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#26 2009-04-04 17:54:04

madoherty
Moderator
Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 366

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Tairaku wrote:

madoherty wrote:

What is the definition of honkyoku?  That might get us closer.

I wouldn't touch that with a 10 shaku pole.

... But Watazumi did not categorize himself as a musician and probably thought his improv was more consistent with honkyoku than "free jazz" for example, a style he was also familiar with. But that's just speculation.

I wondered how that question would sit.  From what I know of Watazumi, he might not have categorized his improvisations at all... maybe as part of the natural world, passing phenomena of the ONE SOUND...

I wonder also how much of the modern era in the west effected his thought regarding his conceptualization as a non-musician.  I am thinking of Cage and the title "composer", as a Western variant of a similar puzzle.  He tried to take much of his "subjectivity" out of his compositions to relinquish the composer as much as possible... but try to compose using the same principles he was supposed to have, and see if you can come up with the same result (the answer is no).  ...more speculation... Now back to Watazumi...

Last edited by madoherty (2009-04-04 21:48:57)

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#27 2009-04-05 01:07:02

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

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Jon wrote:

For clarification sake for anyone joining this thread - we've determined that honkyoku pieces that are new individual "versions" of older koten honkyoku pieces and which retain the essence of the originals are considered koten honkyoku while pieces which are not versions of older pieces and are composed in modern times do not generally get the designation of koten honkyoku even if the pieces contain koten honkyoku elements and are inspired by them.

Ah...where exactly did this determination happen? I think that mostly, 'we' have ventured deep into the woods of angels dancing on the head of a pin, and that turning 180 degrees and easing back out into the light of day, where such matters are of little concern, would be a useful thing to do.

Why should we care 'what honkyoku is'? You play what your teacher (whoever, or whatever that is) plays, as best you can. If you get another teacher, you play whatever he or she plays, as best you can. When you're done with teachers, you play whatever you play, as best you can, trying to maintain what you perceive as 'essence'; to honor the tradition, knowing that you will never really get it 'right'. Honkyoku has grown from so many different roots, and been fed by so many tributaries, that it's silly to try to nail it down.

Don't worry. Be happy.


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

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#28 2009-04-05 01:34:43

Tairaku 太楽
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From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
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Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Don't they call the solo pieces Nakao Tozan composed "Tozan Ryu Honkyoku"? So maybe loosely it means (in practice) "solo shakuhachi pieces".

But then that opens the door for a lot of atrocities. For example I stood out on the street the other day and played a solo version of "Smoke on the Water". It was undignified but 5 customers immediately diverted and came into the teahouse to drink tea.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

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#29 2009-04-05 01:42:21

Moran from Planet X
Member
From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
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Re: Dokyoku Confusion

STUPID HIPPY wrote:

edosan wrote:

Jon wrote:


Thank you Michael. That clears up a lot for me and I get it now. So only the honkyoku that Watazumi Doso created need to be recategorized.

Apparently, you still don't get it...

It is a bummer but at the same time it is meaningful.

Welcome to the forum, STUPID HIPPY!


"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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#30 2009-04-05 02:53:15

madoherty
Moderator
Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 366

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Tairaku wrote:

Don't they call the solo pieces Nakao Tozan composed "Tozan Ryu Honkyoku"? So maybe loosely it means (in practice) "solo shakuhachi pieces".

But then that opens the door for a lot of atrocities. For example I stood out on the street the other day and played a solo version of "Smoke on the Water". It was undignified but 5 customers immediately diverted and came into the teahouse to drink tea.

Thus, we have the birth of a new genre, "atrocious venture honkyoku"... sounds delicious.

I was thinking more along the lines of "original pieces" for a translation/understanding of honkyoku, though this does not allow for the modern strains does it?  Or does it?

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#31 2009-04-05 03:03:10

Bogert
Member
From: Amagasaki-shi, Hyogo-ken
Registered: 2005-12-05
Posts: 203

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

"Honkyoku has grown from so many different roots, and been fed by so many tributaries, that it's silly to try to nail it down."

That being said, its still kinda fun to try : )
Here's my attempt:

I think honkyoku are solo (although on some occasions duets) shakuhachi pieces that come from the suizen tradition (usually) and have no known creator.  Thus they are called koten or koden honkyoku, which means classical or traditional original songs.

