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Repertoire, Ensembles and Instrumentation 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. They are 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 into four 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 ryteki in the accompaniment of yamato-uta and kume-uta. String instrument: Wagon Percussion instrument: Shakbyshi

2. Kangen and bugaku: Respectively, instrumental music and accompanied dance deriving from Asian mainland. The music is further sub-divided into two classes according to the region of its origin: Tgaku refers to music of Chinese origin, it includes 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 ryteki, 3 hichiriki, 3 sh String instruments: 2 biwa, 2 koto Percussion instruments: 1 taiko, 1 kakko, 1 shko

Instruments for bugaku are divided up into two choirs:


Woodwind instruments: 3 ryteki or more (or komabue in komagaku pieces), 3 or more hichiriki, 3 or more sh Percussion instruments: 1 taiko, 1 kakko, 1 shko 3. Saibara and rei: Vocal music that developed at the Japanese court in the 9th

and 10th centuries. The text used for saibara is in Japanese while reis text is in Chinese. Instruments accompanying saibara are divided up into four choirs:

Chorus Woodwind instruments: Ryteki, hichiriki, sh without harmony String instruments: Biwa and koto Percussion instrument: Shakbyshi Instruments accompanying rei are divided up into three choirs:

Chorus Woodwind instruments: Ryteki, hichiriki, sh without harmony Percussion instrument: Shakbyshi

Short introduction to the modal system in kangen music


Although the Japanese modal system includes twelve chromatic tones, one of the instruments of the kangen ensemble, the mouth organ (sh), can only produce nine of the twelve chromatic tones. It is from these nine tones appearing in Figure 1 that the theoretical and practical basis of the six main Japanese modes is formed.

Nine tones available on the mouth organ (sh) Figure 1 The 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-type mode (ritsu scale, similar to an Aeolian mode). Using the Western modal

denomination, the three modal systems can be described as: Modal System I: D Mixolydian (Ichikotsu-ch) and A Aeolian (Oshiki-ch) Modal System II: A Mixolydian (Sui-ch) and E Aeolian (Hy-j) Modal System III: E Mixolydian (Taishiki-ch ) and B Aeolian (Banshiki-ch) Thus only the following four pitches are used as fundamental tones: D, A, E, and B, moreover they also act as pillar-tones in each of the six modes. Figure 2 shows the three modal systems where the pillar-tones for each mode are indicated as half-note.

Japanese modal system Figure 2

The three most important pitches in a mode are the tonic, the dominant, and to a lesser extent the sub-dominant. Within a mode, these three key-tones are often sustained since they serve as point of arrival and/or rest for most melodic lines. In gagaku music all sustained-tones are ornamented, but the ornamentation of the four fundamental pitches is rhythmically and melodically much subtler than that of the three other tones. Hence a mode whose tonic, dominant and sub-dominant correspond to fundamental tones is more stable, since its 'resting' tones are subtly ornamented. In fact, the three key-tones of the six basic modes do correspond to fundamental tones, except for two modes: Ichikotsu-ch and Banshiki-ch. The sub-dominant of the former is G, while the dominant of the latter is F#. Hence these two modes are less stable than the other four since one of their key-tones is more heavily ornamented, hence less stable. Some works have circumvented this issue by favoring the use of Ichikotsu-chs submediant (B) instead of its sub-dominant, and Banshiki-chs mediant (D) instead of its dominant. It should be pointed out though that the gained rhythmic stability has been at the cost of tonal clarity.

Regarding the three missing tones: Eb, F, and Bb, if they occur at all, they appear only as transient tones during the production of ornamental figures. Finally, there is a seventh mode that is not part of that system called Sj (G mixolydian), it is rarely used because the pipe producing the F natural is no longer available on the contemporary sh.

Short introduction to the rhythmic cylces in kangen music


Kangen phrase structures are either of 4 (hayayahyshi) or 8 measure (nobeyahyshi) long, with measures of either 4 (hayabyshi) or 8 (nobebyshi) beats, although few are made of a combination of two adjacent measures of different length: 2 + 4 (hayatadabyshi), or 2 + 3 (hayayatarabyshi) pulsations. Figures 1 and 2 show respectively the possible phrase structures of four and eight measures. The most important downbeat of the cycle is its half-point and it is indicated in Figures 1 and 2 with a >. This accent is articulated in the music as the only point where the kakko (two sided drum) and shoko (small gong) meet on a downbeat with the taikos (large suspended drum) strong accent: obachi.

Four possible phrase structures of four measures (Hayayahyshi) Figure 1

Five possible phrase structures of eight measures (Nobeyahyshi) Figure 2

Figure 3 shows the unusual phrase structure of six measures (hayamuhyshi) that subdivides its measures in an uneven fashion of 4 + 2 measures.

A phrase structure of six measures (4 + 2) (Hayamuhyshi) Figure 3

It must be emphasized that while the obachi is structurally positioned at the cycle's half-point, this is not how the musicians with whom we worked think about it. Rather, some of the musicians conceive of it as the cycle's first downbeat, and they consider the few measures of a piece that precede the very first obachi as a long upbeat. On the other hand, other musicians from the same ensemble told us that they were feeling the obachi as marking the first beat of the last measure of the cycle. These different manners of conceiving of the obachi do not affect at all the music or its interpretation, rather, they reflect the divergences of conception between different 6

schools of interpretation. In the litterature, we have found references to both ways of thinking about the obachi that is why we decided to make a distinction between its structural position and the way some musicians conceive of it. The next three Examples show the different conceptions of the obachi for the same music.

Structural centered position of the obachi Example 1

Conception of the obachi as marking the first measure of the cycle Example 2

Conception of the obachi as marking the last measure of the cycle Example 3

Short introduction to the correlation between timbre and form in kangen music
Here are in bullet point-style references to some formal elements with their specific timbral characteristics.

I. Jo-Ha-Ky
Jo-ha-ky is a primary and ubiquitous principle of formal construction in Japanese arts. It frequently describes the musical development on all formal levels. It can govern the structure of a musical program, the form of a piece, the development of a section, musical phrase or even of an individual note. It can be roughly translated as: jo = slow introduction, ha = faster build-up and kyu = fast conclusion. It is traditionally understood as a constant but extremely gradual, sometimes almost imperceptible acceleration of the music. On a highest formal level the different sections maybe clearly delineated as representing one of the three but when applied at lower levels the principle becomes more vague and implies mostly the slow change of tempo and a constant transformation from relatively formless introduction through more defined development to a fast rushing into a breakup.

Hence pieces are often grouped according to the following 4-pieces pattern: - Netori : Piece infree rhythm where only the first chairs and the kakko play.

Its function is to establish the mood of the mode. The entrance of the instruments is prescribed : Sh -> hichiriki -> ryteki -> kakko -> biwa -> koto - Jo: This movement is also in free rhythm, but it differs from the netori because all instruments participate, and being a movement rather than an introduction, it lasts longer.

- Ha: It is usually in nobebyshi (8 beats per measure). As explained under Theory/Rhythm, this structure contains half of the number of obachi compared to the hayabyshi structure. The obachi is among other things the point of synchronization of the three percussion instruments and a reference point for timbral changes. Hence with fewer points of synchronization, the nobebyshi has a slower rhythm of timbral transformation. - Ky: It is usually in hayabyshi (4 beats per measure). As explained under Theory/Rhythm, this structure contains twice the number of obachi compared to the nobebyshi structure. The obachi is among other things the point of synchronization of the three percussion instruments and a reference point for timbral changes. Hence with the increase of the number of points of synchronization, the hayabyshi has a faster rhythm of timbral transformation.

II. Timbral Structure of Ha and Ky


- ndo: Both sections opens with a solo phrase by the ryteki called ndo. It is followed by the entrance of the percussion instruments. - Tsuku-dokoro: The entrances of the remaining two solo woodwind instruments at or around the strong taiko's stroke is called tsuku-dokoro. This is followed in increments of 2 measures by the biwa #1, koto #1, biwa #2, and finally koto #2. - Tomede: This is a coda where only the first chairs play in free-rhythm and at a slower tempo. The order of the exiting instruments is prescribed: WW instruments -> Percussion instruments -> biwa, and finally the koto. - Kuwae: Shortly before the tomede, the percussion pattern is accelerated to twice its original speed. For example, a percussion instruments pattern of four measures, could now be accelerated to every 2 measures. Typically, the beginning of the kuwae underlines a noticeable change in the melody. Example 1 and 2 show one of the most common rhythm pattern in 4 measure of 4 beat, hayayohyshi and its kuwae.

