Mujitsu and Tairaku's Shakuhachi BBQ

World Shakuhachi Discussion / Go to Live Shakuhachi Chat

You are not logged in.


Tube of delight!

#1 2006-05-01 16:16:41

sakurashakuhachi
Member
Registered: 2006-04-08
Posts: 18

A bit of definition speak...

Not sure if this is in the right section but ho hum...
Just wandering; what's everyone opinion on what 'defines' a shakuhachi?
Ive heard some people say that a true shakuhachi is one that all fingering techniques and pieces can be played on; which would lead me to believe that a more simple shaku wouldnt actually be a shakuhachi; just an end blown flute...
Is there a historical context to this? Cheers Rory

Offline

 

#2 2006-05-01 19:18:12

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

Re: A bit of definition speak...

I would say, roughly, that a shakuhachi is an end-blown Japanese flute, made from bamboo, that has a specific form of blowing edge, and includes 5 holes, four in front, one in back. The tuning also has to do with it; I'd say that a shakuhachi in a very different tuning could very well be called something else, but I have a flute that's not tuned correctly at all, but it resembles a shakuhachi in all ways. Is it a shakuhachi, or not? I don't know.

I know that seemed simple, but I guess it seems simple to me. For instance, is a 7-hole shakuhachi still a shakuhachi? You've changed it's tuning, albeit in relatively small ways, so does that mean it's no longer what most would call a shakuhachi? It looks the same, and basically plays the same, but is it the same?

But basically, it's the combo of form and function that I think makes this flute unique as a shakuhachi, at least for me.

-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

Offline

 

#3 2006-05-01 22:00:42

jumbuk
Member
From: South-eastern Australia
Registered: 2005-12-15
Posts: 85

Re: A bit of definition speak...

Not completely on topic, but read this: http://www.rileylee.net/shaku_article_a … l#thoughts for some good discussion by Riley Lee.


... as if nothing is happening.  And it is!

Paul Mitchell, Jumbuktu 2006

Offline

 

#4 2006-05-03 01:03:40

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1061
Website

Re: A bit of definition speak...

jumbuk wrote:

Not completely on topic, but read this: http://www.rileylee.net/shaku_article_a … l#thoughts for some good discussion by Riley Lee.

As always, Riley articulates a clear opinion on the different types of the shakuhachi and their usages.

sakurashakuhachi wrote:

Just wandering; what's everyone opinion on what 'defines' a shakuhachi?

This was the question I asked the most when I was studying shakuhachi making in Japan.  After a while, I found that a better question to ask was "What's makes a good shakuhachi?"  (this got me more useful answers). The most consistent thing I heard was, "The instrument should do what the maker intended the instrument to do". If it was made for playing Tozan music, it should be able to play that style of music with the characteristic timbres and response well (as defined by experienced players).  A shakuhachi made for Dokyoku should be able to handle Komi Buki since it's characteristic of the style. If it can not, it would not be considered a "good" shakuhachi for Dokyoku (but maybe for another style).

Shakuhachi music is full of nuance since Japanese culture itself is so refined, the better the flute can handle the cryptic techniques built into the playing of the music, the better the flute.


Hope this helps.
Best, Perry

Last edited by Yungflutes (2006-05-03 01:16:41)


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

Offline

 

#5 2006-05-03 07:31:59

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

Re: A bit of definition speak...

Yungflutes wrote:

A shakuhachi made for Dokyoku should be able to handle Komi Buki since it's characteristic of the style. If it can not, it would not be considered a "good" shakuhachi for Dokyoku (but maybe for another style). Best, Perry

What shakuhachi can't handle komibuki?


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#6 2006-05-03 07:46:54

caffeind
Member
From: Tokyo
Registered: 2006-04-13
Posts: 148

Re: A bit of definition speak...

I think that a good shakuhachi for dokyoku is one that can make nice deep meri notes, with good tone. Also accuracy for chi chi ru is important since that pattern is used a lot in dokyoku. Ive played a few flutes by a maker who sells flutes through Mejiro, Tozan guy. The 1.8 was ok but the chokan was awful. Playing dokyoku is more demanding of both the player and the shakuhachi, so I figure that a capable dokyoku player/maker is going to make a better flute.

Offline

 

#7 2006-05-03 09:38:42

caffeind
Member
From: Tokyo
Registered: 2006-04-13
Posts: 148

Re: A bit of definition speak...

