Introduction : Classification of Shakuhachi

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quotation:The Encyclopedia of Musical Instruments the SHAKUHACHI
                 Tokyo Ongaku-sha Co.Ltd 1990
引用:楽器の事典 尺八
         (株)東京音楽社 1990年発行

 At present, shakuhachi music and its performers are divided into various schools, such as the Tozan school and the Kinko school. Also, the music and instruments of the Meian school [also known as Myōan school, which has the longest history, are still in existence.The repertory, method of playing, notation, and terminology differ from school to school. The difference between the instruments of the various schools is most apparent in the utaguchi, into which one blows air in order to play the instrument.
Photograph 3-1 Utaguchi of the Meian school shakuhachi.
Photograph 3-2 Utaguchi of the Kinko school shakuhachi.
Photograph 3-3 Utaguchi of the Tozan school shakuhachi. In the round-table discussion included in this book, the characteristics of the sound of the various schools are discussed.

 The repertory of the various schools is termed honkyoku(see glossry) and is performed only by those who belong to that school. This music is only for the shakuhachi and is not played in ensemble with other instruments. There is the custom among performers of the shakuhachi that one does not to play the honkyoku that do not belong to one's own school. But music that is composed by composer who does not belong to any school can be played by everyone. Matsuda Akira, one of the writers of this work, is a composer who does not belong to any school, and his works can by played by anyone. Chapters 34 to 37 include examples of these scores.

 When we compare the Tozan school and the Kinko school, the latter has the longer history. For that reason, its music has a free rhythm (see glossry) , and is characterized by Oto-no-tachiagari-ga-osoi(see glossry) .The music of the Tozan school has a repetitive rythm (see glossry) with fast changes in tone. The Kinko school makes strong use of improvisation, while the Tozan school makes use of careful notation.

 Generally, it is said that the music of the Meian school is ethereal, that of the Kinko school is elegant, and that of the Tozan school is flowery.

※HONKYOKU refers to the solo compositions for the shakuhachi that are played without accompaniment and also to works for multiple shakuhachi that are played without accompaniment. Among the honkyoku, there are those that belong to one school or another and those that are not associated with any school. See also GAIKYOKU and SHINKYOKU.

※FREE RYTHM refers to a lack of periodicity in accent. Free rythm is often founund in ancient European and Japanese music. It cannot be recorded using the notation system of the present. See REPETITIVE RYTHM.

OTO-NO-TACHIAGARI in the 1963 recording of the Vienna Philharmonic performance of Mozart's Symphony no. 38 which was conducted by Bruno Walter, at the start of the sound for just a moment the sound of D is made to reverberate richly. It reverberates deliberately as if a crescendo notation was inscribed on the half-tone of the adaggio at the beginning of the piece. This kind of expression is termed oto no tackiagari ga osoi. If this were a performance in1980, when the baton of the conductor comes down, the forte sound the he is seeking is really produced. This kind of expression is termed oto no tachiagari ga hayai. In the good old days the performance of the Kinko school shakuhachi was characterized by the former, oto no tachiagari ga osoi. The performance of the Tozan school shakuhachi is characterized by the latter,oto no tachiagari ga hayai, the more contemporary sound.

※REPETITIVE RYTHM  refers to the placement of accents successively in fixed temporal intervals. This dominates the European music of the modern period. It can be expressed by the current method of notation which is founded on multiples and fractions. See FREE RHYTHM.

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