Asian Music Essay Sample
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The music of Indonesia demonstrates its cultural diversity, the local musical creativity, as well as subsequent foreign musical influences that shaped contemporary music scenes of Indonesia. Nearly thousands of Indonesian islands having its own cultural and artistic history and character. This results in hundreds of different forms of music, which often accompanies dance and theater. The music of Java, Sumatra, Bali, Flores and other islands have been documented and recorded,
and recorded, and research by Indonesian and international scholars is ongoing. The music in Indonesia predates historical records; various Native Indonesian tribes often incorporate chants and songs accompanied with music instruments in their rituals. Today the contemporary music of Indonesia is popular in the region, including neighboring countries; Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.
The musical identity of Indonesia as we know it today began as the Bronze Age culture migrated to the Indonesian archipelago in the 2nd-3rd century BC. Traditional musics of Indonesian tribes often use percussion instruments, especially gendang (drums) and gongs. Some of them developed elaborate and distinctive musical instruments, such as sasando string instrument of Rote island, angklung of Sundanese people, and the complex and sophisticated gamelan orchestra of Java and Bali.
The most popular and famous form of Indonesian music is probably gamelan, an ensemble of tuned percussion instruments that include metallophones, drums, gongs and spike fiddles along with bamboo flutes. Similar ensembles are prevalent throughout Indonesia and Malaysia, however gamelan is originated from Java, Bali, and Lombok. In Central Java, gamelan is intricate and meticulously lay out. The central melody is played on a metallophone in the center of the orchestra, while the front elaboration and d ornamentation on the melody, and, at the back, the gongs slowly punctuate the music. There are two tuning systems. Each Gamelan is tuned to itself, and the intervals between notes on the scale vary between ensembles.
Kecapisuling is a type of instrumental music that is highly improvisational and popular in parts of West Java that employs two instruments, kecapi(zither) and suling (bamboo flute). It is related to tembangsunda.
Angklung is a bamboo musical instrument native to Sundanese people of West Java. It is made out of bamboo tubes attached to a bamboo frame. The tubes are carved so that they have a distinctive resonant pitch when being vibrated. Each angklung only plays one note.
Kolintang or kulintang is a bronze and wooden percussion instrument native to eastern Indonesia and also The Philippines. In Indonesia it is particularly associated with Minahasa people of North Sulawesi, however it also popular in Maluku and Timor.
Sasando is a plucked string instrument native of Rote island of East Nusa Tenggara. The parts of sasando are a bamboo cylinder surrounded by several wedges where the strings are stretched, surrounded by a bag-like fan of dried lontar or palmyra leafs (Borassusflabellifer), functioned as the resonator of the instrument.
The diverse world of Indonesian music genres was the result of the musical creativity of its people, and also the subsequent cultural encounters with foreign musical influences into the archipelago. Next to distinctive native form of musics, several genres can traces its origin to foreign influences; such as gambus and qasidah from Middle Eastern Islamic music, keroncong from Portuguese influences, and dangdut with notable Hindi music influence.
Tembangsunda, also called senimamaoscianjuran, or just cianjuran, is a form of sung poetry which arose in the colonial-era of Cianjur. It was first known as an aristocratic art; one cianjuran composer was R.A.A. Kusumahningrat (DalemPancaniti), ruler of Cianjur (1834–1862). The instruments of Cianjuran are kacapiindung, kacapirincik and suling or bamboo flute, and rebab for salendro compositions. The lyrics are typically sung in free verse, but a more modern version, panambih, is metrical. It is usually the drums.
Rhythm is liable to change seemingly randomly, making dancing difficult for most listeners. Its instruments are entirely Sundanese, completely without imported instruments. It was invented by artists like GugumGumbira after Sukarnoprohibited rock and roll and other western genres in the ’60s.
Gambus literally means oud, referring to a type of lute or 12-string pear-shaped guitar, is the Middle-Eastern-derived Islamic vocal and instrumental music. These traditions began to be incorporated throughout many areas of Indonesia by the 16th century.
* Qasidah modern
Qasidah is an ancient Arabic word for religious poetry accompanied by chanting and percussion. Qasidah modern adapts this for pop audiences. It is used to denote a type of orchestra and the music it plays, believed to be introduced by Muslim settlers from Yemen. Qasidah modern were derived from Islamic pop, adding local dialects and lyrics that address Indonesian contemporary issues. Though popular among Arabs in Indonesia, it has gained little popularity elsewhere. The contemporary form of Islamic Middle eastern influenced musics in Indonesia is Debu, that featuring sufism approach on music to spread their message.
Kroncong (alternative spelling: Keroncong) has been evolving since the arrival of the Portuguese, who brought with them European instruments. By the early 1900s, it was considered a low-class urban music. This changed in the 1930s, when the rising Indonesian film industry began incorporating kroncong. And then even more so in the mid- to late 1940s, it became associated with thestruggle for independence. Perhaps the most famous song in the kroncong style is Bengawan Solo, written in 1940 by GesangMartohartono, a Solonese musician. Written during the Japanese Imperial Army occupation of the island in World War II, the song (about the Bengawan Solo River, Java’s longest and most important river) became widely popular among the Javanese, and then later nationally when recordings were broadcast over the local radio stations. The song also became quite popular with the Japanese soldiers, and when they returned to Japan at the end of the war re-recordings of it (by Japanese artists) became best-sellers.
Over the years it has been re-released many times by notable artists, mainly within Asia but also beyond (like AnnekeGrönloh), and in some places it is seen as typifying Indonesian music. Gesang himself remains the most renowned exponent of the style, which although it is seen now as a somewhat starchy and “dated” form is still popular among large segments of the population, particularly the older generation. After the World War II and during Indonesian National Revolution (1945—1949) and afterwards, kroncong was associated with patriotism, since many of Indonesian poets and patriotic songs authors uses kroncong and somewhat jazz fusion as the genre of their works. The patriotic theme and romantic wartime romance was obvious in the works of Ismail Marzuki, such as RayuanPulauKelapa, Indonesia Pusaka, Sepasang Mata Bola, KeroncongSerenata and JuwitaMalam. These patriotic songs can be sung in hymn or even in orchestra, but most often was sung in kroncong style known as kroncongperjuangan (struggle kroncong). The kroncong divas; Waldjinah, SundariSukoco and HettyKoesEndang, was instrumental in reviving the style in the 1980s.
* LanggamJawa or TembangJawa
There is a style of kroncong native to Surakarta (Solo) called langgamjawa, which fuses kroncong with the gamelan seven-note scale.
Early in the 20th century, kroncong was used in a type of theater called [[komedieStamboel] ore KomediStambul]; adapted for this purpose, the music was called gambangkromong. Gambangkromong is quite prevalent in Betawi culture of Jakarta.
Dangdut was originally an Indonesian dance music that has spread throughout Southeast Asia, became the dominant pop style in the mid-1970s. Famous for its throbbing beat and the slightly moralistic lyrics that appeal to Muslim youth, dangdut stars dominate the modern pop scene. However dangdut — especially performed by female singers — also often featuring suggestive dance movements and naughty lyrics to appeal the larger audience. This development was strongly opposed by the conservative older generation dangdut artist. Dangdut is based around the singers, and stars include Rhoma Irama and Elvy Sukaesih (the King and Queen of Dangdut), Mansyur S., A. Rafiq, Camelia Malik and Fahmy Shahab; along with Cici Paramida, Evie Tamala, Inul Daratista, Julia Perez and Dewi Perssik from younger generation.
A musical fusion style of traditional Javanese music and dangdut that prevalent in Javanese cultural sphere, mainly Central Java, Yogyakarta and East Java. There is also Sundanese version of campursari prevalent in Bandung region.
The contemporary music of Indonesia is diverse and vibrant. Throughout its history, Indonesian musicians were open to foreign influences of various music genres of the world. American jazz were heavily marketed in Asia, and foxtrots, tangos, rumbas, blues and Hawaiian guitar styles were all imitated by Indonesian musicians. As the result various genres were developed within Indonesian music frame; Indonesian pop, rock, jazz, and hip hop. Indonesian music also plays a vital role in the Indonesian creative pop culture, especially as the soundtracks or theme songs of Indonesian cinema and sinetrons (Indonesian TV drama). Indonesian popular film BadaiPastiBerlalu (1977) were also produced successful soundtrack hit with same title in the same year, the soundtrack was remaked in 1999 with Chrisye as the main singer and rendered by Erwin Gutawa in orchestra style.
In 2007 the film also being remaked again with new soundtrack that still featuring same songs performed by younger generation artist. Another popular Indonesian coming of age teen movie Ada ApaDenganCinta (2002) also produced successful soundtrack hits with most songs written and performed by MellyGoeslaw. Today Indonesian music industry enjoyed nationwide popularity. Thanks to common culture and intelligible languages between Indonesian and Malay, Indonesian music enjoyed regional popularity in neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. However the overwhelming popularity of Indonesian music in Malaysia had alarmed the Malaysian music industry. In 2008 Malaysian music industry demanded the restriction of Indonesian songs on Malaysian radio broadcasts.
The classical music have reached Indonesia since the era of Dutch East Indies as early as 18th century, enjoyed only by a handful of wealthy Dutch plantation owners and officers in elite social clubs and ballrooms such as SocieteitHarmonie in Batavia and Societeit Concordia in Bandung. De Schouwburg van Batavia (today GedungKesenian Jakarta) was designed as concert hall in 19th century. Associated as the music of refined, wealthy and educated high class citizen, the exclusive and prestigious classical music never penetrate the whole population during East Indies colonial era. The type of western-derived music that transcends the social barrier at that time was Kroncong, known as the lower-class music. An amateur group called “Bataviasche Philharmonic Orchestra” was established in Dutch Colonial times, later it turned into the NIROM orchestra, as soon as the radio broadcasting station Nederlandsch-Indische Radio OmroepMaatschappij was born in 1912. Today it is known as Jakarta Symphony Orchestra that has existed in the country’s musical world for almost a century through its changing formats to suit prevailing trends and needs.
In 1950, a merger of the Cosmopolitan Orchestra under Joel Cleber and the Jakarta Studio Orchestra under Sutedjo and Iskandar appeared as the Djakarta Radio Orchestra under Henkie Strake for classical repertoires, and the Jakarta Studio Orchestra led by SyaifulBachri specialized in Indonesian pieces. In 2010 Jakarta Symphony Orchestra staged a comeback after a fairly long absence. In 1960s to 1980s classical music in Indonesia aired mainly by the nation al radio broadcasting service Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI) and the national TV station TelevisiRepublik Indonesia (TVRI) through their programs. During these decades, the classical orchestra mainly developed in Universities as extracurricular activity for students which include choir. In 1990s the group of professional symphony orchestra start to took form, notably The Twilite Orchestra led by Adie MS, was founded in June 1991, initially an ensemble with 20 musicians.
The ensemble has developed since then into a full symphonic orchestra with 70 musicians, a 63-member Twilite Chorus, and a repertoire that ranges from Beethoven to The Beatles The orchestra has played a role in promoting Indonesian music, especially in the preservation of national songs by Indonesian composers and traditional songs. Aided by the Victorian Philharmonic Orchestra with the Twilite Chorus, Addie MS re-recorded the Indonesian national anthem, Indonesia Raya, by WR Supratman in its original orchestral arrangement by Jos Cleber, as well as other Indonesian popular national songs in the album SimfoniNegeriku. Today, major cities like Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Surabaya are no strangers to orchestral music, with their own symphony groups. Jakarta, for instance, has its Nusantara Symphony Orchestra, the Twilite Orchestra and the Jakarta Chamber Orchestra.
Indonesian pop music today is known simply as “pop Indonesia” is heavily influenced by trends and recordings from America.] Although influences ranging fromBollywood soundtracks to Hollywood pop acts are obvious, the Indonesian pop phenomena is not completely derivative; it expresses the sentiments and styles of contemporary Indonesian life. Koes Bersaudara later formed as Koes Plus is considered as one of the pioneer of Indonesian pop and rock ‘n roll music in 1960s and 1970s. The American and British music influences were obvious in the music of KoesBersaudara, The Beatles were known to be the main influences of this band. Several Indonesian pop and ballad singers were survived through decades and become Indonesian music legends, such as IwanFals, FrankySahilatua and Chrisye. Today, the popular bands include Peterpan, Radja, Gigi, Dewa 19, Sheila on 7, D’Masiv and Nidji, all of which tour regularly in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia and are featured on MTV Asia.