Hayayohyshi Example 1

Kuwae Example 2

III. Formal Designs


1. Nokori-gaku: A form used when a piece is played 3 times: 1st time: Standard with all the instruments 2nd time: No perc. only the 1st WW and String chairs play 3rd time: Hichiriki #1 + biwa #1 + koto #1. 2. Jut: A phrase that serves as transitional material leading back to a repetition of previously presented phrases like the Section C in Etenraku: AABBCCAABB 3. Hanj: Half-point period, i.e. half-point of the piece. Pieces that use that structure are often subdivided into: AB| CB, where B marks the half-point of the first and second sections, and C the half-point of the piece. 10

4. Kand This is an added phrase before the beginning of a repetition: ||: .end || kando.. :|| 5. Kaishizuke Indicates the returning point for piece whose repetition is not starting from the beginning: ||..||: Kaishizuke.. :||

IV. Classifications
Tgaku (encompasses kangen and bugaku) is divided up into two categories : Kogaku, meaning old music- and it accounts for less than one third of the repertoire, while Shingaku, which means new music- encompasses more than two thirds of the repertoire. Another classifications is based on the length of the piece: 1. Taikyoku: Great pieces, with 8 movements, almost never played. Only the very last piece of the cycle concludes on the tonic, all the others conclude on scale degree 3. Moreover, the elaborated coda (tomede) is only played at the end of the last piece, all the others cadence with the fuki-nagashi, a technique in which the wind players hold that last pitch at volume for its full duration before letting the volume to attenuate. 2. Chkyoku: Middle pieces of 2 longer movements. Typically, phrases begin on beat 3 in measures of 4 beats, or on beat 5 for measures of 8 beats. 3. Shkyoku: Small pieces of 2 shorter movements, typically phrases begin on the 1 beat of the measure.
st

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Classifications Figure 6

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V. Melodic Structures (To be continued. )


Four characteristics that must be taken into considerations when considering the overall perception of phrases: Balancing against the underlying rhythm of symmetrical and asymmetrical melodic phrase lengths. Movement types: Jo, Ha or Ky. Contrast of different melodic contours. Placement of ornamental figures

Ryteki
Description
It is a seven-holed transverse flute made of bamboo. It is approximately 40 cm long (16 inches). The inside of the bamboo is hollowed out and lacquered, while the outside is wrapped with strands of bark. The first three holes are assigned to the left hands fingers and the last four to the right hand. The embouchure is similar to a Western transverse flute. It is approximately 1.3 cm (0.5 inch) wide.

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Ryteki Figure 1

SASAMOTO Takeshi Ryuteki: Fingerings Figure 2

SASAMOTO Takeshi Ryuteki: Embouchure Figure 3

Tuning and Transposition


The ryteki sounds one octave higher than written, and it is tuned to an A430Hz.

Range and fingerings


Figure 4 shows that the range of the ryteki goes from the written C#4 to F#6. The pitches shown in whole note are those playable by opening/closing the instruments seven holes, while those in black are produced by half-holing or breath manipulation.

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Written range and finerings for the ryteki Figure 4

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Although the low C#5 and D#5 (written C#4 and D#4) are playable, they are never used in the music since the quality of their timbre is rather poor as illustrated in Figure 5, which compares the spectra of the sound of the ryteki playing ff a D#5 and E5 (written D#4 and E4, respectively). It shows that the spectrum of the E5 (in red) is richer, counting close to 9 partials compared with only 5 for the D#5 (in blue). Moreover, the higher peaks of the E5 indicate that its sound is stronger than the D#5. Consequently, the E5 (written E4) is considered to be the lowest pitch of the rytekis register.

Ryutekids5-ff

Ryuteki-

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e5-ff

Spectra of the ryteki playing ff a D#5 (in blue) and a E5 (in red) Figure 5

The ryteki does not have an octave key, therefore, for any giving pitches of the second and third octaves, the performer uses its first octaves fingering and over blows in order to transpose it an octave or two higher. Figure 6 shows how over blowing affects the sounds quality. The top to bottom spectra of Figure 6 are those of the ryteki playing ff an E5, E6, and E7 (written E4, E5, E6) respectively, and they are all produced using the same fingering. The black arrows from the top to the middle spectra show that when over blowing the E5 (in blue) to get the E6 (in red), a trace of the E5 remains present in the sound of the E6. The spectrum of the E6 (in red), which is the first pitch of the rytekis prime register, shows that this register is richer in higher partials and more airy as suggested by the floating partials 2, 3, and 4. Finally the black and red arrows in the last spectrum of Figure 6, which represents the sound of the ryteki playing ff an E7 (in green), shows remnants of the E5 and E6 in the sound of the E7 which is the first pitch of the rytekis high register. It is because of these accumulated remnants that the higher register is unstable and can only be played loud, in other words, more pressure is required for the E7 to overcome the presence of the E5 and E6.

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Spectra of the sound of the ryteki playing ff E5 (blue), E6 (red), and E7 (green) (written E4, E5, and E6 respectively) Figure 6

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Traditional performance practices


Articulation: Traditionally, tonguing is not used with Japanese wind instruments. Instead phrases are shaped by control of the airflow, while selected pitches are accentuated by tapping the instruments holes with the fingers.

Osu: Decrescendo followed by a sudden re-attack of the same pitch on a strong beat. The attack is not tongued but produced by an increase of the airflow.

Ateru: Same effect as Osu but on weak beats.

Osu and ateru can be performed on any pitches from the lower and prime registers.

Osu

Ateru

Example 1

Orute: When a melodic line involves a motion from B5 to A5 (written B4 to A4) the B5 will chromatically slides to the A5, a motion called orute, there is no prescribed material as to what precedes and follows it. Example 2 shows two separate cases.

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Orute

Example 2 Kakebuki: Refers to four prescribes melodic motions: D6 on an upbeat leading to a downbeat on an E6 (written D5 to E5) G5 on an upbeat leading to a downbeat on a D6 (written G4 to D5) E6 on an upbeat leading to a downbeat on a G6 (written E5 to G5) B6 on an upbeat leading back to a downbeat on a B6 (written B5 to B5)

Kakebuki D6-E6

Kakebuki G5-D6

Example 3a

Kakebuki E6-G6

Kakebuki B6-B6

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Example 3b

Tataku: This is the coloration of a sustained tone with the lower neighbor-tone. The change of fingering between the two pitches usually involve the rapidly closing and re-opening of a single hole, tapping the hole on the closing, thereby accentuating the lower neighbor-tone. It can be performed on any pitches from the lower and prime registers.

Ugoku: Is this opposite of Tataku in the sense that the melodic motion involves the upper neighbor-tone. Once again, the fingering between the two pitches involves the rapidly opening and re-closing of a single hole, thereby accentuating the returning pitch. It can be performed on any pitches from the lower and prime registers. Tataku Ugoku

Example 4

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Mawasu: This melodic motion usually entails a change of fingerings involving two holes. A pitch slowly slides to its upper-neighbor tone opening one hole, and then rapidly closing two holes to move to its lower-neighbor tone, tapping the holes and thereby accentuating the last tone. It can be performed on any pitches from the lower and prime registers.

Mawasu

Example 5

Example 6 shows the basic melody of Etenraku's section B and C, and its rhythmic accompaniment. Its purpose is to show in context how the ryteki uses its various patterns to color the melodic tones. The phrase structure is of four measures of four beats, and each section is composed of two phrases. The piece is in Hy-j mode (E Aeolian) and the basic melody is centered on the pitches: E, B, and A, three of the four fundamental pitches of the Japanese modal system. (For more information see chapter Theory/Pitch). As shown in Exemple 6, the ryteki uses its various patterns to either color a sustained-tone or connect two consecutive melodic tones, and in doing so it adds rhythmic character to the basic melody. While the doubling of the basic melodic tones is rarely disturbed, measure 13 shows the melodic tones B - C#, (doubled by the other instruments) supported by the ryteki's part with C# and D, respectively. We speculate

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that the tension created by this clash might be helpful to 'move' the music from its cadence in the preceding measure to the one coming in measures 15 and 16. The excerpt is performed by the ensemble Reigakusha.

