Page  10 ï~~Simplicity as complexity - technicalities and aesthetics of Japanese musical instruments and music SIMURA, Satosi TuKrEANI, Tuneko 2 SEYAMA, Toru3 YAMAGUTI, Osamu 4 Osaka University of Arts. 2.3 Osaka University 4 Higasiyama, Kanan, Minami Kawati OSAKA 585 Matikaneyama, Toyonaka OSAKA 560 Abstract This lecture concert will examine the history and characteristics of traditional Japanese instruments from various viewpoints. Pieces named Turu no sugomori [Nesting of cranes], classical syakuhati honkyoku, are taken as examples representing some essential aspects of traditional Japanese music. Music in the context of Japanese culture will also be investigated. Highly artistic performing techniques, in particular, the tremolo-like techniques that frequently appear in these pieces will be demonstrated. With these demonstrations we try to prove that music is an art in time and space, in which the human mind and spirit unite with body and are controlled in a highly developed way. 0. Introduction 0.1 Computer and music: technology and traditional culture In today's post-industrialised societies, computers have already become part of our daily lives; not only a status symbol for the elite but also partners of laymen in their work and studies. Everything in our lives, from the automobile and airplane to the microwave oven and refrigerator, are in some way connected to computers. Music is no exception. Highly developed technology and sophisticated techniques are closely associated with today's music making. It is conspicuous that few types or genres of music can be created or can survive in this world without the recording technique of today, even though one may call it "commercialism". Fortunately and ironically this "commercialism" or "consumptionism" sometimes helps prevent traditional music disappearing from ongoing musical scenes most of which are indifferent toward "old-fashioned" styles. Traditional Japanese music is now in vogue in the world of contemporary music and is regarded as a fountain of the offsprings. This could be partly because traditional Japanese music has something common with the Western-originated "contemporary music" which, as Umberto Eco describes, "are linked by a common feature: the considerable autonomy left to the individual performer in the way he chooses to play the work"(Eco 1989:1); or partly because it enjoys the influence of John CAGE in this field, whose "Zen-like approach to sound" is repeatedly mentioned (HOFSTADTER 1989: 699). Computer/electronic music featuring traditional Japanese music and/or instruments are, however, composed in many cases with the manners which treat most of the sounds merely as materials sounding strange or exotic. It should be considered that the sonority of music always derives from its surroundings and also is deeply rooted in its culture. Sounds are so closely interwoven with the history and philosophy by which they have been nourished that it is in this socalled "cultural context" that we must examine and try to understand the music in order to create a new horizon for our own sake. 0.2 Syakuhati (shakuhachi) in the high-tech world Take the syakuhati, Japanese five-hole vertical bamboo flute, for example. It has been said that the Special Session(Lecture Concert) 10 ICMC Proceedings 1993

Page  11 ï~~ideal sound of the syakuhati is the sound of the wind blowing through a bamboo forest, which apparently alludes to the connexion of the instrument and the Zen Buddhism. In fact, many of the classical pieces of the syakuhati have some kinds of relationships with religious meanings. Even in the modernised Japanese society, as it is revealed below, there are people who honestly retain their traditions handed down from generation to generation. One of the key words toward a better understanding of the characteristics of Japanese culture is "coexistence": old and new, harmony and discord, spirituality and practicality, the list seems to go forever. "Simplicity" and "complexity" is also counted as one of those examples which represent this cultural "coexistence". 0.3 Aesthetics of Japanese musical instruments Although the syakuhati is now used in every genre of music such as pop, jazz, rock and of course, computer music, it is just a simple bamboo flute with five holes and a cut mouthpiece. Despite this simplicity, there are two types of manufacturing methods which are clearly illustrated when you carefully examine X-rays of the instruments. Differences between the inner bores of the two types can be seen. With the first method a mixture of whetstone powder or plaster and urusi (urushi), Japanese lacquer, is applied in order to regulate the shape of the air column inside the bore, whereas with the second method, the material is left raw so that the individual bamboo keeps its own character retained since its genesis. An important clue