Yes, I meant pitch accuracy, but also tone and volume, which are inextricably related. Efficiency would have been a better word to use than accuracy. There is another thread on the board at the moment about singing a piece of music. When I sing the various chi ru tsumeri hi patterns, I sing them in a way that seems most balanced or beautiful or whatever to me. A decent shakuhachi can help me work towards that expression.

I only know two fingering systems for this set of notes; those of Chikuho origin, as taught by Riley Lee, and those of Yokoyama sensei. There are small differences between these fingerings, but I dont think its important which fingering is used, or if any fingering is used for that matter, as long as the sound is good.

When you say Western pitches, do you mean the twelve note chromatic scale as defined by just intonation, well temperament, even temperament, regular temperament, meantone temperament or Pythagorean tuning? What is the definition of "Western pitch"? Is there a definitive Japanese scale? How do Japanese people perceive pitch when it comes to playing honkyoku? Are there any ethnomusicoligist/psychoacousticoligists reading this? :p

Yokoyama sensei and Kakizakai sensei are the only two Japanese teachers I have learnt from and they both work within the twelve note chromatic scale, though I don't think they intentionally adopted any of the various twelve tone tuning systems. Owing to the fact that shakuhachi can shift its pitch to take on different colours, and that for most intents and purposes it only plays one note at a time, the just intonation system would seem befitting in the context of honkyoku.

I have heard other recordings where the pitch does not sit within the twelve tone chromatic scale (even considering variation of pitch between the aforementioned systems, which on an instrument like shakuhachi, is bound to meander anyway), including a dokyoku piece recorded by Riley, and I dont like it. Regardless of whether the pitch is out because a certain fingering is given priority, or owing to other reasons for it not be congruent with the twelve tone scale, if its awkward and it doesnt sit comfortably in my ear, I judge it (rightly or wrongly) as falling short of the mark.

I learn some sankyoku and shinkyoku, but Im only truly interested in dokyoku. I listen mostly to Watazumi and Yokoyama, and more recently Iwamoto. I try to follow their examples.

For meri, I personally dont think shading or not matters, until it affects the sound in an unpleasant way. Relying too heavily on shading rather than meri-ing makes movements such as chi-chimeri or tsumeri-tsudaimeri more jagged and unrefined, so for this reason I try to use as little shading as possible.

Last edited by caffeind (2006-05-03 09:48:38)

Offline

 

#8 2006-05-03 09:51:33

caffeind
Member
From: Tokyo
Registered: 2006-04-13
Posts: 148

Re: A bit of definition speak...

Aww where did the post I was replying to go?? The ground of the discussion is gone!

Offline

 

#9 2006-05-03 13:11:16

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

Re: A bit of definition speak...

caffeind wrote:

Aww where did the post I was replying to go?? The ground of the discussion is gone!

Sorry dude, I deleted it because I thought some people might take it wrong. Anyway here's the gist of what I said.

I asked you if by accuracy you meant pitch accuracy, because in my observation there are several different pitch frameworks for chi chi ru, some fall withing the western pitch references (by this I do mean even tempered twelve tone) and some don't. And that I don't like to use shading when doing this phrase because of my big ass hands which don't like to shade, especially when there are small holes. Then I speculated that chi chi ru must have been in the repertoire prior to western influence, or Watazumi, so maybe it's not so important to aim for western pitches.

Thanks for your response. I will now respond to yours and promise not to delete anything! I was afraid

a. Dokyoku players might think I was questioning their methods for this phrase and
b. beginners might think I am condoning playing "out of tune" which is not the case. As you mentioned there are ranges of acceptable pitch.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#10 2006-05-03 13:14:25

dstone
Member
From: Vancouver, Canada
Registered: 2006-01-11
Posts: 552
Website

Re: A bit of definition speak...

caffeind wrote:

Ythey both work within the twelve note chromatic scale, though I don't think they intentionally adopted any of the various twelve tone tuning systems. Owing to the fact that shakuhachi can shift its pitch to take on different colours, and that for most intents and purposes it only plays one note at a time, the just intonation system would seem befitting in the context of honkyoku.

I'm interested in tuning systems.  (Though if there's anything Zen about honkyoku, it's probably not in scrutinizing Hz and cents!)  Anyways, this is the first time I've heard the suggestion that equal temperament is not the implied tuning.  I play the Dokyoku repertoire on hocchiku.  I understand that Just Intonation has some historical practicalities, but I don't understand the reasoning that because our instrument plays only one note a time that Just Intonation might be better.  Can you explain?

