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 Post subject: shamisen/koto partitures?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:46 pm 
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First Year Maiko
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in relation to traditional songs,are there partitures? is it possible to play them using other instruments? does someone known? :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:51 am 
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Shikomi
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There is a nice book in Western score called "Japanese Folk Songs with piano accompaniment" (compiled by Ryutaro Hattori, published by The Japan Times Ltd. No ISBN in my copy.) It contains 63 traditional folk songs. Each song shows the song title translated into English as well as the actual Japanese title in Romanized letters, the vocal line with both hiragana and Romanized lyrics, and a two-handed piano accompaniment. At the end of the score, there's an English translation of the lyrics side by side with the lyrics in Japanese script (kanji/kana. And sometimes, there is a quick one-line blurb about the song or the area of Japan it comes from.

Also try "Folk Songs of Japanese Children" by Donald Paul Berger (comes with piano accompaniment).

There is a series of shamisen music books by Fujimoto that are written in both shamisen tablature (bunkafu) and 5-line score for each piece. There are about 11 books in the series, which covers Tsugaru pieces plus min'you pieces.

With any of the above, if you can read Western music, then you can play the pieces on pretty well any instrument (piano, guitar, flute, violin, etc., etc.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:52 pm 
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First Year Maiko
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thank you :D !

I decided to do a little search in Youtbe to check out if someone tried to play japanses songs with western instruments and i´ve found a nice video,it´s "sakura sakura" played with piano:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sBDiunADZ0

the result is so beautifull,that shows we use the instruments we have in our cities/countries/States,we don´t need to despair if we can´t find a koto or shamisen. :oops:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:03 pm 
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Shikomi
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Speaking of Sakura Sakura, this is the most beautiful dance of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Orl1JILfyes

I wonder what instruments are being used besides shamisen? I wish I had that song in high quality.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:33 pm 
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Shikomi
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Toshiha wrote:
I wonder what instruments are being used besides shamisen?


There is "regular" koto, bass koto, tsutsumi (Japanese drum, it's the "popping" sound), plus Western strings that could be either synthesized or real (quality wasn't good enough to say for sure...). There did not seem to be any shamisen on that track.

Hope that helps.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:39 pm 
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Toshi No Miya
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moving this to japan general sub-forum!

:)

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 Post subject: Re: shamisen/koto partitures?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:57 pm 
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Shikomi
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:46 pm
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You can more or less play Japanese music on Western instruments ... but it might sound a little bit off. Hirajoshi ("Even Tuning") is the "standard" oKoto tuning in which about 85% of the music is written. The notes on the western scale would be D Eb G A and Bb. However this is only close as the distance between the D and Eb (a minor second) is actually a little larger by a few cents (100th of a semitone). The Distance between the root and Bb is also a bit off as well. This is because it is not using the tempered scale, but rather the natural scale. However because we (both western and eastern) are so used to western music ... this difference is largely ignored. I have a very hard time hearing and making the difference ... but my teacher often corrects me by 1-1/2 cents.

Because the traditional Japanese instruments (like Shakuhathi) are limited to 5 notes or so it is more difficult to play Western music on Japanese instruments. That being said ... I am much more used to western music ... and with it's movable bridges I can tune my koto to the western scale and play western music "by ear" faster and better than playing my traditional koto music, even when I have my japanese music (written in Kanji) in front of me. The limitation is the pitch range at this point ... one only has a 13 note range (plus accidentals by pressing or pulling on the strings).


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