to the aesthetics of Japanese musical instruments might lie in these two ways of simplification, from which diverse and complex sounds are created. (Further detailed discussions: see section 2.) phenomenon in the field of music that the nature surrounding and affecting the human settlement of living is dealt with. It does not necessarily mean, however, that Japanese music always depicts something concrete and is totally "programmatic" in the sense of Westernmusic. Quite comparable to what is called "absolute music" in the Western grand tradition, Japanese music can often be appreciated in its beauty of abstract expressions in terms of purely sonic organisation. In this context, the syakuhati compositions dealing with the crane may be a good example for us to speculate on the essence of traditional Japanese music as an integral part of the Japanese culture as a whole. Cranes, sometimes confused or identified with herons or storks, appear in many folk tales and is very familiar to us. It is generally believed that they represent a symbol of longevity, although in reality cranes can live only for twenty or thirty years. In the repertoire of syakuhati there also exist some pieces concerning cranes. Among them is S6kaku reibo included in a CD recording, along with other various different musics representing "the sound of Earth", which was carried to outer space by Voyager 2, one of the two unmanned US probes of the outer solar system. 1. Turu (Tsuru) no sugomori, a piece of classical syakuhati honkyoku 1.1 Simplicity of classical syakuhati honkyoku Syakuhati pieces called honkyoku are in general solo pieces for syakuhati, with a few exceptions which are played in antiphony or accompanied by ostinato. Honkyoku pieces entitled Turu no sugomori, literally translated "nesting of cranes" are examples to denote the interdependancy of simplicity and complexity as well. As already mentioned above, honkyoku are solo pieces, which means melodic lines are played on only one instrument, without harmony or polyphony, or 0.4 Cranes Beautiful sceneries of Japan have undoubtedly influenced Japanese music, though it is a universal ICMC Proceedings 1993 11 Special Session(Lecture Concert)

Page  12 ï~~even any verses. 1.2 Complexity in its transmission processes and lineages Since the name of this piece appears in the kabuki entitled Kanadehon Tyasingura (Chashingura) (premiered 1748), the most popular play in the kabuki repertoire, the title Turu no sugomori is rather famous. It is reasonable to assume that at this point of the mid-18th century there was already the consensus that the piece represented the syakuhati. But, from a musicological point of view, little is known about this honkyoku including its history, other than the fact that nearly 20 variants were born along the course of its long tradition of more than 250 years, and that they can be classified into two lineages of entirely different styles. One of the lineage is called the Kansai tradition which has been chiefly disseminated in the western part of Japan; the other is the Tbhoku tradition, transmitted and spread within the northeastern part of the country. There is speculation that some sorts of relationships exist between the Kansai tradition and the piece with the same title of the kokyai, a three-string bowed lute. The lineages of transmission are too complicated to be easily understood off hand, but it was in this process of dissemination that the verification and diversification occurred. In addition, it should be noted that the classical syakuhati honkyoku are taught only within an oral tradition; notations are used merely as mnemonic devices (Further discussions: see TuKITANI et al. in press). 13 Invitation to syakuhati honkyoku Turu no sugomori is said to be a drama of crane parents and their children, in which various types of love, affection, joy and sorrow are described by featuring the sophisticated performing techniques. Several pieces have been transmitted to the present in the Kansai tradition. For this lecture concert, Turu no sugomori of the Tozan rya honkyoku will be performed. Tozan rya is one of the important syakuhati schools or sects. It was founded by NAKAO Tozan in 1896, and has played an influential role in the society of traditional Japanese music since then. From the Tbhoku tradition, we have chosen a piece transmitted through the komusO temple Hutaiken (Futaiken) which existed in a remote town of Miyagi Prefecture. ONODERA Genkiti (Genkichi) (ca. 1850-?), master of the syakuhati, has transmitted this piece. 