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of Two Flutes from the Opposite Ends of Eurasia". (is the complete title).
By Daniel B. Ribble. Kuroshio Science 2009
This is an academic paper by our own Dan Ryudo.
The title pretty much sums up the paper. Dan describes in detail the history of both instruments, physical descriptions, similarities and differences, context of the instruments in their respective cultures, etc. This is all done in a very readable, intelligent fashion.
For knowledgeable shakuhachi people much of the material would be familiar already. For example we know it has five holes. But it is a very well written summary of the overall shakuhachi reality and does delve into some interesting sidelines. For example this might be the first time Taimu and www.shakuhachiforum.com are mentioned in an academic setting. Because one of the topics Dan discusses is the diaspora of the shakuhachi and the Tin Whistle.
Likewise the description of the tin whistle is comprehensive and for me more interesting simply because I don't already know very much about it. For example did you know that Samuel Beckett and James Joyce used to have blow dart fights using tin whistles as the tube?
That was a joke.
So Dan sets the stage with these fascinating descriptions of the instruments' history and use, and then the really interesting stuff happens, which is the comparisons and contrasts. I won't tell you everything because that would be like giving away the plot of a movie, but some things stuck with me. One (from a technical perspective) that long instruments have become fashionable in both settings in recent years. Like many of the similarities that seems to be a case of convergent evolution. The most striking contrast Dan presents is the simple fact that while the Irish are taking to traditional music in large numbers, playing their traditional instruments in large numbers and foreigners adopting Irish music as a popular listening and playing pastime, nothing (well, very little) of the sort is happening with Japanese traditional music. Something to ponder.
It's great to see serious writing about shakuhachi getting an airing in the academic journals. Good work from Dan and well worth a read. Dan is there an online version people can access?
When I look at this topic all the Google ads are about "Celtic" and "Irish". Yikes!
Thank you, Dust!
hehe... must be Tasmanian Google
http://www.google.com/search?client=saf … p;oe=UTF-8
It's a great paper.. a must read..
Thanks, Tairaku and Dust, for the kind words concerning my article. Also, thanks, Dust, for the link to the online reference; it was a surprise to me, as I didn't even know it was posted online!
I concur with the positive reviews, with an added injunction that people newly come to the shakuhachi universe, (thought I was going to write 'world', dincha), and not interested in the comparison aspect, should read it for the shakuhachi info.
Well Done, Sir!