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Globalization and Contemporary Japanese Music

Globalization and Contemporary Japanese Music -...

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Globalization and Contemporary Japanese Music While international cultural influences introduced by the cultural exchange of globalization have significantly impacted the style of traditional Japanese music ( hogaku ), several emerging artists have used this influence to benefit their musical careers. Traditional Japanese music ( hogaku ), defined as ‘the music of one’s homeland,’ (Suguira), first experienced significant international influence during the Meiji period with the introduction of Western music. The origin and oldest form of hogaku is found in China and Korea, and is called gagaku (japan-guide.com) . Gagaku transformed into what is known as hogaku today during the significant introduction of Western customs and traditions during the Meiji period (1868-1912 A.D.). Western influences affected many areas of Japan’s lifestyle, ranging from governmental structure to economy to society (Wikipedia-‘Meiji Period’), and of course would have an impact on the art and music cultures of the time. The use of traditional instruments continued, but they were now played in Western-style musical compositions instead of only traditional Japanese pieces. Hogaku uses traditional instruments such as the shamisen and hichiriki, Japanese drums, along with the chanting vocals of shomyo . A shamisen is a type of three-stringed guitar (japan-guide.com), typically played laid flat across the lap of the seated player, and a Tsugaru-shamisen is a wider-necked version of the traditional shamisen with a larger plectrum (Brown) . A hichiriki is a type of wind instrument from the double reed family, structured like an oboe but sounding like a clarinet (Wikipedia-‘Hichiriki’). Shomyo is the sound of ‘reciting [Buddhist] sutras by adding a melody,’ (History of Japanese Traditional Music). The teachings of hogaku gradually faded into those of Western music during the Meiji period, and as a result younger generations nearly lost the appreciation for this style
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