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Building World Music Collections: Japan

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Presentation on theme: "Building World Music Collections: Japan"— Presentation transcript:

1 Building World Music Collections: Japan
Joe C. Clark Kent State University February 27, 2014 MLA Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA

2 Shamisen Three string fretless plucked lute. Traditionally it accompanies the voice, with instrumental interludes. Popular since the mid- 17th century. Used in main genres, from folk and theatrical forms to classical and contemporary music. Image from Japan Information Centre; retrieved from New Grove Online.

3 Koto & Shakuhachi Koto is a long zither instrument with movable bridge
Used in both court and non-court music Shakuhachi is an end-blown notched flute with four finger holes and a thumb-hole

4 Biwa Many forms of the instrument
Usually four or five strings with a fretted neck Soundbox is usually cut from the same piece of wood as the neck Traditionally provides accompaniment for dramatic story telling Image from

5 Gagaku The ancient traditional court music of Japan
Means “elegant music” Dates from 701 CE Repertory is broken into concert music (kangen) and music for dance (bugaku) Concert music usually comprised of string, wind, and percussion instruments; dance music omits strings

6 Highly structured stage art that combines music, poetry, dance, and drama Primarily for elite class Professional groups usually consist of men, but amateur groups include both men and women Originated in the 14th century Seeks maximum effect from a minimum of means, although costumes can be over the top Restrained Image from:

7 Bunraku: Puppet Theatre
The term refers to all traditional Japanese puppet theatre Features narrative music, usually with a singer and a shamisen accompanist Image from

8 Kabuki Began as theatre for the commoners around 1600
Became “classical” theatre in the late 19th century Much more flamboyant than Nō, with more actors, bigger stage, and more musicians Image from

9 Good Starting Point New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
Good news: discographies are listed for most sections Bad news: it has not been updated since its publication in 2001 (even online).

10 Not So Good Resources Garland Encyclopedia for World Music, Volume 7: East Asia: China, Japan, and Korea. Routedge, 2002. 265 pages dedicated to Japan. Of the 43 sections on Japan, only one offers a filmography and two provide short discographies. JVC Music & Dance video series.

11 Japan Traditional Cultures Foundation: http://www.japo-net.or.jp
The Japan Traditional Cultures Foundation has a number of CDs and DVDs, and you can view titles by genre.

12 Popular Musics Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Volume V: Asia and Oceania. 2005. 25 pages of history, commentary, bibliographies, discographies, and filmographies. Regional musics.

13 Rough Guides 17 pages of commentary and context. Traditional musics are mentioned, but the focus is clearly on popular and regional music. 5 page discography. 1999

14 Revised Rough Guide The revised edition of the last title, this one offers 18 pages on primarily popular music, and a six-page discography.

15 Ashgate Research Companion to Japanese Music
Sixteen chapters on recent Japanese music scholarship Covers a number of genres Provides four solid pages of recommended video and audio

16 Music in Japan By Bonnie C. Wade, 2005.
Part of the Global Music Series from Oxford University Press. Offers several pages of resources.

17 Smithsonian Folkways http://www.folkways.si.edu
About 15 CDs focusing solely on Japanese music Also available through the Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries (Alexander Street Press) Recordings are primarily from the 1960s & 70s

18 Great selection of Japanese traditional music
Include Lyrichord label recordings Go to Genre  World Music  J for Japan

19 More Important Labels King Records Camerata Denon Lyrichord Ocora
Nonesuch Fontec Celestial Harmonies

20 Video Resources continued
Films for the Humanities (www.films.com) Bunraku: Masters of Japanese Puppet Theatre Koto: The Music of Tadao Portrait of an Onnagata Shozan Tanabe: The Sound of Silence Tsugaru Shamisen: The World of Michihiro Sato Marty Gross Film Productions, Inc.:

21 Video Resources continued
Shimonaka Memorial Foundation’s DVD set on Gagaku Sixteen-volume DVD set of Kabuki plays first broadcast by NHK (Japan’s public broadcast company). A series of 33 Kabuki Theatre DVDs

22 Another Great Video Resource
The Japanese Music Series, from the University of Oklahoma’s Early Music Television Jazz in Japan Gagaku: Court Music of Japan Music of Bunraku Shinto Festival Music Nagauta: Heart of Kabuki Music of Noh Drama

23 Addition Considerations
DVDs - Region 2 and region-free Be ready for sticker shock Buy when things are available, as titles frequently go out of print Google translate is your friend Let the programs you support and the faculty that you work with help determine what you purchase.

24 What Was Left Out? Numerous genres of folk music
Western Classical Art Music of Japan J-pop Niche music, including multiple genres Regional traditions Lots more…

25 Resources/References
World Music: The Rough Guide, Vol. 2. Edited by Simon Broughton, Mark Ellingham, and Richard Trillo. London: Rough Guides, 1999. The Rough Guide to World Music, Vol. 2 (3rd ed). Compiled and edited by Simon Broughton, Mark Ellingham and Jon Lusk. New York: Rough Guides, 2009. The Ashgate Research Companion to Japanese Music. Alison McQueen Tokita and David W. Hughes, eds. Burlington, VT: Ashgage, 2008. Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Volume V: Asia and Oceania. Edited by John Shepherd, et al. New York: Continuum, 2005. Music in Japan. Bonnie C. Wade. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

26 Thank you! Questions/Discussion?


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