Exploring Pathways of Appreciation

To foster an awareness and appreciation of music by listening and coming to appreciate how the diverse application of shared elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, texture and form gives rise to such diverse expressive pathways showcasing an inner beauty of the human spirit.

Here are links to music performances showing diverse styles and performance as voiced around the world; each expressing a component part of a global diverse counterpoint of cultural contrast. Enjoy yourself and do check on the links.

Without support from authoritive references this site would not be possible.

In Counterpoint of Cultural Contrast

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Japanese music.

Sounds of antiquity, Elegance enduring

Sho ... The light that penetrates from the Heavens
Ryuteki ... The dragon that ascends dancing in the Sky
Hichiriki ... The voices echoing on the Earth

When all sound together a Cosmos can be heard
Imagined by those now distant Elegant in the flickering candle of time

Sounds of antiquity, Elegance enduring http://www.gagaku.net/index.ENG.html

 Sho is a bamboo mouth organ. A metal reed is fitted in each pipe, and vibrates when air is blown over it. The sho plays sustained clusters of pitches and has an organ-like timbre

 Hichiriki is a double-reed aerophone with loud volume and a clear timbre. It plays a heterophonic version of the melody.

 Ryuteki is a side-blown bamboo flute with a high, somewhat breathy timbre. It also plays a version of the melody.



 The "Dragon Flute" of Japan.

Which connects between Heaven and Earth.

The Ryuteki is an ancient Japanese flute traditionally made of bamboo. It is one of the wind instruments used in Gagaku tradition. Watch the video below for a simple beautiful explanation of the spiritual symbolism the Ryuteki plays in Gagaku. Also note how the music is scored.

GAGAKU - ETENRAKU played on the Ryuteki


Gagaku: Imperial Court Music of Japan.

URL: http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/RL/...
Description: Gagaku, characterized by long, slow songs and dance-like movements, is the oldest of the Japanese traditional performing arts. It is performed at banquets and ceremonies in the Imperial Palace and in theatres throughout the country, and encompasses three distinct arts. The first, Kuniburi no Utamai, features ancient Japanese songs, partial accompaniment by harp and flute and simple choreography. The second consists of instrumental music (especially wind instruments) and a ceremonial dance developed on the Asian continent and subsequently adapted by Japanese artists. The third, Utamono, is danced to vocal music whose texts include Japanese folk songs and Chinese poems. Influenced by the politics and culture of different periods over its long evolution, Gagaku continues to be transmitted to apprentices by masters in the Music Department of the Imperial Household Agency, many of whom are the descendants of families with deep roots in the art. It is not only an important cultural tool in confirming Japanese identity and a crystallization of the history of Japanese society, but also a demonstration of how multiple cultural traditions can be fused into a unique heritage through constant recreation over time.
Country(ies): Japan
© 2000 by Mainichi Productions

Here are more examples of Japanese Classical Music; including Gagaku,


Gagaku  literally "elegant music") is a type of Japanese classical music that has been performed at the Imperial court for several centuries. It consists of three primary bodies:

  1. Native Shinto religious music and folk songs and dance, called kuniburi no utamai
  2. A Goguryeo and Manchurian form, called komagaku (named for Koma, one of the Three Kingdoms)
  3. A Chinese and South Asia form (specifically Tang Dynasty), called togaku.[1]

Gagaku, like shomyo, employs the Yo scale, a pentatonic scale with ascending intervals of two, three, two, and two semitones between the five scale tones.[1]    For the complete site go to    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gagaku



 雅楽:越天楽 Gagaku:Etenraku

Many Japanese instruments originated from China. The Japanese version of the erhu is called "kokyu".
Listen to the melody of a Chinese Erhu.

David, Nice website! Here's a video of the Ryukyuan (Okinawan) folk song "Tinsagu nu hana" (てぃんさぐぬ花) – one of my favorite songs. This is a traditional performance with only sanshin (jabisen) accompaniment. Other traditional performance may also use taiko drum or sanba castanets, etc. Okinawan music often uses a pentatonic scale, without Re and La, but this song also uses Ré. The song is mentioned on the Wikipedia page "Ryukyuan music". The words are:

Tinsagu nu hana ya
chimi-sachi ni sumiti
uya nu yushi gutu ya
chimu ni sumiri

Tin nu muri-bushi ya
yumiba yumarishi ga
uya nu yushi gutu ya
yumiya naran

Yuru harsu funi ya
ninufa-bushi miati
wan nacheru uya ya
wan du miati

 Thanks to Dale Jones, A long time former resident of Japan and viola teacher of my son Geoffrey, for sending me this song and information.


Note: This site on "Global Music Appreciation" is a work in progress. Thie main purpose of being online at this point of development is to allow collaborators and friends to view the progress, make suggestions and provide comments.

You may find "scratch notes" concerning future implementaion of goals. Pages will still be partially complete or even blank.

Yet, there is still an ever-evolving growing selection of music from around the world linked too in this site. You are welcome to look, play and experience music as performed from around the world.