Then again, putting this in perspective...  the largest difference between playing in Just and Equal on a flute might be between Ro and U.  Just Intonation would be maybe 1 cent flat of Equal at U.  I can't play that accurately anyways, so I'll just stop talking now...  !

-Darren.


When it is rainy, I am in the rain. When it is windy, I am in the wind.  - Mitsuo Aida

Offline

 

#11 2006-05-03 13:25:31

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

Re: A bit of definition speak...

caffeind wrote:

Yes, I meant pitch accuracy, but also tone and volume, which are inextricably related. Efficiency would have been a better word to use than accuracy. There is another thread on the board at the moment about singing a piece of music. When I sing the various chi ru tsumeri hi patterns, I sing them in a way that seems most balanced or beautiful or whatever to me. A decent shakuhachi can help me work towards that expression.

I find it interesting to discuss this with "Dokyoku" players because most of the Yokoyama ones seem to favor highly refined flutes with (relatively compared to Watazumi's) small bores and mouthpieces. What you said earlier about being able to get big meri's comes easier on large bored shakuhachi with big mouth openings. Other people who studied with Watazumi or students of Watazumi favor big jinashi flutes. The two approaches are quite different although I suppose both are called "Dokyoku".

caffeind wrote:

I only know two fingering systems for this set of notes; those of Chikuho origin, as taught by Riley Lee, and those of Yokoyama sensei. There are small differences between these fingerings, but I dont think its important which fingering is used, or if any fingering is used for that matter, as long as the sound is good.

Good point, we often forget that sounding good is a factor! Jin Nyodo also does this pattern with different (simpler) fingering.

caffeind wrote:

When you say Western pitches, do you mean the twelve note chromatic scale as defined by just intonation, well temperament, even temperament, regular temperament, meantone temperament or Pythagorean tuning? What is the definition of "Western pitch"? Is there a definitive Japanese scale? How do Japanese people perceive pitch when it comes to playing honkyoku? Are there any ethnomusicoligist/psychoacousticoligists reading this? :p

I was referring to even temperament. I don't care about it because even when I play western music it's rock, blues and the like where we don't use it anyways! Unless a cursed keyboardist crosses our path.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#12 2006-05-03 13:30:17

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

Re: A bit of definition speak...

dstone wrote:

I'm interested in tuning systems.  (Though if there's anything Zen about honkyoku, it's probably not in scrutinizing Hz and cents!)  Anyways, this is the first time I've heard the suggestion that equal temperament is not the implied tuning.  I play the Dokyoku repertoire on hocchiku.  I understand that Just Intonation has some historical practicalities, but I don't understand the reasoning that because our instrument plays only one note a time that Just Intonation might be better.  Can you explain?

Then again, putting this in perspective...  the largest difference between playing in Just and Equal on a flute might be between Ro and U.  Just Intonation would be maybe 1 cent flat of Equal at U.  I can't play that accurately anyways, so I'll just stop talking now...  !

-Darren.

Equal temperament can't be the implied tuning because when Japanese music originated they didn't know about it. Basically all the kari notes are the same pitches we use and all of the meri notes waver, but usually are about a quarter tone above the next lowest note. In other words tsu meri is about a quarter tone above ro. Of course these rules go out the window when playing shinkyoku.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#13 2006-05-03 13:40:22

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

Re: A bit of definition speak...

sakurashakuhachi wrote:

Not sure if this is in the right section but ho hum...
Just wandering; what's everyone opinion on what 'defines' a shakuhachi?
Ive heard some people say that a true shakuhachi is one that all fingering techniques and pieces can be played on; which would lead me to believe that a more simple shaku wouldnt actually be a shakuhachi; just an end blown flute...
Is there a historical context to this? Cheers Rory

Sorry we hijacked your thread. A shakuhachi that does and plays everything is a silly concept because you wouldn't want to do everything on one shakuhachi anyway. Gaikyoku sounds good on a 1.8 but for certain kinds of honkyoku obviously a longer flute is desired. I've heard very good players say that ideally you would have a different flute for every piece. On the other hand I have heard very good players say that you should devote yourself to one flute. But they were orthodox Kinko players for whom 1.8 is enough. Some flutes can't get re dai kan for example but they are still great flutes to play pieces that don't use that note.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#14 2006-05-03 15:01:32

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

Re: A bit of definition speak...

And, Brian, as TV has shown us...

"...and one-point-Eight is Enough, to fill our lives with looooove..."