2. Technicalities of the syakuhati Attempts must be made in order to clarify the music style of syakuhati that has been nurtured in the course of its long history. Indeed, the instrument itself may be seemingly simple; nevertheless, the style of expression is highly sophisticated and complicated. Perhaps, the physical simplicity of the instrument is essential for the achievement of stylistic complexity. As a concrete example, we have selected another composition with the same title as the first example, Turu no sugomori, but it is as a matter of fact a different piece. It is older in origination: it belongs to the orthodox huke (fuke) syakuhati tradition still retaining the original style. In order to distinguish it from other compositions with the same name in other styles, we shall call it Hutaiken turu no sugomori, because its transmission was based in Hutaiken temple located in northern Japan. A major reason why we have chosen Hutaiken turu no sugomori is that we can find in this composition a variety of technicalities in terms of playing methods and therefore the piece is brilliant in nature. From. among the playing methods incorporated in it, we will isolate only some that may interest you most. By doing so, we hope that we will reach a better understanding of the complicated technicalities in syakuhati which involve not only the tonal or tone height aspects but timbre or tone colour and intensity or sound loudness as well. Special Session(Lecture Concert) 12 ICMC Proceedings 1993

Page  13 ï~~2.1 Suizen [blowing zen] and ition zy6butu (ichion jObutsu) [one sound for entering Nirvana] Prior to the Meizi (Meiji) Restoration, the syakuhati, an item of Japanese material culture, was not a musical instrument but in fact it was considered to be a religious tool to be used by a specific type of priests called komusO belonging to the Huke sect of Zen Buddhism. As a religious service, one may sit for hours and concentrate himself in meditation: this practice is known as zazen [sitting zen]. There used to be another practice called suizen [blowing zen]: i.e., one could play the syakuhati as a religious practice. A saying of suizen was ition zy6butu: ition means "one sound" and zy6butu means "entering Nirvana" or "attaining Buddhahood". Originated in a passage in an old Buddhistic book, this saying has become well known among the circles of people involved in syakuhati playing and has been interpreted in many ways. Even today most syakuhati players are aware of this saying as something symbolising the mental aspect of being with the instrument (TOYA 1984: 20). 2.2 The mind and body in syakuhati blowing An interpretation of the saying ition zyObutu is that even one single sound of tutune (tsutsune) [the sound obtained when all the fingerholes are closed] could reveal itself in a variety of states as if to reflect respective states of mind or of nature. Some examples of this are: 1) kusabibuki [wedge blowing] -- a playing method of blowing likened to the shape of a wedge: blowing strongly in the beginning; not using vibrato on the sustained sound; and finishing in a lingering manner, obeying the natural flow of the breath; 2) yuri (shaking] -- vibrato performed by shaking the head upward and downward or to the left and right; or by fluctuating one's breath or shaking one's arms; 3) osi (oshi) [push] -- on repeating the same note, opening the closed hole very rapidly and dosing it at once (tonguing technique is not used in the traditional way); 4) komibuki [emphasised blowing] -- tightening the abdominal muscles intermittently in order to change the strength of blowing strongly and weakly in alternation; the musical effect is obvious in a series of changes in dynamics; 5) tamane [sounds like beads] - a soft trill-like effect attained by fluttering either the tongue or the uvula; and 6) muraiki [scattered breath] -- the air stream coming out of the mouth is not concentrated to the sharp edge of the blowhole but rather is scattered around it, resulting in numerous subdivided air streams with the sound effect of complicatedly fricative noises. For the purpose of explaining the diversified playing methods of the syakuhati, we propose to classify them on the basis of relationships between the physical appearances and structure on the one hand and the controls of these with the use of the human organs on the other. A simple classification can be made as follows: 1) techniques of head movements; 2) techniques of finger uses and/or movements; 3) techniques of breath diversification; and 4) others (SIMuRA 1988: 144). 2.3 Technicalities and aesthetics in Hutaiken turu no sugomori We shall refer to the individual playing techniques as applied in our composition Hutaiken turu no sugomori so that we may appreciate the piece better. One conspicuous feature commonly observed in different versions of Turu no sugomori is that tremolo-like effects in various tempos and in different pitch levels and timbres are richly woven into the melodic configurations. Particularly in Hutaiken turu no sugomori, almost all sounds throughout the piece are ornamented with the difficult technique called tamane or tabane. Tamane means "sounds like beads or balls rolling"; and tabane means "bundled sounds". This technique requires the musician to tremble either the tongue or the uvula just as in pronouncing the consonant "r" in French or German, which effectuate changes in breath in rapid succession. It has been said that only one out of 3,.000 musicians can fulfill it. Therefore, this technique is seldom applied in the pieces of other ryi2ha. ICMC Proceedings 1993 13 Special Session(Lecture Concert)