Some of Indonesian pop bands are rekindle with their Malay roots and revived a genre called “Band Pop Melayu” (Pop Malay Band) and popular in late 2000s. The pop Malay bands are Kangen Band, WALI, HijauDaun, Armada, Angkasa, and ST 12. This genre is the contemporary form of old Orkes Melayu style, once popular in the region across Indonesia and Malaysia. The most recent foreign influences on Indonesian pop musics are the style and genre of J-pop and K-pop. Several bands such as J-Rocks, Geisha, Daishi and SM*SH boyband are imitating the style of Japan and Korea pop culture. And also sperading new generation of Girl Band, side effect while boyband founded in Indonesia, such a 7icons, Cherry Belle, and also JKT48. * Rock
Just like pop music, Indonesian rock scene also heavily influenced by the development of rock music in America. The most influential Indonesian rock band was probably Panbers and God Bless that popular in 1970s and 1980s. In late 1980s to mid 1990s several female rock singers popularly known as “Lady Rockers” were famous in Indonesia, such as Nicky Astria, Inka Christie, andAnggun that started her career in as a pop-rock singer in Indonesia before moving to France and pursue her international career. Other notable rock bands include Slank, Netral, /rif and Jamrud.
* Jazz fusion
Some of Indonesian musicians and bands were exploring the jazz music. Notable Indonesian jazz musicians are; Modulus band, Karimata band, Barry Likumahua, IndraLesmana, Syaharani,Maliq&D’Essentials and Trisum (Tohpati, DewaBudjana, and Balawan). Various other groups fuse contemporary westernized jazz fusion music with the traditional ethnic music traditions of their hometown. In the case of Krakatau and SambaSunda, the bands from West Java, the traditional Sundanesekacapisuling and gamelan orchestra is performed alongside drum set, keyboard and guitars. Other bands such as Bossanova Java were fused Javanese music with bossanova, while Kulkul fuse jazz with Balinese gamelan. The Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival is performed annually, featuring famous International as well as Indonesian jazz musicians. It has become one of the most important Jazz events in the region. Many kind of jazz hang on in Indonesian Indie’s project, such as Ecoutez, Sandy Sandoro and many more “non-label” band or singer. And those music quality are not inferior and compete world class jazz.
Music of Japan
Cyrille Anne Cabalquinto
Music of Japan
Traditional music varies not only according to historical conditions, but also according to social and geographical conditions. One of the most interesting facts about the study of the history of Japanese music is that almost all of the major music which originated in the Ancient (8th century), the Middle (9th-18th centuries) and the rather Recent period (19th century) have been preserved without great alteration. Gagaku has its source in the 8th century. The Noh was established in the 15th century, and Shamisen was in full bloom in the 17th–19th centuries. Chikuzenbiwa music appeared to make its influence felt in Japan. The music of this instrument is usually in the pure traditional style. Traditional and Folk Music
There are two forms of music recognized to be the oldest forms of traditional Japanese music. They are shōmyō (声明 or 聲明?), or Buddhist chanting, and gagaku (雅楽?) or orchestral court music, both of which date to the Nara and Heian periods. Gagaku is a type of classical music that has been performed at the Imperial court since the Heian period. Kagura-uta (神楽歌), Azuma-asobi(東遊) and Yamato-uta (大和歌) are indigenous repertories. Tōgaku (唐楽) and komagaku originated from the Chinese Tang dynasty via the Korean peninsula. In addition, gagaku is divided into kangen (管弦) (instrumental music) and bugaku (舞楽) (dance accompanied by gagaku). Originating as early as the 13th century is honkyoku (本曲 “original pieces”). These are single (solo) shakuhachi (尺八) pieces played by mendicant Fuke sect priests of Zen buddhism. These priests, called komusō (“emptiness monk”), played honkyoku foralms and enlightenment. The Fuke sect ceased to exist in the 19th century, but a verbal and written lineage of many honkyoku continues today, though this music is now often practiced in a concert or performance setting. The samurai often listened to and performed in these music activities, in their practices of enriching their lives and understanding.
* Biwa hōshi, Heike biwa, mōsō, and goze
The biwa (琵琶 – Chinese: pipa), a form of short-necked lute, was played by a group of itinerant performers (biwa hōshi) (琵琶法師) who used it to accompany stories. The most famous of these stories is The Tale of the Heike, a 12th century history of the triumph of the Minamoto clan over the Taira. Biwa hōshi began organizing themselves into a guild-like association (tōdō) for visually impaired men as early as the thirteenth century. This guild eventually controlled a large portion of the musical culture of Japan. In addition, numerous smaller groups of itinerant blind musicians were formed especially in the Kyushu area. These musicians, known as mōsō (盲僧 blind monk) toured their local areas and performed a variety of religious and semi-religious texts to purify households and bring about good health and good luck. They also maintained a repertory of secular genres. The biwa that they played was considerably smaller than the Heike biwa (平家琵琶) played by the biwa hōshi. Lafcadio Hearn related in his book Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things “Mimi-nashi Hoichi” (Hoichi the Earless), a Japanese ghost story about a blind biwa hōshi who performs “The Tale of the Heike” Blind women, known as goze (瞽女), also toured the land since the medieval era, singing songs and playing accompanying music on a lap drum. From the seventeenth century they often played the koto or the shamisen. Goze organizations sprung up throughout the land, and existed until recently in what is today Niigata prefecture.
The taiko is a Japanese drum that comes in various sizes and is used to play a variety of musical genres. It has become particularly popular in recent years as the central instrument of percussion ensembles whose repertory is based on a variety of folk and festival music of the past. Such taiko music is played by large drum ensembles called kumi-daiko. Its origins are uncertain, but can be stretched out as far back as the 7th centuries, when a clay figure of a drummer indicates its existence. China influences followed, but the instrument and its music remained uniquely Japanese. Taiko drums during this period were used during battle to intimidate the enemy and to communicate commands. Taiko continue to be used in the religious music of Buddhism and Shintō. In the past players were holy men, who played only at special occasions and in small groups, but in time secular men (rarely women) also played the taiko in semi-religious festivals such as the bon dance. Modern ensemble taiko is said to have been invented by Daihachi Oguchi in 1951.
A jazz drummer, Oguchi incorporated his musical background into large ensembles, which he had also designed. His energetic style made his group popular throughout Japan, and made the Hokuriku region a center for taiko music. Musicians to arise from this wave of popularity included Sukeroku Daiko and his bandmate Seido Kobayashi. 1969 saw a group called Za Ondekoza founded by Tagayasu Den; Za Ondekoza gathered together young performers who innovated a new roots revival version of taiko, which was used as a way of life in communal lifestyles. During the 1970s, the Japanese government allocated funds to preserve Japanese culture, and many community taiko groups were formed. Later in the century, taiko groups spread across the world, especially to the United States. The video game Taiko Drum Master is based around taiko. One example of a modern Taiko band is Gocoo.
Min’yō Folk Music
Japanese folk songs (min’yō) can be grouped and classified in many ways but it is often convenient to think of four main categories: work songs, religious songs (such as sato kagura, a form of Shintoist music), songs used for gatherings such as weddings, funerals, and festivals (matsuri, especially Obon), and children’s songs (warabe uta). In min’yō, singers are typically accompanied by the three-stringed lute known as the shamisen, taiko drums, and a bamboo flute called shakuhachi. Other instruments that could accompany are a transverse flute known as the shinobue, a bell known as kane, a hand drum called the tsuzumi, and/or a 13-stringed zither known as the koto. In Okinawa, the main instrument is the sanshin. These are traditional Japanese instruments, but modern instrumentation, such as electric guitars and synthesizers, is also used in this day and age, when enka singers cover traditional min’yō songs (Enka being a Japanese music genre all its own). Terms often heard when speaking about min’yō are ondo, bushi, bon uta, and komori uta. An ondo generally describes any folk song with a distinctive swing that may be heard as 2/4 time rhythm (though performers usually do not group beats). The typical folk song heard at Obon festival dances will most likely be an ondo. A fushi is a song with a distinctive melody. Its very name, which is pronounced “bushi” in compounds, means “melody” or “rhythm.”
The word is rarely used on its own, but is usually prefixed by a term referring to occupation, location, personal name or the like. Bon uta, as the name describes, are songs for Obon, the lantern festival of the dead. Komori uta are children’s lullabies. The names of min’yo songs often include descriptive term, usually at the end. For example: Tokyo Ondo, Kushimoto Bushi, Hokkai Bon Uta, and Itsuki no Komoriuta. Many of these songs include extra stress on certain syllables as well as pitched shouts (kakegoe). Kakegoe are generally shouts of cheer but in min’yō, they are often included as parts of choruses. There are many kakegoe, though they vary from region to region. In Okinawa Min’yō, for example, one will hear the common “ha iya sasa!”
In mainland Japan, however, one will be more likely to hear “a yoisho!,” “sate!,” or “a sore!” Others are “a donto koi!” and “dokoisho!” Recently a guild-based system known as the iemoto system has been applied to some forms of min’yō; it is called. This system was originally developed for transmitting classical genres such as nagauta, shakuhachi, or koto music, but since it proved profitable to teachers and was supported by students who wished to obtain certificates of proficiency and artist’s names continues to spread to genres such as min’yō, Tsugaru-jamisen and other forms of music that were traditionally transmitted more informally. Today some min’yō are passed on in such pseudo-family organizations and long apprenticeships are common.
* Okinawan Folk Music
Umui, religious songs, shima uta, dance songs, and, especially kachāshī, lively celebratory music, were all popular. Okinawan folk music varies from mainland Japanese folk music in several ways. First, Okinawan folk music is often accompanied by the sanshin whereas in mainland Japan, the shamisen accompanies instead. Other Okinawan instruments include the sanba (which produce a clicking sound similar to that of castanets), taiko and a sharp finger whistlingcalled yubi-bue (指笛). Second tonality. A pentatonic scale, which coincides with the major pentatonic scale of Western musical disciplines, is often heard in min’yō from the main islands of Japan, see minyō scale. In this pentatonic scale the subdominant and leading tone (scale degrees 4 and 7 of the Western major scale) are omitted, resulting in a musical scale with no half-steps between each note. (Do, Re, Mi, So, La in solfeggio, or scale degrees 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6) Okinawan min’yō, however, is characterized by scales that include the half-steps omitted in the aforementioned pentatonic scale, when analyzed in the Western discipline of music. In fact, the most common scale used in Okinawan min’yō includes scale degrees 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
Arrival of Western Music
* Traditional Pop Music
After the Meiji Restoration introduced Western musical instruction, a bureaucrat named Izawa Shuji compiled songs like “Auld Lang Syne” and commissioned songs using a pentatonic melody. Western music, especially military marches, soon became popular in Japan. Two major forms of music that developed during this period were shoka, which was composed to bring western music to schools, and gunka, which are military marches with some Japanese elements. As Japan moved towards representative democracy in the late 19th century, leaders hired singers to sell copies of songs that aired their messages, since the leaders themselves were usually prohibited from speaking in public. The street performers were called enka-shi. Also at the end of the 19th century, an Osakan form of streetcorner singing became popular; this was called rōkyoku.
