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#1 2007-08-30 18:10:01

BrianP
Member
From: Ocala, FL
Registered: 2006-11-03
Posts: 289
Website

What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

For the benefit of those of us both new to shakuhachi and jinashi , how do you tell a good jinashi shakuhachi from a not so good one?  In other words, "What to look for when buying a jinashi shakuhachi."  I would really appreciate any tips and knowledge you can share.

Thanks,

BrianP


The Florida Shakuhachi Camp
http://www.floridashakuhachi.com
Brian's Shakuhachi Blog
http://gaijinkomuso.blogspot.com

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#2 2007-08-30 18:42:32

gmiller
Member
From: Ozello Trail, Fla
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 109

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

Brian -

Not sure what a "bad" jinashi shakuhachi is. I have quite a few jinashi that range from a $3000.00 custom 2.5 Tai Hei to older shakuhachi to a few I have made myself.
The 2.5 Tai Hei is awesome in every way, but that does'nt take anything away from the others.
Each shakuhachi is different, as we are as players; not all players will like all flutes, so, perhaps it's just a question of finding shakuhachi we enjoy and suit our musical needs. When we acquire a flute we either like it or not; given a reasonable amount of time to adjust to the instrument. If we like we keep it as a "good" flute; else we part with it...... To find the ones we like we just gotta play a lot of different ones.........

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#3 2007-08-30 19:08:37

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
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Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

WOW! that's a tough one.

Of course musically speaking the same principles apply as with ji ari shakuhachi or any instrument for that matter. Is it in tune? Balanced? Pleasant tone? Comfortable to hold? These are factors you should take into account.

There are some people who are jinashi fundamentalists and don't care much about whether or not it's a good instrument. Just that it's a "hocchiku" or whatever. I am not in that camp.

The main difference between jinashi and ji ari flutes is probably tone. A good jinashi instrument should be warmer and more resonant than a similar sized ji ari. The tone should also be more diffused, fuzzy and indistinct. Ji ari by contrast is more focused. There are people who like that better. Those are generalizations of course. There are some jinashi shakuhachi that are just as focused as jinashi. Generally speaking ji nashi sounds more like bamboo and ji ari also sounds like bamboo but moving more in the direction of a silver flute for example.

We are fortunate to have here on the forum at least two really fine makers who sell ji nashi flutes. Ken LaCosse and Perry Yung are both honest about their prices and price the flutes according to their quality. There may be other makers but I don't know their flutes.

The best thing is to try as many flutes as possible and get an idea which sound and feel you like before buying. But really the most important thing is to study and practice to develop the skills to evaluate flutes.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#4 2007-08-30 20:43:55

BrianP
Member
From: Ocala, FL
Registered: 2006-11-03
Posts: 289
Website

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

Tairaku wrote:

WOW! that's a tough one.

I figured it would be a little tough.  I am figuring out more and more what I like in shakuhachi ever day.  I ask the question because of my own interest and also because when I was first looking I couldn't find any info on what to look for as far as what is acceptable tuning (i.e. how far off in pitch can each hole be and what level of meri and kari is acceptable to make the flute in tune.), what makes a flute more desireable asthetically, things to stay away from...  I figured it'll help me and maybe some others out in the future who come here looking for help with the same questions.  Thanks again!

BrianP


The Florida Shakuhachi Camp
http://www.floridashakuhachi.com
Brian's Shakuhachi Blog
http://gaijinkomuso.blogspot.com

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#5 2007-08-30 21:59:19

radi0gnome
Member
From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
Website

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

BrianP wrote:

Tairaku wrote:

WOW! that's a tough one.

I figured it would be a little tough.  I am figuring out more and more what I like in shakuhachi ever day.  I ask the question because of my own interest and also because when I was first looking I couldn't find any info on what to look for as far as what is acceptable tuning (i.e. how far off in pitch can each hole be and what level of meri and kari is acceptable to make the flute in tune.), what makes a flute more desireable asthetically, things to stay away from...  I figured it'll help me and maybe some others out in the future who come here looking for help with the same questions.  Thanks again!

