- 国際文化学研究 : 神戸大学大学院国際文化学研究科紀要 (ISSN:13405217)
- no.30, pp.1-29, 2008-07
This paper examines the musical practice of gagaku, the royal court music of Japan, in the early 1940s, which follows an essay of the author published in 2002, discussing on the gagaku recording in 1903. Recently, several old wax cylinders or 78-rpm records have become available in the form of CD reproduction, which can provide innumerous opportunities for scholars to listento and analyze actual practices of periods. It, however, seems that the materials have not been paid full attention by the academic world. This paper, considering carefully the pitfalls of old recordings, analyze tempo and phrasing of the performance of togaku, a sub-genre in gagaku, in 'The Album of Japanese Music', produced by Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai in the early 1940s and compare them with those of recordings made by Frederick Gaisberg in 1903. Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai (KBS) was established in 1934 under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, aiming at promotion of cultural exchange between Japan and foreign countries. KBS produced various records and films of Japanese culture and sent them overseas, one of which was The Album of Japanese Music. It is 10-inches, 78-rpm records, not-for-sale item, and consists of 60 discs (120 sides) arranged into 5 volumes, which covers wide range of Japanese musical genres, such as gagaku (royal court music), shomyo (Buddhist chants), no (medieval masked play), biwa (narrative with lute), shakuhachi (bamboo flute), shamisen (three-stringed lute), kagura & sairei bayashi (folk festival music), komori-uta (cradle songs), warabe-uta (children's songs), and riyo (min'yo) (folk songs). It is also noteworthy that the highest level of artists of the time performed for the Album. Among togaku repertoire in the KBS records, three pieces, 'Etenraku', 'Seigaiha', and 'Bato' (in tada-bydshi rhythm) can be found played in kangen (or music without dance) style, while 'Taiheiraku no ha', 'Taiheiraku no kyu', 'Bato' (in yatara-byoshi rhythm), and 'Chogeishi' are performed in bugaku (or music for dance) style. Tempo of the bugaku pieces is much faster than that of kangen in the KBS records. We can find similar difference in tempo between bugaku and kangen in the present-day practice of the late 20^<th> to the early 21^<st> centuries. On the other hand, togaku pieces (in kangen) in the 1903's recording are all performed in very fast tempi, like bugaku is today. In other words, the distinction between bugaku and kangen styles in terms of tempo was not yet obvious in 1903, but can be clearly found in the KBS records of the 1940s. Besides, we can see another difference between Gaisberg and KBS records in the aspect of phrasing. Melodies of the Gaisberg recording were all cut into bigger phrases that are blown with one breath, while those in the KBS set were into smaller sizes, inserted with many brief breath cuts. Namely, as slower the tempo of kangen became, the smaller units the phrases were divided into, as is kangen today. According to these facts, it is possible of say that the distinction of kangen style from bugaku in terms of tempo and phrasing was not obvious in the early twentieth century, but became clear in the 1940s. In other words, today's kangen style in slow tempo and with more breath cuts was established by the early 1940s.