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China (PRC) Beijing
North Korea Pyongyang
South Korea Seoul
Taiwan (ROC) Taipei
Mongolia Ulaan Baatar
Japanese vocal music is quite
different from the Western vocal
music, and is based on the intervals
of human breathing rather than
mathematical timing, and how
Japanese musicians show their
spiritual self-mastery in mastering his
or her instrument more than simply
perfecting a technique of some
sort and how they give value to
their performance and composure.
Instrumental music of Japan
Traditional Japanese music is
basically meditative in character. Its
performance is highly ritualized, as
much in the music itself, as in the
composure of the musicians when
performing it. Japanese chamber
and solo music have a slow
The performance of Japanese
music has traditionally been of a
spiritual character, similarly to
martial arts and other forms of art
such as the tea ceremony and
calligraphy. It is usually about
religious festivals, work, dance, love,
and regional songs.
Audiences are looking for this self-
mastery in musicians. This is the
reason why music has become
highly ritualized. Musicians must
show this spiritual self-mastery in
their performance and composure.
They work on an inner strength in
mastering his or her instrument,
more than simply perfecting a
technique of some sort and
1. Odaiko - (big drum). The
physical energy and sheer
excitement of an Odaiko
performance is an integral part
of many Japanese matsuri
2. Tsuzumi (hourglass-
shape) – There are
two varieties; the
(smaller) kotsuzumi is
held on the right
shoulder and the
player alters the tone
by squeezing the
laces. The (bigger)
otsuzumi is placed on
the left thigh.
4. Taiko - is a Japanese drum
that comes in various sizes and is
used to play a variety of musical
1. Koto - is a 13-string zither, about
two meters long and made of
Paulownia wood. It is plucked using
picks on the thumb and first two
fingers of the right hand, while the
left hand can be used to modify
pitch and tone. Koto is used in an
ensemble in gagaku or as a solo
2. Shamisen - is a plucked
stringed instrument. Its construction
follows a model similar to that of a
guitar or a banjo, employing a
neck, and strings stretched across
a resonating body. The neck of the
shamisen is fretless, and is slimmer
than that of a guitar or a banjo.
3. Biwa - is a Japanese short-
necked fretted lute, often used in
narrative storytelling. The biwa is
the chosen instrument of Benten,
the goddess of music, eloquence,
poetry, and education in Japanese
1. Shakuhachi - the
most famous flute
made from bamboo. It
has 4 or 5 finger holes
on the front face and a
thumbhole on the rear
2. Nokan - a
flute is the only
used in noh. The
melody of the flute
has no specific
with the melody of
3. Hichiriki - is a
used as one of two
music, the other
being the ryūteki.
4. Sho - is a
instrument that was
China during the
5. Shinobue – also
called takebue (in
the context of
traditional arts) is a
transverse flute or
fue that has a high-
6. Ryūteki -
flute" is a
made of bamboo.
It is used in
For several thousand years Chinese
culture was dominated by the
teachings of the philosopher
Confucius, he conceived music in
the highest sense as a means of
calming the passion of dispelling of
unrest and lust, rather than as a
form of amusement.
Traditionally the Chinese have
believed that sound influences the
harmony of the universe. Significantly,
one of the most important duties of
the first emperor of each new dynasty
was to search out and establish that
dynasty’s through standard of pitch. A
result of this philosophical orientation
was that the Chinese theoretically
opposed music performed solely for
1. Yueqin - Moon-
shaped lute with
shorter neck and
four strings, played
with a spectrum,
2. Pipa - Four-stringed
lute with 30 frets and
a pear-shaped body.
This instrument has an
dynamic range and
3. Erhu - Two-stringed
fiddle and one of the
most popular Chinese
instruments. It is used as
a solo instrument as well
as in small ensembles
or large orchestra, and
by various ethnic
4. Yunluo - Literally
"cloud gongs" or
"cloud of gongs", the
yunluo is a set of ten
small tuned gongs
mounted in a
5. Sheng – (Chinese
mouth organ) looks
like a set of panpipes,
with 12 to 36 bamboo
pipes. Each pipe is of
different length with a
brass reed at the
bottom and a hole
that must be blocked
in order for the note to
6. Dizi - is the traditional
Chinese flute. It can have a
membrane over an extra hole
to give the characteristic
7. Zheng - An
has an arched
surface and an
trapezoid with 13
to 21 strings
8. Pengling - these
are two small bells
made of high-tin
and hemispheric or
like in shape.
Find a partner and prepare a
pen and a paper for this activity.
Listen to recordings of different
instruments of Korea. Classify the
instrument heard into string,
percussion, or wind.
What kind of feeling or mood
does it express?
How do these sounds show
aspects of Korean culture?
What similarities with other East
Asian countries can you identify
in these sounds?
Korea's folk music tradition, with its
generous use of bright rhythms and
melodies, offers a more energetic
and capricious contrast to the
nation's collection of classical music
Chong-ak means literally
"right (or correct) music", Chong-
ak also refers to ensemble music
for men of high social status
outside of the court.
Sog-ak or minsogak is a
category of Korean music
traditionally associated with the
lower classes or for the general
public and are vibrant and
energetic. It includes genres
such as pansori and minyo.