This included the first two Japanese stars, Yoshida Naramaru and Tochuken Kumoemon. Westernized pop music is called kayōkyoku, which is said to have and first appeared in a dramatization of Resurrection by Tolstoy. The song “Kachūsha no Uta”, composed by Shinpei Nakayama, was sung bySumako Matsui in 1914. The song became a hit among enka-shi, and was one of the first major best-selling records in Japan. Ryūkōka, which adopted Western classical music, made waves across the country in the prewar period. Ichiro Fujiyama became popular in the prewar period, but war songs later became popular when the World War II occurred. Kayōkyoku became a major industry, especially after the arrival of superstar Misora Hibari. In the 1950s, tango and other kinds of Latin music, especially Cuban music, became very popular in Japan. A distinctively Japanese form of tango called dodompa also developed. Kayōkyoku became associated entirely with traditional Japanese structures, while more Western-style music was called Japanese pop (or simply ‘JPop’). Enka music, adopting Japanese traditional structures, became quite popular in the postwar period, though its popularity has waned since the 1970s and enjoys little favour with contemporary youth. Famous enka singers include Hibari Misora, Saburo Kitajima, Ikuzo Yoshi and Kiyoshi Hikawa.
* Western Classical Music
Western classical music has a strong presence in Japan and the country is one of the most important markets for this music tradition, with Toru Takemitsu (famous as well for his avant-garde works and movie scoring) being the best known. Also famous is the conductor Seiji Ozawa. Since 1999 the pianist Fujiko Hemming, who plays Liszt and Chopin, has been famous and her CDs have sold millions of copies. Japan is also home to the world’s leading wind band, the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, and the largest music competition of any kind, the All-Japan Band Association national contest. Western classical music does not represent Japan’s original culture. The Japanese were first exposed to it in the second half of the 19th century, after more than 200 years of national isolation during the Edo Period. But after that, Japanese studied classical music earnestly to make it a part of their own artistic culture.
From the 1930s on (except during World War II, when it was repressed as music of the enemy) jazz has had a strong presence in Japan. The country is an important market for the music, and it is common that recordings unavailable in the United States or Europe are available there. A number of Japanese jazz musicians have achieved popularity abroad as well as at home. Musicians such as June (born in Japan) and Dan (third generation American born, of Hiroshima fame), and Sadao Watanabe have a large fan base outside their native country. Lately, club jazz or nu-jazz has become popular with a growing number of young Japanese. Native DJs such as Ryota Nozaki (Jazztronik), the two brothers Okino Shuya and Okino Yoshihiro of Kyoto Jazz Massive, Toshio Matsuura (former member of the United Future Organization) and DJ Shundai Matsuo creator of the popular monthly DJ event, Creole in Beppu, Japan as well as nu-jazz artists, Sleepwalker, GrooveLine, and Soil & “Pimp” Sessions have brought great change to the traditional notions of jazz in Japan. Today, some of the newer and very interesting bands include Ego-Wrappin’ and Sakerock.
J-pop, an abbreviation for Japanese pop, is a loosely defined musical genre that entered the musical mainstream of Japan in the 1990s. Modern J-pop has its roots in 1960s pop and rock music, such as The Beatles, which led to bands such as Happy End fusing rock with Japanese music. J-pop was further defined by Japanese New Wave bands such as Yellow Magic Orchestra and Southern All Stars in the late 1970s. Eventually, J-pop replaced kayōkyoku (“Lyric Singing Music”, a term for Japanese pop music from the 1920s to the 1980s) in the Japanese music scene. The term was coined by the Japanese media to distinguish Japanese music from foreign music.
In the 1960s, Japanese rock music bands imitated Western rock musicians such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones, along with other Appalachian folk music, psychedelic rock, mod and similar genres; this was called Group Sounds (G.S.). John Lennonof The Beatles later became one of most popular Western musicians in Japan. Group Sounds is a genre of Japanese rock music that was popular in the mid to late 1960s. After the boom of Group Sounds, there were several influential singer-songwriters. Nobuyasu Okabayashi was the first who became widely recognized. Wataru Takada, inspired by Woody Guthrie, also became popular. They both were influenced by American folk music but wrote Japanese lyrics. Takada used modern Japanese poetry as lyrics, while Kazuki Tomokawa made an album using Chuya Nakahara’s poems. Tomobe Masato, inspired by Bob Dylan, wrote critically acclaimed lyrics.
The Tigers was the most popular Group Sounds band in the era. Later, some of the members of The Tigers, The Tempters and The Spiders formed the first Japanese supergroup Pyg. Homegrown Japanese folk rock had developed by the late 1960s. Artists like Happy End are considered to have virtually developed the genre. During the 1970s, it grew more popular. The Okinawan band Champloose, along with Carol (led by Eikichi Yazawa), RC Succession and Shinji Harada were especially famous and helped define the genre’s sound. Sometimes also beginning in the late sixties, but mostly active in the seventies, are musicians mixing rock music with American-style folk and pop elements, usually labelled “folk” by the Japanese because of their regular use of the acoustic guitar. This includes bands like Off Course, Tulip, Alice (led by Shinji Tanimura), Kaguyahime, Banban, and Garo. Solo artists of the same movement include Yosui Inoue,Yuming, and Iruka. Later groups, like Kai Band (led by Yoshihiro Kai) and early Southern All Stars, are often attached to the same movement.
Yellow Magic Orchestra in 2008
Several Japanese musicians began experimenting with electronic rock in the early 1970s. The most notable was the internationally renowned Isao Tomita, whose 1972 album Electric Samurai: Switched on Rock featured electronic synthesizer renditions of contemporary rock and pop songs. Other early examples of electronic rock records include Inoue Yousui’s folk rock and pop rock album Ice World (1973) and Osamu Kitajima’s progressive psychadelic rock album Benzaiten (1974), both of which involved contributions from Haruomi Hosono, who later started the electronic music group “Yellow Magic Band” (later known as Yellow Magic Orchestra) in 1977. Most influentially, the 1970s spawned the electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra, led by Haruomi Hosono.
In the 1980s, Boøwy inspired alternative rock bands like Shonen Knife, Boredoms, The Pillows and Tama & Little Creatures as well as more mainstream bands as Glay. In 1980, Huruoma and Ry Cooder, an American musician, collaborated on a rock album with Shoukichi Kina, driving force behind the aforementioned Okinawan band Champloose. They were followed by Sandii & the Sunsetz, who further mixed Japanese and Okinawan influences. Also during the 80s, Japanese metal and rock bands gave birth to the movement known as visual kei, represented during its history by bands like X Japan, Buck-Tick, Luna Sea, Malice Mizer and many others, some of which experienced national, and international success in the latest years.
In the 1990s, Japanese rock musicians such as B’z, Mr. Children, Glay, Southern All Stars, L’Arc-en-Ciel, Tube, Spitz, Wands, T-Bolan, Judy and Mary, Asian Kung–Fu Generation, Field of View, Deen, Ulfuls, Lindberg, Sharam Q, The Yellow Monkey, The Brilliant Green and Dragon Ash achieved great commercial success. B’z is the #1 best selling act in Japanese music since Oricon started to count, followed by Mr. Children. In the ’90s, pop songs were often used in films, anime,television advertisement and dramatic programming, becoming some of the best-selling forms of music in Japan. The rise of disposable pop has been linked with the popularity of karaoke, leading to criticism that it is consumerist: Kazufumi Miyazawa of The Boom said “I hate that buy, listen, and throw away and sing at a karaoke bar mentality.” Of the visual kei bands Luna Sea, whose members toned down their on-stage attire with on-going success, was either very successful, while Malice Mizer, La’cryma Christi,Shazna, Janne Da Arc, and Fanatic Crisis also achieved commercial success in the late ’90s. The first Fuji Rock Festival opened in 1997. Rising Sun Rock Festival opened in 1999.
Summer Sonic Festival and Rock in Japan Festival opened in 2000. Though the rock scene in the 2000s is not as strong, newer bands such as Bump of Chicken, Sambomaster, Flow,Orange Range, Remioromen, Uverworld, Radwimps and Aqua Timez, which are considered rock bands, have achieved success. Orange Range also adopts hip hop. Established bands as B’z, Mr. Children, Glay, and L’Arc-en-Ciel also continue to top charts, though B’z and Mr. Children are the only bands to maintain a high standard of their sales along the years. Japanese rock has a vibrant underground rock scene, best known internationally for noise rock bands such as Boredoms and Melt Banana, as well as stoner rock bands such as Boris and alternative acts such as Shonen Knife (who were championed in the West by Kurt Cobain), Pizzicato Five and The Pillows (who gained international attention in 1999 for the FLCL soundtrack). More conventional indie rock artists such as Eastern Youth, The Band Apart and Number Girl have found some success in Japan, but little recognition outside of their home country. Other notable international touring indie rock acts are Mono and Nisennenmondai.
* Punk rock / alternative
Early examples of punk rock in Japan include SS, The Star Club, The Stalin, Inu, Gaseneta, Bomb Factory, Lizard (who were produced by the Stranglers) and Friction (whose guitarist Reck had previously played with Teenage Jesus and the Jerks before returning to Tokyo) and The Blue Hearts. The early punk scene was immortalized on film by Sogo Ishii, who directed the 1982 film Burst City featuring a cast of punk bands/musicians and also filmed videos for The Stalin. In the 80s, hardcore bands such as GISM, Gauze, Confuse, Lip Cream and Systematic Death began appearing, some incorporating crossover elements. The independent scene also included a diverse number of alternative/post-punk/new wave artists such as Aburadako, P-Model, Uchoten, Auto-Mod, Buck-Tick,Guernica and Yapoos (both of which featured Jun Togawa), G-Schmitt, Totsuzen Danball and Jagatara, along with noise/industrial bands such as Hijokaidan and Hanatarashi. Ska-punk bands of the late nineties extending in the years 2000 include Shakalabbits and 175R (pronounced “inago rider”).
* Heavy Metal
Japan is known for being a successful area for metal bands touring around the world and many live albums are recorded in Japan. Notable examples are Judas Priest’s Unleashed in the East, Iron Maiden’s Maiden Japan, Deep Purple’s Made in Japan and Dream Theater’s Live at Budokan. From the international bands, such as Angra, Sonata Arctica and Skylark especially with their singer Kiara Laetitia have had major success in Japan. First Japanese heavy metal bands started emerging in the late 1970s, pioneered by bands like Bow Wow, formed in 1975 by guitarist Kyoji Yamamoto, and Loudness, formed in 1981 by guitarist Akira Takasaki. Although there existed other contemporary bands, like Earthshaker, Anthem and 44 Magnum, their debut albums were released only around the mid eighties when metal bands started getting a major exposure. First overseas live performances were by Bow Wow in 1978 in Hong Kong and at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, as well played at the Reading Festival in England in 1982.
In 1983 Loudness toured United States and Europe, and started focusing more on an international career. In 1985 was a first Japanese metal act signed to a major label in the United States. Their albums Thunder in the East and Lightning Strikes released in 1985 and 1986 peaked at number 74 (while number 4 in homeland Oricon chart), and number 64 in the Billboard 200 charts respectively. Till the end of the eighties only two other bands, Ezo and Dead End, got their albums released in the United States. In the eighties few bands had a female members, like all-female band Show-Ya fronted by Keiko Terada, and Terra Rosa with Kazue Akao on vocals. In September 1989, Show-Ya’s album Outerlimits was released, it reached number 3 in the Oricon album chart. Heavy metal bands reached their peak in the late ’80s and many disbanded until the mid 1990s.
Concert of pioneer of visual kei, X Japan at Hong Kong in 2009 after their 2007 reunion. In 1982 were formed some of the first Japanese glam metal bands, like Seikima-II with Kabuki-inspired makeup, and X Japan who pioneered the Japanese movement known as visual kei, and became the best-selling metal band. In 1985, Seikima-IIs album Seikima-II – Akuma ga Kitarite Heavy Metal was released and although reached number 48 on the Oricon album chart exceeded 100,000 in sales, first time for any Japanese metal band. Their albums charted regularly in the top ten until mid ’90s. In April 1989, X Japans second album Blue Blood was released and went to number 6, and after 108 weeks on charts sold 712,000 copies. In July 1991 was released their third and best-selling album Jealousy, it topped the charts and sold 1.11 million copies There were released more two number one studio albums, Art of Life and Dahlia, a singles compilation X Singles, all selling more than half a million, and since the formation had thirteenth top five singles, disbanding in 1997.
