What is shamisen music?
The shamisen (三味線), also known as the sangen (三絃) or samisen (all meaning “three strings”), is a three-stringed traditional Japanese musical instrument derived from the Chinese instrument sanxian. The instrument used to accompany kabuki has a thin neck, facilitating the agile and virtuosic requirements of that genre.
Where did the shamisen come from?
The samisen was derived from the similar Chinese sanxian, a version of which—the sanshin—reached Japan from the Ryukyu Islands in the 16th century.
Why is a shamisen played?
The shamisen is a chordophone and has a sound box covered with cat or dog skin. It is played both by women and men, even though the shamisen is traditionally associated with women. In the beginning, this instrument was used to accompany folk songs, then it found its place in chamber music.
What is the traditional music of Japan based on?
Historically, Japanese folk music was strongly influenced by music from China, with some of its forms being imported from China more than a thousand years ago. Many popular Japanese musical instruments originated in China and were then adapted to meet local needs.
Who invented shamisen?
The real founder of the shamisen is said to be Ishimura Kengyo (-1642) and the term “Kengyo” is the title given to the highest-ranking blind officer. From the Kamakura period, blind people made a living by playing musical instruments.
What is the classification of shamisen of Japan?
According to the taxonomic classification of musical instruments, shamisen belongs to ‘lute family. ‘ Although it’s a string instrument, sometimes it’s played like percussion by hitting the skin with a plectrum.
When did the shamisen come to Japan?
Also the shamisen has its origins in China – as often to be found in Japanese arts. From China the instrument came to the Southern Islands of Ryukyu (Okinawa). Around the late 16th century it arrived on the Japanese main island and soon became popular.
When did traditional Japanese music start?
It is apparent that by the 8th century the documented history of Japanese music had begun. Although that predates an equal state of Western music history by some 100 years, certain interesting parallels between the two traditions can be made.
What are 3 fun facts about Japanese music?
8 Incredible Facts About Japan’s Music Scene
- People still buy a lot of CDs.
- It’s illegal to sell CDs under $25.
- Until recently, dancing was also technically illegal.
- Idol Metal – a hybrid of metal and girly pop.
- The country boasts the largest pop group in the world…
- … and the world’s shortest pop hit.
Who plays the shamisen?
Members. Ryōichirō Yoshida (吉田 良一郎, Yoshida Ryōichirō, born 26 July 1977) and Kenichi Yoshida (吉田 健一, Yoshida Ken’ichi, born 16 December 1979) were born in Noboribetsu in Hokkaido, Japan. The two brothers have played the shamisen since a very young age.
What instrument family is the shamisen in?
Shamisen is categorized into the “Lute-family” instrument, has long neck, three strings, and no frets. The neck is connected into the body, which covered with stretched skin of dogs or cats. We can play it with a large plectrum. In Japan, there are many varieties of shamisen.
What is the oldest traditional music in Japan?
Traditional Music The oldest forms of traditional Japanese music are shomyo (声明 or 聲明) which is a form of Buddhist chanting, and gagaku (雅楽), orchestral court music.