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The basic melody of Etenraku's section B and C and how it is articulated by the ryteki Example 6

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New performance practices


Articulation: Depending on the performer abilities single- double- and tripletonguing, and staccato can be used. Flutter tongue: This is the common technique used by flutist where a performer flutters his/her tongue to make the characteristic "Frrrrr" sound. Performing an isolated alveolar trill while playing a pitch produces the effect. This technique is playable throughout the lower and prime register of the ryteki. Tremolo: The ryteki does not traditionally use tremolo, but it can be utilized in new music. The rule of thumb is to use tremolo between two pitches that do not involve awkward fingerings and that do not cross over different registers. It is not playable in the high register. Bisbigliando: An effect produced when slightly transforming the color of a tone, usually accomplished by using alternative fingerings for the same pitch. It can be played on any pitches from the lower and prime registers. It is produced by either the use of special fingerings or with the motion of the lips. Harmonics: The ryteki already over blows at the octave, but it can also over blows at the octave and a fifth bringing out a pitchs third harmonic. Its playability is limited to the following four pitches, moreover the effect requires a lot of air, so it can only be played loud. The sound excerpt of Example 7 is limited to the E5-B7 harmonic (written E4-B6).

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Harmonics

(harmonics E5-B7 only) Example 7

Karu and meru: This is a glissando motion done by the lips, karu means to slide up, while meru means to slide down. They can be performed over any pitches from the lower and prime registers. The precise possible ambitus of the glissando needs to be discussed with the performer.

Ugoku: The slight opening of the first hole (index of left hand) creates a glissando a half-step higher. This is available throughout the range of the instrument with the exception of the high register. Moreover, it requires a fingering with a closed first hole of the left-hand, consequently, this effect is not available on C, C#, and D.

Karu & meru

Ugoku

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Ugoku Example 8

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Other woodwinds instruments


Traditionally, musicians from the kangen orchestra do perform any repertoire from gagakus three main bodies of music and dance. Some different woodwind instruments are used in these works, such as: kagurabue and komabue.

1. Kagurabue Description
It is a six-holed transverse flute made of bamboo. It is approximately 45 cm long (18 inches). With the exception of the mouth and finger holes, the entire instrument is wrapped in birch or cherry bark and then lacquered. This flute is used in the accompaniment of Kagura-uta, yamato-uta, and kume-uta suite or mikagura.

From bottom to top: Kagurabue, ryteki, and komabue Figure 1

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Tuning and Transposition


The kagurabue sounds one octave higher than written, and it is tuned to an A-430Hz.

Range
It has a range of 2 octaves. The kagurabue does not have an octavehole, so over-blowing the pitches of the lower octave produces those of the octave higher. The pitches shown in whole note are playable by opening/closing the instruments six holes, while the ones shown in black are produced by halfholing or breath manipulation.

Range of the kagurabue Figure 2

2. Komabue Description
It is a six-holed transverse flute made of bamboo. It is approximately 37 cm long (14.5 inches). This flute is used in Komagaku, music that originated from Korea often played as a dance accompaniment. It is very similar to the kagurabue, but it is much thinner.

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Komabue Figure 3

Tuning and Transposition


The komabue sounds one octave higher than written, and it is tuned to an A-430Hz.

Range
Its range slightly exceeds 2 octaves. The pitches shown in Figure 4 in whole note are playable by opening/closing the instruments six holes, while the ones shown in black are produced by half-holing or breath manipulation. Again, over-blowing the pitches of the lower octave produces those of the 2nd and 3rd octaves.

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Range of the komabue Figure 4

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Biwa
Description
The biwa is a four stringed lute and it is approximately 106 cm long (42 inches).

Biwa Figure 1

Four frets

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NAKAMURA Kahoru Biwas back is flat Figure 2 Biwas plectrum

Although shaped like its Western counterpart, its back is flat and it has a shallower body. The short neck has four raised frets, each one specifically assigned to one of the left hand finger. The strings are struck with a hand-held wooden plectrum.

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Tunings

The biwa sounds as written, and it is tuned to an A430Hz. The strings are

numbered from the lowest (first string) to the highest (fourth string). The tuning of the strings changes

according to the pieces mode and since the biwas pegs do not move smoothly, retuning the instrument

requires time. Biwas pegs Figure 3

NAKAMURA Kahoru, the biwa player with whom we worked, told us that for a concert including pieces of two different modes she tunes two biwas before the concert. Figure 4 introduces the biwas six traditional tunings. The open strings are shown in the first measure and the pitches assigned the left-hand fingers in the follwong four measures. The interval between the pitches of the open string and first fret is a major second, while the interval between pitches on two adjacent frets is a minor second.

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Biwas tunings Figure 4 KAWASAKI Yoshihiro, one of the sound engineer with whom we worked explained to us that the biwas shallow body is first and foremost a bouncing board that sharply projects forward its sound. Hence the sound of the biwa is very strong at the attack but it has almost no resonance, and in that sense, its contribution to the overall sonority is more rhythmic than harmonic. In order to boost the volume of its sound the biwa player rarely attacks a single string but rather arpeggios of 2, 3, or 4 pitches, with one note per string. The stroking motion always starts from the 1st string, sequentially sweeping the others until it reaches the arpeggios last string. Figure 5 shows examples of harmonic structures of, 2, 3, and 4 pitches in Ichikotsu-ch.

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Arpeggios of 2, 3 and 4 notes Figure 5 Figure 6 shows the spectral analyses of the arpeggio read at the attack and one second later. It helps illustrate how little resonance the biwa produces since already after 1 second most of its sound energy is below the threshold of hearing.

At the attac k

One seco nd later

The biwas sound at the attack (top) at one second later (bottom)

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Figure 6 Typically, the lowest notes of the arpeggios are opened strings while the highest one can either be a fingered pitch or an opened string. Exploiting the sound of the opened strings increases the overall sounds volume, but it is possible to include a fingered pitch among the lower grace-notes but that pitch should preferably be chosen among those playable on the 4th fret. This is due to the fact that the space between the strings in the first three frets is so short that a fingered 1st fret on the 3rd string, for example, would damp the following 4th string, as shown on Figure 7. Finally, it is not custom to finger more than one pitch within a harmonic structure, so if a fingered pitch were to be included among the grace-notes, then the last pitch would need to be an opened string.

Little space between the strings on the first three frets causes obstruction when attacking an upper string whose immediate lower string is fingered in one of the first three frets. Figure 7

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Traditional performance practices


Kakubachi: The performance of arpeggio with a downward motion of the plectrum, it is always loud. Moreover, it always starts from the 1st string and stops on either the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th string depending if the arpeggio contains 2, 3, or 4 pitches, respectively. Kaeshibachi: The performance of arpeggio with an up-ward motion of the plectrum, it is always soft. The method of holding the plectrum is different when performing kaeshibachi or kakubachi, consequently few seconds to allow the repositioning of the hand is required when using the two techniques in sequence. It always starts from the 4th string and stops on either the 3rd, 2nd, or 1st string depending if the arpeggio contains 2, 3, or 4 pitches, respectively.

Kakubachi in Ichikotsuch

Kaeshibachi in Ichikotsuch

Example 1 Waribachi: Downward sweeping of the four strings, dividing the motion into two groups of two notes. Each group can include either two open strings or one opened and one fingered string. Typically, the duration of each group subdivides the measure into two equal durations.

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Kakisukashi: This is a three or four-note arpeggio with two strings in unison. Options are limited when considering that a fingered string between two open strings must be fingered on the 4th fret to avoid damping.