Okay, that's a pretty obscure reference, even for Americans, and maybe pretty cheesy. Maybe. wink

-Eddie
Kyorei Flutes


"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

Offline

 

#15 2006-05-03 16:52:25

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

Re: A bit of definition speak...

Tairaku wrote:

On the other hand I have heard very good players say that you should devote yourself to one flute.

Some would go evern farther, suggesting that you should devote your life to using that one flute to master one piece.

A pianist I know was the upstairs neighbor of Yamato Shudo when he was at Wesleyan; he told me he could hear those damn cranes breeding down there every day. He was told that a player who practiced more than one or two pieces could never be focused enough to master any of them.

Forty years removed from context, we can't be sure how seriously this was delivered, but surely some players and teachers have felt this way.

Last edited by rpowers (2006-05-03 17:14:41)


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

Offline

 

#16 2006-05-03 21:01:56

caffeind
Member
From: Tokyo
Registered: 2006-04-13
Posts: 148

Re: A bit of definition speak...

Tairaku wrote:

caffeind wrote:

Yes, I meant pitch accuracy, but also tone and volume, which are inextricably related. Efficiency would have been a better word to use than accuracy. There is another thread on the board at the moment about singing a piece of music. When I sing the various chi ru tsumeri hi patterns, I sing them in a way that seems most balanced or beautiful or whatever to me. A decent shakuhachi can help me work towards that expression.

I find it interesting to discuss this with "Dokyoku" players because most of the Yokoyama ones seem to favor highly refined flutes with (relatively compared to Watazumi's) small bores and mouthpieces. What you said earlier about being able to get big meri's comes easier on large bored shakuhachi with big mouth openings. Other people who studied with Watazumi or students of Watazumi favor big jinashi flutes. The two approaches are quite different although I suppose both are called "Dokyoku".

Thanks for replying again Tairaku. Kakizakai sensei mentioned that meri is easier on jinashi flutes, but of course its not impossible to play accurately on jiari. I will get around to trying some jinashi one day but I just havent had the chance until now, apart from a 3.2 that I couldn't hold.

I dont know why the change from jinashi to jiari to place. I know very little about shakuhachi history, and nothing about other students of Watazumi, so all that I have to go on is what I hear on cds and what people tell me. Maybe Yokoyama sensei needed to use jiari for its precision because he played with orchestras. Maybe he needed the extra volume for performances, and/or wanted the extra volume for expression. Again, whatever the case, whether one uses jiari or jinashi, good intonation and sound quality should take precedence in my opinion, and I think one should strive to achieve a high level of proficiency in order to reach the origin of music that Watazumi talks about. If I had never learnt whether Watazumi or Yokoyama used jiari or jinashi, I would still love the music in exactly the same way as I do now.

I dont think anyone can play like Watazumi, not that Ive heard. Such breadth of expression, and amazing control of tone and pitch. I rarely listen to anything but honkyoku anymore, and I mostly listen to Watazumi. Im completely in love with his playing, apart from the pieces that sound like fingernails on a chalkboard. 

For a long time I was a bit disappointed in the obvious differences existing in the music, and possibly the thinking and philosophy, of todays players. Some of Watazumi's pieces, such as Sanya or Reibo are beautifully played, and Yokoyama sensei's way of playing these pieces is fairly similar. However I was given a recording of Sokkan by Watazumi and I didnt like it at all. I love the way Yokoyama plays it, so I was expecting a lot of Watazumi's recording, but was terribly disappointed.

After that experience, I stopped feeling disappointed about the differences between Watazumi's playing and the way that it seemed that the connection to his method of playing was lost. Change is inevitable, and Yokoyama sensei's efforts in carrying on the dokyoku pieces is pretty amazing. If I hear any other students of Watazumi, jiari or jinashi players, who make a good impression on me, I will want to learn form them, but I just havent come across their music yet.

dstone wrote:

caffeind wrote:

Ythey both work within the twelve note chromatic scale, though I don't think they intentionally adopted any of the various twelve tone tuning systems. Owing to the fact that shakuhachi can shift its pitch to take on different colours, and that for most intents and purposes it only plays one note at a time, the just intonation system would seem befitting in the context of honkyoku.

I'm interested in tuning systems.  (Though if there's anything Zen about honkyoku, it's probably not in scrutinizing Hz and cents!)  Anyways, this is the first time I've heard the suggestion that equal temperament is not the implied tuning.