Pansori is a kind of
music presented to audiences
by skilled vocal singers and
drummers. But even the unskilled
could sing these songs.
Instrumental Music of Korea
Korean music especially in South
Korea has a rich vocal tradition,
and diverse instruments and
music forms. Folk songs, religious
works, court music, and shaman
rituals all express the soul of a
nation whose history is filled with
colorful and fascinating tales.
1. Kayagum (gayageum) - is a
traditional Korean zither-like
string instrument, with 12
strings, although more recently
variants have been
constructed with 21 or more
numbers of strings. It is
probably the best-known
traditional Korean musical
2. Geomungo – (six-string plucked
zither), is a traditional Korean
stringed musical instrument of the
zither family of instruments with both
bridges and frets.
3. Haegum (two-string vertical
fiddle) – It has a rodlike neck, a
hollow wooden soundbox, two
silk strings, and
Is held vertically
on the knee of
and played with
Piri - it is made of bamboo. Its large
reed and cylindrical bore gives it a
sound mellower than
that of many other types of oboe.
Changgo - is the most widely used drum
used in the traditional music of Korea. It
is available in most kinds, and consists
of an hourglass-shaped body with two
heads made from
Sakura – (Cherry Blossoms) is a
traditional Japanese folk song
depicting spring, the season of
Mo Li Hua - is a traditional Chinese
song with a beautifully gentle and
lyrical melody. The lyrics is about
“the jasmine flower” also turn it into
a love song.
Arirang - is a Korean folk song,
sometimes considered the unofficial
national anthem of Korea. It is used as
a symbol of Korea and Korean
culture. Arirang is in essence a song
of farewell. The origin of the word
'Arirang' is ‘the hill’. An emotion of
deep regret is imbued in the rhythm of
Arirang. The song evokes the feeling
of the tears shed by Koreans and the
remembrance of their sad stories.
On an oslo paper, draw a
creative illustration on the
relationship of man and
nature as reflected in three
folk songs you have learned.
Present and describe your
illustration to the class.
• Japanese music was influenced by the
court music of China
• It is based on the five tone scale or the
• Before the historical period, the Japanese
traditional music (Hogaku) develop an
accompaniment of ritual dances called
• In religion, Confucianism propagated the
themes on loyalty and filial piety while
Shintoism inculcated the idea that music is
a gift from God.
• Before the historical period, the
Japanese traditional music (Hogaku)
develop an accompaniment of ritual
dances called Kagura.
• In religion, Confucianism propagated
the themes on loyalty and filial piety
while Shintoism inculcated the idea
that music is a gift from God.
• Japanese music is monophony in
nature. It observes minute tones, free
rhythm and delicate timbre. It is
usually written in duple meter.
• Japanese music has two basic types of
scales, both pentatonic in nature, that are
often used in playing the koto and
• These are the male scale called Yo – sen
and the female scale known as In – sen.
• The most important note in the pentatonic
scale is the corner stone or the third note.
• Japanese Vocal music is quite different
from the Western vocal Music, and is
based on the intervals of human breathing
rather than mathematical timing.
• Japanese musicians show their spiritual
self-mastery in mastering his or her
instrument more than simply perfecting a
technique of some sort and how they give
value to their performance and
• Traditional Japanese music is basically
meditative in character.
• Its music and performance are highly
ritualized, as is the composure of the
musicians when performing it.
• Japanese chamber music and solo music
have a slow meditative pace and use
• Japanese music has three general
types of instruments - percussion
instruments (odaiko, tsuzumi, shoko,
tsuridaiko, taiko), string instruments
(koto, shamisen, biwa), and wind
instruments -mostly flutes (shakuhachi,
nokan, sho, hichiriki).
• Compared to our music, Japanese
music is very simple. They sing melodies
in unison and they never repeat the
same melody in a song.
There are two ancient foundations for
Japanese traditional music.
• Is also called Buddhist chanting.
• The chants are based on sacred text and
• They have flexible rhythm, where the
singers simply stops when there is no more
• They are sung acapella and are
• At present, the SHOMYO has lost its real
• Literally means “elegant and refined
ga – refined gaku – music
• It is the only surviving music in Japan.
• This court music has been greatly
influenced by China.
• Bugaku- Japanese court dance
a. Togaku – highest musical style or
b. Komagaku – Korean origin and of
native composition associated with
rituals of the Shinto religion.
c. Saibara – Is a small number of
regional Japanese folk songs.
• Chinese vocal music has traditionally
been sung in a thin, non-resonant
voice, or in falsetto
• Chinese vocal music is usually solo
rather than choral.
• All traditional Chinese music is
melodic rather than harmonic.
• Chinese music uses the pentatonic
scale as can be heard in the song
“Mo Li Hua”.
• Xiaodiao, or short tunes, are popular
music in Chinese urban areas.
• Chinese musical instruments are
classified according to the materials
by which they are made: animal
skins, gourd, bamboo, wood, silk,
earth/clay, metal, and stone.
• Korean music has a slow tempo, giving it a
very peaceful and pensive character.
• Yayue - an elegant music which includes
ritual and ceremonial court music
• Suyue - popular music
• Huyue - foreign music
• A-ak - elegant vocal and instrumental
• Pansori is a kind of music presented to
audiences by skilled vocal singers and