Waribachi in Ichikotsuch

Kakisukashi in Ichikotsuch

Example 2

Hazusu: This is a sequence of two pitches where the first one is attacked tied to the second one which is not attacked. Typically, the second pitch is fingered on the same string one or two frets lower than the first one. Traditionally, the duration of each pitch subdivides the measure into two equal durations. Tataku: This is similar to hazusu, except that this time, two non-struck pitches follow the struck one. Traditionally, the 2nd pitch either acts as a lower neighbor-tone or a descending passing tone. Typically, the three-note rhythm is either short-short-long or long-short-short. In both cases, the sound of the non-struck pitches is not hearable when perform with the orchestra, but the gesture itself might help the biwa player keep time. Considering that the metronome marking of this music rarely exceeds the quarter-note at 54, and that the biwa plays mostly on the 1st beat of each measure, it is the authors impression that hazusu and/or tataku may help the biwa player keep time by providing 39

material/action that cuts the duration of a measure in two, even if it cannot be heard. The exception is when hazusu or tataku are performed on the 4th string, in this case, the left hand fourth finger taps the string so that the un-attacked pitch or pitches can be somewhat heard.

Hazusu in Ichikotsuch

Tataku in Ichikotsuch

Example 3

Example 4 shows the basic melody of Etenraku's section B and C, and its rhythmic accompaniment. Its purpose is to show in context how the biwa uses its various patterns to color some melodic tones. The phrase structure is of four measures of four beats, and each section is composed of two phrases. The piece is in hy-j mode (E Aeolian) and the basic melody is centered on the pitches: E, B, and A, three of the four fundamental pitches of the Japanese modes. (For more information see chapter Theory/ Pitch). Example 4 also shows the biwa's standard one-measure motive. It is an arpeggio always starting from the first string (the lowest) and swepping upwards to either the second, third or fourth string. Typically, the lower strings of the arpeggio are opened, as indicated with the '0' in Example 4, while the last string hit may either be opened or stopped. As a point of clarification, the highest and last pitch of the biwa's arpeggio is

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considered as its melodic pitch. The sole stroke motion used in this example is kakubachi, but it also includes examples of hazusu and tataku. Example 4 shows that the biwa's melodic pitch doubles the basic melodic tone on the downbeat of almost every measure, except in measure 4 where the melodic tone 'E' is supported with a 'D' in the biwa's part. We speculate that being half-way in the section, the purpose of this clash may be to avoid a too strong feeling of cadence on the 'tonic E' since there is one more phrase to come before completing this section. Finally, measure 5 shows a rare instance where a melodic tone (F# in this case) is doubled on the second beat of the biwa's pattern. The excerpt is performed by the ensemble Reigakusha.

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The basic melody of Etenraku's section B and C and how it is articulated by the biwa Example 4

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New performance practices


Rubbing the strings: The plectrum is used to rub an opened string.

Example 5 Hitting the body of the instruments: The plectrum is used to hit the black protective part in the front of the instrument. The sound is totally different depending on where the instrument is hit, how the plectrum is held, and which part of the spectrum hit the surface. The biwa player with whom we worked, NAKAMURA Kahoru, improvised ten different realizations of this rhythm.

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Example 6 Harmonics: The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th harmonics of each opened string can be performed by attacking the string with either the plectrum or the finger, in both cases, the overall sonority is quite soft.

Harmonics with fingers Example 7

Harmonics with plectrum

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Koto
Description
The koto is a thirteen-string zither of approximately 190 cm long and 25 cm wide (75 inches long and 10 inches wide)

Koto Figure 1

Tunings
The koto sounds as written, and it is tuned to an A-430Hz. The strings are numbered from the lowest (first string, the outer one to the highest (thirteenth string, the inner one and closest to the musician). Tuning is accomplished by changing the position of the movable bridges under the strings, which are plucked with plectra placed on the thumb, index, and middle fingers of the musician's right hand. The Yamada plectra (with rounded tip) are used in the performance of gagaku music conversely to the Ikuta plectra (squared tip) used when performing solo music, among others. The Yamada plectra are ineffective to play tremolos. In the past, the left hand used to pull and push on the strings thereby changing the pitch of the sounds produced, but this technique is no more used in traditional repertoire.

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HIRAI Yuko Yamada plectra Figure 2 The left hand does not control the strings' pitch Figure 3

Figure 4 introduces the koto's seven traditional tunings. It shows that there are two possible ways to tune the 6th and 11th strings of the hyoj and banshikich modes: C# or D for the former and G# or A for the latter. But in the end, these two strings will be an octave apart, meaning that the chosen pitch apply to both strings.

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Koto's tuning Figure 4 Although the sound of the koto resonates more than the biwa's, three observations must be made about it: 1- The plucking position of the right fingers is as close as possible to the bridge to ensure maximum volume. 2- There is a difference in the sound quality between the attack of the thumb and the other two fingers. The thumb attacks the string by pushing it up while the two other fingers attack the string by pushing it down, and because there is more strength in a downward motion, the attack of the two fingers is stronger than the thumb's attack.

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Position of the right hand and the downward plucking motion of the index and middle finger Figure 5

Upward plucking motion of the thumb

Figure 6

Figure 7 shows the spectra of a D4 played ff plucked with the middle finger (in blue) and the thumb (in red). It shows that the sound quality of a pitch attack by the middle finger is richer than when attacked by the thumb.

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Comparison of the sound quality of a D4 when attacked with the middle finger (in blue) and the thumb (in red) Figure 7 3- As seen below under 'Traditional performance practics', most of the koto's melodic patterns involve the octave, not only because it falls well under the hand since this is the span covered by the thumb and the middle finger, but also because it provides maximum resonance.

Traditional performance practices


The koto has two types of patterns: metrical and non-metrical patterns.

I. Metrical patterns
Most metrical patterns are two-measure long. There are two basic patterns that fit this category: Shizugaki and Hayagaki (The examples are in the Ichikotsuch mode (D mixolydian)) a. Shizugaki starts its rhythmic activity on the 2nd beat of the first measure b.Hayagaki starts its rhythmic activity on the 1st beat of the first measure

Shizugaki

Hayagaki

1 = L.H. Thumb, 2 = L.H. Index, 3 = L.H. Middle finger.

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Example 1

These patterns can be transposed on any pitches from the mode, but the fingerings and the string sequences remain the same. Because of the modes' idiosyncratic tunings such transpositions do not always generate the same intervallic sequences, as illustrated in Example 2 which is a transposition of Example 1.

Shizugaki transposed Example 2

Hayagaki transposed

There are various techniques to embellish and vary these basic patterns, such as, among others: use of grace notes, kozume, sawaru, and ren: a. Grace-note: The pitch of the 2nd beat of the first measure of the shizugaki pattern is emphasized in three ways: First, this pitch is accentuated with a strong attack of the middle finger, second, it is repeated one octave higher on the third beat, and third, this last pitch which is the highest one in the melodic pattern, is preceded by a gracenote that has the effect of accentuating it.

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Grace-note variation of Shizugaki

Example 3

b. Kozume : This is a special type of attack from the thumb flicking the string from under. The resulting sound is softer than the usual thumb's attack from above. When used with the shizugaki pattern it appears on the 1st beat of the 2nd measure. When used with the hayagaki pattern it can either appear on the 3rd beat of the first measure (like in Example 1) or on the 1st beat of the 2nd measure (Example 4).

Shizugaki with kozume

Hayagaki with kozume

Example 4

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c. Sawaru : This is a soft attack of the thumb of the 4th beat on the first measure. It is used with both patterns. The thumb attack is the standard one. Here is an example from the work Shukshi in Sj (G mixolydian) mode with the shizugaki pattern.

Shizugaki pattern with sawaru

Example from Shukshi in Sj mode Example 5

d. Ren : Glissando performed by the thumb, it can be used with both patterns. It is most often used as a group of four thirty-second notes on the up-beat of the 2nd beat of the 1st measure leading to the 3rd beat as shown in the example.

Hayagaki with ren

Example 6 e. Musubute : This is a three measure pattern used only in three works: Bairo, Somakusha, and Manzairaku. The first measure of the pattern introduces a special technique of the thumb called kaeshizume.