I wouldn't encourage anyone to start thinking about their music in terms of hertz and cents, since its not practical. I am a musician and sound engineer, and up until recently I had never thought about using any other scale apart from equal temperament twelve tone scale, because I wasnt aware of why they existed and because it didn't seem to be relevant to my music (funk and jazz, prior to honkyoku). I trusted what a guitar tuner told, me and if the light in the middle was on, I thought I was in tune.

Barely a month ago, a friend of mine demonstrated how the intonation of certain notes can sound wrong if you abide by what a tuner tells you. It took me a bit of consideration and listening before I started to hear the discrepencies he was talking about, but once I noticed them I couldn't ignore them. Im not interested in refining my sense of hertz and cents, and though Ive done a little research since on various tuning systems, I dont want to really learn about these systems in depth because I can't see any real advantage at the moment in knowing the technicalities of it.

I want to know about how to improve my intonation and my musicianship in practical ways. These are the main points of what my friend said, and this is all I have to go on at the moment, so any more input will be most welcome. When playing a piece of honkyoku, there is no chord obviously, but there is an implied chord. He said its important to listen for what scales are being played, then identify the key notes. The key notes must be in tune and these cannot be changed, like rocks. Other notes can be shifted for colour. He said the basic idea is to stretch the tones and squeeze the semitones. This is congruent with what Tairaku said about shorter intervals between semitones. I am also aware of various discussion on the net about Yokoyama sensei playing tsumeri flatter.


dstone wrote:

I play the Dokyoku repertoire on hocchiku.  I understand that Just Intonation has some historical practicalities, but I don't understand the reasoning that because our instrument plays only one note a time that Just Intonation might be better.  Can you explain?

Just intonation is better because the intonation simply sounds right, and if you can train yourself to be more perceptive to the subtleties of intonation, it will help with your musicianship. On an instrument like a piano, just intonation is impractical because it doesnt allow key changes, which is why the even tempered system was invented in the first place, the result being a system built of compromises.

On shakuhachi, and more specifically for honkyoku, we dont have this limitation. We aren't playing in concert with other players who have instruments that have fixed tuning. We have the advantage of shifting the intonation.

Shakuhachi is not easy for me and Im not a good player, but I have been playing long enough where I should be working towards good intonation.

Last edited by caffeind (2006-05-03 21:22:25)

Offline

 

#17 2006-05-03 23:28:19

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

Re: A bit of definition speak...

Tairaku wrote:

I was referring to even temperament. I don't care about it because even when I play western music it's rock, blues and the like where we don't use it anyways! Unless a cursed keyboardist crosses our path.

Brian.

Can this really be true? If you play fretted guitars and basses, aren't you almost as locked in as the keyboard players? If you play one song in F and then the next one in D, the frets don't move. You theoretically could change your tuning for each key, but who does that?

It may actually be a sort of hybrid (yeah, that sounds nicer than bastard) system. The sounding length of each string vibrates with natural harmonics, but the strings are stopped on an even tempered fretboard.

Not sure why I am writing about strings and frets; I only play guitar when I am alone (or want to be).


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

Offline

 

#18 2006-05-03 23:39:21

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

Re: A bit of definition speak...

rpowers wrote:

Can this really be true? If you play fretted guitars and basses, aren't you almost as locked in as the keyboard players? If you play one song in F and then the next one in D, the frets don't move. You theoretically could change your tuning for each key, but who does that?

Interesting question. Since I've been playing shakuhachi guitars and pianos sound painfully out of tune to me because I'm used to hearing natural intervals. Guitarists don't like it when I say their instrument is never in tune. The only time it sounds right to me is when they are playing with a slide.

You're right I am trapped by the fretboard but I bend notes and use vibrato a lot. I use 5 basses on stage, two are fretted, two fretless and one doesn't even have a neck.

Also bass is tuned in fourths, which are perfect intervals on any instrument. That's why we can tune using harmonics. So at least the open strings are objectively in tune. Guitars are a mess because of the relationship between the G and B string which messes everything up. That third is not a natural interval.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#19 2006-05-04 00:40:15

dstone
Member
From: Vancouver, Canada
Registered: 2006-01-11
Posts: 552
Website

Re: A bit of definition speak...

I just want to thank everyone here for this discussion, on-topic or not...  I knew the basic math and theory, but I've learned more about the when and why of temperament from musicians' points of view than I ever knew. 

I blame my piano background for sheltering me...  wink

-Darren.


When it is rainy, I am in the rain. When it is windy, I am in the wind.  - Mitsuo Aida

Offline

 

#20 2006-05-04 06:42:57

caffeind
Member
From: Tokyo
Registered: 2006-04-13
Posts: 148

Re: A bit of definition speak...

