Music Japan

The Premiere of Kate I. Hansen’s Slesvig, Sendai, 11 June 1932

The Premiere of Kate I. Hansen’s Slesvig, Sendai, 11 June 1932

  • 5th June 2018

As described in my previous blog, The Suzuki String Quartet and Kate I. Hansen’s Slesvig, the first performance of the entire quartet, Slesvig (or “Schlesvig”, as Hansen spells the title), took place on 11 June 1932, at Miyagi College in Sendai. Hansen had taught at the college since 1907 and…

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MUSIC MATTERS!

MUSIC MATTERS!

  • 28th July 2017

The other day, during a discussion of my teaching, a colleague in religious studies said to me, ‘well a course on music in Japan is too specialized’, or something to that effect. WHY, I ask, should music ‘specialized’ than, for example, religion? I would contend that, on the whole, most…

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The kokyû – the Violin’s Forgotten Cousin

The kokyû – the Violin’s Forgotten Cousin

  • 12th November 2016

In Not by Love Alone I wrote about “the violin’s forgotten cousin” and Japan’s very own bowed instrument; the kokyû 胡弓 (or 日本胡弓). Its origins are disputed. According to the most plausible theory, it was developed in Japan in the late sixteenth century from the shamisen 三味線, a three-stringed plucked…

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Japanese Violinists’ Birthdays in October

Japanese Violinists’ Birthdays in October

  • 1st October 2016

Birthday violinists in October include SUZUKI Shin’ichi  鈴木鎮一  (1898-1998) on 17 October, Midori (b. 1971, known in Japan as GOTÔ Midori 五嶋 みどり) on 25 October and TAKEZAWA Kyôko 竹澤恭子 (b. 1966) on 30 October. Suzuki Shin’ichi, is of course, best known for his development the “mother tongue” method of…

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