Gagaku Essay by The Research Group

An examination of Japanese court music including the origins, style, musicians, sacred aspects, training, performance, instruments and dance.
# 20381 | 2,025 words | 5 sources | 1993 | US
Published on Mar 20, 2003 in Music Studies (World Music)

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From the Paper:

"This paper will be concerned with gagaku, or Japanese court music. In the Japanese language, ga means "elegant" and gaku means "music." Thus, the word gagaku refers to "a dignified, highly refined, elegant style of music and dance" (Togi, 1971, p. 34). Many of the characteristics which are unique to gagaku are based on these ideas of elegance and refinement. Thus, for example, the court music of Japan is considered to be a form of "sacred" music as opposed to the "entertainment" music which exists for secular purposes. Regarding this point, Harich.Schneider has claimed that gagaku possesses "a striking solemnity and noble aloofness, two characteristics totally absent from the sensuous and affected entertainment music" (1953, p. 51). Furthermore, Harich.Schneider has pointed out that Japanese court music has a richer instrumentation and uses longer, more..."

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