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f. Kaeshizume : This is a sequence of attacks from under the strings by the thumb. This technique is not exclusive to the Musubute pattern, it can be used with the shizugaki and hayagaki patterns, in which case it appears as two eighth-notes on the 4th beat of the 1st measure. Musubute (kaeshizume is used in the first measure of this example)

Excerpt from Bairo in Hyjo mode Example 7

Example 8 shows the basic melody of Etenraku's section B and C, and its rhythmic accompaniment. Its purpose is to show in context how the koto uses its various patterns to color a melody. The phrase structure is of four measures of four beats, and each section is composed of two phrases. The piece is in Hy-j mode (E Aeolian) and the basic melody is centered on the pitches E, B, and A, three of the four fundamental pitches of the Japanese modal system. (For more information see the chapter: Theory/Pitch). Example 8 also shows the koto's standard two-measure motive, this one based exclusively on shizugaki + kozume. It is used to double some melodic tones. As a point of clarification, the melodic tone supported in the first measure of the koto's pattern appears on the second beat of the measure. The pitch in the second measure of the koto's pattern either doubles the melodic tone in rhythmic phase as in measure 6 and 12, or it can anticipate it as in measure 2, or follow it as in measure 14. Note in the measure 4 how the melodic tone 'E' is supported by a 'D' in the koto's part. We speculate that being half-way in the section, the purpose of this clash may be to avoid a too strong feeling of cadence on the 'tonic E' since one more phrase is needed to complete this section. The excerpt is performed by the ensemble Reigakusha.

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The basic melody of Etenraku's section B and C and how it is articulated by the koto Example 8

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II. Non-metrical patterns


Typical unmeasured sections in gagaku music include among others the netori and the "coda" (the end of piece) of most works. The netori is a very short piece played in free rhythm just before the performance of Kangen. It allows the instruments to tune to the sh and adjust to the mode. The koto has two patterns that it uses exclusively in these sections. a. Sugagaki : This pattern can be played in the coda or in the netori of the Taishikich mode. Its melodic shape can be transposed on any pitches of the mode. It has several rhythmic variations including one where the four pitches all have the same durations.

Sugagaki

Example 9

b.Tsumu : This is a pattern used exclusively in the netori. Moreover over it is exclusive to the modes that have scale degree 5 and 1 on their 5th and 7th strings, respectively. Consequently it is only used in the netori of the following modes: Hy-j, Taishiki-ch, Banshiki-ch, Sui-ch, and Oshiki-ch. The 5th and 7th strings are

plucked together by the thumb and middle finger with the hand positioned slightly away from the bridge producing a rather soft sound. Most probably the function of tsumu is to help with the tuning process of the netori since the koto's sound is the most resonating

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of the two string instruments, and that this pattern emphasizes the two most important pitches of a mode: its tonic and dominant.

Tsumu in Oshiki-ch

Example 10

Tsumu is always part of an unmeasured melodic/harmonic line. Example 10 shows a rhythmic and melodic approximation of a koto part for a netori in Oshiki-ch.

Koto part for a netori in Oshiki-ch. Example 11

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Another string instrument


Traditionally, musicians from the kangen orchestra do perform any repertoire from gagakus three main bodies of music and dance. A different string instrument is also used in these works, the wagon.

Wagon Description
This is a six-string koto of trapezoidal shape. It is approximately 190 cm long and 15 cm wide at its head and 24 cm wide at its tail (75 inches long and 6 inches wide at its head and 9.5 inches wide at its tail). It is used primarily for the accompaniment of kuniburi-no-utamai.

Wagon Figure 1

Tunings
The wagon sounds as written, and it is tuned to an A-430Hz. The strings are numbered from the lowest (first string, the outer one to the highest (sixth string, the inner one). Like the koto it has movable bridges (not shown in Figure 1) under the strings that allows for two different tunings shown in Figure 2.The player holds a small plectrum in the right hand and plays rapid arpeggios across the strings. The left hand either pluck single strings or dampens five of the strings so that only one if left ringing after the production of an arpeggio.

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Two tunings of the wagon Figure 2

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The percussion section Taiko


Description

The percussion section for tgaku (kangen and bugaku) is made up of three instruments: shko, taiko, and kakko. The taiko is a large suspended drum of about 55 cm in diameter (22 inches) with heads of oxhide. It is hit with wood mallets covered with leather or rubber.

Taiko Figure 1

Mallets for the taiko

The taiko has two types of stroke: the female stroke called mebachi is a soft stroke with the left hand just below the drumheads center; the male stroke called obachi is a loud attack of the right hand in the drumheads center.

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Female stroke: mebachi

Male stroke: obachi

Example 1

Kakko
Description
This is a small two-headed barrel drum about 30 cm in length and 15 cm in diameter (12 inches in length and 6 inches in diameter). The two heads of deerskin cover a circular frame of about 23 cm in diameter (9 inches). It is struck with wooden sticks on both sides.

Kakko

Kakkos sticks

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Figure 1

MIYAMARU Naoko The kakko is struck on both sides Figure 2

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The kakko has three types of strokes: a single stroke with the right stick called sei; a slow accelerando played with one stick called katarai; and a faster roll played with both hands called morarai.

Katarai (2nd measure)

Murorai (4th measure)

Example 1

Other percussion instruments


Traditionally, musicians from the kangen orchestra do perform any repertoire from gagakus three main bodies of music and dance. Some different percussion instruments are used in these works, such as: san-no-tsuzumi and shakubyshi.

Percussion instruments 1. San-no-tsuzumi Description The kakko is replaced with the san-no-tsuzumi in the performance of komagaku (see Repertoire for details) . This is a double-headed hour-glass drum of approximately 45 cm in length and with heads of 42 cm in diameter (18 inches long with heads of 16.5 inches of diameter). It is played on a single head with a wooden stick. The san-no-

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tsuzumis material is simple limited to a single stroke by itself or preceded by a ricochet.

San-no-tsuzumi

Wooden stick used to hit the san-no-tsuzumi

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Traditional patterns
Example 1 shows two traditional patterns of 2 measures.

San-no-tsuzumi -Traditional pattern #1

San-no-tsuzumi -Traditional pattern #2

Example 1

2. Shakubyshi Description
The only percussion instrument used in all in kuniburi-no-utamai as well as saibara is the clapper shakubyshi. It is made of two flat pieces of wood of about 36 cm in length (14 inches). The side of one is used to hit the face of the other piece in a single stroke.

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MIYAMARU Naoko

Shakubyshi

Hitting method

Figure 2

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Orchestration
Introduction
The standard instrumentation of the kangen orchestra includes sixteen instruments: Nine woodwind insturments: three hichiriki, three ryteki, and three sh. Four string instruments: two koto and two biwa. Three percussion instruments: one shko, one kakko, and one taiko. It is possible to perform kangen music in a chamber setting, in which case, the instrumentation varies between: ten (WW:1,1,1, String: 2, 2, Percussion: 1,1,1), five (WW: 1,1,1, String: 1,1), and three (WW: 1,1,1) instruments. The eight different instruments of the kangen orchestra are divided into three choirs: woodwinds, strings, and percussion. Each choir has a prescribed function that is never altered. The hichiriki and ryteki from the woodwind choir present the melody. The three instruments of the percussion choir collaborate to create a single rhythmic pattern, which marks off time units. Finally, the two plucked string instruments: the koto and the biwa, and the remaining woodwind instrument the sh create a bridge between the woodwind and percussion instruments by coloring key unpitched percussive attacks with pitched motives and harmony related to the melody.

Orchestration (cont.)
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Mixing the Woodwind instruments

The sole function of the ryteki and hichiriki is to present the melody, the most important element of the music. The two instruments typically voiced in octave, play in heterophony. On the other hand, the sole function of the sh is to provide the harmonic support, a function it fulfills in combination with the two string instruments. The lowest note of the shs aitake is considered to be its melodic tone. Figure 2 shows the correspondence between the written pitches of the three-woodwind instruments. It demonstrates that for the most part, the shs aitakes fill up the octave space between the hichiriki and the ryteki.

