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Rose Kapuscinski Gagaku Music

Rose Kapuscinski Gagaku Music

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Published by: fran_gomez_18 on May 22, 2013
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08/25/2013

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Repertoire, Ensembles andInstrumentation in
 gagaku
Music
There are three major bodies of music and dance covered by the term
gagaku
:1.
Kuniburi-no-utamai
: Accompanied vocal music of indigenous origin. Theyare based on primitive songs of ancient Japan such as
Kagura-uta
,
azuma-asobi
,
 yamato-uta
and,
kume-uta
. Instruments accompanying
 
these songs are divided up intofour choirs:
 
Chorus
 
Woodwind instruments:
 Hichiriki
and
kagurabue
o
 
The
kagurabue
is replaced by the
komabue
in the accompaniment of 
azuma asobi
.
o
 
It is replaced by the
ryûteki
in the accompaniment of 
 yamato-uta
and
kume-uta.
 
 
String instrument:
Wagon
 
 
Percussion instrument:
Shakûbyôshi
 2.
Kangen and bugaku
: Respectively, instrumental music and accompanieddance deriving from Asian mainland. The music is further sub-divided into two classesaccording to the region of its origin:
Tôgaku
refers to music of Chinese origin, itincludes repertoire for 
kangen
and
bugaku
style while
komagaku
applies to music of Korean origin and most of its repertoire is in
bugaku
style.Instruments for 
kangen
are divided up into three choirs:
 
Woodwind instruments: 3
ryûteki
, 3
hichiriki
, 3
shô
 
 
String instruments: 2
biwa
, 2
koto
 
 
Percussion instruments: 1
taiko
, 1
kakko
, 1
shôko
 1
 
Instruments for 
bugaku
are divided up into two choirs:
 
Woodwind instruments: 3
ryûteki
or more (or 
komabue
in
komagaku
pieces), 3or more
hichiriki
, 3
or more shô
 
 
Percussion instruments: 1
taiko
, 1
kakko
, 1
shôko
 3.
Saibara and rôei
: Vocal music that developed at the Japanese court in the 9thand 10th centuries. The text used for 
saibara
is in Japanese while
rôei
’s text is inChinese.Instruments accompanying
saibara
are divided up into four choirs:
 
Chorus
 
Woodwind instruments:
 Ryûteki
,
hichiriki
,
shô
without harmony
 
String instruments:
 Biwa
and
koto
 
 
Percussion instrument:
Shakûbyôshi
 Instruments accompanying
rôei
are divided up into three choirs:
 
Chorus
 
Woodwind instruments:
 Ryûteki
,
hichiriki
,
shô
without harmony
 
Percussion instrument:
Shakûbyôshi
 2
 
Short introduction to the modal systemin
 kangen
music
Although the Japanese modal system includes twelve chromatic tones, one of the instruments of the
kangen
ensemble, the mouth organ (
shô),
can only produce nineof the twelve chromatic tones. It is from these nine tones appearing in Figure 1 that thetheoretical and practical basis of the six main Japanese modes is formed. Nine tones available on the mouth organ (
shô)
Figure 1The Japanese modal system is divided up into three groups of two modes: a
Shang-
type mode (
ryo
scale, similar to a Mixolydian mode) and its relative, a
Yu-
typemode (
ritsu
scale, similar to an Aeolian mode). Using the Western modaldenomination, the three modal systems can be described as:Modal System I: D Mixolydian (
 Ichikotsu-chô
) and A Aeolian (
Oshiki-chô
)Modal System II: A Mixolydian (
Sui-chô
) and E Aeolian (
 Hyô-jô
)Modal System III: E Mixolydian (
Taishiki-chô
) and B Aeolian (
 Banshiki-chô)
 Thus only the following four pitches are used as fundamental tones: D, A, E, andB, moreover they also act as pillar-tones in each of the six modes. Figure 2 shows thethree modal systems where the pillar-tones for each mode are indicated as half-note.3

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