Modern honkyoku would be solo or duet, or even some Tozan honkyoku have up to 5 players : O
Modern honkyoku have a known creator and try to follow the feeling and ideas of the koten honkyoku.

All koten and koden honkyoku of course have changed over time and we can see this clearly when comparing different lineages which hold the same honkyoku.  Although almost the same, they have sometimes different phrasing and fancy stuff, but are easily recognizable as the same piece. 

Although if you've read the story about Yamato Choshi you can see what easily happens with songs even in a short period of time..

"This piece was composed by Tani Kyochiku (1882-1950), a student of the Kyushu (Kumamoto prefecture) shakuhachi master Miyagawa Nyozan (1868-1946). Kyochiku was a professional shakuhachi-playing monk who toured not just Japan but also China and other countries. In 1930 he took his long 2.5-shaku (approx 75 cm.) instrument on tour to Hong Kong, Singapore, Sumatra, Burma, and India. At that time his passport identified his occupation merely as a "religious musician."

Kyochiku learned this piece as "Darani" from the Nara shakuhachi performer Murata Sen'o, but when ten years later he performed it for Murata, the latter exclaimed "That is a nice piece, what is it?" This comment, indicating that after ten years the piece had been completely altered, greatly disheartened Kyochiku. He then named what he played "Yamato-joshi" (literally, "melody from Yamato"). Yamato, another name for Nara, was the area in which he had once learned the original composition."

Good story..   : )
Anyway, that's my 2 yen on the subject..

Chris


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#32 2009-04-05 10:49:48

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

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Bogert wrote:

"Honkyoku has grown from so many different roots, and been fed by so many tributaries, that it's silly to try to nail it down."

That being said, its still kinda fun to try : )
Here's my attempt:

.........

Kyochiku learned this piece as "Darani" from the Nara shakuhachi performer Murata Sen'o, but when ten years later he performed it for Murata, the latter exclaimed "That is a nice piece, what is it?" This comment, indicating that after ten years the piece had been completely altered, greatly disheartened Kyochiku. He then named what he played "Yamato-joshi" (literally, "melody from Yamato"). Yamato, another name for Nara, was the area in which he had once learned the original composition."

Good story..   : )
Anyway, that's my 2 yen on the subject..

Chris

Very nicely put Chris, and a solid illustration of my point.  smile


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

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#33 2009-04-05 11:13:38

Jon Kypros
Flutemaker
From: Norfolk VA
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 259
Website

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Bogert wrote:

"Thus they are called koten or koden honkyoku, which means classical or traditional original songs. Modern honkyoku have a known creator and try to follow the feeling and ideas of the koten honkyoku."

This is the point to be objective about and what this thread is chiefly concerned with however I am enjoying the other topics of interest.

As it is now if someone goes to Komuso.com to see the honkyoku composed in modern times they will not find Watazumi original composed Dokyoku under "modern honkyoku". The source pieces for other Dokyoku pieces are also not easily found or provided on Komuso.com.

I am sure there is a more effective way of organizing things. I am not a Librarian but what if honkyoku were organized by date with the known "authors" as well as known or possible source pieces included rather than by "honkyoku", "modern honkyoku", "koten" etc.?

Last edited by Jon (2009-04-05 15:25:07)


My site flutedojo - jinashi shakuhachi bamboo flute maker.

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#34 2009-04-05 15:55:19

Moran from Planet X
Member
From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
Website

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Jon wrote:

...  what if honkyoku were organized by date with the known "authors" as well as known or possible source pieces included rather than by "honkyoku", "modern honkyoku", "koten" etc.?

Edosan, you can create databases on the fly right?


"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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#35 2009-04-05 16:00:54

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Jon wrote:

As it is now if someone goes to Komuso.com to see the honkyoku composed in modern times they will not find Watazumi original composed Dokyoku under "modern honkyoku". The source pieces for other Dokyoku pieces are also not easily found or provided on Komuso.com.

I am sure there is a more effective way of organizing things. I am not a Librarian but what if honkyoku were organized by date with the known "authors" as well as known or possible source pieces included rather than by "honkyoku", "modern honkyoku", "koten" etc.?

