2021 / Japanese Percussion Lesson #29: Let’s look at different characters of Western and Kabuki music

By Mariko Watabe

There are dance videos and  shamisen videos.  But KABUKI HAYASHI (Japanese  percussion)  videos are rarely found or
discussed especially in English or with English subtitles.

I have decided to make them as I believe this art is too precious to be hidden or lost. With the guidance of Master Katada Shinjuro, I am trying to uncover the world of HAYASHI by producing YouTube videos in Japanese language with English subtitles.

To view the previous videos  from #01 to #28, visit Tsuzumibito Chanel at YouTube

Ohayashi Juku (Kabuki Series) #29 https://youtu.be/ADRoQDowo_4  is about “Mathematical Music vs Impressionism in Music. We will move into “The Character of Music” the second main topic of the difference between the western orchestra and Kabuki music.

Western music has traditionally been very mathematical in structure by the use of 7 scales and has a rule which they use one syllable to one note.

Japanese music was developed in the completely different way due the differences in language.  This created a very unique structure. If the structure is viewed like a woven fabric, western music uses the same vertical and horizontal “threads” while Japanese music use different vertical and horizontal “threads” that work
independently but interact with each other.

This brings a very different dynamic to Japanese music when compared to western music.  In this video we will also look at the 7-5-syllable meter used in Japanese lyrics that use organic Intervals called “MA” and breathing.

Mariko Watabe has been introducing Kabuki dance and music to American audiences nationwide for over 40 years. She goes by her stage names such as; Kimisen Katada for Hayashi, Kyosho Yamato for Yamatogaku, Kichitoji Kineya for Nagauta; and Marifuji Bando for dance.

She is currently living in Los Angeles area. Her activities and performances are found at http://fujijapanesemusic.org