The purpose of this paper is to describe the creative work of Tjetje Somantri, choreographer and dancer from the West-Java(Sunda) district, who was active in 1950's. He created 38 pieces, which became extremely popular in West-Java. Presently, his works are known as the specific genre of kreasi baru in the repertoire of Sundanese dances. In the 1950's there existed an artistic movement which aimed at the reorganization of Sundanese languages and art forms, and it is in this context that also Tjetje Somantri's artistic activity should be examined. Rather than singling him out, he should be seen as one of the representatives of the reorganization process of Sundanese art, which was taking place in West Java. This is why, in the present paper, I consider Tjetje Somantri as the pioneer of this reorganization process and describe his work within the context of activities undertaken by D. K. D. B. (West Java Cultural Bureau). Firstly, I describe the historical background of artistic activity in West-Java. In post independence Indonesia in the 1950's, there existed the basic concepts of “national culture” and “regional culture”. The main concern in this era was to realize national unity through preserving and developing the diverse regional cultures of Indonesia. Secondly, I examine the activities of D. K. D. B. as seen against the cultural background of Indonesia. Tjetje Somantri's artistic activity became possible with the political support offered by Oemay Martakusuma, who, at the time, serving as chief of D. K. D. B. In the atmosphere of increasing cultural awareness shown by different ethnic groups in Indonesia, Oemay Martakusuma became conscious of the necessity to reorganize the field of Sundanese dance, and, in order to promote the enlightening quality of art, he launched the cultural magazine “Budaja” (Culture). At the same time he played an important role in encouraging Tjetje Somantri to create “new Sundanese dances” as pieces of stage performance, and made efforts to popularize his pieces. Thirdly, I considered the specific structure of Tjetje Somantri's pieces through the analysis of the “Kandagan” dance, one of the most representative female solo dances. As a result of this analysis, I pointed out that Tjetje Somantri arranged the many specific elements of traditional Sundanese dances effectively in the simple musical structure of his pieces. This musical structure can be divided in a number of special patterns. Because of this clear structure, the performance time of Tjetje Somantri's pieces can be easily controlled by rearrangement of the patterns. This is the reason they are suitable for educational material and stage performances. Lastly, I summarize the significance of Tjetje Somantri's activities as follows. He dismantled the division lines between traditional genres of Sundanese dances and, by doing this, created “the new genre of the Sundanese dances”. Although he was also criticized for neglecting the “true” traditional elements of Sundanese dances in his pieces, his efforts to create a new genre of Sundanese dances had a great influence in the artistic expression in 1950's West Java. He reorganized Sundanese dances by presenting them in a new form. Since then, Tjetje Somantri's ways of composition, have been adopted by those involved in the investigation and reorganization of West Javanese regional culture.
The wagon _??__??_, the Japanese indigenous six-stringed zither, is often said to have been used only in Japanese native genres such as mikagura _??__??__??_, azuma-asobi _??__??_, and the like. However, from the 10th century, the wagon was introduced into togaku _??__??_ and saibara _??__??__??_ in the context of private concerts, called gyoyu _??__??_, held by a small number of high ranking nobles. Neither this fact, nor the nature of the wagon's musical practice at that time are well known. Fortunately, several sources on the wagon compiled or copied during the Edo period by the musicians of the Ayanokoji family _??__??__??__??_ and others are available. The source Gakurin-gosho _??__??__??__??_ is of most importance in the following regards; 1) It could be dated back to the 15th century which means it represents the old performance tradition, from the time before the saibara tradition's loss in the late Muromachi period. 2) It contains a detailed scores of the wagon as used in both saibara and togaku. An analysis of these sources has made the followings apparent; First, in saibara, the wagon repeats two fixed patterns called sugagaki _??__??_ and katagaki _??__??_ regardless of the vocal melodies. The former pattern is used in go-hyoshi _??__??__??_ or 8 unit pieces and the latter in sando-byoshi _??__??__??__??_ or 4 unit pieces. The wagon part's lack of a close relationship with the vocal part is a characteristic shared with other native vocal genres such as mikagura and azuma-asobi. The basic techniques included in sugagaki and katagaki patterns in saibara can in fact be found in various native genres, so it is possible that sugagaki and katagaki were constructed from these already existed techniques. In this sense, the wagon as used in saibara can be seen as part of a unified lineage of the wagon practice in Japanese native court songs including mikagura. In the case of mikagura, however, a periodical cyclic structure is lacking (except in a small number of exceptional pieces) and the wagon is not played in a periodic patternized manner. On the other hand, periodical repetition is a characteristic of the wagon part in saibara which bears similarity to the rhythmic structure of togaku. In saibara, the wagon actually played in a clear rhythmic role, with unequivocal accents marked with the plectrum pattern in a cycle. Unlike in saibara, the wagon in togaku has