Gagaku

From Academic Kids

Gagaku (雅楽) is a type of Japanese classical music that has been performed at the Imperial court for several centuries. It consists of three primary bodies: native Shintoist religious music and folk songs, saibara, as well as a Korean form, komagaku, and a Chinese form, togaku. By the 7th century, the shakuhachi (an end-blown flute,different from modern type of shakuhachi), the gakuso (a zither) and the gakubiwa (a short-necked lute) had been introduced in Japan from China. Various instruments including these three were the earliest used to play gagaku.

Komagaku and togaku arrived in Japan during the Nara period (710-794), and settled into the basic modern divisions during the Heian period (794-1185). Gagaku performances were played by musicians who belonged to hereditary guilds. During the Kamakura period (1185-1333), military rule was imposed and gagaku was performed in the homes of the aristocracy, but rarely at court. At this time, there were three guilds based out of Osaka, Nara and Kyoto.

Because of the Onin War (応仁の乱 Ōnin no ran) which was a civil war from 1467 to 1477 during the Muromachi period, gagaku in ensemble had been stoped playing in Kyoto for about 100 years. In Edo era, Tokugawa government re-organized the court style ensemble which is the direct roots of the present one.

After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, musicians from all three guilds came to Tokyo and their descendants make up most of the current Imperial Palace Music Department. By this time, the present ensemble style which consists of three wind instruments i.e. hichiriki, ryuteki and sho (instrument made with bamboo pipes which make harmony) and three percussions i.e. kakko (small drum), shoko (metal percussion) and taiko (drum) or dadaiko (huge drum) supplemented by gakubiwa, gakuso had been established.

Related to gagaku is theater, which developed in parallel. Noh was developed in the 14th century.

External link

Template:Music-genre-stubde:Gagaku ja:雅楽 zh:雅乐

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