Traditional Japanese Music in Contemporary Times
elementary general music, Japan, koto, secondary general music, shakuhachi, world music
Music in Japan is richly varied and includes documented genres dating back more than 1000 years. From classical court music known as gagaku, to the dramatic music plays in kabuki, to contemporary J-pop (subgenre of popular music), educators can find a sound to suit every instructional need. The focus here will be on considerations of three traditional instruments used in Japan: the koto (zither), shakuhachi (bamboo flute), and shamisen (three-stringed instrument), and a unique educational experience for those interested in studying these traditions. The learning program is offered through a koto school in Tokyo that is more than a century old, and they now offer a course in English every other summer. Also offered are suggestions for incorporating traditional Japanese music into elementary and secondary general music settings.
General Music Today
Howard, K. (2020). Traditional Japanese music in contemporary times. General Music Today, 33(2), 52-57. https://doi.org/10.1177/1048371320902753