Every Asian country has its own musicwhich is part of their culture. This music is handed down from generation to generation, and some improvements were made along the way. Melody,rhythm and instruments used and even the style varies, but the peculiar characteristics of each country’s musicremain to help identify what is uniquely Asian.
THE MUSIC OF CHINA In ancient times, Chinese music was almost completely ritualistic. Music held an important place in the affairs of the state and was considered an essential part of the educational system.Ceremonial music was present in religious rituals at the temples and in secular rituals at the imperial court. China’s popular music has usually been associated with theater. It is loud, raucous and sometimes shrill. Opera musicbelongs to this category. Because the appeal is to the general public, accent has been placed on simplicity. Melodic lines are limited to two or three dozen tunes, with variations and embellishmentsadded to suit the situation. Such simplicity with limited variations is the reason why a new opera may sound familiar, even when heard for the first time.
The traditional Chinese opera, the Peking Opera, which is said to have started in 1790 on the 80th birthday of King Chien Lung, consists of recitatives with percussive interjections and arias. One of the most popular is the “Lady Precious Stream”. Folk music is also part of the Chinese heritage. Workmen were said to have sung songs to cheer themselves up at the workplace. Farmers would sing tocelebrate the harvest or to accompany the movements of sowing. Such melodies are still heard; they are similar to the folksongs of other nations, simple and rhythmic.
CHINESE MELODY A traditional Chinese musician employed 84scales as opposed to the 12 of the major and minor modes in the Western music. Chinese music notation is also complicated. It is not surprising that the contemporary Chinese musicians have turned to the notation of West. Chinese music is primarily melodic. It uses the pentatonic scale. In about 600 BC, two semitoneswere added to the original five steps, so that today, the Chinese scale resembles that of the West.
The music played in the Royal Court to entertainthe emperor 2,000 years ago is called the YA-YUEH. This is kind of music was the music of the nobility. There were two (2) kinds of ya-yueh observed in the Royal Court. 1. Yueh- Hsuan – (music chime) isa group of musical instruments, which were playedin front of the garden accompanied by two dances, the wen-wu (civil dance) and thw wuwu (military dance) 2. Tangko (chamber song)-is played or performed inside the hall that was used to pay tribute to the emperor and his ancestors.
CHINESE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS The original Chinese orchestra had instruments made of eight materialsfound in nature: skin, stone, reed, metal,clay, wood, bamboo, and ground. Today’s instruments are divided into categories of sound: string, wind and percussion.
CHINESE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS WERE GROUPED INTO :1. AEROPHONES- WIND INSTRUMENTSa. Hsiao- an end –blown flute made from a smoothbamboob. Ti – a traverse bamboo flute tipped with ivory or boneat the endc. Sheng – a mouth organ with 17 pipes2. CHORDOPHONES- STRINGED INSTRUMENTSa. Ch’in – a 7 stringed zitherb. Pi’pa – a 4 stringed loquat-shaped-lutec. Yueh- ch’in – a 4 stringedmoon-shaped lute used toaccompany songs used in Peking operas
d. Cheng – a long zither with 13-23 stringse. Erh –hu – a 2 stringed fiddle played with bowstringf. San-hsien – a 3 stringed banjo3. IDIOPHONES –PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTSa. Yun-lo – the small gongs are struck with small beaterb. Bangu- played by striking the drum’s central area with apair of bamboo sticks
Sheng- looks like a teapot with a bundle of asymmetrical tubes protruding from one end. The tuberesembles the tail of a phoenix. Each tube contains a small reed so that the rich tone of sheng music resembles that of s small reed organ. Yuo-it is a tiger like animal resting on a sounding box. The performer strikes the tiger three times on the head and then rapidly passes a stick three times along 27 saw like projections on the tiger’s back. The yuo is struck to indicate the end of a strophe, a section of an ancient Greek choral ode, in Confucian rituals.
THE MUSIC OF KOREA The music of Korea has an exuberant display of vibrato and glissando which has a relation to the tonal framework. These are essential to the tones. That is why western musical instruments cannot produce sounds which have Korean music characteristics. Many say that Korean music is pentatonic. This characteristic is notexactly true. It may be because its principal tones do not exceed five but most folk music and some court music, the chong-ak, are based on three tone scale and may or may not have one or two solo diary notes. At times, a tone which has vibrato or glissando is counted as two tones; in Korea, it is only considered one tone. Commonly used in Korean music are the simple and the compound triple meter. Chong-ak has 10 and 16, but because if it’s slow tempo, the focus is on triple meter too. Music, which has meter, and those which have slow tempo, are accompanied by the changgo (hour glass drum) or puk (barrel drum). Both mayplay at the same time; each one, though, has a regular rhythm performed in each section. In chong-ak, rhythmic patterns are repeated throughout without much change. Folk songs have free flow of rhythm.
CHONG-AK The music performed in ceremonies in the palaces and for welcoming dignitaries is known as chong-ak or court music. Themost popular example is the sujechon. The music was derived from a song in the Pikji dynasty (first to seventh century). A well -known vocal form is the sijo, a short lyric song. The sijo is the most simple of the three vocal forms of chong-ak. It has three lines in each stanza. It has a slow tempo. The melody is melismatic or the range of voice is from lowest to falsetto. It is accompanied by the changgo. The other vocal forms are kasa, a long narrative song; and the kagok, a lyric song.
CHONG-AK There are two types of chong-ak:1. A-ak – is a type of music used inside the palace and 2. Min’ggan Chong-ak – type ofmusic used outside the palace.
