Kabuki: Traditional Japanese Theater

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12 Questions

What is the meaning of the word 'KABUKU' in the context of Japanese Theater?

To lean or to be out of the ordinary

What is the main characteristic of Shamisen music?

It is very flexible and can be performed by a single musician or a large orchestra

What is the term for the traditional Chinese arts in Peking Opera?

Stressing meaning rather than precise actions

What is the instrument used in Japanese Theater, Kabuki?

Shamisen

What is the number of musicians performing in Peking Opera?

8 musicians

What is the characteristic of the Hu-ch'in instrument?

It is a two-stringed violin-like instrument held upright against the knee.

What is the term for the type of song that reached a golden age in the first half of the 19th century as dance music for the henge mono?

Nagauta

What is the main composition of the Gamelan Ensemble?

Mainly bronze percussion instruments, augmented by other instruments.

What is the purpose of the Ta-lo and Siao-lo songs in the Indonesian Theater Wayang Kulit?

To signify the beginning of the performance.

What is the name of the traditional Japanese drum with limitless rhythmic possibilities?

Taiko.

What is the name of the popular winter event in Hokkaido, Japan?

Yuki Matsuri.

What is the ancient Japanese tradition of viewing cherry blossoms and plum blossoms?

Hanami.

Study Notes

Japanese Theater, Kabuki

  • A traditional Japanese drama with singing and dancing performed in a highly stylized manner.
  • Combines music, dance, mime, staging, and costuming.
  • A major theatrical form in Japan for 4 centuries.
  • Originated from the word "KABUKU" meaning "To lean" or "To be out of the ordinary."
  • Only performed by male actors.
  • The term "Kabuki" is derived from "Ka" as song, "Bu" as dance, and "Ki" as skill.
  • Uses the pentatonic scale and accompanied by Shamisen music.
  • Shamisen music can be performed by one shamisen or by an entire orchestra of 20 musicians.

Chinese Theater, Peking Opera

  • Also known as the Beijing Opera.
  • Dated from the late 18th century.
  • Performed to an instrumental accompaniment.
  • Has two main styles of music, Erh-huang and His-p'l.
  • Utilizes the fan-pan technique.
  • Composed of 8 musicians sitting on stools in the far corner of the stage.
  • The opera begins with the ta-lo and siao-lo.

Musical Instruments

  • Aerophone:
    • Ti-ts: A cross flute.
    • Siao: Recorded flues.
    • Sona: Trumpet.
  • Chordophone:
    • Violin-like:
      • Hu-ch'in: A two-stringed violin-like instrument held upright against the knee.
      • Bu-ch'in: A graceful version of Hu-ch'in.
    • Guitar-like:
      • Yue-ch'in: A four-stringed moon guitar.
      • San-sien: A three-stringed instrument.
      • Pi-p'a: Similar to lute with four strings.
  • Idiophone:
    • Ta-lo and Siao-lo songs: Signify the beginning of the performance.
    • Tan-pi-ku: Kettle drum; used to create the tempo of the performance.

Indonesian Theater Wayang Kulit

  • Shadow puppets with Wayang meaning to perform and kulit meaning skin.
  • Dalang: A source of recreation, non-jointed puppets were manipulated by the chief performer.

Vocal Instrumental Features Gamelan Ensemble

  • Composed mainly of bronze percussion instruments, augmented by other percussion instruments, strings, and flute.

Japanese Festivals

  • Taiko: A traditional Japanese drum with limitless rhythmic possibilities.
  • Kodo: Aims to explore its limitless rhythmic possibilities and forge new directions for a vibrant living art-form, translating from the Japanese word "Kodo" as "heartbeat."
  • Yuki Matsuri: A popular winter event in Hokkaido, Japan, held annually, featuring snow and ice sculpture competitions.
  • Cherry Blossom Festival:
    • Hanami is an ancient Japanese tradition of viewing cherry blossoms (sakura) and plum blossoms (ume) in parks and the countryside.
    • Originating over 1,000 years ago, it involves aristocrats admiring the beauty of cherry blossoms and writing poems inspired by them.
    • The most popular cherry tree is sakura, also known as somei yoshino trees or yedoensis.
    • Hanami is a long-standing Japanese tradition of welcoming spring.

Explore the rich history and characteristics of Kabuki, a traditional Japanese drama that combines music, dance, mime, and staging. Learn about its origins, unique features, and evolution over the centuries. Discover the art form's significance in Japanese culture.

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