Correspondence between the pitches of the three-woodwind instruments Figure 2 Although the ryteki and hichiriki are united in their function and voiced in octave that is filled up with a harmonic structure, they do not fuse into a single sonority. In fact, the sound of the three-woodwind instruments usually creates a stratified texture where each instrument is clearly distinguishable. Moreover, the overall dynamics of the woodwind instrument is invariably loud contributing to create an overall

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monochromatic color, suggesting that the beauty of kangen music may lie beyond its overall sonority. Sections 1 and 2 aim at explaining why the sound of the threewoodwind instruments do not non-blend and why their dynamics is constantly loud.

1. Sound fusion
Our ability to hear separate parts is increased when instruments are not rhythmically synchronized, hence the traditional presentation of the melody by the ryteki and hichiriki in heterophony diminishes their blending potential. Moreover, an examination of the acoustical properties of the three-woodwind instruments suggests that an important reason for their non-blending quality is themselves. Indeed, fusion is facilitated when the sound of the instruments to be mixed is homogeneous, but already the three different types of embouchure of the woodwind instruments work against sonic fusion. Also the characteristically constant microtonal transformations of the hichirikis sound prevent any possible fusion, as demonstrated with Figure 3. The spectra of the hichiriki (in blue) and ryteki (in red) playing ff a D5 and D6, respectively, have been analyzed over a time-lap of about 2.5 seconds. The larger peaks of the hichiriki indicate that its sound fluctuates substantially during this time-lap. It also explains why the peaks of the two instruments do not align well in spite of the fact that they are in octave. Hence, Figure 3 shows that the acoustical properties of the two instruments do not favor their fusion since two tones blend better when more of their partials coincide. intrinsic to the instruments

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Spectra of the hichiriki (in blue) and ryteki (in red) playing ff a D5 and D6, respectively. Figure 3

2. Dynamics
The overall steady loud dynamics of the woodwind instruments is the outcome of a domino effect between the three instruments. The explanation of this sequence of events is divided up into three steps. It starts with an investigation of the effect of dynamics on the spectral envelope. Step 1: The effect of dynamics on the Japanese woodwind instruments is different from their Western counterparts. Typically, the effect of dynamics on Western instruments is twofold involving a change of volume and a displacement on the frequency scale of the sounds main energy. For instance, a decrescendo is characterized by a reduction in volume and a switch of energy towards the lower partials, as illustrated with the spectra on the left hand-side of Figure 4, which represents the sound of the clarinet playing a D5, ff (in blue), mf (in red), and pp (in green), respectively. On the other hand, the spectra on the right hand-side of Figure 4 are the shs also playing a D5 at the same three dynamics. While the reduction in volume is noticeable when comparing its spectra from the ff (in blue) to pp (in green), the energy displacement towards the lower partials is much less accentuated, it appears rather that the spectral envelop keeps more or less its shape and that the change of volume is proportionally spread over the entire envelop. Consequently, the transformation of the shs sound over a change of dynamics is much more discrete, hence less perceptible.

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Change of the clarinets spectral Change of the shs spectral envelop envelop as it plays a D5, ff, mf, pp, as it plays a D5, ff, mf, pp, respectively. respectively. Figure 4

Figure 5 shows the transformation of the spectral envelops over the same three dynamics for the ryteki and hichiriki playing a D6 and D5, respectively. It demonstrates the rytekis response to a dynamic change is similar to the shs but that the hichirikis is comparable to the clarinets response. The importance of this acoustical phenomenon will be further commented on in Step #3.

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Change of the rytekis spectral Change of the hichirikis spectral envelop as it plays a D6, ff, mf, pp, envelop as it plays a D5, ff, mf, pp, respectively. respectively. Figure 5

Step 2: Because the hichiriki and ryteki work together to present the melody, it is important to look at how dynamics affect their combined sounds. Figure 6 shows the spectra of the hichiriki (in blue) and ryteki (in red) playing ff a D5 and D6, respectively. The last spectrum shows the combined two sounds and it reveals that the ryteki must matched the hichirikis dynamics to avoid being masked.

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Spectra of the hichiriki (in blue) and ryteki (in red) playing ff a D5 and D6 respectively, and their combination. Figure 6

Step 3: Figure 7 shows the spectra of the hichiriki (in blue) and ryteki (in green) playing respectively a written D4 and D5, and the sh (in red) playing its aitake h, which is based on D5: pp on the left-hand side and ff on the right-hand side. It also shows the combination of the three sounds. The importance of the phenomenon

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described under Step #1 comes to bear when comparing the pp and ff sounds of the hichiriki (in blue) with the sh (in red). This comparison suggests that a move from ff to pp has a much stronger effect on the sound of the hichiriki than on the sound of the sh, to the point that the former could potentially be masked by the latter as they move towards a softer dynamics. Hence, to avoid being masked by the sh, the hichiriki must keep its dynamics on the loud side, and as explained in Step #2, the ryteki must matched the hichiriki dynamic level to avoid being masked by it.

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Spectra of the hichiriki (in blue), sh (in red) and ryteki (in green) and their combination, playing the written pitches pp Figure 7

Spectra of the hichiriki (in blue), sh (in red) and ryteki (in green) and their combination, playing the written pitches ff

3. The beauty of kangen music


Although the overall steady loud dynamic of kangen music is obvious, it would be a mistake to conclude that this music has no dynamic shape. As a matter of fact, the transformation of dynamics in kangen music has a direct impact on the sophisticated and refined timbral shifts of the music. Typically, the shs part moves in waves of crescendo and decrescendo. The sound of the sh is not much sensitive to dynamic

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changes, so these dynamic-waves are in fact produced by the addition and subtraction of pitches, called te-utsuri (see the chapter: Woodwinds/Sho). Based on the phenomenon described in Step #3, we can predict that this pitch expansion and contraction will influence the overall timbre. We can indeed expect the sound of the hichiriki to come forward as the number of pitches of the sh decreases, and to slightly fade away as the number of pitches increases. This timbral transformation is clearly perceptible on the next sound example from Sandaien Ichigu Jo-Section A performed by the ensemble Reigakusha.

Sound example: Sandaien Ichigu Jo-Section A (no score)

These intricate dynamics/timbral waves are clearly audible because of the stratified sound of the woodwind instruments that facilitates the perception of such minute timbral changes, but also because they coincide with the phrase structure. Theoretically, the Japanese melody divides the phrase structure into two symmetric parts. The first half of the phrase is characterized by melodic motion that is primarily conjunct, wave-like, and contained within the range of an octave. Moreover, the speed is essentially slow since the rhythmic subdivision of the melodies rarely goes beyond the eight-notes, with a metronome marking usually under quater-note = 54. Typically, this melody is then followed by a sustained-tone beginning at the phrases half-point, in phase with the meeting point of the three percussion instruments. Example 2 shows the melody of the first phrase of Etenrakus Section A. In measures 1-2 the melodic motion of the ryteki and hichiriki represents the foreground, while the shs two aitakes are background material, conversely to measures 3-4 where the single aitake as the woodwind instruments sustained-tone moves to the background. Note that sustainedtones in kangen music also have foreground quality since they are always ornamented has shown in Example 2 with the D acting as lower-neighbor tone to the E. This example is an excerpt from a recording by the ensemble Reigakusha.

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Etenraku: Simplified version of the 1st phrase of Section A (measure 9-12), Woodwind and Percussion instruments only Example 2

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Orchestration (cont.)
Mixing the String instruments
The sole function of the string instrument with the sh is to supply the harmonic support. The two-string instruments work in collaboration to create the string pattern that act as bridge between the woodwind and percussion instruments, coloring key unpitched percussive attacks with pitched motives and harmony related to the melody. The string section has its own internal hierarchy where the biwa main function is to color the downbeat of every measure with an arpeggio. As such it connects with the shko the percussion instrument whose function is also to articulate the downbeat of every measure. On the other hand, the kotos pattern usually spread out over two measures, slowly spells out the biwas harmony while reinforcing the main melodic tone. As such, it connects with the two melodic instruments: the hichiriki and the ryteki. Example 3 illustrates this process. The hichiriki and the ryteki introduce D has the melodic tone in the first measure, as shown with the arrows. That pitch is reinforced on the same beat by the sh and the biwa. Note that traditionally the lowest pitch of the sh and the highest on the biwas are considered their principal melodic tones. The biwas tones E and D are then reiterated in the kotos line with an emphasis being put on the D which is the lowest and highest note of the spread out harmony, as shown with the arrows. The recorded example comes from the beginning of the work, the koto only enters in the 3rd measure. This example is an excerpt from a recording by the ensemble Reigakusha.