Why doesn't "someone" (i.e. you! roll wink) do the research and find out which songs Watazumi "composed" and/or are his improvs and then send that list to Ron over at www.komuso.com and ask him to reassign them to the "Modern Honkyoku" category? He is usually quite open to improvements in his website.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#36 2009-04-05 17:30:48

Jon Kypros
Flutemaker
From: Norfolk VA
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 259
Website

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Tairaku wrote:

Why doesn't "someone" (i.e. you! roll wink) do the research and find out which songs Watazumi "composed" and/or are his improvs and then send that list to Ron over at www.komuso.com and ask him to reassign them to the "Modern Honkyoku" category? He is usually quite open to improvements in his website.

Hahah! I didn't know one person could do something like that. I thought maybe there was some kind of round table or something wink

I get the feeling we're broadening this idea and possible undertaking beyond just Dokyoku. There's a way to somehow organize honkyoku very effectively to make it more transparent to practicing and non-practicing people alike.

This would definitely be a team effort and something worth while in the long run, maybe not to each of us personally but to others. I would be happy to lend any help I can but I admit that I do not know much outside of the pieces Jin Nyodo collected and what is commonly known about them via sites like Komuso.com, my teacher, a few writings, and Kurahashi sensei.

I'm going to see if there is anything in existence already we could copy. Hopefully someone has already done something similar with American Folk music which seems to me to have similarities.

Last edited by Jon (2009-04-05 17:34:04)


My site flutedojo - jinashi shakuhachi bamboo flute maker.

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#37 2009-04-05 17:41:32

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Hi Jon,

Jin Nyodo is not an issue because the liner notes to his albums (also collected in Hogaku Journal and published on www.komuso.com) are very detailed about the origin of the pieces, and the rare original compositions.

As far as Watazumi repertoire goes www.komuso.com has a listing of all the songs he recorded (at least, we don't know what else he may have played) and it should be possible to go through them systematically and identify the ones which are "normal" honkyoku. In some cases (c.f. "Yamagoe" which is originally known as "Kyushu Reibo") he changed the names.

That leaves the unidentified pieces which the liner notes might hint at as Watazumi's original or an improv. If you get stuck, come to the forum and ask for help. There are many "Dokyoku" players here. They might be able to help.

A task like this only needs systematic work to get narrowed down to the problematic pieces and then some research.

We await your results and if anybody else wants to help maybe you can divide the titles up alphabetically or something and figure out what each piece is.

Ciao,

BR


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#38 2009-04-05 19:30:51

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

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Chris Moran wrote:

Jon wrote:

...  what if honkyoku were organized by date with the known "authors" as well as known or possible source pieces included rather than by "honkyoku", "modern honkyoku", "koten" etc.?

Edosan, you can create databases on the fly right?

Flies on the databases, more likely...


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

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#39 2009-04-05 21:09:18

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

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Chris Moran wrote:

Jon wrote:

...  what if honkyoku were organized by date with the known "authors" as well as known or possible source pieces included rather than by "honkyoku", "modern honkyoku", "koten" etc.?

Edosan, you can create databases on the fly right?

I think Edosan uses a Mac so I don't know what they have there, but with Microsoft Access (part of MS Office) and the database facilty in OpenOffice (which is free) it's very easy to create a database... if you use one of the many templates they already set up for use. Most personal and business applications you can think of have a template, maybe one of them will have the fields you need. If you can't find a template that's suitable, you can still go about creating a database without writing even one line of code, meaning you don't have to know programming, but expect to struggle some. Either way use google starting with the search terms "Microsoft Access Tutorial" or "OpenOffice Database Tutorial". You'll probably rely heavily on google to "write" your database, but  there's plenty of information out there on the web for it.


"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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#40 2009-04-05 22:07:56

Jon Kypros
Flutemaker
From: Norfolk VA
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 259
Website

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Tairaku wrote:

We await your results and if anybody else wants to help maybe you can divide the titles up alphabetically or something and figure out what each piece is.

Ciao,

BR

It's been done apparently komuso.com/pieces/Kaze.html

hahaha!


My site flutedojo - jinashi shakuhachi bamboo flute maker.

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#41 2009-04-05 23:05:38

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Jon wrote:

It's been done apparently komuso.com/pieces/Kaze.html

!

Ron Nelson is like God. He watches silently then acts in the best interests of the people. Let's hope he never gets the idea to do something like a flood or tsunami.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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