Friday, June 15, 2012

From the liner notes:

"Japan owes its music, as its culture in general, to the Chinese. Not only, however, have the Japanese actively developed this heritage, but they have also preserved many elements of older Chinese music which have been lost in its home country.
The music of the Japanese can be divided into main categories which correspond to the sacred and secular fields of Western music. In the former category we find: (a) Gagaku. This is the ancient Chinese temple music which was introduced into Japan around A.D. 600 and which marks the beginning of Japanese musical history. It is orchestral music, performed by small shawms (hichiriki), flutes (shakuhachi), mouth organs (sho), lutes (biwa), drums, and gongs. - (b) Ka(n)gura. This is the indigenous Japanese temple (Shinto) music which is used today for the most solemn worship. It originated in the 13th century when Japan became conscious of its aboriginal culture, and may well contain elements of a tradition prior to the Chinese influence.


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