Page  14 ï~~Master syakuhati players in olden days used to concentrate themselves on this kind of tremolo-like sound effects applied to each sound [ition] within a single breath. We will also concentrate on it but with three cases. 2.4 Onomatopoeia and mimesis in syakuhati performance One case of using a tremolo-like effect is to imitate the cries of a crane. In general, syakuhati music has a number of compositions in which onomatopoeic and mimetic sounds of the cries of deer or insects and their behaviours are interwoven. The performer's intention is to imitate them as realistically as possible rather than to express them abstractly or symbolically. The tremolo-like effects as imitations of cranes' cries are exemplified in Figure 1-a for Tozan rya and in Figure 1-b for Hutaiken. The technique in the Tozan a b Tozan rya Hutaiken score score Figure 1: Parts of the scores imitating cries of cranes style involves finger manipulations and breath control with the diaphragm as well. The technique in the Hutaiken style also involves finger manipulations and breath control not with the diaphragm but with the uvula. In the latter case, the sound effects must be such that they sound like cranes' cries as expressed orally as heberou hebe heberou. Otherwise, a teacher would not OK his disciple's performance. A member of our group Syakuhati trembling the uvula is simultaneously applied. The teacher SAKAI Syod5 confessed that it took him ten years to master this piece, Hutaiken tutu no sugomori. 2.5 The playing technique called korokoro A second case of tremolo-like effect is the playing technique called korokoro which is applied in both styles and other styles as well. This technique is fulfilled mainly with finger manipulations. As is often done today by most musicians, the first and second fingerholes are alternately opened and closed. More precisely speaking, there are moments in between the alternations when all the fingerholes are closed as shown in Figure 2. Unless this diagrammatic succession se' * of finger manipulations is ko ro accomplished, the "rolling" 0 0 0 0 effect orally described as * * * * korokoro cannot be obtained. * * * * We have a proverb referring to the difficulty of mastering * 0 0) this technique: Kubihuri Q * * * (Kubifuri) sannnen, koro Figure 2: hatinen (hachinen) -- it Finger manipulations means that it takes three in sequence for the korokoro technique years until one can master the technique of head movements and eight years for the korokoro technique. Incidentally, almost everybody is either right-handed or left-handed. One uses her or his own better hand for writing or whipping. When a syakuhati player applies the korokoro technique only with his whip hand, it may be easier than with the other hand. And it is extremely difficult to do it with the both hands. As a matter of fact, this difficult technique is found in Hutaiken turu no sugomori: the second and third f'mgerholes are the objects to attain this korokoro effect. The korokoro techniques on different fingerhole assignments in fact produce different acoustic phenomena, though very minute. These minute differences are essentially significant in purely musical terms. This kind of microscopic nuances in expression Kenkyllkai (Syakuhati Research Group), SIMURA Satosi, has become a disciple of SAKAI Syod5 (Sh6db) and mastered this technique. According to his experience, we can describe the process as follows: the finger manipulations are so diversified that he had to accomplish not only opening and closing of the fingerholes but also grazing and hitting the fingerholes. In addition, the tamane technique of Special Session(Lecture Concert) 14 ICMC Proceedings 1993