BrianP

Hi Brian, I remember that question about acceptable pitch. I was hoping it would get answered too. But, I think what makes a good jinashi shakuhachi consists of a lot more factors than just pitch. My Perry Yung 2.2 and Ken LaCosse 2.5 are pitched very well, and if that's all that there was to it their instruments are way underpriced since gmiller talks about a $3000 instrument earlier on this thread and the Yung 2.2 original asking price was just over $200. I don't know the original asking price for the LaCosse, but I suspect it was relatively cheap too. Despite my liking both the LaCosse and Yung instruments a lot, the best instrument I've gotten my hands on so far is a Japanese jinashi (1.9 or 2.0, I'm not sure) of unknown origin that I got on Ebay. It's tuning is good but not perfect, however the tone, the way it responds, its range of volume, and the way it feels in my hands is what sets it apart. I haven't tried any high end flutes yet, but I'm skeptical of the pricing for some. Maybe looks is a big factor, because the Japanese jinashi I'm talking about looks awful... or beautiful if I'm undertanding the Wabisabi aesthetic correctly.             

Hmmm... I just tried bidding on that 3.1 of Jon Kypros on Ebay but it got sniped. I guess I'll have to wait to try one of his flutes.


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

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#6 2007-08-30 23:05:25

philipgelb
Chef, musician, teacher
From: Oakland, California
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 135
Website

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

When looking at a flute, jinashi or jiari, i think a few things one should consider. And this is not different than when looking at any musical instrument.
-Pitch. Is it tuned? Do you have to make adjustments for ro tsu re chi ri?
-tone color. How does the flute sound? Does "u" sound like "u" or is it just a Ab (assuming this is a 1.8). Do kari notes sound "kari"? Do meri notes sound "meri".
- dynamics. can the flute handle a wide variety of breath attacks and sustains? Can it change air pressures. Can it accept a large amount of air as well as a small amount and can it handle dramatic, fast changes of pressure?
-advanced techniques. How does it deal with multiphonics, split tones, harmonics and other fun stuff.
-how does it feel in your hand? Is the size, width and weight comfortable to you?
-aesthetics. For some this is more important than others but how do you like the way the flute looks. Do you see yourself in a long term relationship with each other? You will be intimately connected for possibly a very long time smile

i play both jinashi and jiari. A good flute is a good flute whether made by subtractive or additive processes. 

phil


Philip Gelb
shakuhachi player, teacher & vegetarian chef
Oakland, CA
http://philipgelb.com  http://myspace.com/philipgelb, http://myspace.com/inthemoodforfood

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#7 2007-08-31 01:44:36

BrianP
Member
From: Ocala, FL
Registered: 2006-11-03
Posts: 289
Website

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

Thanks Phillip.  That was a great post.  Those were the types of things I was looking for.  Radi0gnome, if you can try a Kypros flute I highly suggest it.  I have a great 2.1 (imho) that I take everywhere and play.  It ranks amongst my favorites along with my Yung gome 1.8 ji-mori flute.  When I am on the road they are always with me.  I practice my lessons with a Tai Hei 1.8 but I meditate and play honkyoku with the other Grass and Winds flute and the Yung gome flute.  I have my eye on a Mujitsu Taimu also.  I can't wait to get one and try it. Hopefully, I will be in Ken's neighborhood one day soon and I can try one out.

BrianP


The Florida Shakuhachi Camp
http://www.floridashakuhachi.com
Brian's Shakuhachi Blog
http://gaijinkomuso.blogspot.com

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#8 2007-08-31 07:37:41

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 917
Website

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

Hi Brian.

Yes, this is a BIG question, but an important one.

As Tairaku and Phil Gelb writes, universal rules applies to all instruments when looking for a 'good one' to buy.
However, every instrument has its own criteria, and I certainly think the ji-nashi shakuhachi has its own set of  'things to consider' as well.

So, since the general ways of looking at an instrument has already been written. I would like to add my experience with ji-nashi shakuhachi... because it is, after all, another animal.

