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#1 2005-10-17 17:53:12

JeffMartindale
Member
From: Fayetteville, Arkansas
Registered: 2005-10-15
Posts: 40
Website

Jinashi or Jiari

Hello. Well, to get another discussion going, I'm curious about people's preferencs for Jinashi versus Jiari shakuhachi. Of course, preferences will vary on the style of music, but what are your thoughts on the differences? What are perceived limitations to either instrument?  Some say that Jiari is the preference when playing with other traditional instruments due to tuning considerations. However, I have used Jinashi shakuhachi against a grand piano in performances. Just curious about people's thoughts since I have compared the two types for the past couple of years and own both.


"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
        Mark Twain

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#2 2005-10-17 18:36:21

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3204
Website

Re: Jinashi or Jiari

Simply speaking for me if I'm playing "music" I will use any instrument which gets the job done. That means for gaikyoku, shinkyoku and jazz or rock, I just pick the instrument which works. Surprisingly (or not) that is about half and half jinashi and jiari.

I don't consider honkyoku music in the usual sense. There is an added dimension to honkyoku which transcends ordinary musical considerations. For one thing you're usually playing by yourself, so volume and projection is not so important. Even if you are performing people are usually attentive. Tone color and the feeling you get from the bamboo are of primary importance. For this reason I almost always use jinashi shakuhachi for honkyoku. Even my main 1.8 is a jinashi instrument (albeit a very good one).

Tuning issues are a vexed question because you can't use the same criteria between honkyoku, gaikyoku, shinkyoku and western music. Some jinashi shakuhachi are perfectly in tune for honkyoku, but are not ideal for shinkyoku or western music for example. The scales are different. It is a myth that jinashi shakuhachi are poorly tuned compared to jiari. Bad jinashi shakuahachi are out of tune compared to good jiari shakuhachi.

Sometimes it's easier to play the same music on a jiari shakuhachi rather than a jinashi one. That's why it's important to know what kind of flute someone's blowing on as part of your appreciation of his/her playing. For example Watazumi exclusively used jinashi shakuhachi (or in his parlance, hocchiku). Some were primitive, some highly advanced. Nevertheless the skill he used to produce his performances required more concentration and skill than for someone to perform the same music on a smooth, easy modern jiari shakuhachi.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#3 2008-01-22 20:28:53

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

Re: Jinashi or Jiari

Tairaku wrote:

Sometimes it's easier to play the same music on a jiari shakuhachi rather than a jinashi one. That's why it's important to know what kind of flute someone's blowing on as part of your appreciation of his/her playing. For example Watazumi exclusively used jinashi shakuhachi (or in his parlance, hocchiku). Some were primitive, some highly advanced. Nevertheless the skill he used to produce his performances required more concentration and skill than for someone to perform the same music on a smooth, easy modern jiari shakuhachi.

Is a polished and worked but non-laquered bore still considered a jinashi? I recently got a Monty Levenson flute from Ebay. It's not signed and if it truly is one of Monty's, which I don't doubt, it must be a discontinued model because the listing said it was student model but his current student models are precision cast-bore.  The bore is non-laquered but highly worked. You see absolutely no little bulges near the nodes or anything that you'd typically find in a jinashi instrument. Not surprisingly, it has a sound and feel similar to a jiari. So, there's no ji or even laquer, would this still be considered a jinashi, or is there yet another category of shakuhachi?


"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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#4 2008-01-22 23:44:02

rpowers
Member
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 285

Re: Jinashi or Jiari

Tairaku wrote:

Sometimes it's easier to play the same music on a jiari shakuhachi rather than a jinashi one. That's why it's important to know what kind of flute someone's blowing on as part of your appreciation of his/her playing.

Wouldn't it be more valuable to just listen with an open mind?

If you need information that lets you filter the experience through what you expect to hear, you are just making it easy to justify your prejudices.

If you decide you want to make similar sounds (after you have listened and appreciated them) it then becomes helpful to know how they are made.

First listen in blissful ignorance. You might like something that you aren't supposed to like.


"Shut up 'n' play . . . " -- Frank Zappa
"Gonna blow some . . ." -- Junior Walker
"It's not the flute." -- Riley Lee

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#5 2008-01-23 01:38:24

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3204
Website

Re: Jinashi or Jiari

rpowers wrote:

Tairaku wrote:

Sometimes it's easier to play the same music on a jiari shakuhachi rather than a jinashi one. That's why it's important to know what kind of flute someone's blowing on as part of your appreciation of his/her playing.

Wouldn't it be more valuable to just listen with an open mind?

If you need information that lets you filter the experience through what you expect to hear, you are just making it easy to justify your prejudices.

If you decide you want to make similar sounds (after you have listened and appreciated them) it then becomes helpful to know how they are made.

First listen in blissful ignorance. You might like something that you aren't supposed to like.

LOL. You missed the point. If you came over to my house and looked at my CD collection you would realize that I have a very open mind about music.

