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#1 2010-07-25 19:43:08

pueyrredon
Member
Registered: 2010-07-25
Posts: 9

a couple of questions....

Hi,

I'm writing a piece for shakuhachi and I have a couple of questions.
1) what's the difference between kasaiki and sorane? which one correspond to slap tongue / pizzicato?
2) Is it possible to have chromatic passages or do I have to limit to the pentatonic scale. (I know there is a technique to get the whole chromatic scale, but is it too difficult?) For example, in the 1.8, may I attack directly F# or I need to play first G and the apply meri?
Thanks in advance.
K.

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#2 2010-07-25 21:31:04

radi0gnome
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From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
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Re: a couple of questions....

pueyrredon wrote:

2) Is it possible to have chromatic passages or do I have to limit to the pentatonic scale. (I know there is a technique to get the whole chromatic scale, but is it too difficult?) For example, in the 1.8, may I attack directly F# or I need to play first G and the apply meri?
Thanks in advance.
K.

Yes, you can have chromatic passages. You don't need to meri down to F#, you can cover just half of the hole for the F to get F#. The only notes that are problematic are the Eb and Bb, for those you need meri, especially in the lower octave.

In general shakuhachi is best suited to slow music, but a skilled player could execute a lot of stuff that would normally be better suited for silver flute and probably look at it as a challenge. If it got too cumbersome they could always use a 7 hole 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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#3 2010-07-25 21:39:26

pueyrredon
Member
Registered: 2010-07-25
Posts: 9

Re: a couple of questions....

Thanks.
I thought Eb and Bb were excellent on the 1.8. I have a document that says that the best key for 1.8 is G minor (which contains two bemols)...

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#4 2010-07-25 22:24:54

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

Re: a couple of questions....

pueyrredon wrote:

Thanks.
I thought Eb and Bb were excellent on the 1.8. I have a document that says that the best key for 1.8 is G minor (which contains two bemols)...

The meri notes help bring out the unique shakuhachi sound, but they're hard to play. If you want the piece to be within the playing abilities of the majority of players, lean towards keeping the Bb's and Eb's out of the faster passages.


"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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#5 2010-07-25 22:34:27

pueyrredon
Member
Registered: 2010-07-25
Posts: 9

Re: a couple of questions....

So I don't understand this:
http://www.shakuhachichambermusic.com/pages/tuning.html

It's just the opposite your telling me.

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#6 2010-07-25 22:44:46

Tairaku 太楽
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From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
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Re: a couple of questions....

Don't listen to him, he doesn't know what he's talking about. roll

You can use Eb and Bb freely.

With a 1.8 the low octave Eb and Bb will have a quiet, dark tone compared to the strong notes (D,F,G,A,C) produced by using the open holes.

In the second octave there are at least 3 ways to produce Eb, one is very quiet and the others are almost as loud as a regular note. For Bb there is one that is quiet and one that is very loud and piercing.

Just write the pitches you want and let the player worry about how to produce it.

Also these notes can be played in Western pitch, or in Japanese pitch, which on Eb and Bb equivalents would be flat of Western pitch. You might want to specify if you have a preference whether you want the player to play idiomatically or as a Western instrument.

radioGnome, be careful when handing out advice.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#7 2010-07-25 23:14:36

Glenn Swann
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From: Central New Jersey
Registered: 2008-03-01
Posts: 151
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Re: a couple of questions....

indeed, hard to imagine what shakuhachi would sound like avoiding Eb/Bb.... should be no problem for anyone past Hi No Maru....


I followed rivers, I followed orders,I followed prophets, I followed leaders
I followed rivers, I followed highways,I followed conscience,
I followed dreamers... And I'm back here,
and I'm back here... At the edge of the sky       (New Model Army)

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#8 2010-07-26 02:18:55

radi0gnome
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From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
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Re: a couple of questions....

Tairaku 太楽 wrote:

radioGnome, be careful when handing out advice.

True, re-reading the thread maybe my post wasn't well-composed. I was thinking of fast passages (which I did mention BTW). For me, I can crank through the notes in a C scale (no meri notes) with eight notes at 120 on the metronome OK. I can't do that with the Bb scale. I can foresee that sometime in the future I may be able to get the Bb scale faster with practice, but I think I can also see that I'm never going to be able to get it up to the same speed as I could eventually be able to get the C scale up to, which I think could possibly get close to silver flute speeds.

It seems to me that a major difference between shakuhachi and probably the most similar Western instrument, the silver flute, is that you can play in any key just as easily with silver flute, allowing the composer to modulate to different keys freely with virtually no limitations in how many notes you can fit in a unit of time. Shakuhachi isn't quite the same, it's harder to play in some keys, that needs to be respected, and basically means to be careful of those meri notes in FAST passages.

Another big difference that would be important when composing for shakuhachi is the difficulty of the third register. It's true that the shakuhachi has those notes, similar to a silver flute, but unlike a silver flute where it wouldn't be a problem, you probably wouldn't want to spend too much time up there. Very few players would be able to make it sound good.

Of course, in Western music there are pieces at a difficulty level that most students will never be able to play convincingly. You could write something like that for shakuhachi, Make sure the presto part of the sonata is in Bb with a lot of time in the 3rd register. If it's good enough you'll find players who'll want to take it on as a challenge.       

Does this clarification make my advice any better?  I wasn't suggesting that meri notes should be entirely avoided, and really, shouldn't there be some effort to avoid writing a piece to be impractically difficult?


"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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#9 2010-07-26 03:27:10

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
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Re: a couple of questions....

radi0gnome wrote:

Does this clarification make my advice any better?  I wasn't suggesting that meri notes should be entirely avoided, and really, shouldn't there be some effort to avoid writing a piece to be impractically difficult?

Some of the ways to produce Eb and Bb on a 1.8 don't involve meri. In fact they are kari notes. Everybody likes to play something that's simple, but putting Eb and Bb in a piece doesn't make it difficult.

http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc123/Tairaku/SmallThumbnail.jpg


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#10 2010-07-26 03:55:04

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

Re: a couple of questions....

Tairaku 太楽 wrote:

Some of the ways to produce Eb and Bb on a 1.8 don't involve meri. In fact they are kari notes.

Meri or kari it involves head movement that's going to add to the difficulty of a fast passage. 

Tairaku 太楽 wrote:

Everybody likes to play something that's simple, but putting Eb and Bb in a piece doesn't make it difficult.

Then how come a lot of songs I can't play on my 5 hole shakuhachi I can do on my 7 hole shakuhachi? Humor aside, it does seem to suggest that the songs with lots of meri notes are harder. 

OK, with that I'll concede and wait a few more years to see if my opinion changes.

Last edited by radi0gnome (2010-07-26 03:56:53)


"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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#11 2010-07-26 04:18:45

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

Re: a couple of questions....

Charles I'll break my rule about teaching technique on the forum but for example if you want to play D-Eb you just play ro and then move your head up for the Eb. No need for partial holing. If you want to play A-Bb you can play chi and then just close one. Not a big deal. Very simple gesture.

It really depends upon what the composer actually writes that determines how difficult it is, not which notes are used.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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