I would first recommend you to think about what you want from your ji-nashi shakuhachi!
What will you use it for? Use as your general shakuhachi; your concert shakuhachi; meditation shakuhachi; the shakuhachi you play honkyoku/sankyoku/new music on... etc etc.???

Your choice of instrument will change according to all these above mentioned factors.

The inside of a ji-nashi shakuhachi is very different to a ji-nuri shakuhachi. It therefore requires a different breathing technique. Do you have anybody around, who specialise in ji-nashi shakuhachi and can teach you or are you willing to  try it out on your own... or are you ultimately mostly interested in a ji-nashi shakuhachi that can be blown like a ji-nuri shakuhachi? There are makers around who make ji-nashi shakuhachi very much in a style of ji-nuri. Nothing wrong about that! It is a very interesting tendency. But you should consider what you want, so you can decide what to buy.

Because of the individual 'chambers' inside a ji-nashi shakuhachi created by the nodes still left inside, the ji-nashi very often requires change of breathing at almost every note (with changes of fingering positions). This results in you having to adjust to the bamboo rather than the bamboo adjusting to you. This also means it is harder to make fast runs and make it sound even and smooth. However, the tone colour of these ji-nashi with nodes left can be absolutely wonderful. Several of my flutes are not even in timbre and volume, but I don't notice it any longer... my breathing is so used to the flutes that it automatically adjusts to the flute. The chambers inside a ji-nashi shakuhachi, in reality, disturbs the air - that is one of the reasons for the complex tones of ji-nashi.

But can you accept this extra work for timbre?

Or if you are to play modern music on ji-nashi, it may prevent you from spending an inhumane long time practicing phrases, that would be so much easier, if you had a 'well-balanced' flute in the sense of Western music or modern shakuhachi. Then I would recommend you to buy a modern well-tuned, well-balanced ji-nashi with no nodes left. You will still have some of the wonderful ji-nashi sound, so it is a good alternative many go for, and as others have mentioned, we have good makers around.

I have the feeling many get into a situation which is somewhat like, if you were to go out and choose a clavichord, but you have basically only played pianoforte before. It will then be very hard to know what to expect from a clavichord. You will first of all probably be shocked at its low volume output! And perhaps you want to play the clavichord with other instruments tuned at 442 hertz? Well, you can, today get clavichords tuned at 440~442 hertz, but then you will loose the baroque feel when it is tuned so high... etc.

Anyway, because of the huge variety in ji-nashi shakuhachi, I think the most important thing is to be conscious about what you want out of your flute.
A good flute is a good flutes, but different 'good' can apply. There is no one answer, especially not within the shakuhachi world!

In a large sense, the fingering techniques can vary too between ji-nashi and ji-nuri. We all know there are even individual variety between each flute, but there are general differences between these 2 types of shakuhachi. Last weekend I experienced a very good teacher tell a bunch of people that one particular maker's flutes were not good because you can't do chi-ru on it... I was surprised because exactly on chi-ru, there is a fingering difference between ji-nashi and ji-nuri. Because it is usually easier to play meri on ji-nashi, there is no need to shade when paying ru or u on hole 1. In fact, very often, this fingering just doesn't work on ji-nashi.

Interesting enough, I often find meri easier on ji-nashi, but again it is harder to get a good strong kari sound out of it as well, and take this into consideration when trying new ji-nashi....  But this can be adjusted by the makers (and it is surely done)... but then again the tone colour!

I have the last 7 month spent a considerable amount of time with many different types of ji-nashi shakuhachi makers. And many of them say they are the only ones making good flutes! Well, this applies to players as well! They know what is right for everyone. Therefore, the shakuhachi world is such a world, where you have to be sure about what you want. But IF you are able to keep an open heart towards all the opinions you hear around you and enjoy their different playing styles, timbres and music, pitch tendencies etc... wow, the shakuhachi world is surely wonderful world with a huge variety ! ! !