* Extreme Metal
Japanese extreme metal bands formed in the wake of American and European wave, but didn’t get any bigger exposure until the ‘90s, and like overseas the genre is usually treated as an underground form of music in Japan. First thrash metal bands formed in the early ’80s, like United, whose music also incorporates death metal elements, and Outrage. United’s first international performance took place in Los Angeles at the metal festival “Foundations Forum” in September 1995 and had few albums released in North America. Formed in the mid ‘80s, Doom played a gig in the United States in October 1988 at CBGB, and was active until 2000 when disbanded. The first bands to play black metal music were Sabbat, who is still active, and Bellzlleb, who was active until early ‘90s. Another notable act is Sigh. Doom metal has also gained an audience in Japan. The two best-known Japanese doom metal acts are Church of Misery and Boris, both of whom have gained considerable popularity outside the country.
* Electro Pop and Club Music
Electronic pop music in Japan became a successful commodity with the “Technopop” craze of the late 70s and 80s, beginning with Yellow Magic Orchestra and solo albums of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono in 1978 before hitting popularity in 79/80. Influenced by disco, impressionistic and 20th century classical composition, jazz/fusion pop, new wave and techno pop artists such as Kraftwerk and Telex, these artists were commercial yet uncompromising. Ryuichi Sakamoto claims that “to me, making pop music is not a compromise because I enjoy doing it”.
The artists that fall under the banner of technopop in Japan are as loose as those that do so in the West, thus new wave bands such as P-Model and The Plastics fall under the category alongside the symphonic techno arrangements of Yellow Magic Orchestra. The popularity of this music meant that many popular artists of the 70s that previously were known for acoustic music turned to techno production, such as Taeko Onuki and Akiko Yano, and idol producers began employing electronic arrangements for new singers in the 80s. Today, newer artists such as Polysics pay explicit homage to this era of Japanese popular (and in some cases underground or difficult to obtain) music. And the all trio girls band Perfume, who debuted with Tokuma Japan in 2005,are also a techno-pop band, taking on electronic, dance and pop music taking on Auto-Tune, vocoders, and electrohouse upon their signing to a major label.They are currently considered as one of the most popular bands in Japan.
* Dance and Disco Music
In 1984, American musician Michael Jackson’s album Thriller became the first album by a Western artist to sell over one million copies in Japanese Oricon charts history. His style is cited as one of the models for Japanese dance music, leading the popularity of Avex Group and Johnny & Associates. In 1990, Avex Trax began to release the Super Eurobeat series in Japan. Eurobeat in Japan led the popularity of group dance form Para Para. While Avex’s artists such as Every Little Thing and Ayumi Hamasaki became popular in 1990s, new names in the late 90s included Hikaru Utada and Morning Musume. Hikaru Utada’s debut album, First Love, went on to be the highest-selling album in Japan with over 7 million copies sold, whereas Ayumi Hamasaki became Japan’s top selling female and solo artist, and Morning Musume remains one of the most well-known girl groups in the Japanese pop music industry.
Hip-hop is a newer form of music on the Japanese music scene. Many felt it was a trend that would immediately pass. However, the genre has lasted for many years and is still thriving. In fact, rappers in Japan did not achieve the success of hip-hop artists in other countries until the late 1980s. This was mainly due to the music world’s belief that “Japanese sentences were not capable of forming the rhyming effect that was contained in American rappers’ songs.” There is a certain, well-defined structure to the music industry called “The Pyramid Structure of a Music Scene”. As Ian Condry notes, “viewing a music scene in terms of a pyramid provides a more nuanced understanding of how to interpret the significance of different levels and kinds of success.” The levels are as follows (from lowest to highest): fans and potential artists, performing artists, recording artists (Indies), major label artists, and mega-hit stars.
These different levels can be clearly seen at a genba, or nightclub. Different “families” of rappers perform on stage. A family is essentially a collection of rap groups that are usually headed by one of the more famous Tokyo acts, which also include a number of protégés. They are important because they are “the key to understanding stylistic differences between groups.” Hip-hop fans in the audience are the ones in control of the night club. They are the judges who determine the winners in rap battles on stage. An example of this can be seen with the battle between rap artists Dabo (a major label artist) and Kan (an indie artist). Kan challenged Dabo to a battle on stage while Dabo was mid-performance. Another important part of night clubs was displayed at this time. It showed “the openness of the scene and the fluidity of boundaries in clubs.”
* Roots Music
In the late 1980s, roots bands like Shang Shang Typhoon and The Boom became popular. Okinawan roots bands like Nenes and Kinawere also commercially and critically successful. This led to the second wave of Okinawan music, led by the sudden success ofRinkenband. A new wave of bands followed, including the comebacks of Champluse and Kina, as led by Kikusuimaru Kawachiya; very similar to kawachi ondo is Tadamaru Sakuragawa’s goshu ondo.
* Latin, Reggae and Ska Music
Other forms of music from Indonesia, Jamaica and elsewhere were assimilated. African soukous and Latin music, like Orquesta de la Luz (オルケスタ・デ・ラ・ルス), was popular as was Jamaican reggae and ska, exemplified by Mice Teeth, Mute Beat, La-ppisch,Home Grown and Ska Flames, Determinations, and Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra.
* Noise Music
Another recognized music form from Japan is noise music. The noise from this country is called Japanoise. Its most prominent representative is Masami Akita with his project Merzbow.
* Theme Music
Theme music composed for films, anime, Tokusatsu, and Japanese television dramas are considered a separate music genre. Several prominent musical artists and groups have spent most of their musical careers performing theme songs and composing soundtracks for visual media. Such artists include Masato Shimon (current holder of the world record for most successful single in Japan for “Oyoge! Taiyaki-kun”), Ichirou Mizuki, all of the members of JAM Project, Akira Kushida, Isao Sasaki, and Mitsuko Horie. Notable composers of Japanese theme music include Joe Hisaishi, Michiru Oshima, Yoko Kanno, Toshihiko Sahashi, Yuki Kajiura, Kōtarō Nakagawa and Yuuki Hayashi.
* Game Music
When the first electronic games were sold, they only had rudimentary sound chips with which to produce music. As the technology advanced, the quality of sound and music these game machines could produce increased dramatically. The first game to take credit for its music was Xevious, also noteworthy for its deeply (at that time) constructed stories. Though many games have had beautiful music to accompany their game play, one of the most important games in the history of the video game music is Dragon Quest. Koichi Sugiyama, a composer who was known for his music for various anime and TV shows, including Cyborg 009 and a feature film ofGodzilla vs. Biollante, got involved in the project out of the pure curiosity and proved that games can have serious soundtracks. Until his involvement, music and sounds were often neglected in the development of video games and programmers with little musical knowledge were forced to write the soundtracks as well. Undaunted by technological limits, Sugiyama worked with only 8 part polyphony to create a soundtrack that would not tire the player despite hours and hours of game play. Another well-known author of video game music is Nobuo Uematsu. Even Uematsu’s earlier compositions for the game series, Final Fantasy, on Famicom (Nintendo Entertainment System in America) are being arranged for full orchestral score.
In 2003, he even took his rock-based tunes from their original MIDI format and created The Black Mages. Yasunori Mitsuda is a highly known composer of such games as Xenogears, Xenosaga Episode I, Chrono Cross, and Chrono Trigger. Koji Kondo, the main composer for Nintendo, is also prominent on the Japanese game music scene. He is best known for the Zelda and Mario themes. Motoi Sakuraba is also another well-known video game composer. He is known for composing the Tales Series, Dark Souls, Eternal Sonata, Star Ocean, Valkyrie Profile, Golden Sun, and the Baten Kaitos games, as well as numerous Mario Sports games. Yuzo Koshiro is also noted for his work with games, having composed electronic music-influenced soundtracks for games like Revenge of Shinobi and the Streets of Rage series. The techno/trance music production group I’ve Sound has made a name for themselves first by making themes for eroge computer games, and then by breaking into the anime scene by composing themes for them. Unlike others, this group was able to find fans in other parts of the world through their eroge and anime themes. Today, game soundtracks are sold on CD. Famous singers like Hikaru Utada, Ayumi Hamasaki and Gackt sometimes sing songs for games as well, and this is also seen as a way for singers to make a name for themselves.
Musical Instruments of Japan
1. Biwa (琵琶) – is a Japanese short-necked fretted lute, often used in narrative storytelling. 2. Fue (笛) – is the Japanese word for flute, and refers to a class of flutes native to Japan. 3. Hichiriki (篳篥) – is a double reed Japanese fue (flute) used as one of two main melodic instruments in Japanese gagaku music, the other being the ryūteki. 4. Hocchiku (法竹) – sometimes romanized as hocchiku or hochiku, is a Japanese end-blown flute (a fue), crafted from root sections of bamboo. 5. Hyōshigi (拍子木) – is a simple Japanese musical instrument, consisting of two pieces of hardwood or bamboo that are connected by a thin ornamental rope. 6. Kane (鐘) – is a type of bell from Japan.
7. Kakko (鞨鼓) – is a Japanese double-headed drum.
8. Kokyū (胡弓) – is a traditional Japanese string instrument, the only one played with a bow. 9. Koto (琴) – is a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument, similar to the Chinese zheng, the Mongolian yatga, the Koreangayageum and the Vietnamese đàn tranh. 10. Niko (二胡) – is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, more specifically a spike fiddle, which may also be called a “southern fiddle”, and sometimes known in the Western world as the “Chinese violin” or a “Chinese two-stringed fiddle”. 11. Okawa (AKA Ōtsuzumi) (大鼓) – also known as the ōkawa, is an hourglass-shaped Japanese drum. 12. Ryūteki (竜笛) – is a Japanese transverse fue made of bamboo. 13. Sanshin (三線) – is an Okinawan musical instrument and precursor of the Japanese shamisen. 14. Shakuhachi (bamboo flute) (尺八) – is a Japanese but-blown flute. 15. Shamisen(三味線) – is a three-stringed, Japanese musical instrument played with a plectrum called a bachi. 16. Shime-Daiko (締太鼓) – is a small Japanese drum.
17. Shinobue (篠笛) – is a Japanese transverse flute orfue that has a high-pitched sound. 18. Shō (笙) – is a Japanese free reed musical instrument that was introduced from China during the Nara period (AD 710 to 794). 19. Suikinkutsu (water zither) (水琴窟) – is a type of Japanese garden ornament and music device. It consists of an upside down buried pot with a hole at the top. 20. Taiko (i.e. Wadaiko)太鼓～和太鼓 – means “drum” in Japanese (etymologically “great” or “wide drum”). 21. Tsuzumi (鼓) (AKA Kotsuzumi) – is a Japanese drum of Chinese/Indian origin. Music of Russia
Music of Russia
Music of Russia denotes music produced in Russia and/or by the Russians. Russia is a large and culturally diverse country, with many ethnic groups, each with their own locally developed music. Russian music also includes significant contributions from ethnic minorities, who populated the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and modern day Russia. Russian music includes a variety of styles: from ritual folk song, to the sacred music of the Russian orthodox church, and also included the legacy of several prominent 19th century classical and romantic composers. Major contributions by 20th century Soviet composers as well as various forms of popular music are also part of the make-up of Russian music.
Written documents exist that describe the musical culture of Rus’. The most popular kind of instruments in medieval Russia were thought to have been string instruments, such as thegusli or gudok. Archeologists have uncovered examples of these instruments in the Novgorod region dating as early as 11th century.] (Novgorod republic had deep traditions in music; its most popular folk hero and the chief character of several epics was Sadko, a gusliplayer). Other instruments in common use include flutes (svirel), and percussive instruments such as the treshchotka and the buben. The most popular form of music, however wassinging. Bylinas (epic ballads) about folk heroes such as Sadko, Ilya Muromets, and others were often sung, sometimes to instrumental accompaniment. The texts of some of these epics have been recorded.