developed a more melodic dimension that follows the wind instruments' fundamental melody line. In order to highlight its distinction from other long zither, so or koto, in togaku ensemble, the wagon was always played using plectrum patterns that produced a unique sound and strong accents in a periodical cycle. Although, the wagon was used in a highly patternized way in togaku, different arrangements of a single piece in the sources examined show considerable variety in their detail. This suggests a flexibility in arrangement of individual melodies. In this regard, the wagon had more scope for musical development in the context of togaku than it did in saibara, for the latter case the wagon played only two fixed patterns. In togaku, then, the wagon's style was in closer accord with the ideals of gyoyu which allowed a large amount of improvisation or personal arrangement of melodies.
Most shamisen pieces are formed by combinations of numerous melodic patterns, and thus to understand the structure of a piece one must recognize how a melody is blocked into patterns. However, past studies of shamisen melodic patterns have encountered certain difficulties: First, the conception of the length of patterns varies widely among shamisen players and researchers, and even experienced shamisen players have only a subconscious recognition of most of the patterns. Second, although the lengths of some patterns are fixed, most vary according to context, and thus are influenced by preceding and subsequent melodic material. In traditional musicology, studies of shamisen melodic patterns have been based on written or oral accounts given by shamisen players, an approach used by MACHIDA Kasho in “A Study of Melodic Patterns in Japanese Vocal Styles Accompanied by Shamisen, ” which presents characteristic melodic patterns found in various vocal styles. MACHIDA's study is helpful for classifying and categorizing previously recognized and fixed melodic patterns, but these patterns are only a fraction of the potential material available in shamisen music. In addition, MACHIDA's list includes patterns that range in length from one to sixty bars, and this vast diversity hinders effective blocking. Consequently, MACHIDA's study cannot provide a thorough approach for blocking a melody into combinations of patterns. If one could estimate the approximate length of patterns before blocking, the analysis process would become more efficient. Thus, an analytical method based on information theory would be effective for blocking a piece into patterns. A scanning process would reveal recurring patterns, and subsequently ciphers containing smaller amounts of information could replace the patterns. Blocking a piece with this process would compress the original melody and thus facilitate analysis. Our study adopts the “minimum principle” from Gestalt psychology and assumes that a description of a compressed melody is a rational means by which to describe the structure of the original. Using this assumption we have blocked and compressed the shamisen part of ten nagauta pieces with shamisen-bunka notation. We have calculated the total amount of information for describing a melody as a sum of both the amounts for registering the melodic patterns and for describing the original melody by these registered patterns. Balancing these two aspects, we replaced the melodic patterns in the encoded shamisen melodies with ciphers, thus decreasing the total amount of information necessary to describe the patterns. We used two kinds of pattern processing, blocking melodies either by patterns with fixed lengths, or by patterns with lengths that changed according to the most suitable solution for compression. Compression rates reached 67.0 percent by the former process and 59.5 percent by the latter. The latter process also enabled us to extract 1, 482 patterns from 6, 464 bars, and we then described the ten nagauta pieces as combinations of these extracted patterns. In addition, we detected cycles of one, two, four, and eight bars in the encoded melodic sequences. Consequently, this study verifies KOIZUMI Fumio's hypothesis that phrase units in Japanese traditional music are stacked in multiples of two, at least within the nagauta-shamisen genre; however, one must remember that most melodic patterns with the above cycle lengths appear as roughly-matched rather than completely-matched patterns. Many studies have used computers to simulate human perceptions and recognitions. Similarly, our method of blocking melodies by compression based on information theory provides an approximate model for human recognition of patterns in shamisen melody, yet at the same time avoids the problems of subjective interpretations
This research is focused on makers of musical instruments in Kyoto and their business in the Edo period. I tried to clarify the lineage of those makers and their business from records in genealogical materials. At present, we have many questions about the traditional musical instruments in the Edo period both from the historical viewpoints and of the profile of the people who make and modify those instruments, and how they do it. On these points, many things still remained open questions. We are nearly impossible to image up an instrument made early in the modern period in a specific genre of the music. And it also difficult to find the authentic instrument from the Edo period. This is just a milestone of the research for these problems. I would like to point out and emphasize the importance of such an old topographical book, “Kyoto Edo Osaka meisho-annai” (guide book for famous place in Kyoto, Edo and Osaka) or “Kyo-habutai” or “Kyo-habutai Taizen” which include important informations of musical instrument makers as historical resources.