Blow in peace,
Kiku


I am a hole in a flute
that the Christ's breath moves through
listen to this music
Hafiz

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#9 2007-08-31 17:28:44

Lorka
Member
Registered: 2007-02-27
Posts: 303

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

Hi Kiku,

Thank you very much for this last post.  I found it very illuminating.  The thick visible node chambers really make the inside of the jinashi look like a kind of mythic cave, and I did not realize that it was actually the presence of the nodes that is, in part, responsible for the jinashi sound, and also helps to explain why it is (in a sense) more challenging than a smoother jiari bore. 

The volume variance is nice to know about also.  I did not know about that till today.  I thought it was a problem with me.  On my 3.0 giant bore jinashi I find the Tsu note really booms loudly, while the Ro is a little more subded.  This means I have to vary the breathing on different notes.  Quite a challange, as you point out, but worth it. 

Could you please talk more next time about the strong Meri with jinashi, and harder to access Kari.

It was recently pointed out to me by a fellow player (and damn fine person) in montreal, that I was playing too much in Meri.  For me the natural position was Meri.  I simply did not know that I was doing anything different or wrong.  On my Jinashi I find the Meri position very smooth (easier than on my Yuu), and the chu meri is not too hard to bend into, but I am still learning. 

Is playing natrually in Meri a bad thing?  It seems like that would be normal to me, as it is the middle position, allowing you to go higher into Kari, or lower into Chu Meri.  I am trying to force myself to play in Kari normally but it feels unnatural.  So really, I am not sure if Meri on my Jinashi is smooth because that is what I have been doing since I started, or because of the flute itself.  All I can say is that it feels easier on Jinashi than on my Yuu. 

Either way, very interesting post Kiku, thanks. 

Matt


Gravity is the root of grace

~ Lao Tzu~

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#10 2007-08-31 18:35:20

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
Website

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

Even within the world of jinashi there is a lot of variance. They range from raw "hocchiku" type instruments with no lacquer in the bore whatsoever and exposed fushi to highly worked bores with a coat of urushi on the inside and even on the outside. Many times jinashi (especially Edo) shakuhachi require you to modify your embouchure to suit the flute. This tells you what the embouchure of the maker was like. They played more kari in the old days than we do now.

In the end it's difficult to say what's a good jinashi shakuhachi. It's more important to find out what's good for you depending on what your purposes are. For example if you only want to play solo honkyoku tuning to an absolute pitch is not required. But if you want to play with others you'll need something on D, A or whatever. A lot of the makers do not worry about absolute pitch, they just listen to the bamboo and make the flute that piece wants to become.

There is also a large range of utaguchi angles with ji nashi. This affects both tone and embouchure. That's the reason ji ari players sometimes say ji nashi is "difficult". They are not used to adjusting their embouchure. If you want to switch around between flutes and styles you have to be adjustable.

Playing in tune is an interesting issue. The main thing you need is a good ear, which can be developed. There is also an acceptable range of pitch for certain notes and more absolute pitch for others.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#11 2007-08-31 19:27:27

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 917
Website

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

Lorka wrote:

The thick visible node chambers really make the inside of the jinashi look like a kind of mythic cave, and I did not realize that it was actually the presence of the nodes that is, in part, responsible for the jinashi sound, and also helps to explain why it is (in a sense) more challenging than a smoother jiari bore.

Yes, the nodes are in part responsible for the ji-nashi sound. But surely not the only thing. Other factors have their say in the story of this particular sound: shape of mouthpiece, wider bore, shape of the bore, the skin of the bamboo inside, the lightness of ji-nashi in comparison to ji-nuri, the absence of stone inside(ji) etc etc...

The ji-nashi shakuhachi is a very interesting instrument. I spoke recently with a university professor in acoustics, who told me that the way the finger holes are undercut in Edo period jinashi shakuhachi (and today's ji-nashi as well) makes the instrument less efficient... so to speak, it doesn't make it easier to play and the air doesn't flow as easily. However, it does add a lot to the timbre (I haven't really got to a conclusion on this matter, so forgive me if I say something else in a few years!). If you see x-rays of modern ji-nuri instruments, most will not have undercut finger holes to the degree of ji-nashi shakuhachi (there will be exceptions for sure).