In the period of Muscovy, a distinct line was formed between the sacred music of the Orthodox Church and that of secular music used for entertainment. The former draws its tradition from the Byzantine Empire, with key elements being used in Russian Orthodox bell ringing, as well as choral singing. Neumes were developed for musical notation, and as a result several examples of medieval sacred music have survived to this day, among them two stichera composed by Tsar Ivan IV in the 16th century. Secular music included the use of musical instruments such as fipple flutes and string instruments, and was usually played on holidays initially by skomorokhs — jesters and minstrels who entertained the nobility. During the reactionary period of the Great Russian Schism in the 17th century, skomorokhs along with their form of secular music were banned from plying their trade numerous times, but despite these restrictions, some of their traditions survived to the present day.
18th and 19th century: Russian Classical music
Russia was a late starter in developing a native tradition of classical music due to the proscription by the Orthodox Church against secular music. Beginning in the reign of Ivan IV, the Imperial Court invited Western composers and musicians to fill this void. By the time of Peter I, these artists were a regular fixture at Court. While not personally inclined toward music, Peter saw European music as a mark of civilization and a way of westernizing the country; his establishment of the Western-style city of Saint Petersburg helped foster its spread to the rest of the upper classes. A craze for Italian opera at Court during the reigns of Empresses Elisabeth and Catherine also helped spread interest in Western music among the aristocracy. This craze became so pervasive that many were not even aware that Russian composers existed.
The focus on European music meant that Russian composers had to write in Western style if they wanted their compositions to be performed. Their success at this was variable due to a lack of familiarity with European rules of composition. Some composers were able to travel abroad for training, usually to Italy, and learned to compose vocal and instrumental works in the Italian Classical tradition popular in the day. These include ethnic Ukrainian composers Dmitri Bortniansky, Maksim Berezovsky and Artem Vedel. The first great Russian composer to exploit native Russian music traditions into the realm of Secular music was Mikhail Glinka (1804–1857), who composed the early Russian language operas Ivan Susanin and Ruslan and Lyudmila. They were neither the first operas in the Russian language nor the first by a Russian, but they gained fame for relying on distinctively Russian tunes and themes and being in the vernacular.
20th century: Soviet music
After the Russian Revolution, Russian music changed dramatically. The early 1920s were the era of avant-garde experiments, inspired by the “revolutionary spirit” of the era. New trends in music (like music based on synthetic chords) were proposed by enthusiastic clubs such as Association for Contemporary Music. In the 1930s, under the regime of Joseph Stalin, music was forced to be contained within certain boundaries of content and innovation. Classicism was favoured, and experimentation discouraged. (A notable example: Shostakovich’s veristic opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District was denounced in Pravda newspaper as “formalism” and soon removed from theatres for years). The music patriarchs of the era were Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Aram Khachaturian. With time, a wave of younger Soviet composers, such as Georgy Sviridov, Alfred Schnittke, and Sofia Gubaidulina took the forefront due to the rigorous Soviet education system. The Union of Soviet Composers was established in 1932 and became the major regulatory body for Soviet music. Jazz was introduced to Soviet audiences by Valentin Parnakh in the 1920s. Singer Leonid Uteosov and film score composer Isaak Dunayevsky helped its popularity, especially with the popular comedy movie Jolly Fellows that featured a jazz soundtrack.
Eddie Rosner, Oleg Lundstrem and others contributed to soviet jazz music Film soundtracks produced a significant part of popular Soviet/Russian songs of the time, as well as of orchestral and experimental music. The 1930s saw Prokofiev’s scores for Sergei Eisenstein’s epic movies, and also soundtracks by Isaak Dunayevsky that ranged from classical pieces to popular jazz. The 1960s and 1970s saw the beginning of modern Russian pop and rock music. It started with the wave of VIA’s (vocal-instrumental ensemble), a specific sort of music bands performing radio-friendly pop, rock and folk, composed by members of the Union of Composers and approved by censorship. This wave begun with Pojuschie Gitary and Pesnyary; popular VIA bands also included Tcvety, Zemlyane andVerasy. Among the pioneers of Soviet electronica, was 1970s ambient composer Eduard Artemiev, best known for his scores to Tarkovsky’s science fiction films.
21st century: Modern Russian music
Russian pop music is well developed, and enjoys mainstream success via pop music media such as MTV Russia, Muz TV and various radio stations. A number of pop artists have broken through in recent years. The Russian duet t.A.T.u. is the most successful Russian pop band of its time. They have reached number one in many countries around the world, with several of their singles and albums. Other popular artists include the Eurovision 2008 winner Dima Bilan, as well as Philipp Kirkorov, Vitas and Alsou. Music producers like Igor Krutoy, Maxim Fadeev, Ivan Shapovalov, Igor Matvienko, and Konstantin Meladze control a major share of Russia’s pop music market, in some ways continuing the Soviet style of artist management. On the other side, some independent acts such as Neoclubber use new-era promo tools to avoid these Soviet old-fashioned ways in reaching their fans.
The rock music scene has gradually evolved from the united movement into several different subgenres similar to those found in the West. There’s youth pop rock and alternative rock (Mumiy Troll, Zemfira, Splean, Bi-2, Zveri). There’s punk rock, ska and grunge (Korol i Shut, Pilot,Leningrad, Distemper, Elisium). The heavy metal scene has grown substantially, with new bands playing Power and Progressive Metal (Catharsis, Epidemia, Shadow Host, Mechanical Poet), and Pagan Metal (Arkona, Butterfly Temple, Temnozor). Rock music media has become prevalent in modern Russia. The most notable is Nashe Radio, which is promoting classic rock and pop punk. Its Chart Dozen (Чартова дюжина) is the main rock chart in Russia, and its Nashestvie rock festival attracts around 100,000 fans annually and was dubbed “Russian Woodstock” by the media. Music of South Korea
Shiena April Yael M. Daz
Music of South Korea
Music of South Korea has evolved over the course of the decades since the end of the Korean War, and has its roots in the music of the korean people, who have inhabited the korean peninsula for over a millenium. Contemporary South korean music can be divided into three different main categories: Traditional korean folk music, popular music, or kpop, and western-influenced non-popular music.
Korean Traditional Music
The first evidence korean music is old, and it has been well documented by surviving written materials from the 15th century and was brought to heights of exellence during the Yi kings of the Joseon Dynasty. Imperial Japan’s annexiation of korea eliminated Korean music from 1905 to 1945. A brief postwar period reawakend folk and patriotic music. By 1951, Korea was split, into the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or North and the republic of Korea or South Korea from which emerged two different approaches to music. Korean traditional music includes kinds of both folk and classical, courtly music, including genres like sanjo, pansori and nongak. The three types of korean court music are aak, hyangak and dangak.
Mainstream Popular Music
Popular Korean music, typically referred to as K-pop in English, or gayo in Korean, is a highly commercial industry throughout Asia. Contemporary K-pop is dominated by dance groups featuring young entertaxcfdsceiners the latest looks and dance skills. Contemporary Korean music and pop stars are so popular, Asians have designated a word to reflect this fact. The Korean Wave, or hallyu, is the word used to discuss the influence of contemporary Korean popular culture on the rest of Asia, and the rest of the world. Genre
Trot, pronounced as “teuwcroteu” in Korean (sometimes called ppongjjak (뽕짝), due to its distinctive background rhythm), is the oldest form of Korean pop music. It was developed in the years before and during World War II around the early 1900s. Famous interpreters of this genre are South Korean singers Tae Jin Ah and Song Dae Gwan. Rock musicians such as Cho Yong Pil also performed this type of music. Recently, it has enjoyed a revival at the hands of Jang Yoon Jeong, who recorded the popular trot songs “Jjanjjara” and “Oemoena.” Popular child actress and film star Lee Jae Eun has also recently recorded a trot album.
Rock music is said to have spread to Korea from the Eighth United States Army (EUSA) bases after the Korean War. Shin Jung-hyeon, frequently referred to as the “Godfather of Korean Rock,” got his start playing popular rock covers for American servicemen in the 1950s, particularly being noted for his take on Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. Shin developed his own style of psychedelic rock in the ’60s and ’70s and recorded albums with several bands, such as the Add 4, the Men, and the Yup Juns, and wrote songs and played on albums for well-known singers, such as Kim Chu Ja and Jang Hyun, and lesser known singers, like Kim Jung Mi. After refusing an order from then-president Park Chung-hee to write a song praising the president, Park banned Shin’s music and ultimately imprisoned him for marijuana possession. The imprisonment of Shin slowed the production of Korean rock, but other artists, most notably Sanulrim emerged during the late ’70s, before dance music came to dominate Korean popular music in the ’80s. * Folk
T’onga guitar (or tong guitar) is a form of Korean folk and folk rock music developed in the early 1960s and ’70s. It was heavily influenced by American folk music, and artists in the genre were considered Korean versions of American folk singers, such as Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. Notable early Korean folk musicians include the American-educated Hahn Dae-soo, and Kim Min-ki. Hahn and Kim recorded socially and politically conscious folk songs, and both artists had their music censored and banned by the autocratic Park Chung-hee government, much as the psychedelic rock guitarist Shin Jung-hyeon had his songs censored and banned. Despite the government’s efforts to censor political music, though, popular folk songs increasingly came to be used as rallying cries for social change within Korea, leading to the term norae undong (노래운동), or literally, “song movement,” being coined to describe songs targeted at social change. As South Korea was transitioning to democracy in 1987, the late folk musician Kim Kwang-Seok was noted for being politically active, and his songs were popular at democratic rallies.
In South Korea, hip hop expanded into a cultural phenomenon in Seoul, Busan and Daegu. The movement has been growing since the mid-90s, especially after the success of Seo Taiji and the Boys’ smash hit Nan arayo, or “I know,” and has been gaining attention internationally, as Koreans have won various championships around the world since the early 2000s. Aside from mainstream dance pop infused hip hop, there is also an underground scene that has developed throughout South Korea. Online webzines have contributed to spreading the culture. On July 15th 2012, South Korean music group PSY created the hit song “Gangnam Style”. The song’s music video currently has over 1 billion views on Youtube, and also holds the world record for most-viewed video on Youtube.
Music of the Philippines
Nathale Rose Sabas
Philippine gong music can be divided into two types: the flat gong commonly known as gangsa and played by indigenous groups in the Cordillera region of the bossed gongs played among the Islam and animist groups in the Southern Philippines. Kulintang refers to a racked gong chime instrument played in the southern islands of the Philippines, along with its varied accompanying ensembles. Different groups have different ways of playing the kulintang. Two major groups seem to stand-out in kulintang music. These are the Maguindanaon and the Maranaw. The kulintang instrument itself could be traced to either the introduction of gongs to Southeast Asia from China from before the 10th century CE, or more likely, to the introduction of bossed gong chimes from Java in the 15th century. Nevertheless the kulintang ensemble is the most advanced form of music from before the late 16th century and the legacy of hispanization in the Philippine archipelago. The tradition of kulintang ensemble music itself is a regional one, predating the establishing of borders between the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.
It transcends religion, with animist and Christian ethnic groups in Borneo, Flores and Sulawesi playing kulintangan; and Muslim groups playing the same genre of music in Mindanao, Palawan and the Sulu archipelago. It is distantly related to the Gamelan music orchestras of Java and Bali, as well as the musical forms in Mainland Southeast Asia, mainly because of the usage for the same bossed racked gong chimes that play both melodical and percussive. Notable folk song composers include the National Artist for Music Lucio San Pedro, who composed the famous “Sa Ugoy ng Duyan” that recalls about the loving touch of mother to her child. Another great composer who’s known as patriotic composer, Alfredo Buenaventura.
* Harana and Kundiman
The Harana and Kundiman are lyrical songs popular in the Philippine Islands dating back to the Spanish period. Harana are traditional courtship songs in the Mexican-Spanish tradition based on the habanera rhythm while the Kundiman, which has pre-colonial origins from the Tagalog region, uses triple meter rhythm. Kundiman is also characterized by a minor key at the beginning and shifts to a major key in the second half. Its lyrics depict a romantic theme, usually portraying love, passion, or sadness. In the 1920s Harana and Kundiman became more mainstream musical styles led by performers such as Atang de la Rama, Jovita Fuentes, Conching Rosal, Sylvia La Torre and Ruben Tagalog.
