The library of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music has Heikyoku written on staff notation. It was done by the Hôgaku Chôsagakari (Department of Research in Japanese Traditional Music) which was attached to the Tokyo Ongaku Gakkô (Tokyo Academy of Music), the former Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. The writer was given the opportunity to investigate this notation, and was able to understand how it came to be written. Through this writer's investigation, the circumstances how it was done became fairly clear. TATEYAMA Zennoshin, who was extremely devoted to Heikyoku, lamented the declining interest in this tradition and encouraged the preservation and study of traditional music. Through his efforts, the Department of Research in Japanese Traditional Music was established in 1907 (Meiji 40). The department's major project was to write traditional music onto staff notation. According to the written record of the department, there are four pieces still remaining as well as five pieces and a piece with just a biwa part, which, because they were probably incomplete, were believed not to have been submitted to the department (See Figure 1). In these written records, the writer was able to learn when and by whom these staff notations were done. Certain descriptions in the “Heike Ongakushi (the History of Heike Music)” written by TATEYAMA, who himself sang for the notation, conflict with some of the points in the written records. In his book TATEYAMA described the proper notation of Heikyoku used by the performer. These proper notations, copied by KUSUMI Bansui, include 650 stories in 5 volumes. At present, three of the volumes are owned by TATEYAMA Kôgo in Sendai, the fourth son of Zennoshin. Considering that the biwa was used when the notation was done, the writer believes, at least in regard to these four extant pieces, that the biwa may not have been used. This is because there are mistaken pitches in the staff notation that could not have occurred if the biwa had actually been used. Since there are only a few Heikyoku performers at present, the notated music is highly valuable. Furthermore, each of the four pieces shows interesting characteristics. The ‘Nasu-no-Yoichi’ was written showing two different singing methods: the first can be refferred to as su-gatari or “plain singing” while the second can be called kurai-gatari or “performance-singing”. According to the characteristic of its music, Heikyoku can be divided to two categories, hushi-mono and hiroi-mono. ‘Kiso Saigo’ represents hiroi-mono and ‘Naishi-dokoro Miyako-iri’ represent hushi-mono. Therefore from these two pieces we can see the various aspects of these music. Because ‘Yasaka-ryû Hôgetsu’ retains some of the characteristics of the Yasaka-ryû style which had discontinued in the middle of the Edo period, it provides an important example for the study of the older styles of Heikyoku. Since TATEYAMA gives a detailed explanation of the proper notation, it is possible to understand how to perform what is written in the proper notation. In other words, his explanation can be corroborated through the notated music. For all these above reasons, the writer believes that the study of this notation along with the performances of Heikyoku as they are transmitted to this day are indispensable for studying the musical aspect of Heikyoku.
Kung, shan, chiao, chin, yü are used in three ways: (1) as musical terms, (2) as expressions of the gogyô (five natural elements), and (3) as terms used in phonology. Although they were originally used as musical terms, they came to be employed in the latter two senses. 1. As musical terms they describe the way the five sounds kung, shang, chiao, chin, yü are obtained. The sounds are obtained in two ways (1) the sanbukyoistu or -sonitsu method first divides the Ritsukan (pitch pipe) into three equal lengths and then shortens it one third the length, (2) Sanbu-ekiitsu method, on the other hand, makes the pitch pipe one third the length longer. By repeating this procedure of adding and subtracting one-third lengths of the pitch pipe, the above five sounds are produced. There is, however, a one and a half tone difference between chiao and chin, and between yü and high kung. In addition to these five sounds, as music theory progressed, pien-chin and pien-kung were made. And these are equal to “c, d, e, f#, g, a, b”. Pien represents a half tone lower (flat). 2. These five characters also came to be used as terms representing the five natural elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water). Since these characters first represented different levels of pitch or sound they later came to associated with such rankings as kun (lord), shin (retainer), min (commoners), ji (works), butsu (things), or again with such listings as the gohô (five directions), the gozô (five internal organs), the gomi (five tastes), and the gotei (five kings). In later ages, it influenced the thought of Shinsen (divine ascetics) and Taoism. 3. From the original sense of “sound” or “pitch”, these characters were used to refer to the shisei (four tones in Chinese speech). Moreover, they were used to represent the places of articulation (e. g., palatals). Outstanding examples of this way of representing places of articulation are found in phonology texts of the Sung Dynasty.