Lorka wrote:

The volume variance is nice to know about also.  I did not know about that till today.  I thought it was a problem with me.  On my 3.0 giant bore jinashi I find the Tsu note really booms loudly, while the Ro is a little more subded.  This means I have to vary the breathing on different notes.  Quite a challange, as you point out, but worth it.

There is, of course, both the point of you adjusting to the flute + the factor of good flute making, that you have to think about. The ji-nashi is tricky as you do have to learn to adjust to it... but you also have to judge the potentials that that flute has - how far the maker has taken it, and are you able to get that out of this flute? This is not an easy task.
Often we tend to want the flute to be, so we as players have to work as little as possible. So,we get instant gratitude. That is, of course, an acceptable assumption for some types of instruments - especially the instruments that can be mass-produced as the more of less 'best' way of constructing them has been found. This is not the case with shakuhachi. And what I find a striking characteristics of shakuhachi playing is, that we all desire something VERY different from it. So, what is 'best' for me, is not 'best' for someone else. I didn't find this to be this pronounced when playing Western flute.

Lorka wrote:

Could you please talk more next time about the strong Meri with jinashi, and harder to access Kari.

It was recently pointed out to me by a fellow player (and damn fine person) in montreal, that I was playing too much in Meri.  For me the natural position was Meri.  I simply did not know that I was doing anything different or wrong.  On my Jinashi I find the Meri position very smooth (easier than on my Yuu), and the chu meri is not too hard to bend into, but I am still learning. 

Is playing natrually in Meri a bad thing?  It seems like that would be normal to me, as it is the middle position, allowing you to go higher into Kari, or lower into Chu Meri.  I am trying to force myself to play in Kari normally but it feels unnatural.  So really, I am not sure if Meri on my Jinashi is smooth because that is what I have been doing since I started, or because of the flute itself.  All I can say is that it feels easier on Jinashi than on my Yuu.  Matt

The meri on a ji-nashi, yes. This is again an area where I may change opinion later on. But my experience is that meri is easier on a ji-nashi, while a good full tone in kari is easier on a ji-nuri. I am not alone in this assumption. Dr. Simura Satosi, who has made research into ji-nashi shakuhachi for more than 2 decades told me that the ji-nashi shakuhachi can, according to his research, bend further down into meri. You can also see a few spectrogramme analysis in his book: 古管尺八の楽器学 published by 出版芸術社 (only Japanese), where you can see the difference of meri'ing down between ji-nashi and ji-nuri. The ji-nashi can go further and does not loose volume as much as ji-nuri.
What does this mean? Perhaps you do not need to meri down so far... what it ultimately shows me is, that these two instruments have been made with different targets in the mind of the makers.
How makers today are thinking about this will be something we can perhaps see when I finish my analysis (I still haven't done sound analysis yet), and ultimately compare my results on new ji-nashi with Dr Simura's results on Edo ji-nashi and modern ji-nuri.

On your question whether it is bad to play in meri... I would personally say yes, it is. Although, you can still bend down to reach meri in a position, which would be dai-meri for your flute... I would say it is not desirable. The reason is also that you will loose some of the timbre differences between kari and meri... and you will get into problems when paying dai-meri. You can perhaps get it, but volume and timbre changes... and the strong point in ji-nashi is exactly that meri notes do not loose volume that quickly.

I would recommend you to try to find the kari position, or get a friend to find it for you. Buy a tuner, and play first long tones looking at your tuner. This may feel as far from meditation you can get - looking at a machine and sweating to get in tune, but slowly you will get it. Once you have got used to the kari position, you will not be able to believe, it was a problem before. But you have to work for it first! After you have no problem playing in kari on long notes, play pieces looking at the tuner for a while. Then you will be able to forget the tuner and play naturally in kari position. I have also had periods where I played too much in meri position, and it took me several month of hard work to correct it, but it is worth it.