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Etenraku: Simplified version of the 1st phrase of Section A (measure 9-12) Example 3

Although the biwa and the koto are united in their function, their sound never fuse. In fact, the sound of the two-string instruments usually creates a stratified texture where each of the two sounds is clearly distinguishable. There are two factors that work against their fusion: First, a minimum of resonance is required to get some fusion 79

between two sounds, but the sound of the biwa does not resonate much beyond one second; Secondly, our ability to hear separate parts increases when instruments are not synchronized rhythmically, which is the case of the two string instruments with the biwas activity focused mainly on the downbeat of every measure while the kotos main rhythmic activity focused on the 2nd and 3rd beats of the first measure when using the shizugaki pattern or on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd beats of the same measure when using the hayagaki pattern.

1. The beauty of kangen music


The string instruments pattern adds another level of transformation to the overall timbral structure of the music. The melodic first half of the cycle favors the woodwind instruments and as the melodic instruments come to a point of rest on the second half of the cycle, it switches to the rhythmically active string instruments as illustrated in Example 4, which shows the first phrase of Section A.

Etenraku: Simplified version of the 1st phrase of Section A (measure 4952),String and Woodwind instruments only. Example 4 80

Orchestration (cont.)
Mixing the three percussion instruments
The orchestras three percussion instruments work in collaboration to create a single rhythmic pattern that provides the composition with a regular metric outline that supports the melody. It has its own internal hierarchy where the shko main function is to articulate the downbeat of every measure, the kakkos role is to control the accelerandos that lead to some selected downbeats, while the function of the taiko is to articulate the most important downbeat of the entire phrase: its half-point called obachi. As a matter of fact, this is the only beat where the three percussion instruments meet. Example 1 shows the basic rhythmic pattern used in the phrase structure of 4 measures with 4 pulsations per measure. (It must be emphasized that while the obachi is structurally positioned at the cycle's half-point, this is not how the musicians with whom we worked think about it. Rather, some described it as the marker of the cycle's first measure, while others have indicated that they think of it as a marker of the last measure of the cycle. That is why in this research, we are making a distinction between the obachi's structural position and the way some musicians conceive of it.)

Four-measure/four-beat pattern Example 1 The taikos part is easy with only two attacks per cycle, and it is also difficult because the performer cannot afford loosing count, since one of the two attacks is the 81

cycles most important one. Hence the performance of the taiko includes hand gestures that add a ceremonial tone to the performance while helping the performer to keep up with counting. Thus, after the half-point attack the players left arm makes a circular motion and brings his/her left hand to rest on his/her left thigh, at which point the right arm performs a similar gesture and brings his/her right hand to rest on his/her right thigh. Then the left hand gets in place to perform the mebachi followed by the right hand that stands ready to perform the obachi, at which point the arms pattern starts over again. Although the three percussion instruments are united in producing a single rhythmic pattern, their different function and timbre prevent them from merging into a single sonority. As shown in Example 1, the two most active instruments are the shko and the kakko. The reason why their superposed sound remain clearly distinguishable is related to the fact that the former is an idiophone and the latter a membranophone, and because their sound occupies two separate areas on the frequency scale as demonstrated in Figure 1, which shows that the energetic pattern of shkos sound (in blue) starts around 3930 Hz, while the kakkos (in red) is located between 350-1100 Hz.

Comparison between the frequency areas occupied by the sounds of the kakko (in red) and the shko (in blue) Figure 1

Hence the different timbre of the percussion instruments helps articulate the phrase structure at three different speed levels. The first level of articulation is the fastest one and it comes from the high and piercing attack of the shko that usually

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marks off the downbeat of every measure. The second level of articulation is the intermediate one, and it comes from the kakkos whose rolls emphasize selected downbeats, usually one every two measures. Finally, the last level of articulation is the slowest one, and it comes from the taikos obachi, which accentuates the most important downbeat of the entire cycle: its mid-point. As demonstrated in the other chapters under 'Orchestration', timbral transformations and phrase structure go hand-in-hand. Hence, the macro rhythm created by the percussion instruments provides the listener with a temporal canvas against which one can appreciate the transformations of timbre.

Orchestration (cont.)
Mixing the three choirs
As shown in Figure 8 the seating arrangement for the kangen orchestra is: Woodwind players sit in the back with the ryteki players on the left, hichirikis in the middle, and the sh players on the right. For each instrument, the seating arrangement of the 3 performers forms a triangle with two players sitting on the back row, and the first chair in front of them. The string players sit in front of the woodwind players with the two koto players on the left and the two biwa players on the right. In both cases, the first chairs are the ones sitting closer to the middle of the stage. Finally the three percussionists occupy the front row with the shko on the left, the taiko in the middle, and lastly the kakko on the right. There is no conductor. The 16 musicians synchronize via the melody. The typical training for a musician of kangen music starts by learning one of the three-woodwind instruments for seven to ten years. Then, the musicians add to their training the study of either a string or a percussion instruments as well as dance or singing. Therefore, all musicians know the melody and how their part fits in relationship with it.

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Reigakusha ensemble

Kangen orchestra Figure 8

For example, during one of our sessions with the musicians from the Reigakusha ensemble, we noticed as the ensemble was changing repertoire from a kangen to a bugaku work, the sh player ISHIKAWA Ko switching for the taiko and the hichiriki player NAKAMURA Hitomi leaving her instrument behind to put on an extremely colorful costume and masterfully perform a dance as if this was the only thing she had done all of her life.

1. Form and instrumental textures


The orchestration of the introduction and coda sections of every kangen piece is prescribed and static for the rest of the work. The first and the last sections act respectively as a gradual fade-in and fade-out, and only the first chairs play in these sections. Moreover, the instruments entrance in the introduction follows a strictly preset order: the ryteki enters first, followed by the percussion instruments, the sh, which enters quasi- simultaneously with the hichiriki and finally the biwa and the koto. 84

After the equivalent of about a phrase-length of solo playing, each first chair is joined in by its respective peers. Hence, the entrance of the second koto completes the tutti that is invariably maintained until the coda. At that point, the instruments disappear following another preset order. The percussion instruments stop first, followed by the woodwind instruments, and then the biwa and koto.

2. Register
The de facto separation of the choirs based on their acoustical properties and different functions is emphasized by their separate registers, where the string and woodwind instruments occupies two separate ranges: the lower register for the former and the higher one for the latter.

3. The beauty of kangen music


The relationship between the musics timbral transformations and its phrase structure has been established. Examples from Etenraku have been used to support our points because this is one of the most standard works of the repertoire. Example 5, an excerpt from Seigaiha, is introduced to show that phasing interplays between phrase structure and timbral transformations adds one more dimension to the music.

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Simplified version of Seigaiha's first phrase of Section B (measure 17-24) Example 5 Seigaiha's phrase structure is eight-measure long, with four beats per measure. That structure is established with Section As two phrases where we find the expected four measures of melodic motion with an overall color favoring the woodwind instruments, coming to a sustained-tone at the phrases mid-point in phase with the taikos obachi, where the overall color switches to a mixture of sh instruments. But the synchronization between the musics phrase structure and its timbral transformations is broken in the first phrase of Seigaihas Section B, as shown in Example 5. The 4+4 measure pattern has switched to a 2+4+2 with the sustained-tone on F# starting two measures before the taikos obachi, setting a marvelous feel of ambiguity, which is maintained in the second phrase of Section B where an eightmeasure melodic motion is introduced without a sustained-tone. Finally, the phasing between the two parties is re-established with the first phrase of Section C. (These last two phrases are not shown). The 2nd phrase (measure 8-16) of Konju-no-Ha provides another example of a method of out-phasing the phrase structure and the sound transformations. The phrase cycle is four-measure with four beats per measure, as shown in Example 6. and string

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Konju-no-Ha: 2nd phrase (measures 9-16) Example 6 The melodic line of this phrase does not create the standard 4 + 4 where each four measures would further be divided in 2 + 2, instead, the lines merges the two groups of four measures into a 6 + 2, consequently, there is no change of timbre that corresponds with the first taikos obachi. Moreover, the sustained-tone of the last two measures is in fact out-phased, starting two beats earlier than the taikos obachi. Our purpose with these last two examples was not to start an exhaustive list of out-phasing techniques, rather we wanted to make two points: First, we wanted to give the reader a sense of how alive this music is, an impression that he/she may not have gotten from our square presentations of the various techniques covered in this section. Second, we wanted to prepare the listeners to expect the unexpected as he/she listens to kangen music and to go beyond its overall static sonority, because it has so much beauty to offer already beyond its first curtain.