Page  15 ï~~are thought to be common to many genres of Japanese music. 2.6 The playing technique called karakara A third case of the tremolo-like effect is karakara, which is similar to korokoro but is done an octave higher and with different fingering techniques. The lower four holes are opened and the first hole is hit successively - this is the process for karakara. Hitting the first fingerhole is frequently used in combination with fingerings other than that of the karakara technique. In the Tozan rya piece, Turu no sugomori, these combinations create a series of sounds in succession (Figure. 3). In the case of Hutaiken turu no sugomori, this effect is accomplished without hitting the first fingerhole but rather, in contrast, with the uvula, that is previously mentioned technique tamane. The differences of similar tremolo-like playing techniques tell us that there are minute differences in musical style between the two pieces.!II S" a Tozan rya transcription a b b Hutaiken transcription Tozan rya Hutaiken score score Figure 3: The tremolo-like techniques Also, the minute differences are essential in determining the musical atmosphere as a whole: in fact, the microscopic diversities contribute to establishing the macroscopic style. 3. Epilogue The technicalities of the syakuhati as explained and demonstrated today are only a small portion of the complicated aggregate that has been nurtured in its long history. But with these representative illustrations, we hope that we have reached a point at which we deepen our understanding of Japanese sensitivity and intelligence. Indeed, simple though the musical notations and instruments may seem at a first glance, complicated are the performing arts realised with the use of these on the basis of respective cultural and historical backgrounds. The old saying ition zy6butu has deep meaning closely associated with a Buddhistic idea Issoku ta, ta soku iti [One is equal to many, many equal to one], which has often be cited by our contemporary composer YUASA Joji (YUASA 1974: 42) as something related to the musical ideas of his own electronic music. We sincerely hope that our oneness may lead to an understanding of manyness of the human culture. Acknowledgments: We are grateful to Ms ARAKAWA Keiko, Mr Riley Kelly LEE and Ms YUKINO Tomoko for their cooperation in this project. Notes: 1) Included in the lecture concert based on this paper are the performances of the two kinds of Turu no sugomori, demonstrations of music examples and the projection of pictures and figures. 2) The English words follow the British system of spelling. The roman transliteration of Japanese terms is based upon the government notification system (which is almost identical with the kunrei system) rather than the more commonly used Hepburn system. Only at the first appearance, the Hepburn spelling is indicated in round brackets. 3) Japanese names are listed family names first, given names last. ICMC Proceedings 1993 15 Special Session(Lecture Concert)

Page  16 ï~~References cited Eco, Umberto TOYA, Deiko 1989 The open work. Translated by Anna Cancogni, 1984 KomusO syakuhati sinan [Primer for the with an introduction by David ROBEY. Cambridge, syakuhati of komus6, medicant priest of emptiness]. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Hukuoka (Fukuoka): Toya Deiko. HOFSTArFER, Douglas R. TuKrrANI, Tuneko / SEYAMA, Tru / SIMURA, Satosi 1989 (1979) Godel, Escher, Bach: an eternal golden in press "'The shakuhachi: the instrument and its music, braid. New York: Vintage Books (Basic Books). change and diversification". Translated by Riley Kelly LEE. Contemporary Music Review, 1992, vol. 6: SIMURA, Satosi 105-131. 1988 "Oto no ibuki: syakuhati s6h8 no seisei to henka [The sound of breath: development and change in YUASA, Joji syakuhati techniques]". In FuJui, Tomoaki; 1974 "'Tpu ongaku no kigaku e no kage [Shadows of YAMAGUTI, Osamu; TUKITANI, Tuneko (editors), tape-music toward instrumental music]". Transonic 4 Gaku no utsuwa [Instruments for music making]. (fall): 36-47. (Tbky6: Kbbund6): 138-148. Commentary on the compositions to be performed Turu no sugomori, Tozan rya syakuhati honkyoku There are nearly 20 variants for Turu no sugomori, and this Tozan rya honkyoku piece is one of them. In the mid-18th century, Turu no sugomori was already so popular as to represent the whole syakuhati repertoire, and its melodic lines were transmitted to the kokya, three-string bowed lute, of the Osaka tradition. Then, in the modem age NAKAO Tozan 1(1876-1956), founder of the rya or school, incorporated the kokya melodies into the syakuhati repertoire anew and arranged it as a piece of Tozan rya honkyoku. Although both the syakuhati pieces and the kokya pieces of Turu no sugomori have been in many ways diversified and changed during the course of transmission, little is known about the details of the diversification and change due to the lack of historical sources. Only this Tozan rya honkyoku retains melodic lines which can be traced and which verifies the relationship between these two instruments. Construction: The piece is composed of three sections, and each section is divided into two parts respectively; melodies of the first part employ free rhythm and those of the second part have beats with an accompanied rhythmic ostinato called sugomorizi (sugomoriji) (Figure 4). Each melody in the first part is composed by NAKAo Tozan based upon the traditionally transmitted Turu no sugomori, whereas each of the second part is derived from the 'Turu no sugomori of the kokya of the Osaka tradition. Contrasts