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Japan music


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Japan music

  1. 1. Music and Theater From Japan By: Mr. Benoit
  2. 2. History of Japanese Music  Japanese music began to be performed with festivals and ceremonies  Originally performed on drums and flutes  Music was imported from Korea and China
  3. 3. Gagaku  Meaning “Court Music”, Gagaku was a general name for music performed in a court, or formal, setting  It is one of the oldest orchestral styles of music still performed today, lasting for over 1300 years
  4. 4. Instruments - Sho  The Sho is made of reeds, and is played upright with the performer blowing through the reeds
  5. 5. Instruments - Hichiriki  Another wind instrument from the flute family, the Hichiriki resembles a recorder, but is also made of reeds
  6. 6. Instruments - Biwa  Resembling a lute, or small guitar, the Biwa is a pear-shaped instrument made with silk strings and played with a large pick called a Bachi
  7. 7. Instruments - Koto  A long instrument with many strings, the Koto uses movable bridges to create different pitches
  8. 8. Instruments - Taiko  A large drum used in Gagaku  Multiple drums use the name Taiko, but are characterized mostly by their large size
  9. 9. Gagaku Orchestra
  10. 10. Gagaku Orchestra
  11. 11. Gagaku Today  Much like our orchestral music, the works of great musicians from the past 1300 years are often performed  Although Gagaku has changed throughout history, many efforts have been made to keep the music as close to tradition as possible  Almost 50 years ago, Gagaku musicians decided to include modern influences, and Gagaku has continued to change
  12. 12. Dance and Theater  Music is closely tied to the popular classical theater styles in Japan  The three types of theater in Japan are Noh, Kabuki, and Bunraku  Each features different musical accompaniment, but the music remains important through each performance  We will examine the two most popular and distinct: Kabuki and Bunraku
  13. 13. Kabuki  Kabuki is a Japanese stage play involving music accompaniment and very intricate, dance-like movements  Actors wear elaborate costumes and make-up in order to create a greater experience for the audience  Stages usually include large sets with movable floors and trick doors
  14. 14. Kabuki Music  Kabuki music is often played on a guitar-like instrument called the Shamisen  The Shamisen is similar to the Biwa, but with a smaller body
  15. 15. Kabuki Music  Pictured here is a Kabuki ensemble: the shamisen players sit on the top right side, with the chorus on the left and percussionists in the bottom row
  16. 16. Bunraku  Bunraku is Japanese puppet theater  Each puppet is half the size of a real person, and is operated by three people  All puppets are voiced by one person, who also provides the narration for the story
  17. 17. Bunraku Music  Bunraku is also accompanied by the Shamisen, used in Kabuki  The pace of the music directly reflects the action seen on stage  Pictured here is a shamisen player with the narrator keeping pace with the music
  18. 18. Bunraku Puppets  Three masked puppeteers work to bring this puppet to life
  19. 19. References  Kabuki and Bunraku. (2013). Retrieved from:  Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies. (2013). Gagaku Japanese Classical Music. Retrieved from: activities-programs/gagaku-classical-japanese- music.html  Web Japan. (n.d.). About Japanese Music. Retrieved from: http://web-
  20. 20. Images  Jyoshiki. (2006). Kabuki Theater. Retrieved from:  TANAKA Juuyoh. (2010). Japanase Free Reed Musical Instrument (Sho). Retrieved from:  Carolien Coenen. (2010). Kitanodai Gagaku Kai concert in Leuven. Retrieved from:  Peter Roan. (2008). Heike Biwa. Retreived from:
  21. 21. Images cont.  Timothy Takemoto. (2009). Koto (Japanese Harp). Retrieved from:  Marshall Astor. (2006). Koto – Front View. Retrieved from:  Karan J. (2005). Taiko. Retrieved from:  Mapemono. (2003). Taiko. Retrieved from:
  22. 22. Images cont.  Bladsurb. (2009). gagaku à pleyel. Retrieved from:  Juha Uitto. (2012). Tenri Gagaku. Retrieved from:  Chris Lewis. (2008). Kosaka Kabuki. Retrieved from:  Susan Renee. (2002). Bunraku (Puppets). Retrieved from:
  23. 23. Images cont.  Wexner Center. (2007). Kerry James Marshall Japan Visit. Retrieved from:  Dalbera. (2008). Fumie Hihara, au shamisen (danse du Kabuki / musée Guimet). Retrieved from:  Carolien Coenen. (2010). Kitanodai Gagaku Kai concert in Leuven. Retrieved from: