This paper examines the notations of two pieces from the tenth-century flute-score, Hakuga no fue no fu. Both are from the Togaku repertory of Japanese Court Music: Shoenrakuis a short piece in one movement; Banshiki Sangun, a suite in 26 movements. Neither piece has survived to the present day; indeed, both are known only from Hakuga no fue no fu. Six different systems of notation may be distinguished in Hakuga no fue nof u. The notations of Shoenrakuan d BanshikiS angunr epresent one such system. The inclusion of a number of different notational styles appears to result from Hakuga's (Minamoto no Hiromasa) stated method of compilation, namely, that he copied pieces from a number of earlier scores, preserving the original notational styles. Through analysis of the notations of Shoenrakua nd BanshikiS angun, a nd examination of textual evidence from the Heian period, values have been deduced for notational symbols. First, the question of the relationship between tablature signs and pitch is considered; secondly, meanings are determined for metrical and rhythmical elements of the notation. By applying, in reading the notations, the values thus deduced, transcriptions of ShOenrakaun d BanshikiS angunh ave been made. The melodiest hus yielded, are not only strikingly attractive, but, in the case of BanshikSi angun, are perhaps the most interesting, from a metrical point of view, of all Togaku tunes. Five different metres are used. In a majority of movements, one metre predominates, but in some, two metres are strongly in evidence. Bar lengths tend to contract as the suite continues, from 12-beat measures in the first three movements, to 4-beat measures in the last. Other unusual metrical features include, the elongation, as a type of metrical cadence, of the final measure in some movements, and the introduction of new metres at the end of movements, before they are taken up in the next movement. Notations of movement-types, previously known only from textual descriptions in Chinese sources of the Tang dynasty, are included in Banshiki Sangun. Finally, the question of tempo and melodic structure is discussed. Work published by Picken and by Condit suggests that in earlier times the tempo of Togaku was considerably quicker, and the melodic structure quite different, from that of present Togaku. Evidence from Banshiki Sangun, that supports this view, is presented.
This article is a part translation of the Master's thesis (Okinawan Classical Music: Analysis of Vocal Performance) deposited in the Graduate School of the University of Hawaii in August 22, 1976. The study is focused on contemporary vocal performance in Okinawan classical music, of which repertory is believed to have been derived from regional folksongs and developed into the court tradition of the Ryukyu Kingdom (1429-1879). The study is based primarily on materials collected through field research conducted in the summer of 1974. Tsikuten Bushi and Hai-tsikuten Bushi were selected as representative of the repertory of Okinawan classical music. Performances of eight musicians were chosen for their musical reliability and as the best representation of the three existing schools (Nomura-, Ahuso-, and Tansui-ryu) of modern Okinawa. The eight vocal performances are, transcribed with a rather high level of specificity in Western staff notation and parsed against each other and against a sanshin (an Okinawan threestringed plucked lute) transnotation. Tsikuten Bushi and Hai-tsikuten Bushi are examined by a detailed ana- lysis, based on a comparative method, in each musical aspect of 1) general form, 2) tempo both in metric and chronometric density, 3) rhythm, 4) meter, 5) tonality and modality, 6) melodic contour, 7) melodic range and tessitura, 8) vocal ornaments, and 9) heterophony. Some of the significant musical characteristics exemplified in the two corpus compositions are: 1) irregularity in both compositional length and text setting; 2) melisrnatic text treatment, especially in a long and slow composition; 3) stepwise (within the pentatonic mode of Ryukyu Senp (5) melodic contour; 4) heterophony, caused by a variable rhythmic lag between voice and sanshin resulting in a variety of dissonances. In performance practice, considerable freedom in tempo and personalized vocal style are characteristic. As in conclusion, the writer considers that at least four points of interest are contributed by this study. First, Okinawan singers are very much concerned with articulation of melodic tones. This highly articulated singing has its own aesthetic. Secondly, frequent pitch slides characterize the style of Okinawan vocal performance. The continuous movement across one pitch to another is definitely intentional and should not be misunderstood as inaccurateness in pitch. Thirdly, flexibility in pitch of melodic tones is observed in addition to the continuous pitch slide. The considerable pitch varionce of the tone f (as transcribed) is especially significant. The variance ranges from lower than f-natural to higher than f-sharp, and it centers around f-neutral. Fourthly, the musical tradition of Okinawa has produced a variety of vocal techniques prescribed in relation to the body movement of sanshin playing. In this study the vocal part is notated with a limited number of ornament types. It may be due to the writers limited perception, but to a certain extent, the writer suspects that the prescribed vocal techniques are process oriented so the effect of each is not necessarily always different from all the others in sound product.