Traditional Music

There are several types of traditional, Japanese music (Hogaku). Some of the most important ones are:

  • Gagaku:
    Ancient court music from China and Korea. It is the oldest type of Japanese, traditional music.
  • Biwagaku:
    Music played with the instrument Biwa, a kind of guitar with four strings.
  • Nogaku:
    Music played during No performances. It basically consists of a chorus, the Hayashi flute, the Tsuzumi drum, and other instruments.
  • Sokyoku:
    Music played with the instrument Koto. Later also accompanied by Shamisen and Shakuhachi. The Koto is a zither with 13 strings.
  • Shakuhachi:
    Music played with the instrument Shakuhachi, a about 55 cm long flute. The name of the flute is its lenght expressed in the old Japanese length units.
  • Shamisenongaku:
    Music played with the instrument Shamisen, a kind of guitar with only three strings. Kabuki and Bunraku performances are accompanied by the shamisen.
  • Minyo:
    Japanese folk songs.
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