Apologies for perpetuating the hijackery of this thread, but perhaps you know the answer to this Brian: are half fretted basses a way to get around wonky intonation? Ive seen Les Claypool playing a half fretted bass and I couldnt understand the purpose.

Offline

 

#21 2006-05-04 09:23:38

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

Re: A bit of definition speak...

caffeind wrote:

Apologies for perpetuating the hijackery of this thread, but perhaps you know the answer to this Brian: are half fretted basses a way to get around wonky intonation? Ive seen Les Claypool playing a half fretted bass and I couldnt understand the purpose.

Does half-fretted mean fretted up to the fifth or seventh fret and then fretless up from there? I've seen some like that. I personally don't know why anybody would do that unless they like the sound of frets on the low notes. But I know Les, we've played together, and we both like weird basses. That's because we are weird. I hope this answers your question.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#22 2006-05-04 09:36:40

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

Re: A bit of definition speak...

caffeind wrote:

I dont know why the change from jinashi to jiari to place. I know very little about shakuhachi history, and nothing about other students of Watazumi, so all that I have to go on is what I hear on cds and what people tell me. Maybe Yokoyama sensei needed to use jiari for its precision because he played with orchestras. Maybe he needed the extra volume for performances, and/or wanted the extra volume for expression. Again, whatever the case, whether one uses jiari or jinashi, good intonation and sound quality should take precedence in my opinion, and I think one should strive to achieve a high level of proficiency in order to reach the origin of music that Watazumi talks about. If I had never learnt whether Watazumi or Yokoyama used jiari or jinashi, I would still love the music in exactly the same way as I do now.

Historically the move towards jiari flutes started in the late 1800's as a result of players joining the sankyoku trio on a larger basis. This in turn was prompted by the government taking away permission for komuso to beg on the street with their shakuhachi. When all these shakuhachi players were out of work they needed gigs so they started playing commercial music (sankyoku). They developed the jiari shakuhachi because it was in tune better and played louder. The moral of this story is that no matter how esoteric the instrument, musicians are always looking for gigs.

The reason Yokoyama used jiari shakuhachi instead of the jinashi ones Watazumi militantly favored is because Watazumi was not his first teacher. Prior to studying with Watazumi he learned from his father Rampo, a Kinko player and maker of jiari shakuhachi, and also Fukuda Rando, a composer whose music was highly westernized. So Yokoyama would have been playing all his music on jiari shakuhachi and aware of their advantages which are the things you mention above.

Anyway that's what I gather. There are much more knowledgeable people on this forum, many of whom have ethnomusicology degrees, if they have any corrections I'd love to hear it.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#23 2006-05-04 19:10:20

jumbuk
Member
From: South-eastern Australia
Registered: 2005-12-15
Posts: 85

Re: A bit of definition speak...

Tairaku wrote:

Guitars are a mess because of the relationship between the G and B string which messes everything up. That third is not a natural interval.

Of course, you can retune your guitar.  Even so, when I first started playing in DADGAD, I got frustrated because the guitar never seemed to be in tune.  It took me a while to realise that the frets are set up for an even-tempered scale, but open tuning encourages you to hear the purity of just intonation - which is mucked up as soon as you start fretting notes.

I still play guitar, and I just have to accept that it is never going to be in tune across all keys.  You can compensate by bending the notes into tune sometimes if they are not on open strings.


... as if nothing is happening.  And it is!

Paul Mitchell, Jumbuktu 2006

Offline

 

#24 2006-05-05 04:20:45

caffeind
Member
From: Tokyo
Registered: 2006-04-13
Posts: 148

Re: A bit of definition speak...

Tairaku wrote:

caffeind wrote:

Apologies for perpetuating the hijackery of this thread, but perhaps you know the answer to this Brian: are half fretted basses a way to get around wonky intonation? Ive seen Les Claypool playing a half fretted bass and I couldnt understand the purpose.

Does half-fretted mean fretted up to the fifth or seventh fret and then fretless up from there? I've seen some like that. I personally don't know why anybody would do that unless they like the sound of frets on the low notes. But I know Les, we've played together, and we both like weird basses. That's because we are weird. I hope this answers your question.

It had frets removed at odd intervals, all the way up the neck it seemed. I like his playing, and the old leg out to the side movement he does. Ive never seen a crowd move the way it does at Primus concerts.

Thanks for the exaplanation about jinashi to jiari. I wasnt sure where Yokoyama sensei started.

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson

Google