The Tinikling is a Philippine dance which involves two individual performers hitting bamboo poles, using them to beat, tap, and slide on the ground, and against each other in co-ordination with one or more dancers who steps over, and in between poles.
The Cariñosa (meaning loving or affectionate one), is a Philippine national dance from the María Clara suite of Philippine folk dances, where the fan, and handkerchief plays an instrument role as it places the couple in romance scenario. The dance is similar to the Jarabe Tapatío. The Cariñosa is accompanied with Hispanic music, and language.
The Rondalla is performed on ensembles comprising mandolin instruments of various sizes called banduria composed on the Iberian tradition. Other instruments including guitars, is also performed.It is original to Spain.
Modern Filipino Music
* OPM (Original Pilipino Music)
Original Pilipino Music, now more commonly termed Original Pinoy Music or Original Philippine Music or OPM for short, originally referred only to Philippine pop songs, particularly ballads, such as those popular after the collapse of its predecessor, the Manila Sound, in the late 1970s, up until the present. In the 70’s Nora Aunor, Pilita Corrales, Eddie Peregrina, Victor Wood, ASIN and many more. In the 1970s the major commercial Philippine pop music artists were, Joey Albert, Claire dela Fuente, Didith Reyes, Rico Puno, Ryan Cayabyab, Basil Valdez, Celeste Legaspi, Hajji Alejandro, Rey Valera, and Freddie Aguilar, Imelda Papin, Eva Eugenio, Nonoy Zuniga and many others. Between the 1980s and 1990s, OPM was led by artists such as Regine Velasquez, Sharon Cuneta, APO Hiking Society, José Mari Chan, Dingdong Avanzado, Rodel Naval, Janno Gibbs, Ogie Alcasid, Joey Albert, Lilet , Martin Nievera, Manilyn Reynes, Pops Fernandez, Lea Salonga, Vina Morales, Raymond Lauchengco, Francis Magalona, and Gary Valenciano among many others.
In the 1990s, the famous artists/bands included Eraserheads, Smokey mountain, Donna Cruz, Jessa Zaragoza, Ariel Rivera, Southborder, Afterimage, Andrew E., Jaya, Rivermaya, Ella May Saison among many others. Underground bands emerged and along with them were their perceptions of idealism and self-expression. The famous lyricist of Circle’s End, Geno Georsua landed on top as the melodramatic expressionist. Bassist Greg Soliman of UST Pendong grasps the title as the best bassist of underground music. From its inception, OPM has been centered in Manila, where Tagalog, and English are the dominant languages. Other ethno linguistic groups such as the Visayan, Bikol, and Kapampangan, despite making music in their native languages have not been recognized as OPM, except in unusual cases like the Bisrock (Visayan Rock music) song “Charing” by Davao band 1017. Multiculturalism advocates, and federalists often associate this discrepancy to the Tagalog-centric cultural hegemony of the capital city of Manila.
Having successfully created a subgenre of Philippine Rock they called Bisrock, the Visayans by far have the biggest collection of modern music in their native language, with great contributions from Visayan bands Phylum, and Missing Filemon. However, a band called Groupies’ Panciteria that hails from Tacloban, a Winaray-speaking city, launched a free downloadable mp3 album onSoundclick.com in 2009 containing 13 Tagalog songs and only one very short one in the Cebuano language. Following suit are the Kapampangans. The debut music video of “Oras” (Time) by Tarlac City-based Kapampangan band Mernuts has penetrated MTV Pilipinas, making it the first ever Kapampangan music video to join the ranks of other mainstream Filipino music videos. “RocKapampangan: The Birth of Philippine Kapampangan Rock,” an album of modern remakes of folk Kapampangan extemporaneous songs by various Kapampangan bands was also launched last February 2008, which are now regularly played via Kapampangan cable channel Infomax-8 and via one of Central Luzon’s biggest FM radio stations, GVFM 99.1.
Inspired by what the locals call “Kapampangan cultural renaissance,” Angeles City-born balladeer Ronnie Liang rendered Kapampangan translations of some of his popular songs such as “Ayli” (Kapampangan version of “Ngiti”), and “Ika” (Kapampangan version of “Ikaw”) for his repackaged album. Despite the growing clamor for non-Tagalog, and non-English music, and greater representation of other Philippine languages, the local Philippine music industry, which is centered in Manila, is unforthcoming in venturing investments to other locations. Some of their major reasons include the language barrier, small market size, and socio-cultural emphasis away from regionalism in the Philippines. In 2000, the Himig Handog contest was established. It is the biggest Philippine multimedia songwriting competition specifically focusing on creating brand new OPM songs and featured many prominent artist within the country who are chosen by songwriters to interpret their songs. Five competitions had been held so far starting from 2000 to 2003 and was eventually revived in 2013.
* Pop Music
Pop OPM (also called P-Pop in some territories) has been regularly showcased in the live band scene. Groups such as the Neocolours,Side A, Introvoys, The Teeth, Yano, True Faith, Passage, and Freestyle popularized songs that clearly reflect the sentimental character of OPM pop. * Choral Music
Most outstanding choirs in the Philippines:
* Philippine Normal University Chorale
* Philippine Madrigal Singers
* PUP Bagong Himig Serenata
* University of Santo Tomas Singers
* University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors
* University of the Philippines Concert Chorus
* Ateneo College Glee Club
* Saint Louis University Glee Club
* University of the East Chorale
* University of the Visayas Chorale
* Himig Oratorio
* Bukas Palad
* PUPLHS Chorale
Music of Thailand
Clarissa Joy Llarvez
Music of Thailand – History
Thailand retains cultural connections with the two great centers of Asian civilizations, India and China. Though Thailand was never colonized by Western powers, pop music and other forms of European and American music have become extremely influential. The two most popular styles of modern Thai music are mor lam and luk thung, which have important influences from Laos and other neighboring nations. Aside from the Thai, minorities of Laotians, Lawa, Hmong, Akha, Mien, Lisu, Karen and Lahu peoples have retained traditional musical forms. A distinctive Thai culture did not exist until 1257, when the kingdom of Sukhothai was created. Music was an important part of life during this period, and what is now known as Thai classical music arose during the Ayuthaya period. Music flourished for the next few centuries, in spite of occasional oppression from monarchs like Rama I.
Pleng luk thung
Pleng luk thung, or Thai country music, was invented in the early 1950s to reflect daily trials and tribulations of rural Thais. Ponsri Woranut and Suraphon Sombatjalern were the genre’s first big stars, and helped incorporate influences from Latin America, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and, especially, American film soundtracks and country music (including yodelling). Many of the most popular pleng luk thung stars have come from the central city of Suphanburi, including future megastar Pompuang Duanjan, who adapted pleng luk thung to 1980s string and pop music by making a dance-ready form called electronic luk thung. When Pompuang died in 1992, many observers felt that luk thung would die with her, but it persisted and, with the advent of the first all luk thung radio station in 1997, soon saw a major revival.
There is a large minority of Laotians in Isan, the Northeastern region of Thailand, and they are known for mor lam music. Mor lam has long had an affinity with luk thung, and many of the genre’s biggest stars, like Chalermphol Malaikham and Jintara Poonlarp, are heavily influenced by luk thung. Mor lam is a distinctively Laotian genre, and can be characterized by rapid-fire, rhythmic vocals and a funk feel to the percussion. Mor lam is played by a mor khaen, who plays the khaen, and a lead singer also called a mor lam. There are about fifteen regional variations of mor lam, and there are modern versions as well. Mor lam sing is the best-known of these, nad has become popular all over Isan, as well as in Laos. Some conservative Laotians have criticized this as the commercialization of traditional cultures.
The people of Isan are also known for kantrum, which is much less famous for mor lam. Kantrum is played by Cambodians living near the border with Cambodia. It is a swift and very traditional dance music. In its purest form, cho-kantrum, singers, percussion and fiddles dominate the sound. A more modern form using electric instrumentation arose in the mid-1980s. Later in the decade, Darkie became the genre’s biggest star, and he crossed into mainstream markets in the later 1990s.
Pop and rock
By the 1930s, however, Western classical music, showtunes, jazz and tango were popular. Soon, jazz grew to dominate Thai popular music, and Khru Eua Sunthornsanan soon set up the first Thai jazz band. The music he soon helped to invent along with influential band Suntharaporn was called pleng Thai sakorn, which incorporated Thai melodies with Western classical music. This music continued to evolve into luk grung, a romantic music that was popular with the upper-class. By the 1960s, Western rock was popular and Thai artists began imitating bands like Cliff Richard & the Shadows; this music was called wong shadow, and it soon evolved into a form of Thai pop called string. The following decade saw Rewat Buddhinan beginning to use the Thai language in rock music, and by the 1980s, this had evolved into what was called string.
The 70s also saw the rise of protest songs called pleng phua cheewit. The earliest pleng phua cheewit (songs for life) band was called Caravan, and they soon emerged at the forefront of a movement for democracy. In 1976, police and rightwing activists attacked students at Thammasat University; Caravan, along with other bands and activists, fled for the rural hills. There, Caravan continued playing music for local farmers, and composed what is now their most famous song, “Khon Gap Kwaii”. In the 1980s, pleng phua cheewit re-entered the mainsteam with a grant of amnesty to dissidents. Bands like Carabao became best-sellers and incorporated sternly nationalistic elements in their lyrics. By the 1990s, pleng phua cheewit had fallen from the top of the Thai charts, though artists like Pongsit Kamphee continued to command a large audience. String pop took over mainstream listeners in Thailand in the 90s, and bubblegum pop stars like Tata Young and Asanee & Wasan became best-sellers. Simultaneously, Britpop influenced alternative rock artists like Modern Dog became popular.
The earliest Thai ensembles were called piphat, and they included woodwind and percussion instruments, originally in order to accompany the theater. Another ensemble type, khruang sai, added stringed instruments, while mahori further added melodic percussion instruments. The Thai scale includes seven equal notes, instead of a mixture of tones and semitones. Instruments improvise around the central melody.
Music of China
Music of China
Chinese music has been known historically since the dawn of Chinese civilization, with documents and artifacts providing evidence of a well-developed musical culture as early as the Zhou Dynasty (1122 BC – 256 BC). Today, the music continues a rich traditional heritage in one aspect, while emerging into a more contemporary form at the same time. The music market in China was the 22nd largest in the world in 2011 and was worth US$82.8 million. Legend
The legendary founder of music in Chinese mythology was Ling Lun, who made bamboo pipes tuned to the sounds of birds. Dynastic Era (1122 BCE – 1911). Early History
According to Mencius 孟子, a powerful ruler once asked him whether it was moral if he preferred popular music to the classics. The answer was that it only mattered that the ruler loved his subjects. The Imperial Music Bureau, first established in the Qin Dynasty (221–207 BC), was greatly expanded under the emperor Han Wu Di 武帝 (140–87 BC) and charged with supervising court music and military music and determining what folk music would be officially recognized. In subsequent dynasties, the development of Chinese music was strongly influenced by foreign music, especially Central Asia. The oldest known written music is Youlan 幽蘭 or the Solitary Orchid, attributed to Confucius (see guqin article for a sample of tablature). The first major well-documented flowering of Chinese music was for the qin during the Tang Dynasty 唐朝 (618-907AD), though the qin is known to have been played since before the Han Dynasty.
In ancient China the social status of musicians was much lower than that of painters, though music was seen as central to the harmony and longevity of the state. Almost every emperor took folk songs seriously, sending officers to collect songs to inspect the popular will. One of the Confucianist Classics, Shi Jing 詩經 (The Classic of Poetry), contained many folk songs dating from 800 BC to about 400 BC. The first European to reach China with a musical instrument was Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci who presented a Harpsichord to the Lee imperial court in 1601, and trained four eunuchs to play it. Dragon Dance
The famous dragon dance with music is also a remembered tradition. It is seen on Chinese New Year across the world by millions. It is not known when the tradition started, but it is believed to be thousands of years ago, as entertainment of former emperors, royals, and nobles. It was and still is a very important dance in the Chinese culture.
