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#1 2005-12-05 19:28:28

kyoreiflutes
Member
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: 2005-10-27
Posts: 364
Website

Notation, Keri/Meri questions...

I just posted this in Technique, and thought maybe it shuld've gone here, instead.

Okay...I have a few scores in front of me, and several different pages of Fingering Charts, printed from various sources on the Web. I'm a little confused about some stuff, and I hope someone can help me out. I've only recently gotten serious about sitting down and learning the pieces; in the past, I've been doing it by ear, which only works for so long.

I've got some pretty detailed Fingering Charts, but they don't explain every little thing. For example, Meri is when you bend the note down, and Keri is when you bend the note up, right? What, then, is Chu-Meri/Chu-Keri, and what is Dai-Meri/Dai-Keri? Does this just mean, "even lower Keri/Meri than the Meri/Keri we just told you to play"? It looks like that, but I thought I'd get some serious answers here.

I know, I should have a teacher or buy one of the excellent playing guides out there, but I'm living the Monk's lifestyle right now, lol. I'll probably start lessons early next year, but I wanted to get a jumpstart on it. In the meantime I'm just trying to download everything I can to learn from.

Also, a question on Japanese notation. I see the symbols for Ro, Tsu, Re, etc, and I was wondering if, when you put them together in a score, it changes the way they're written? I hope that makes sense. For example, I see the symbol for Ro, but when it's in a score, and played right after/before, say, a Re, does that change the way the Ro or the Re is written?

This is the main fingering chart I'm using, since it matches the sheet music I downloaded from here:

http://www.bamboo-in.com/shop/honkyoku.htm

and here's the Fingering Chart:

http://www.bamboo-in.com/pdf/Fingering% %20pg1.pdf

I'm listening to thier recording of the tune along with thier notation (with lots of details written alongside), but I can barely follow it at all. I don't even know if this is Kinko or Tozan, since they don't say.

Another very nice Fingering Chart...I love the fonts used on it, but I don't know what school of notation it is.

http://www.japanworldmusic.com/f5.pdf

Any help or info would be GREATLY appreciated. I know, I know...I'll try to get a teacher asap. Are any of the book/cd sets any good at explaining all this stuff?

-E


"The Universe does not play favorites, and is not fair by its very Nature; Humans, however, are uniquely capable of making the world they live in fair to all."    - D.E. Lloyd

"Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee."    -John Donne

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#2 2005-12-06 09:50:32

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: Notation, Keri/Meri questions...

Eddie-

Here are, hopefully, some answers to your questions:

I've got some pretty detailed Fingering Charts, but they don't explain every little thing. For example, Meri is when you bend the note down, and Keri is when you bend the note up, right? What, then, is Chu-Meri/Chu-Keri, and what is Dai-Meri/Dai-Keri? Does this just mean, "even lower Keri/Meri than the Meri/Keri we just told you to play"? It looks like that, but I thought I'd get some serious answers here.

Here is a pretty good primer/definition for the Meri/Kari business: http://www.japanworldmusic.com/karimeri.htm
Meri is a matter of DEGREE of meri-ness (or drop in pitch...): "Chu-Meri' is (in Western notation terms) a half-step down, "Meri" is down another half-step, and "Dai-Meri" down yet another half-step, thus, in the case of Tsu: "Tsu-Dai-Meri" would actually be the pitch "Ro".


"Kari" has a possible confusion associated with it: It does indeed mean 'raise the pitch', but it also often refers to a note being played at just 'normal' pitch, i.e., neither raised nor lowered (meri'd).

I know, I should have a teacher or buy one of the excellent playing guides out there, but I'm living the Monk's lifestyle right now, lol. I'll probably start lessons early next year, but I wanted to get a jumpstart on it. In the meantime I'm just trying to download everything I can to learn from.

Also, a question on Japanese notation. I see the symbols for Ro, Tsu, Re, etc, and I was wondering if, when you put them together in a score, it changes the way they're written? I hope that makes sense. For example, I see the symbol for Ro, but when it's in a score, and played right after/before, say, a Re, does that change the way the Ro or the Re is written?

If I get what you're asking, the answer is no, the context doesn't change the way the characters are written--I'm curious as to why this question came up for you...

This is the main fingering chart I'm using, since it matches the sheet music I downloaded from here:

http://www.bamboo-in.com/shop/honkyoku.htm

and here's the Fingering Chart:

http://www.bamboo-in.com/pdf/Fingering% %20pg1.pdf

I'm listening to thier recording of the tune along with thier notation (with lots of details written alongside), but I can barely follow it at all. I don't even know if this is Kinko or Tozan, since they don't say.


This will take some time for you to digest--needless to say, a lesson or two will clear it up quickly...but you knew that...hmm

The notation on BOTH the bamboo-in.com and the japanworldmusic.com sites is written in 'New Kinko', which is a streamlined version of the standard Kinko notation. The calligraphy on the bamboo-in pages is done by Teruo Furuyo, one of the senior players/teachers in Yokoyama-sensei's kendo. The main difference in the 'New Kinko' notation is that the meri symbols are incorporated right into the kanji (characters) for the fingerings. In the older standard notation, the meri symbols are always placed alongside.

One thing to keep in mind regarding Honkyoku: It is often the case that meri'd (or VERY meri'd) fingerings are used to get pitches of nearby NON-meri'd notes--that's why, on the bamboo-in chart, there are all those little arrows and boxes placed about--to show equivalent pitches and the differences in notation. That chart is put together by Alcvin Ramos, who did a very good job, I think.


Another very nice Fingering Chart...I love the fonts used on it, but I don't know what school of notation it is.

http://www.japanworldmusic.com/f5.pdf

Any help or info would be GREATLY appreciated. I know, I know...I'll try to get a teacher asap. Are any of the book/cd sets any good at explaining all this stuff?

-E

Last edited by edosan (2005-12-06 09:59:10)


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#3 2005-12-19 21:23:36

Ryuzen
Dokyoku (Daishihan); Zensabo
From: Maderia Park, BC, Canada
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 104
Website

Re: Notation, Keri/Meri questions...

Edo-san did a great job in explaining meri/kari notation reading. Yokoyama's notation, written by Teruo Furuya is indeed a streamlined version of the Kinko notation. I find it one of the easiest notations to read out there. The notation posted on Japan World Music site is from Andrew McGreggor in Australia. It's basically the same as we use in Yokoyama's school but he lists the complete third octave with the 4th octave D. Very nice job.

There are several books out there (of different shakuhachi styles) for playing shakuhachi but they are only supplements for the actual instruction of a qualified teacher who is indispensible in learning the shakuhachi.

ATR
www.bamboo-in.com


I live a shakuhachi life.

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