Good luck!
Kiku


I am a hole in a flute
that the Christ's breath moves through
listen to this music
Hafiz

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#12 2007-08-31 20:27:19

Moran from Planet X
Member
From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1521
Website

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

kikuday wrote:

I spoke recently with a university professor in acoustics, who told me that the way the finger holes are undercut in Edo period jinashi shakuhachi (and today's ji-nashi as well) makes the instrument less efficient... so to speak, it doesn't make it easier to play and the air doesn't flow as easily. However, it does add a lot to the timbre ...

A couple of years ago when Yoshizawa Masakazu was working on John Williams' Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack, he showed me a small very, very limited edition book (written in Japanese) which had pictures of x-rays of Edo period ji-nashi shakuhachi.

When I remarked about the undercut hole chimneys, he said "Three hundred years before the [Western] clarinet!"


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." —Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#13 2007-08-31 20:29:59

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

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

An added note:

It is common for beginners to play everything slightly (or more...) meri. This is because it's easier to get a pleasing tone with
an undeveloped embouchure, which is less able to focus the airstream. The tendency is to bring the embouchure closer to the
blowing edge, thus 'improving' the sound. Once you get caught in this trap, it feels unnatural to play any other way, but you will
not develop a proper embouchure unless you play more kari, with the resulting loss of 'good' sound. This is a more or less
temporary situation, and requires some sweat, but as Kiku said, it is worth it; in fact, it is essential.

eB

Last edited by edosan (2007-08-31 20:30:19)


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

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#14 2007-08-31 22:07:50

Lorka
Member
Registered: 2007-02-27
Posts: 303

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

Thanks kiku and edosan,

I think I have fallen into the trap, and will start to re-train myself.  It seems useful and important to make kari you default playing position, though Meri really is the most comfortable as it is what I was able to make a pleasing tone with and have been developing.  thanks for the hepful tips though, they are greatly welcomed.


Gravity is the root of grace

~ Lao Tzu~

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#15 2007-09-01 06:48:11

nyokai
shihan
From: Portland, ME
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 613
Website

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

Lorka wrote:

Is playing natrually in Meri a bad thing?  It seems like that would be normal to me, as it is the middle position, allowing you to go higher into Kari, or lower into Chu Meri.  I am trying to force myself to play in Kari normally but it feels unnatural.

Minor point: the order of sounds from high to low is kari, chu meri, meri, dai meri.
I think it is essential to learn to play fully kari, even it it's a struggle at first.

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#16 2007-09-01 20:34:26

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 917
Website

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

Chris Moran wrote:

A couple of years ago when Yoshizawa Masakazu was working on John Williams' Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack, he showed me a small very, very limited edition book (written in Japanese) which had pictures of x-rays of Edo period ji-nashi shakuhachi.

When I remarked about the undercut hole chimneys, he said "Three hundred years before the [Western] clarinet!"

Hi Chris.

Do you know what Masa meant with that remark?
Sorry, I may be slow... but I am not getting it! sad

Kiku


I am a hole in a flute
that the Christ's breath moves through
listen to this music
Hafiz

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#17 2007-09-02 14:53:58

Moran from Planet X
Member
From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1521
Website

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

It would be more accurate to say before the _modern_ Western clarinet.

(reference this article on the web:
http://test.woodwind.org/Databases/Klar … 000825.txt)

The x-rays of the Edo jinashikan showed deliberately tapered and undercut tone holes. According to the article I referenced, among others, modern western clarinet makers caught on to the tonal advantages of tapered/undercut tone hole chimneys in the mid 20th century. Masa was remarking to me about Edo jinashikan makers as having used this technique much, much earlier.

(Yoshizawa Masakazu, 'Masa', is also a fine clarinet and saxophone player with degreed and comprehensive knowledge of Western and Eastern music from Tokyo University of Fine Arts.)

Last edited by Chris Moran (2007-09-02 18:39:44)


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." —Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#18 2007-09-02 17:56:51

Horst Xenmeister
Shiham
From: Germany
Registered: 2007-05-26
Posts: 69
Website

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

Chris Moran wrote:

It would be more accurate to say before the _modern_ Western clarinet.

