Music from Japan cover

Music from Japan

Program Description

The history of traditional music in Japan is rich and varied. Many musical forms were imported from China more than a thousand years ago, but over the years, they were reshaped into distinctively Japanese styles of expression. There are three types of traditional music in Japan: theatrical, court music (called gagaku), and instrumental. Japan has several theatrical forms of drama in which music plays a significant role. The main forms are kabuki and Noh. Noh is a type of theatrical music that is played with traditional Japanese instruments. Kabuki is a type of Japanese theater that is known for its highly stylized dancing and singing. The actors in Kabuki are predominately male and they wear elaborate make-up and costumes. Gagaku is a type of classical music that was performed before the Imperial court. The Japanese created musical instruments to accompany the their traditional music. The most important of these were the shamisen, shakuhachi, and koto. The shamisen resembles a guitar. It has a long, thin neck and a small, rectangular body covered with skin. The shakuhachi is a flute made of bamboo that's played by blowing on one end. There are four holes in the front and one in the back, and so it's sometimes called a "five holed bamboo flute" in English. The koto, is a large, wooden instrument with 13 strings. It has a curved face, and the pitch is adjusted with movable bridges placed under each string. As you listen to this program, you will hear the distinctive sounds of the Shamisen, Koto and Shakuhachi. This Japanese traditional music will transport you into a peaceful Japanese garden.

List of Tracks

  • 1 It’s Me
  • 2 Pagodas
  • 3 Earthquake of Emotions
  • 4 Drinking Tea
  • 5 Jasmine Rice
  • 6 Traditional Suite