What I meant is that if you are evaluating someone's technique it's helpful to know what they are going through to make the sounds you are hearing. It's like in Olympic diving, "degree of difficulty". In shakuhachi terms an example might be the amazing things Watazumi was able to do with a shakuhachi made from a laundry pole. It's great music whether or not you know that but if you're a shakuhachi player you know it's difficult to play that way even on a refined instrument, so doing it on something that crude is even more impressive.

Or not. Maybe nothing matters and nothing is worth thinking about. I find this stuff interesting, but maybe it's not.

I used to think about this in context of guitar playing when you might see a jazz guitarist calmly plucking incredibly difficult lines on a box with high action and super heavy flatwound strings and then contrast that with a rocker who grimaces and sweats while bending a super slinky 8 gauge E string as though he is lifting a semi truck. I laugh at that stuff.

Most musicians think about technique and instruments. It's hard to avoid. Especially if you're on a forum that's about music.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#6 2008-01-23 01:58:59

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

Re: Jinashi or Jiari

Tairaku wrote:

What I meant is that if you are evaluating someone's technique it's helpful to know what they are going through to make the sounds you are hearing. It's like in Olympic diving, "degree of difficulty". In shakuhachi terms an example might be the amazing things Watazumi was able to do with a shakuhachi made from a laundry pole. It's great music whether or not you know that but if you're a shakuhachi player you know it's difficult to play that way even on a refined instrument, so doing it on something that crude is even more impressive.

Or not. Maybe nothing matters and nothing is worth thinking about.

I've noticed that the more difficult a flute is to get a sound out of, the more interesting the tone is. Silver flutes are pretty easy to blow, but you have to start playing well-written music with lots of notes to make interesting music. However, shakuhachi and ney are difficult to produce tones, but very simple pieces can be interesting.


"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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#7 2008-01-23 02:03:36

rpowers
Member
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 285

Re: Jinashi or Jiari

Tairaku wrote:

rpowers wrote:

First listen in blissful ignorance. You might like something that you aren't supposed to like.

LOL. You missed the point. If you came over to my house and looked at my CD collection you would realize that I have a very open mind about music.

I would expect that.

Tairaku wrote:

Maybe nothing matters and nothing is worth thinking about.

I wouldn't go quite that far. In the context of the forum, we all give the impression that thinking and talking about shakuhachi takes precedence over blowing and listening. From time to time, we should remember Zappa's advice.


"Shut up 'n' play . . . " -- Frank Zappa
"Gonna blow some . . ." -- Junior Walker
"It's not the flute." -- Riley Lee

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#8 2008-01-23 10:41:02

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

Re: Jinashi or Jiari

rpowers wrote:

In the context of the forum, we all give the impression that thinking and talking about shakuhachi takes precedence over blowing and listening. From time to time, we should remember Zappa's advice.

...and for a few seconds, I ascend into Heaven.... smile


["I used to think about this in context of guitar playing when you might see a jazz guitarist calmly plucking incredibly difficult lines on a box with high action and super heavy flatwound strings and then contrast that with a rocker who grimaces and sweats while bending a super slinky 8 gauge E string as though he is lifting a semi truck. I laugh at that stuff." ~ So beautifully put, Tairaku. Then watch Wayne who moves nary a muscle, and a wall of wonderful comes out...]

Last edited by edosan (2008-01-23 10:45:14)


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

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#9 2008-01-23 15:23:11

shaman141
Member
From: Montreal, QC.
Registered: 2006-02-02
Posts: 154
Website

Re: Jinashi or Jiari

I don't really feel that knowing what type of shakuhachi  the player is playing will take away from a pure listening experience. I get pumped when I know that a player I like is playing flutes from a maker I really respect.


Find your voice and express yourself, that's the point.

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#10 2008-08-23 11:37:16

Toby
Shakuhachi Scientist
From: out somewhere circling the sun
Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 405

Re: Jinashi or Jiari

radi0gnome wrote:

Tairaku wrote:

Sometimes it's easier to play the same music on a jiari shakuhachi rather than a jinashi one. That's why it's important to know what kind of flute someone's blowing on as part of your appreciation of his/her playing. For example Watazumi exclusively used jinashi shakuhachi (or in his parlance, hocchiku). Some were primitive, some highly advanced. Nevertheless the skill he used to produce his performances required more concentration and skill than for someone to perform the same music on a smooth, easy modern jiari shakuhachi.

Is a polished and worked but non-laquered bore still considered a jinashi? I recently got a Monty Levenson flute from Ebay. It's not signed and if it truly is one of Monty's, which I don't doubt, it must be a discontinued model because the listing said it was student model but his current student models are precision cast-bore.  The bore is non-laquered but highly worked. You see absolutely no little bulges near the nodes or anything that you'd typically find in a jinashi instrument. Not surprisingly, it has a sound and feel similar to a jiari. So, there's no ji or even laquer, would this still be considered a jinashi, or is there yet another category of shakuhachi?

I believe that any flute that is not filled is considered a jinashi. John Neptune's jinashi are extensively smoothed with a garibo to eliminate constriction at the nodes, and he will also add small amounts of ji at critical points as determined by playing and noting difficulties in response or tuning, but I don't believe that such filling ever amounts to even 1% of the bore.

Toby

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