(reference this article on the web:
http://test.woodwind.org/Databases/Klar … 000825.txt)

The x-rays of the Edo jinashikan showed deliberately tapered and undercut tone holes. According to the article I referenced, among others, modern western clarinet makers caught on to the tonal advantages of tapered/undercut tone hole chimneys in the mid 20th century. Masa was remarking to me about Edo jinashikan makers as having used this technique much, much earlier.

In Germany Klarinette having many holes and keys. Different an shakuhachi. 5 holes.


i am horst

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#19 2007-09-03 06:05:04

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 917
Website

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

Chris Moran wrote:

It would be more accurate to say before the _modern_ Western clarinet.

(reference this article on the web:
http://test.woodwind.org/Databases/Klar … 000825.txt)

The x-rays of the Edo jinashikan showed deliberately tapered and undercut tone holes. According to the article I referenced, among others, modern western clarinet makers caught on to the tonal advantages of tapered/undercut tone hole chimneys in the mid 20th century. Masa was remarking to me about Edo jinashikan makers as having used this technique much, much earlier.

(Yoshizawa Masakazu, 'Masa', is also a fine clarinet and saxophone player with degreed and comprehensive knowledge of Western and Eastern music from Tokyo University of Fine Arts.)

Hi Chris.

Thank you for a very enlightening post!

The clarinets I have seen had no tapering of fingerholes - I thought. That is why I asked the question.  I may not have looked that carefully - and I may not have looked at enough clarinets. I had my boyfriend, who is a clarinetist in a symphony orchestra to go through all his clarinets to see if they were tapered. He thought they were not. Perhaps there are several making techniques around.

I thought it was very interesting to read about that development in clarinet-making, and the fact that they talk about the tonal advantages, when the shakuhachi went through the exact opposite 'development' of not tapering to the degree of Edo ji-nashi or not tapering at all. Dr. Simura Satosi describes that as one of the biggest characteristics between Edo jinashi and modern ji-nuri in his book (apart from ji or not ji).

And yes I agree, Masa is an amazing multi-instrumentalist!!!

Kiku


I am a hole in a flute
that the Christ's breath moves through
listen to this music
Hafiz

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#20 2007-09-03 13:37:26

Harry
Member
From: Dublin, Ireland.
Registered: 2006-04-24
Posts: 221
Website

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

You have at least one too many holes.

Regards,

H.


"As God once said, and I think rightly..." (Margaret Thatcher)

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#21 2007-10-26 12:54:33

Mujitsu
Administrator/Flutemaker
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 867
Website

Re: What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi?

Tairaku wrote:

Even within the world of jinashi there is a lot of variance.

Absolutely! It is this variance which makes shakuhachi so interesting. I think what makers do is tune into specific areas which are important and real to them. As a result, there is so much to choose from.


BrianP wrote:

For the benefit of those of us both new to shakuhachi and jinashi , how do you tell a good jinashi shakuhachi from a not so good one?

What makes a good jinashi shakuhachi means a lot of things to a lot of people. Here is what I tune into:

Assuming tuning and basic requirements posted earlier are met, there are some important tone qualities I consistently look for when making and testing my jinashi shakuhachi.

First, the depth of tone is important. How does the tone color change and develop as the note is pushed? Does it begin and decay well? Once I asked John Singer what was something he looked for in a shakuhachi. He showed me two jinashi Edo period shakuhachi and had me pay attention to the depth of tone. It was smooth, rich, complex, deep and three dimensional. I think about that experience every time I work on a flute.

Second, the glow of the tone is important. One analogy of "glow" might be the reverberations of a bell after it is struck. I find this quality more often in wider bore Taimu shakuhachi.

The third quality involves hitting a moving tone target. While working on a flute, the tone gains more presence along with bore work. (At least that is the goal) On the best flutes, the presence/power/energy of the tone increases dramatically when it hits its optimum sweet spot. For me, success with a flute usually depends on the success of hitting this target.

Ken

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