Music and Dance in Russia and Japan
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This paper shows how music has been combined with drama and dance throughout history and across cultures. The writers takes Tchaikovsky's western-influenced ballets and compares them to the very dissimilar traditional Japanese Kabuki music. Some similarities are drawn that show how different cultures appreciate and embody the inherent drama in music. The paper includes backgrounds of Tchaikovsky, Japanese Kabuki in an historical setting, as well as full descriptions of the music. The last paragraph compares/contrasts the two, while drawing overarching conclusions about the universality of music.
From the Paper:"Since its birth, music has never been segregated out as "pure music" as the modern term now implies, with no implications attached to the sounds themselves. More often than not, there is always some sort of abstract connection made to the music, whether it is an evocation of a program, a tool for communication, a symbol of power, or a means of connecting with the spirit or the supernatural. Often, music will be used to tell a story, because of its ability to create atmosphere, manipulate moods, and even imitate concrete sounds. This ability leads to the creation of music in many categories namely music with drama, and programmatic music. Drama and music have been combined since ancient times, in the form of accompaniment or incidental music to theatrical works, or as in Western Europe, operas and ballets. Wagner himself termed his operas "music dramas", but his was definitely not the first, nor the last great marriage of the two arts. For instance, since before the seventeenth century in Japan, an art combining music, acting and dance called Kabuki has flourished. Kabuki stems from other Japanese forms called Noh and Bunraku, but whereas these two forms combine music and drama of sorts, Kabuki is by far the most lavish, and is a combination of these other two forms. Besides exhibiting far greater orchestral forces, there is also a strong emphasis on the dance. Likewise, across the continent at about the same time an art of schooled dance began in the courts in France, culminating to what we now know as ballet. Ballet itself was often found in segments of operas, and in the eighteenth and nineteenth century it became fashionable to create full-length story ballets, consisting of purely music and dancers telling a story. A prime example of the apotheosis of the ballet genre would be Tchaikovsky's popular ballets, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker. Thus, the idea of music supporting dramatic action can be evidenced in both Japanese Kabuki, and Tchaikovsky's ballets, although both display as many striking differences as similarities."
Cite this Comparison Essay:
Music and Dance in Russia and Japan (2003, April 13) Retrieved October 20, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/music-and-dance-in-russia-and-japan-24088/
"Music and Dance in Russia and Japan" 13 April 2003. Web. 20 October. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/music-and-dance-in-russia-and-japan-24088/>