The satsumabiwa lyrics which originated in the late Muromachi period (at the end of the 16th century) increased in numbers during the Edo period (1603-1868) and are sung until the present day. Although names of their authors are orally handed down, there is no historical evidence of the lyrics' origin. In the prefectural library of Kagoshima I have found the lyrics “Shimabara gokassen narabini koatsumori” in the General Index of National Writings listed as “Battle Chronicle”. Actually I recognized the text as a satsumabiwa piece and started with my research. Together with the anthology “San'itsu satsumabiwauta kokyoku junihen” (introduced by Hatae Taneichi in 1935) and with a copy (written in 1882) of “Satsuhan biwauta” I got enough material to offer a new theory or at least to present a new hypothesis: 1. At the end of the 17th century, there was an individual who shaped biwa lyrics on the grounds of the joruri-style and enhanced herewith the artistry of the satsumabiwa performing. 2. He arranged the first half of the already existing “Shimabara kassen”'s first section in a joruri manner and added several lines and corrected others in the second and third sections of the piece. 3. The satsumabiwa song “Koatsumori” is based on the kowakamai piece “Atsumori” which is quite old. “Koatsumori” then seems to be nothing but a literal record of an orally transmitted song. 4. There is traditionally a strong belief that “Koatsumori” was written by Shimazu Yoshihiro. This can be regarded as a historical fact. My hypothesis is that the following four pieces could be lyrics written by Shimazu Yoshihiro: “Kizakihara kassen”, “Otomo kassen”, “Shimabara kassen” and “Seikan eki”. If the theory of this authorship cannot be maintained, I can at least state that these songs were created in the first half of the 17th century.
Because the Dong people have no written language, their folk culture is passed from one generation to another primarily through oral transmission. However, their means of transmission is not through the spoken word but rather through singing. Music is deemed the most suitable transmission medium for young people, and this process still continues today. In the pipa (bic bac in their own lauguage) music of the Dong people, as well as songs for traditional ritual, there are love songs, songs for marriage, songs for everday life, songs of heroes and songs about traditional morals. The songs are, therefore, educational. The singers of the pipa songs make use of both traditional lyrics as well as making their own in response to current social demands. In these, they encourage the young to value their youth, to love life and to work hard. The Dong people's pipa songs function as a means of creating communication and relations between young men and women. People who do not belong to the Dong cultural sphere cannot participate in these songs. In the area of the Dong people, the songs are not limited to young lovers but are used for marriage proposals, go-betweens, the selection of a lucky day and in obtaining a wife. The Dong people's pipa songs are, therefore, a crystallisation of the knowledge and creativity of the Dong people as well as being a means of entertainment. If one excludes the songs which are solemn in content, the pipa songs are generally for enjoyment and for changing one's temper. After a long day's work, the young people sing and play the pipa songs and express affection to their lover. Elderly pipa players tell stories full of vitality for future generations. From the stories covering all and sundry, from knowledge of the ways and lessons of life to funny stories, the pipa songs tell all.