Rokudan is a koto music piece. We listened to the song Rokudan in japanese class, and I am here to discuss what makes it sound japanese? First of all Rokudan is japanese because of the title because rokudan sounds like japanese words. Besides the title the techniques that you use in Rokudan is japanese. For instance the move ato-oshi (after press), is more common on japanese music. Ato-oshi is where you press after you play the string making it sound a bit wavy. This also includes other techniques used in Rokudan. These techniques give more flow and feeling compared to the music we hear in other countries. Also the slow and steadiness of Rokudan sounds japanese as well because japanese music is more slow and steady compared to other music. The tuning of Rokudan makes the song sound more japanese. the tuning of Rokudan is Hira-Joshi as the most basic tuning for koto, and if you play the tuning from top to bottom it sounds more japanese by having a more minor scale sound to the tuning.
In koto class we had a start off for the 3rd unit ”What makes music sound like it belongs to a particular part of the world?”. where two of our teachers and our teachers friends played the koto, shamisen and the shakuhachi.
The instrument that I liked best would probably be the shamisen. I like the koto as well but I think shamisen beats the koto because its really light and it only has a few strings, this makes it a lot easier compared to the koto. Also to play the shamisen you have to move your left hand to change the note, and you have a large pick. Of course when you change the note there is a wave of sound that is going lower of higher which I think is nice. During the short lesson, I didn’t really get that surprised because we were introduced to the shamisen a while ago and I play the koto. The shakuhachi looks more like a flute so that didn’t surprise me at all. The music piece that I liked the best would be the first piece that the teachers played called Eghigo Jishi, which is a koto, shamisen and shakuhachi trio. I liked it because it made me feel more calm about anything that was worrying me in the day and it wasn’t a very rapid song like what we sometimes play. I think what made the music sound more japanese is the way the strings are played and the order of the notes. Also the fact that there was singing in the song that sounded very japanese makes the music sound more japanese.
For Koto Homework, I had to play certain parts of my koto song called taka. The parts were in different pages so I had to flick through the pages. I think I did okay in the first part I was not too rushed and I played well, I do not remember if I missed a few notes on the first part. The second part was not too bad but could of been better. It was easy and I got most of the part right but I think I missed a few notes. I might of gone a bit too fast and I missed one note in the end. The tremolos was ok but not very good. Overall I think I did ok.