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World Minerals

sat 22 sep 2007 09:02 
Composers: Michio Miyagi | Traditional

Japanese koto minerals

In this episode of World Minerals, we listen to music for the koto, the Japanese harp with 13 strings. The koto is possibly the most traditional Japanese instrument. A precursor already arrived in the eighth century from China, and the koto was played exclusively at the court of the Emperor till the 17th century. Yatsuhashi Kengyo, a blind shamisen player, learned to play the koto in secret, and he simplified the tuning and started playing music of the people. Under his influence, the instrument was scattered under the whole Japanese population and the koto stayed popular since. Traditionally, there are two main movements in the koto music: the Ikuta school (founded by followers of Yatsuhashi Kengyo) in which the emphasis lies on the koto playing, and the Yamada school, in which singing has an important part. Michio Miyagi founded a third school in the 19th century, in which the influence of Western music could be heard. Put up a pot of macha (green tea), put on a yukata (leisure kimono), and enjoy the beautiful timbre of the Ikuta and Miyagi koto.
1. Sakura
CD: The Soul of the Koto
Performer: Master Musicians of Ikuta-Ryu
Composer: traditional, folk melody
 
2. Godan-Kinuta
CD: Koto Music of Japan
Performer: Duet for two koto players of the Zumi-Kai Original Instrumental Group
Composer: Mitsuzaki Kengyo (?-1853?)
3. Rokudan
CD: The Art of the Koto, Volume One
Performer: Nanae Yoshimura
Composer: Yatsuhashi Kengyo (1614-1685)
4. Midare
CD: The Art of the Koto, Volume One
Performer: Nanae Yoshimura
Composer: Yatsuhashi Kengyo (1614-1685  )
5. London no Yoru no Ame
CD: Tegoto
Performer: Tomoko Sunazaki
Composer: Michio Miyagi (1895-1956)
6. Tegoto
CD: Tegoto
Performer: Tomoko Sunazaki
Composer: Michi Miyagi (1895-1956)
7. Kamimu
CD: Tegoto
Performer: Tomoko Sunazaki
Composer: Hozan Yamamoto (1938-  )
8. Mo Na Mi
CD: The Music of Japan – The Rough Guide
Performer: Koto Vortex
Composer: Hiroshi Yoshimura (1940-2003)

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