Republic of China Era (1912-1949)
The New Culture Movement of the 1910s and 1920s evoked a great deal of lasting interest in Western music. A number of Chinese musicians returned from studying abroad to perform Western classical music, composing work hits on Western musical notation system. The Kuomintang tried to sponsor modern music adoptions via the Shanghai Conservatory of Music despite the ongoing political crisis. Twentieth-century cultural philosophers like Xiao Youmei, Cai Yuanpei, Feng Zikai and Wang Guangqi wanted to see Chinese music adapted to the best standard possible. There were many different opinions regarding the best standard.
Symphony orchestras were formed in most major cities and performed to a wide audience in the concert halls and on radio. Many of the performers added jazz influences to traditional music, adding xylophones,saxophones and violins, among other instruments. Lü Wencheng, Li Jinhui, Zhou Xuan, Qui Hechou, Yin Zizhong and He Dasha were among the most popular performers and composers during this period. After the 1942 Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art, a large-scale campaign was launched in the Communist controlled areas to adapt folk music to create revolutionary songs to educate the largely illiterate rural population on party goals. Musical forms considered superstitious or anti-revolutionary were repressed, and harmonies and bass lines were added to traditional songs. One example is The East Is Red, a folksong from northern Shaanxi which was adapted into a nationalist hymn. Of particular note is the composer, Xian Xinghai, who was active during this period, and composed the Yellow River Cantata which is the most well-known of all of his works.
People’s Republic in China Era (1949-1990s)
The golden age of shidaiqu and the Seven great singing stars would come to an end when the Communist party denounced Chinese popular music as yellow music (pornography). Maoists considered pop music as a decline to the art form in mainland China. In 1949 the Kuomintang relocated to Taiwan, and the People’s Republic of China was established. Revolutionary songs would become heavily promoted by the state. The Maoists, during the Cultural Revolution, pushed revolutionary music as the only acceptable genre; because of propaganda, this genre largely overshadowed all others and came almost to define mainland Chinese music.
This is still, in some ways, an ongoing process, but some scholars and musicians (Chinese and otherwise) are trying to revive old music. Pop music in mainland China was revived after the marketing reform by Deng Xiao Ping. Today, China’s music diversity has a combination of pop and classical music. Just like in most modern countries, China has a fast production of different types of new music, while the old music is also kept alive. After the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, a new fast tempo Northwest Wind (xibeifeng, 西北風) style was launched by the people to counter the government. The music would progress into Chinese rock, which remained popular in the 1990s. However, music in China is very much state-owned as the TV, media, and major concert halls are all controlled by the Communist party. The government mainly chose not to support Chinese rock by limiting its exposure and airtime. As a result, the genre never reached the mainstream in its entirety.
Annual events such as the Midi Modern Music Festival in Beijing attract tens of thousands of visitors. There was also the “Snow Mountain Music Festival” in Yunnan province 2002. The term “Chinese Woodstock” has been thrown around by Western media for these two events. Both draw sizable crowds outdoor, but the term is not quite official. The Chinese rock movement differed from its Western counterpart in that it never fully made it into mainstream culture due to restrictions by the state. Today, rock music is centered on almost exclusively in Beijing and Shanghai, and has very limited influence over Chinese society. Wuhan and Sichuan are sometimes considered pockets of rock music culture as well. It points to significant cultural, political and social differences that exist between China, the West, or even different parts within China. While rock has existed in China for decades, the milestone that put the genre on the international map is when Cui Jian played with The Rolling Stones in 2003, at the age of 42. Commercial Situation
Mainland China has a high piracy rate along with issues of intellectual properties. As a result, most albums are released in Taiwan or Hong Kong first. It is often one of the business decisions made by record companies. Normally there is some delay before the products are released into mainland China, with occasional exceptions, such as the work of Cui Jian who was released in Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China simultaneously. Consequently, a delay in release time is also the biggest driver of piracy, since individuals would rather pirate from the outside. The modern market is not only hindered by rights issues, as there are many other factors such as profit margin, income and other economical questions. Traditional Music
Traditional music in China is played on solo instruments or in small ensembles of plucked and bowed stringed instruments, flutes, and various cymbals, gongs, and drums. The scale is pentatonic. Bamboo pipes and qin are among the oldest known musical instruments from China; instruments are traditionally divided into categories based on their material of composition: animal skins, gourd, bamboo, wood, silk, earth/clay, metal, and stone. Chinese orchestras traditionally consist of bowed strings, woodwinds, plucked strings and percussion. Instuments
1. Woodwind and percussion
dizi, sheng, paigu, gong, paixiao, guan, bells, cymbals, bottle gourd silk 2. Bowed strings
erhu, zhonghu, dahu, banhu, jinghu, gaohu, gehu, yehu, cizhonghu, diyingehu, leiqin 3. Plucked and struck strings guqin, sanxian, yueqin, yangqin, guzheng, ruan, konghou, liuqin, pipa, zhu Chinese vocal music has traditionally been sung in a thin, non resonant voice or in falsetto and is usually solo rather than choral. All traditional Chinese music is melodic rather than harmonic. Chinese vocal music probably developed from sung poems and verses with music. Instrumental pieces played on an erhu or dizi are popular, and are often available outside of China, but the pipa and zheng music, which are more traditional, are more popular in China itself. The qin is perhaps the most revered instrument in China, even though very few people know what it is or seen and heard one being played. The zheng, a form of zither, is most popular in Henan, Chaozhou, Hakka and Shandong. The pipa, a kind of lute, believed to have been introduced from the Arabian Peninsula area during the 6th century and adopted to suit Chinese tastes, is most popular in Shanghai and surrounding areas. Ethnic Han music
Han Chinese makes up 92% of the population of China. Ethnic Han music consists of heterophonic music, in which the musicians play versions of a single melodic line. Percussion accompanies most music, dance, talks, and opera. Han Chinese Folk Music had many aspects to it regarding its meaning, feelings, and tonality. This genre of music, in a sense, is similar to the Chinese language. This relationship is made by tones, sliding from higher tones to lower tones, or lower to higher tones, or a combination of both. These similarities mean that the instrument is a very important part in mastering technique with both left and right hands (left hand is used to create tonality on the string, right hand is for plucking or strumming the string), particularly for the classical (literati) tradition. Sometimes, singing can be put into the music to create a harmony or a melody accompanying the instrument. Han Chinese Folk’s feelings are displayed in its poetry-like feeling to it with slow soothing tempos that express feelings that connect with the audience or whoever is playing the piece. Han Chinese Folk is delivered in a way, using silences that alter its meaning; this also creates a sound similar to poetry. Chinese opera
Chinese opera has been hugely popular for centuries, especially the Beijing opera. The music is often guttural with high-pitched vocals, usually accompanied by suona, jinghu, other kinds of string instruments, and percussion. Other types of opera include clapper opera,Pingju, Cantonese opera, puppet opera, Kunqu, Sichuan opera, Qinqiang, ritual masked opera and Huangmei xi. Folk music
According to current archaeological discoveries, Chinese folk music dates back 7000 years. Not only in form but also in artistic conception, China has been the home of a colorful culture of folk music. Largely based on the pentatonic scale, Chinese folk music is different from western traditional music, paying more attention to the form expression as well. Han traditional weddings and funerals usually include a form of oboe called a suona and percussive ensembles called chuigushou. Ensembles consisting of mouth organs (sheng), shawms (suona), flutes (dizi) and percussion instruments (especially yunluo gongs) are popular in northern villages; their music is descended from the imperial temple music of Beijing, Xi’an, Wutai shan and Tianjin. Xi’andrum music, consisting of wind and percussive instruments, is popular around Xi’an, and has received some commercial popularity outside of China. Another important instrument is the sheng, pipes, an ancient instrument that is ancestor of all Western free reed instruments, such as the accordion. Parades led by Western-type brass bands are common, often competing in volume with a shawm/chuigushou band. In southern Fujian and Taiwan, Nanyin or Nanguan is a genre of traditional ballads. They are sung by a woman accompanied by a xiaoand a pipa, as well as other traditional instruments. The music is generally sorrowful and typically deals with love-stricken women.
Further south, in Shantou, Hakka and Chaozhou, erxian and zheng ensembles are popular. Sizhu ensembles use flutes and bowed or plucked string instruments to make harmonious and melodious music that has become popular in the West among some listeners. These are popular in Nanjing and Hangzhou, as well as elsewhere along the southernYangtze area. Sizhu has been secularized in cities but remains spiritual in rural areas. Jiangnan Sizhu (silk and bamboo music from Jiangnan) is a style of instrumental music, often played by amateur musicians in tea houses in Shanghai; it has become widely known outside of its place of origin. Guangdong Music or Cantonese Music is instrumental music from Guangzhou and surrounding areas. It is based on Yueju (Cantonese Opera) music, together with new compositions from the 1920s onwards. Many pieces have influences from jazz and Western music, using syncopation and triple time. This music tells stories and myths, maybe legends. One of the most popular folk songs of China is Mo Li Hua (“Beautiful Jasmine”). Regional Music
China has many ethnic groups besides the Han, concentrated in the southeast and northwest. These include Tibetans, Uyghurs,Manchus, Zhuang, Dai, Naxi, Miao, Wa, Yi, and Lisu.
Music forms an integral part of Tibetan Buddhism. While chanting remains perhaps the best known form of Tibetan Buddhist music, complex and lively forms are also widespread. Monks use music to recite various sacred texts and to celebrate a variety of festivals during the year. The most specialized form of chanting is called yang, which is without metrical timing and is dominated by resonant drums and sustained, low syllables. Other forms of chanting are unique to Tantra as well as the four main monastic schools: Gelugpa,Kagyupa, Nyingmapa and Sakyapa. Of these schools, Gelugpa is considered a more a restrained, classical form, while Nyingmapa is widely described as romantic and dramatic. Gelugpa is perhaps the most popular. Secular Tibetan music survived the Cultural Revolution more intact than spiritual music, especially due to the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, which was founded by the Dalai Lama shortly after his self-imposed exile. TIPA originally specialized in the operaticlhamo form, which has since been modernized with the addition of Western and other influences. Other secular genres include nangma and toshe, which are often linked and are accompanied by a variety of instruments designed for highly rhythmic dance music.
Nangma karaoke is popular in modern Lhasa. A classical form called gar is very popular, and is distinguished by ornate, elegant and ceremonial music honoring dignitaries or other respected persons. Tibetan folk music includes a cappella lu songs, which are distinctively high in pitch with glottal vibrations, as well as now rare epic bards who sing the tales of Gesar, Tibet’s most popular hero. Tibetan music has influenced the pioneering compositions of Philip Glass and, most influentially, Henry Eichheim. Later artists made New Age fusions by pioneers Henry Wolff and Nancy Hennings.
These two collaborated on Tibetan Bells, perhaps the first fusion of New Age and Tibetan influences, in 1971. Glass’ Kundun soundtrack proved influential in the 1990s, while the popularity of Western-adapted Buddhism (exemplified by Richard Gere, Yungchen Lhamo, Steve Tibbetts, Choying Drolma, Lama Karta and Kitaro andNawang Khechong) helped further popularize Tibetan music. In the mid- to late 1980s, a relaxation of governmental rules allowed a form of Tibetan pop music to emerge in Tibet proper. Direct references to native religion are still forbidden, but commonly understood metaphors are widespread. Pure Tibetan pop is heavily influenced by light Chinese rock, and includes best-sellers like Jampa Tsering and Yatong. Politically and socially aware songs are rare in this form of pop, but commonplace in a second type of Tibetan pop. Nangma karaoke bars appeared in 1998 and are common in Lhasa, in spite of threats from the Chinese government. Guangxi
Guangxi is a region of China, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Its most famous modern musician is Sister Liu, who was the subject of a 1960s film that introduced Guangxi’s cultures to the rest of the world. The Gin people (ethnic Vietnamese) are known for their instrument called duxianqin (独弦琴, pinyin: dúxiánqín; lit. “Single string zither”), a string instrument with only one string, said to date back to the 8th century. Yunnan
Yunnan is an ethnically diverse area in southwest China. Perhaps best-known from the province is the lusheng, a type of mouth organ, used by the Miao people of Guizhou for pentatonic antiphonal courting songs. The Hani of Honghe Prefecture are known for a unique kind of choral, micro-tonal rice-transplanting songs. The Nakhi of Lijiang play a type of song and dance suite called baisha xiyue, which was supposedly brought by Kublai Khan in 1253. Nakhi Dongjing is a type of music related to southern Chinese forms, and is popular today. Sichuan
Sichuan is a province in southwest China. Its capital city, Chengdu, is home to the only musical higher education institution in the region, the Sichuan Conservatory of Music. The province has a long history of Sichuan opera. Northeast China
Northeast China is a region inhabited by ethnic groups like the Manchu. The most prominent folk instrument is the octagonal drum, while the youyouzha lullaby is also well-known. Xinjiang
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is dominated by Uyghurs, a Turkic people related to others from Central Asia. The Uyghurs’ best-known musical form is the On Ikki Muqam, a complex suite of twelve sections related to Uzbek and Tajik forms. These complex symphonies vary wildly between suites in the same muqam, and are built on a seven-note scale. Instruments typically include dap (a drum), dulcimers, fiddles and lutes; performers have some space for personal embellishments, especially in the percussion. The most important performer is Turdi Akhun, who recorded most of the muqams in the 1950s.