SOG-AK The folk songs of the common people are known as sog-ak, which tells of theirdaily experiences. These are the songs ofthe fishermen, and of farmers who live in the towns and barrios. The nong-ak, song of the farmers; p’ansori, theatermusic; minyo, folk music; sanjo, song for solo instrument, belong to the folk.
Korean Musical Instruments were grouped into: 1. AEROPHONES – WIND INSTRUMENTS a. p’iri – a cylindrical bamboo similar to an oboe blown through a double reed mouthpiece b. tanso – a small notched vertical bamboo flutewith five fingerholes that is played by blowing air through the airholec. chottdate a long flute made of bamboo with six holes 2. CHORDOPHONES – STRINGED INSTRUMENTSa. Kayagum-similar to the chi’in of China and koto of Japan. It has 12 strings stretched along a wooden board with movable bridge.
b. Kumunggo – a six stringed zither that plays as the principal instrument for a small group ofplayers. It is played by picking the string with a thin straight piece of bamboo.C. Haegum – two stringed fiddle made of bamboothat is plucked. It is used for dance performances. 3. IDIOPHONES – PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTS a. Kkwaenggawari-a small gong. Sound is produced by striking a wooden mallet. b.pak – a clapper shaped like a folded fan. Itconsists of 6 pieces of wood loosely held togetherat the upper end by a chord made from deer skin.
c. Ching – a huge gong played with a paddled mallet. This is used in military and Shaman music. MEMBRANOPHONEa. changgo – an hour glass-shaped drum played bystriking either of both ends. The thick leather headproduces a low sound while the thin leather gives a brighter tone sound.
THE MUSIC OF JAPAN In countries with long national histories, greatstrides in musical development are usually found. This fact is particularly true of Japan. In Japan, old types of music, even those of the primitive age, have been preserved for modern times to love and revere. Most of this ancient music bears evidence of fusion with music existing today.Japanese music today shows the readiness of the Japanese to absorb the culture of other nations. TRADITIONAL JAPANESE MUSIC There are two ancient foundations of Japanese music; Japanese art music and folk music and folk music. Both were originally Chinese-inspired.
JAPANESE ART MUSIC GAGAKU is the oldest music and dance in existence inJapan. Literally, it means “elegant music”. Introduced in the imperial court about 1,200 years ago, gagaku has since been preserved at the court and shrines and temples.Gagaku repertory today consists of the following three categories; 1. Instrumental ensemble ( kangen) 2. Dance music ( bugaku) 3. Ritual music for Shinto ceremonies
NOHGAKU Noh, along with bugaku or ancient dances with music accompaniment; kyogen, a form of comedy;ningyo-jojuri, a form of bunraku or a puppet show; and kabuki, traditional Japanese theater, represent thetraditional Japanese drama. The music performed in thenoh is known as the nuhgaku and the dance is called the shimai. Nohgaku has two elements: vocal and instrumental. The vocal part is known as the utai performed by an actor and eight male singers. Theinstrumental part known as the hayashi is perfomed by nohkan, a bamboo flute, three drums, ko-tzuzumi or tsuzumi and taiko. The flute plays the melody.
FOLK SONGSKo-uta (literally “small song”) is the name given to modern short songs, including folk songs. Before, such songs were purely vocal without any instrumental accompaniment though they were often performed with gestures. MUSICAL INSTRUMENT OF JAPAN Japanese music is considerably influenced by Chinese tradition. Most Japanese instruments arebelieved to have originated from China. Today, as in the past, Japanese instruments are played in operas, theatrical dances and court rituals. .
MUSICAL INTRUMENTS OF JAPAN 1. AEROPHONES a. sho – a mouth organ that is made from bamboo or wood b. shakuhachi – a bamboo flute with four holes c. fu’ye - a sophisticated side-blown flute with seven finger holes d. hichiriki – an instrument similar to oboe 2. CHORDOPHONESa. koto -a famous Japanese zither with 13 silk strings, and is laid horizontally on the floor b. shamisen – a flat-backed lute that has skin-covered bellies and three strings
c. gekkin – a flat-backed lute that has a very shallow body, wood belly, frets and silk strings attached to elegant pegsd. biwa – a Japanese version of the pi’pa that has 4 strings with frets on the belly and slim lateral tuning pegs 3. MEMBRANOPHONES a. kakko – a gagaku instrument that is made up of deer skin b. tsuri daiko – a suspended drum used in the gagaku ensemble that has a lacquered body and tacked headc. da-daiko – a huge gagaku drum suspended on an artistic frame and is struck with heavy lacquered beaters 4. IDIOPHONES a. shoko – hanging gong
LEARNING ACTIVTIY # 1 MY TV ( Group Activity) Record a musical collage of music used in Chinese and Korean telenovelas and Japanese anime shown on television. Present them to the class and identify howeach type of music differs from the other in terms of the musical elements.
LEARNING ACTIVITY # 2 PERFORMANCE TASK (CULMINATING ACTIVITY) (Group Activity) “ THE SILK AND BAMBOO: MUSIC OF EAST ASIA”Present a group performance of songs and improvised accompaniment/sound pieces from each East Asian country. MTV Video recording ( MTV) Members of the group will assign singers, accompanists and dancers. Song adaptationChoose any song from China, Japan or Korea and make a translation either in English or Tagalog. Live presentation
Group I- Japanese Music Group II-Korean Music Group III- Chinese Music Criteria for Evaluation (May vary according to students agreement) Mastery of Performance- 20% Creativity and Choreography- 20% Musicality and Style- 20% Impact of the Presentation- 10%Costume and Props- 10% Effective Use of musical Instruments - 20%TOTAL 100%
Each member of the group must be given a task and work as a group! Your presentations must be on performance level!