapanHe is renowned for the artistry in his Haiku poemsHe studied Zen, History, and poetry in Edo, Japan (nowmodern Tokyo)Wrote The Narrow Road to the Far North in 1689
THE NARROW ROADTO THE FAR NORTH ~A series of travelogues mixed with haikuIt talks about Basho’s dangerous journey through JapanBasho is comfortable with travel and states, “every day is ajournery, and the journey itself home.”
THE TAIKO MYTHOne day Ameterasu was so angered by the teasing of her brother that she locked herself in a cave, rolled ahuge stone across the entrance and vowed never to come out again. The world lay in darkness as the othergods tried pleas, threats and even force to roll back the stone and open the cave, but to no avail. All knewthat if the sun goddess kept her light hidden in the cave too long, the plants and animals of this world wouldsurely die. At last Uzume, a wild and wily goddess, came along and announced that she could forceAmeterasu from the cave. The others sneered, as the mightiest of the other gods had tried to move thestone and failed miserably. Uzume simply smiled as she opened a sake barrel, dispensed its contents andturned it upside down. Then she began the most boisterous and frenetic dancing upon the head that anythere had ever seen or heard. All around her laughed and sang as she danced and pounded on the barrel.Ameterasu, hearing the commotion outside the cave, wondered as to what could so amuse the gods thatthey had forgotten the darkness. Curious, she rolled away the stone and emerged from the cave. And thatis how sunlight returned to the world and how the first taiko was made.
TAIKO AND HAIKUBoth Taiko and Haiku are associated with nature and spirituality Use rhythms in meter
BAHO’S WORK INMUSIC Counting Rhythm and Meter 4/4: 1+2+3+4 5/8: 1+2+3+4+5 OR 1+2+3+1+2 7/8: 1+2+3+4+5+6+7 OR 1+2+3+4+1+2+3
COMPOSITION ANDHAIKUIn comparison to The Narrow Road to the Far North,the song: begins with loud traditional taiko drums, starting the journey uses 4/4 meter to represent the prose of Basho’s work then switches between 5/8 and 7/8 to produce the 5-7-5 haiku format uses traditional sounds and representations of incidents from the work: a shaker as the cicada’s call, loud cymbals show peril that Basho may encounter on the road, people laughing represent Basho’s run-in with prostitutes at a hotel, ends in tranquility-mirroring Basho’s state of mind when traveling.