between the rhythmic styles in each sections, performing techniques describing the lives of cranes and lighthearted melodic lines which allude to the ensemble of the kokytl and the syamisen (shamisen), three-string plucked lute, in the, rhythmic part can all be appreciated. Note: the piece will be performed from the second section until the end. Figare 4: The rhythmic ostinato called sugomorizi Hutaiken Tutu no sugomori, classical syakuhati honkyoku The many pieces named Turu no sugomori are distinctly classified into two categories on the basis of their musical style. We may call them 1) the Kansai tradition and 2) the T6hoku tradition respectively according to their areas of dissemination and/or origin. The Kansai tradition is a lineage one could presume to be interrelated to the kokcy and is chiefly transmitted in Kybto and Osaka. The above-mentioned Turu no sugomori of the Tozan rya honkyoku also belongs to this lineage. Special Session(Lecture Concert) 16 ICMC Proceedings 1993

Page  17 ï~~Turu no sugomori of the Kansai tradition in general include the melodic lines alluding to the koky and retain a traditional performing practice of rhythmic ostinato, though not always so obvious as the Tozan rya piece. Skaku reibo of the Kinko rya which Voyager 2 is conveying through space is from the tradition located between the Kansai and the Tohoku districts. But, since the roots of its lineage of transmission is in Kyoto, the piece is included in the Kansai tradition. The T6hoku tradition, on the other hand, employs free rhythm throughout the piece. In these lineages occurred the very complicated ramifications which can be compared to the similar phenomena in min'yO, folksongs, that they change their melodic lines during the course of dissemination. Among the various types of Turu no sugomori of the T6hoku tradition, Hutaiken turu no sugomori is the most difficult to perform, which enable very few performer to play this piece completely; thus we rarely have occasions to listen to it. Hutaiken turu no sugomori which is handed down from ONODERA Genkiti (ca. 1850-?) onto SAKAI Sy d6 across five or six generations, consists of two sections. One of the most remarkable characteristics of this piece is that the tamane technique is employed for the entire piece. It should be noted that among nearly 200 honkyoku this is the only one that the whole piece is played using the tamane technique, although the Kinpui (Kimpfi) ryu in Aomori Prefecture, northernmost of Honsyfi (Honshfti) Island, retains the tradition in which one plays all of the repertoire of the ryu using the komibuki technique, which is also very unique. Profile of the performers SAKA, Sy6d6 Rt ' was born in 1940, the third of three sons of SAKA! Tikuho (Chikuho) I, founder of Tikuho ryfi. Syod6 studied syakuhati with KoIzuMI Ryoan, the 38th generation head of the Myoan tradition. Mr SAKAI received from KoIzuMI all of the classical honkyoku of the tradition. He also studied with YosiMURA Huan (YOSHIMURA Fuan), the 40th generation head of the same tradition, and with MORIYASU Nyot6, a disciple of ZIN (JIN) Nyod6, who transmitted to SAKAI several dozen classical honkyoku of other lineages, including the Hutaiken tradition. His recital in 1981, the first of the series 'Take o huku [Blowing bamboo]", received the award of the Osaka Bunkasai [Osaka culture festival] and the second of the series consecutively received the same award the next year (in 1982). In 1982 he also won the culture award of Yao city and the encouragement prize of the Blue Ribbon Award. SAKAI Syod6 became the third generation head of Tikuho ryu in 1984. KAWAMUIA, Taizan JI ftiIi was born in 1947, and studied syakuhati with KATAYAMA Ryozan and later YAMAMOTO Hozan. After majoring in engineering and graduated from Doshisha University, he studied music theory at Seiha Ongakuin [Seiha Conservatory of Traditional Japanese Music]. In 1983, he passed the audition of NHK [Japan Broadcasting Corporation]. He won the first prize and the award of the Education and Culture Minister at the Tozan ryu contest of syakuhati honkyoku (in 1988); *.. \ Geizyutusai (Geijutsusai) award [Award of Art Festival] sponsored by the Agency for Cultural Affairs (in 1988); the Tozan award (in 1988). He has performed in Europe and Southeast Asia and is active, perfoming not only classical pieces as a solo player but also contemporary works as a member of 'Taigfi", a trio of the piano, the drums and the syakuhati. He has written many compositions, mostly for traditional Japanese instruments, and is the Daisihan (Daishihan) [Grand Master] of Tozan ryai. i iii began to study the syakuhati of the Tozan ryai with KAWAMURA Taizan in 1977. He became Sihan [Master] of the ryt in 1983. At the Tozan rya contest of honkyoku in 1988, Mr WATANABE won a prize. ICMC Proceedings 1993 17 Special Session(Lecture Concert)