country family japan people tradition

Japanese popular music

Japanese folk music is quite original phenomenon owing to the isolation of the Islands of the Rising Sun and careful attitude of the people inhabiting them to their culture.

Consider first some Japanese folk musical instruments, and then characteristic of the musical culture of that country genres.

Japanese folk musical instruments

Shamisen is one of the most famous musical instruments of Japan, it is one of analogues of a lute. Samisen is a three-stringed plucked instrument. It emerged from sasina, which in turn evolved from the Chinese Santana (and interesting origin, and the etymology of the names entertaining).

Samisen revered, and at the present time in the Japanese Islands: for example, playing this instrument is often used in traditional Japanese theatre Bunraku and Kabuki. Learning to play samisen included in the Maiko – training program the art of being a geisha.

She is a family of Japanese flutes with high sounding (most often), are usually made from bamboo. There was this flute Chinese flute “pisao”. The most famous of fue – shakuhachi . tool Zen Buddhist monks. It is believed that the shakuhachi was invented by a farmer when transporting the bamboo and I heard the wind blowing a tune in the hollow stems.

Often fouet, … samisen and the like, are used for musical accompaniment to the action Banraku theater or Kabuki, as well as in various ensembles. In addition, some of fouet, … configured on Western way (as chromatic instruments), can be solo. Initially playing she was only the prerogative of the wandering Japanese monks.

Suykinkutsu – tool in the form of an inverted jug, over which the water flows. getting inside through the holes, she makes it sound. Suykinkutsu sound something like a bell.

This interesting tool often used as an attribute of a Japanese garden, play on it before the tea ceremony (which can take place in the Japanese garden). The thing is that the sound this instrument creates a very meditative and contemplative mood, which is perfect for immersion in Zen, after all, stay in the garden and the tea ceremony are part of the Zen tradition.

Taiko – translated from Japanese into Russian this word means “drum”. Exactly the same as the counterparts of the drum in other countries, Taiko was indispensable in the military. At least, so says the chronicle Gunji Yosia: if there were nine on nine kicks, it meant the call of an ally in the fight, nine and three signalled that the enemy need to actively pursue it.

Important: during the drumming draws attention to the aesthetics of the idea. The appearance of musical performances in Japan no less important component than melody or rhythm.

Musical genres of the Rising Sun

Japanese folk music passed through several stages in its development: initially it was music and songs of magical nature (like all peoples), then on the formation of musical genres influenced by Buddhist and Confucian teaching. Largely traditional Japanese music is associated with ritual performances, festivals, theatre performances.

Of the most ancient forms of Japanese folk music genre known two – seme (Buddhist chanting) and gagaku (orchestral court music). And the musical genres that have roots in antiquity, it yasugi bushi and ENKA.

Yasugi bushi is one of the most common genres of folk songs in Japan. It is named after the city of Yasugi, which was created in the mid-nineteenth century. The main theme of yasugi bushi consider the key points of the local ancient history, and mythopoetic tales about the times of the gods.

“Yasugi bushi” dance “dojo sukui” (in comic form is shown catching fish in the mud), and the art of musical juggling “Zevi LEM”, where the tool used the hollow stalks of bamboo, filled with coins.

ENKA is a genre that originated relatively recently, only in the postwar period. In ENKA the Japanese traditional instruments are often intertwined in jazz or Blues music (it is an unusual mixed), and it is the combination of Japanese pentatonic minor with the European.

Features Japanese folk music, and how it differs from music of other countries

Japanese national music has its own characteristics that distinguish it from music of other cultures. For example, there is Japanese folk musical instruments – the singing wells (suykinkutsu). This you will hardly meet anywhere else, though there are musical bowls and Tibet, and more?

In Japanese music can be constantly changing rhythm and tempo, and also be missing the size. In the folk music of the country of the Rising Sun is a completely different concept of intervals. they are unusual for a European hearing.

For Japanese folk music characterized by maximum proximity to the sounds of nature, the pursuit of simplicity and purity. This is no accident: the Japanese know how to show the beautiful in ordinary things.