Japanese Music Terms: 音楽用語

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私は雅楽を行う (生田神社: 1999年)

Many students of Japanese culture encounter a lacuna in finding readily available sources for music terms. So, as a service to junior ethnomusicologists and/or Asian Studies students, I am providing a basic list to help with the search.

Yōgaku: Western music (traditional)

Hōgaku: Eastern music (traditional)

minzoku ongaku gakusha: ethnomusicologist (lit: folk music scholar)

Ongaku-riron: musicology (lit: sound-art theory/principles)

Senritsu: melody

Wasei(-hō): harmony

ko – do: chord

onkai: scale

onpu: note

zen-onpu: whole note

han-onpu: half note

shibu-onpu:  quarter note

sōshoku-on:  grace note

kyūshi-fu:  rest

zen-kyūshi-fu:  whole rest

tenpo:  tempo

ritsudō: rhythm

chō-chō:  major key

tan-chō:  minor key

ee – ro – ha – ni – ho – he – toh:  A B C D E F G

ei:  sharp

hen:   flat

ei – he – tanchō:  F# minor

to-on-fuhyō:   treble clef

tei-onbu-fuhyō:  bass clef

mokkan-gakki:  woodwind instruments

kinkan-gakki:  brass instruments

gen-gakki:  string instruments

da-gakki:  percussion instruments

kagura: (Shinto) music and dancing

gagaku: Imperial court music (shares repertoire with kagura)

bugaku:   Court music and dance.

ongakkai:  concert

ensō: performance

ensō-kai: recital

kōkyō-kyoku:  symphony

kangen-gakkyoku:  orchestral music

kyōsō-kyoku:  concerto

kigaku-kyoku:  instrumental music

shitsunai-gakkyoku: chamber music

kageki: lyric drama/opera

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