Hua’er is a form of traditional a cappella singing that is popular in the mountainous northwestern Chinese provinces such as Gansu,Ningxia, and Qinghai Kuaiban
Kuaiban (快板) is a type of rhythmic talking and singing which is often performed with percussive Instruments such as a clapper called paiban. The center of the kuaiban tradition is Shandong province. Kuaiban bears some resemblance to rap and other forms of rhythmic music found in other cultures.
Western Classical Music
Whereas orchestras organised by, run solely by and nearly always exclusive to the expatriate community in China are recorded from the early days of the International Settlement in Shanghai (i.e. 1850s) and a Russian orchestra was in operation in Harbin from the early 20th century, the beginnings of a unique classical music tradition in China lie with the first foreign trained Chinese conductor, Zheng Zhisheng AKA (romanized) Yin Zizhong. Zheng (Yin or Wan depending on romanization) was raised in China’s Guangdong province and affected by Western Church Music from an early age, studying in Lyons and Paris before returning to China in the 1930s and being employed the first Chinese conductor of a Chinese orchestra – the Chongqing Symphonic Orchestra. Performances were given of Beethoven and Mozart. The revolutionary spirit of Yin Zizhong’s (or romanized Wan-Chi Chung’s) style has been continued by the first generation of composers immediately following the accession of the Chinese Communist Party to power, namely Li Delun and Cao Peng.
The former provided the driving force and often the life force that kept a tradition alive through the Mao years, especially in his adopted city of Beijing, and the latter has been instrumental in maintaining a high standard of symphonic music, as well as working hard for the popularization of the tradition further into the fabric of Chinese culture, across his long career, which continues to the present. At the same time as this tradition has continued, new generations have sought to bring classical music in China along another path, away from the strict professionalism of the elite trained Li and Cao (who were both at the Russian conservatory in the 1950s) and towards a less nationalistic, but arguably more encompassing attitude towards the tradition. Most influential in this new movement has been the young Shanghai composer Long Yu. Western Popular Music in China
Chinese popular music found its beginnings in the shidaiqu genre. The shidaiqu genre was founded by Li Jinhui in mainland China and was influenced by Western jazz artists like Buck Clayton. After the establishment of the Communist Party in China the Baak Doi record company headquartered in Shanghai in 1952 left China. The 1970s saw the rise of cantopop in Hong Kong, and later mandopop in its neighboring country Taiwan. Mainland China remained on the sidelines through the decades that followed with only a minimal degree of participation in popular music. Only in recent years has the youth of mainland China once again become a consumer in the mandopop music market of Taiwan. Despite having a much larger population China is not yet considered a major production or consumption hub for popular music. Hong Kong’s icon Anita Mui was banned from returning to the mainland concert stage after performing the song “Bad Girl” during the 1990s in China; this was her punishment for what the Chinese government called her rebellious attitude.
As Mui based much of her dance choreography on the style of Madonna, Mui’s moves, (in retrospect), were no more rebellious than what would seem today to be a comparably subdued western popular dancing style. Somewhat like Mui’s early attempts, many mainland Chinese artists often begin with some commercial success in Hong Kong or Taiwan and then attempt to re-introduce themselves into mainland China as part of the gangtai culture. Since the end of the 20th century pop music in mainland China is experiencing a rise in popularity. The beginning of the 21st century has seen mainland Chinese artists producing a wide range of Mandarin pop songs and the release of many new albums. Many popular mainland Chinese, Hong Kong and Taiwanese music artists were included in promotions for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Hip Hop and Rap
Mandarin rap music gradually became popular in mainland China, especially in Shanghai and Beijing where pop culture is very diverse and modern. Although Chinese perform rap in different dialects and languages, most Chinese hip hop artists perform in China’s most popular language: Mandarin. Mandarin rap music has also been popular in Taiwan. Cantonese rap is also very diverse in cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Rock and Heavy metal
The widely acknowledged forefather of Chinese rock is Cui Jian. In the late 1980s he played the first Chinese rock song called: “Nothing To My Name” (“Yi wu suo you”). It was the first time an electric guitar was used in China. He became the most famous performer of the time, and by 1988 he performed at a concert broadcasted worldwide in conjunction with the Seoul Summer Olympic Games. His socially critical lyrics earned him the anger of the government and many of his concerts were banned or cancelled. After the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, he played with a red blindfold around his head as an action against the government. Following, two bands became famous Hei Bao (Black Panther) and Tang Dynasty. Both started during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Hei Bao is an old-school rock band who’s first CD; Hei Bao used the popular English song (“Don’t Break My Heart”). Tang Dynasty was the first Chinese heavy metal band. Its first CD “A Dream Return to Tang Dynasty” combines elements of traditional Chinese opera and old school heavy metal. The album was a major breakthrough releasing around 1991/1992. Around 1994–96: the first thrash metal band, Chao Zai (Overload), was formed. They released three CDs, the last one in cooperation with pop singer Gao Chi of the split-up band The Breathing. At the same time the first Nu Metal bands were formed and inspired by Western bands such as Korn, Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park. China would have their own with Yaksa, Twisted Machine, AK-47, Overheal Tank. Black metal is becoming a prominent scene in mainland China, particularly central China. Punk rock
Punk rock became famous in China around 1994–1996 with the first Chinese artist of the post punk genre being He Yong and his debut record Garbage Dump. The first real wave of band formations erupted in 1995 concentrating in Beijing, and the second generation of punk bands followed around 1997. Since then, the Chinese punk scene has grown exponentially, with homegrown bands such as Brain Failure, Demerit, Tookoo, AV Okubo, Hang on the Box and Fanzui Xiangfa all embarking on international tours. National Music
Patriotic / Revolutionary
Guoyue are basically music performed on some grand presentation to encourage national pride. Since 1949, it has been by far the most government-promoted genre. Compared to other forms of music, symphonic national music flourished throughout the country. In 1969 the cantata was adapted to a piano concerto. The Yellow River Piano Concerto was performed by the pianist Yin Chengzong, and is still performed today on global stages. During the height of the Cultural Revolution, musical composition and performance were greatly restricted. A form of soft, harmonic, generic, pan-Chinese music called guoyue was artificially created to be performed at conservatories. After the Cultural Revolution, musical institutions were reinstated and musical composition and performance revived. At the height of the Mao Zedong era, the music accelerated at the political level into “Revolutionary Music” leaning toward cult status and becoming mainstream under pro-Communist ideology
.Music of North Korea
Music of North Korea
After the division of Korea in 1945, Korea was split, into the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or North and the Republic of Korea or South Korea. Revolutionary song-writing traditions were channeled into support for the state, eventually becoming a style of patriotic song called taejung kayo in the 1980s combining classical and Korean traditional musical forms. Many North Korean pop songs are usually performed by a young female singer with an electric ensemble, percussionist and accompanying singers and dancers. Some North Korean pop songs such as Hwiparam (Whistle) have become popular in South Korea. They are primarily influenced by Korean pop music and songs have titles like “Don’t Ask My Name”, “Our Life Is Precisely a Song”, “We Shall Hold Bayonets More Firmly”, “The Joy of Bumper Harvest Overflows Amidst the Song of Mechanisation” and “The Dear General Uses Distance-Shrinking Magic [Chukjibeop].”
Songs like “We are one” and “Reunification Rainbow” sing of the hopes for Korean reunification. BBC radio DJ Andy Kershaw noted, on a visit to North Korea, that the only recordings available were by the pop singers Jon Hye-yong,Kim Kwang-suk, Jo Kum-hwa and Ri Pun-hui, and the groups Wangjaesan Light Music Band, the Mansudae Art Troupe and the Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble, who play in a style Kershaw refers to as “light instrumental with popular vocal”. There is also the State Symphony Orchestra, the Sea of Blood Opera Company, two choruses, an orchestra and an ensemble dedicated to Isang Yun’s compositions, all in Pyongyang. The Pyongyang Film Studios also produces many instrumental songs for its films, and several programs on Korean Central Television have music made and performed by the Central Radio and Television Orchestra.
Active Musical Groups and Ensembles
* Song and Dance Ensemble of the Korean People’s Army
* Korean People’s Army State Merited Chorus and Ensemble
* Song and Dance Ensemble of the Korean People’s Navy
* Song and Dance Ensemble of the Korean People’s Air Force * Song and Dance Ensemble of the Department of People’s Security of the DPRK * Central Military Band of the Department of the People’s Armed Forces of the DPRK * Women’s Military Marching Band of the Department of People’s Security of the DPRK
* Unhasu National Orchestra
* State Symphony Orchestra of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
* Isang Yun Symphony Orchestra
* Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble
* Wangjaesan Light Music Band
* Moranbong Band
* Musical groups under the Mansudae Art Troupe
* MAT Merited Women’s Instrumental Ensmeble
* MAT Samjiyon Band
* Central Radio and Television Orchestra
* Pyongyang Film Studios Orchestra
North Korean music, like any general Korean music, includes kinds of both folk and classical, courtly music, including genres like sanjo, pansori and nongak. Pansori is long vocal and percussive music played by one singer and one drummer. The lyrics tell one of five different stories, but are individualized by each performer, often with updated jokes and audience participation. Nongak is a rural form of percussion music, typically played by twenty to thirty performers. Sanjo is entirely instrumental that shifts rhythms and melodic modes during the song. Instruments include the changgo drum set against a melodic instrument, such as the gayageum or ajaeng. North Korean music follows the principles of Juche (self-reliance) ideology. The characteristic marchlike, upbeat music of North Korea is carefully composed, rarely individually performed, and its lyrics and imagery have a clear socialist content. Some religious or original folk music may still exist in North Korea, but reliable sources are absent in the west.
The most common music genre is a type of patriotic song known as taejung kayo, which developed in the 1980s. The songs are generally sung by female performers with accompanying bands or choirs accompanied by a large orchestra (either Western style or a hybrid of western and traditional) or concert band. The composition and performance of all music in North Korea is controlled by the state, and all lyrics are optimistic. Much music is composed for movies, and the works of the Korean composer Isang Yun (1917-1995), who spent much of his life in Germany, are popular in North Korea.
In North Korea, traditional instruments have been adapted in order to allow them to compete with Western instruments. Many older musical forms remain and are used in both traditional performances that have been attuned to the ideas and the way of life of the modern North Korean communist state and to accompany modern songs in praise of Kim ll Sung, his son and successor, Kim Jong-il, and Kim Jong-un from 2012 onward, plus songs that wish for a reunited Korea, thus creating a mix of traditional and Western music that is truly North Korean, a unique variant of Korean music as a whole mixing the old and the new. The modern Ongnyugeum zithers and the Sohaegeum four stringed fiddles are North Korean modernized versions of traditional Korean musical instruments, both used in traditional and modern musical forms.
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