4. Timbre and time


Like its Western counterpart kangen orchestral music is composed of superposed layers of sound but while Western music layers usually blend, layers of Japanese orchestral music do not. The listener can at all times easily differentiate the 87

sound of instruments across choirs as well as within each choir. The intricate and refined interaction between the eight kangen instruments is clearly perceptible at every moment. This provides a complex and dynamic experience even if on a larger scale other elements appear slow or static. The richness of kangen music is not based on a high level dramatic progression but on the inner life of the ever-elusive moment. Although this research has focused exclusively on orchestration in kangen music, it must be emphasize that its temporal qualities are also fascinating, so much so that this is in fact material for a research in itself. But for the time being, we refer the reader to an article we have written on the correlation between timbre and time in kangen music. Japanese Traditional Orchestral Music: The Correlation between Time and Timbre, it can be found at: http://www.jaroslawkapuscinski.com/pdf/japanesetraditional-orchestral-music.pdf .

Voice
There are three types of vocal music performed at the Imperial court: Saibara: Accompanied vocal court music, it draws from traditional folk music. The text is short and simple with a earthy tone, often describing scenes of life. Rei: Performed with or without accompaniment, rei is more a recitation than a song, in spite of the fact that it is often referred to as 'graceful songs'. The text usually consists of a pair of seven-word lines from a familiar Chinese poem rendered in a combination of Japanese and Chinese. Kagura-uta: Often labeled as 'God's songs', kagura-uta is the repertoire of sacred vocal music associated with the mikagura (court dance related to the shinto cult). It is composed of 26 chants including, among others, Niwabi, Achime, Karakami, Hayakarakami, Komomakura, Sazanami, Senzai, Hayauti, Hoshi, Asakura, Sonokoma ...

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In all three cases, the melodies are built from the succession of melodic patterns, each one characterized with its own shape.

1. Melodic patterns used in rei and kagura-uta songs


Tsuki A long note followed by a short glissando to its upper neighbor-tone rapidly returning to the initial pitch. This pattern is never repeated in a sequence.

Tsuki Example 1 Oshi A long note followed by a short glissando to its lower neighbor-tone rapidly returning to the initial pitch. This pattern is never repeated in a sequence.

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Oshi Example 2 Pattern with no name According to the singer with whom we worked, ISHIKAWA Ko, this pattern essentially came about as an ornamentation, hence, it does not have a specific name. Its contour involves a sustained-tone that comes down a tone and immediately jump up a fourth followed by an ascending second.

Pattern with no name Example 3 Mawasaki-ushi A sustained-tone followed by two fast descending thirds before jumping up a fourth, ending a tone lower than the initial pitch.

Mawasaki-ushi Example 4 Ori-ushi 90

A sustained-tone followed by a short accelerando with two descending thirds leading to a melismatic motion that closes on a pitch a fourth lower than the initial tone.

Ori-ushi Example 5 Yuri A sustained-tone is pulsated three times by its lower neighbor-tone, this motion always starts slowly and then accelerated.

Yuri Example 6

Yuri-nagashi A sustained-tone is pulsated four times by its lower neighbor-tone, this motion always starts slowly and then accelerated before slowing down again. It is only used at the end of a piece.

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Yuri-nagashi Example 7

Kurikoe A sustained-tone followed by a glissando up a minor sixth, after resting on that tone another glissando goes down a fourth.

Kurikoe Example 8

2. Melodic patterns used in saibara songs


Osu A sustained-tone pulsated with one accentuated lower neighbor-tone.

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Osu Example 9 Yoyu Similar to yuri except that the neighboring motion is limited to two instead of three.

Yoyu Example 10

Irifushi The saibara's equivalent for yuri.

Irifushi Example 11

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3. Short analysis of the melodic patterns used in the beginning of Senzai


Senzai is a song from the kagura-uta repertory: it is composed of 9 phrases. Although it would traditionally be accompanied by the kagurabue, hichiriki, wagon, and shakbyoshi, it is presented here unaccompanied in order to focus solely on its melodic structure. Typically, the melodic structure of gagaku songs is modular, since the sequencing of various melodic patterns creates the melodic lines. A Western transcription of Senzai's first phrase is analyzed in Example 12 to illustrate that point.

Modular structure of Senzai's first phrase Example 12

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Credits
The two instigators are: Dr. Jaroslaw Kapuscinski from Stanford University jkapuscinski@stanford.edu Dr. Franois Rose from the University of the Pacific frose@pacific.edu

First, we would like to extend our warmest thanks to Professor YUASA Joji whose invaluable support provided the initial impetus for our research and to Professor TOKUMARU Yosihiko for his much appreciated guidance. We are also indebted to the following persons without whom this research would not have been possible. We offer our most heart-felt words of appreciation to:

1. Professor SHIBA Shukeyasu, founder and director of Reigakusha orchestra (http://reigakusha.com/), and its participating musicians:
HIRAI Yuko, Koto ISHIKAWA Ko, Sh and voice MIYAMARU Naoko, Percussion NAKAMURA Hitomi, Hichiriki NAKAMURA Kahoru, Biwa SASAMOTO Takeshi, Ryteki and komabue

2. Tokyo Concerts Inc.: (http://www.tokyo-concerts.co.jp/)


KAKIGAHARA Yasuhiro OMORI Mizue

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3. Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music


FURUKAWA Kiyoshi

4. Sound engineers
KAWASAKI Yoshihiro NISHIHARA Nao

From left to right: NISHIHARA Nao and KAWASAKI Yoshihiro, Sound engineers from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, NAKAMURA Hitomi, Hichiriki player from Reigakusha, Dr. Jarolsaw Kapuscinski, from Stanford University, OMORI Mizue, from Tokyo Concerts Inc.

Sponsors

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The project was funded primarily through Stanford Universitys Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Japan Fund & William and Flora Hewlett Endowment Fund for Area and International Studies and Research. Additional support was provided by: Stanford University/CCRMA. Fellowship The University of the Pacific through a SAAG and an Eberhardt Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music Website design collaboration: Jaroslaw Kapuscinski, Franois Rose, and Carr Wilkerson.

References
This is a limited list of references related to orchestration in Kangen music.

Kapuscinski, Jaroslaw and Rose, Franois

Japanese Traditional Orchestral Music: The Correlation between Time and Timbre,

http://www.jaroslawkapuscinski.com/pdf/japanese-traditionalorchestral-music.pdf

Le temps et le timbre dans la musique de Gagaku ,

ISBN-978-2-296-96742-7

http://www.editionsharmattan.fr/index.asp?navig=catalogue&obj=livre&no=37198

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Miki, Minoru

Composing for Japanese Instruments, translated by Marty Regan publ. University of Rochester Press, 2008. ISBN-13:978-1-58046-273-0, ISBN-10:1-58046-273-1, ISSN:1071-9989

Regan, Marty

Composing for Japanese Instruments,

http://home.vicnet.net.au/~aaf/composingjapan.pdf

Shiba, Sukehiro

Score of Gagaku Japanese Classical Court Music, Vol. 1 transcribed by SHIBA Sukehiro, Tky, Ryginsha, 1955.

Shno, Sumusa

The role of listening in GAGAKU,

Contemporary Music Review 1987, Volume 1, pp. 19-43

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Repertoire Theory Woodwinds Strings Percussion Orchestration Voice About References

Rose/Kapuscinski, October 2010 Orchestration in Gagaku Music

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