East Asian Countries
China, Korea & Japan / sparsely populated Mongolia & Siberia (eastern Russia)
East Asian Cultural unity
ideographic writing system / “characters” have meaning
East Asian Music
= distinct musical cultures with similarities / differences in musical styles analogous to food customs / Chinese “traditional” music struggles to survive by modernizing (newly arranged & orchestrated music) / Japanese & Korean “traditional” music survives as living anachronisms (preserved along side modern musical styles)
Largest Population Beijing is capital
Minority Ethnic groups-Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Maio, Uyghur, Yi, Tuija, Tibetans, Mongolians, Buyi & Koreans
Chinese Culture
most people live in Eastern China. East is divided into northern and southern zones. Each zone has distinct cultures.
Mandarin is most widely spoken dialect.
Chinese Instrumental Music
classification system contains eight categories (bayin) = wood, bamboo, metal, stone, clay, skin, silk & gourd

ensembles named after the instrument categories used / e.g., “silk & bamboo” ensemble /

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international influence inspired formation of large Western-style orchestras using traditional Chinese instruments

Chinese Vocal Music
Chinese music is fundamentally vocal.

primarily based on melodies that can be sung or played as solo piece or in ensemble settings with or without accompaniment

countless folk songs from many sub-regions & ethnic groups

Theatrical or narrative music
They have programmatic title that allude to mood, nature, literature or myth.

Songs are also named after musical structures.

once vibrant but now rare form of narrative song combined singing & speech to tell long tales

songs & pieces related to Taoist, Buddhist & Confucian rituals / Chinese opera

“Silk and bamboo” ensemble.

Amateur music played by non-professionals in informal settings. Played for musicians’ pleasure.

music style that ordinary people can perform without harming their social reputations

Because, professional music have been traditionally viewed as being of low social status

Silk and Bamboo Musical Characteristics
Heterophonic texture.

all instruments play simultaneously & constantly with little dynamic shifts

instruments in high pitch range (without a bass line or harmonic support)

relatively simple rhythms with occasional syncopations & dotted notes

through-composed = continuously unfolding with each section having a different melodic line

pentatonic scale / piece tied together through use of a single key & short recurring melodic motives reappear often in a piece

“Silk and Bamboo” instruments
“silk” instruments have strings made from twisted silk are plucked or bowed (lutes & fiddles)

“bamboo” instruments are made from bamboo (vertical & horizontal flutes)

Four Essential “silk and bamboo” Instruments
erhu-two-string bowed fiddle with hexagonal-shaped resonator with python-skin cover

Yanggin-trapezoidal-shaped hammered dulcimer (zither) played with 2 bamboo beaters

pipa-four-sting fretted pear-shaped lute played with plectra (or fingernails) on 5 fingers

dizi-/ six-finger hole vertical bamboo flute with a membrane hoe that adds a buzz to the instrument’s timbre’

sheng-free-reed organ

“silk and bamboo” ensemble styles
Song “Zhonghua Liuban”
(“middle flowers, six beats”) = title describes technical aspects of musical organization of the piece

ornamentations are improvised based on idiomatic characteristics of each instrument

“fangman jiahua”
(“adding flowers”) = ornamentation

Chinese Music

Is Beijing “capital city opera”

music theater performed in formal venues with great visual spectacle & highly stylized performances

Jingju musical transmission
Jingju performers undertake formal study operatic performance in state-sponsored schools
Jingju Performance Practice
storytelling with characters & plotlines
staging with vividly colored costumes & make-up
no scenery & minimal props

acrobatic stage action / symbolic action

lead actors use a special stage language / comedians use Beijing dialect to show low social status

music is integral part of performance / music ensemble sits on stage left (audience’s right)

Jingju Major Role types
male roles (sheng) subdivided into young, old & military

female roles (dan) similarily subdivided

painted face roles (jing) featuring facial patterns that symbolize characters

comedians (chou) identified by white patches on faces

Beijing operatic vocals
high pitch range, nasal quality & no vibrato

singers work closely with the lead melodic player (jinghu) & percussionist “conductor”

singers improvise based on a “modal system” which guide spontaneous melody-making through a set of variables

variable include role type, melodic mode, metrical-rhythmic pattern & linguistic tone

Beijing Opera instruments
melodic & percussive instruments

melodic instruments divided into “civil” section led by bamboo fiddle (jinghu) & “military” military led by double-reed shawm (suona)
— other melodic instruments include larger fiddle (jingju erhu) & moon-shaped lute (yue qin)

percussion instruments mark beats in music & provide sound effects symbolizing action, emotions & objects

percussion section is led by a “conductor” who plays a clapper in his left hand & beats a small drum with a stick in his right hand

Song “Mu Kezhai”
= sung by female warrior, Mu Guiying, daughter of infamous outlaw from Song Dynasty

/ percussion plays musical introduction while character performs militaristic movements on stage

character sings in speech-like rhythms while accompanied by melodic instruments

percussion interlude / character sings in duple meter clearly sounded on clappers by conductor

many nomadic and semi-nomadic people.

Kazakh, Tuvan & Tungus minorities

small republic in Russian federation.

Russian & Tuvan are official languages

Music in Mongolia and Tuva
= music performed in private celebrations & public festivals

music traditionally used in their daily lives when herding or hunting
songs are often “sonic maps” / describe landscape & routes through the landscape
music used in religious ceremonies & spiritual practices (shamanism—communication with spirit world through knowledgeable mediator or healer)

Music and Divine (Mongolia & Tuva)
music considered a bridge that links humans with the supernatural & divine

people interact with spirits in animals (especially horses) & other features of their environment by imitating natural sounds

imitation places singer into sacred place or thing & allows them to make offerings to the spirits

imitation is either precise (iconic imitation) or imaginative (aesthetic imitation)

called overtone-singing or throat-singing /

/ manipulates overtones to create a melody using a high-pitched “flutelike” or “whistle-like” sound

audible harmonics (above the fundamental pitch) are strengthened by precise movement of lips, tongue & larynx

Aesthetic imitation
throat singing is a form of aesthetic imitation

/ musical sounds inspired by natural sounds (e.g., sound of water) that cannot precise replicated by the human voice

Khoomei styles
sigit (whistle) /
hoomii /
ezengileer (stirrup) /
chaylandyk (cricket) /
borbannadir (trill like river rapids) /
kargiraa (husky voice)
Mongolian and Tuvan Instruments
= trapezoid-shaped long-necked fiddle (morin huur)
two-stringed horse-headed fiddle (igil)
three-stringed plucked lute (doshpuluur)
instrumental accompaniment to singing based on the rhythm of horses galloping or running
Mongolia and Tuva Performance Practices
performed with & without instrumental accompaniment
performed by amateurs & professionals
as soloists or in ensembles
throat singing is symbol of cultural identity in Mongolia & Tuva
Is an Island Nation-
linguistically & culturally homogenous /
Japanese History
Early Ancient (200s-500s CE) = Imperial court & regional clan system established / Shinto (native shamanism) evolved as state religion / native Bronze-age music developed
Late Ancient (500s-1110s) = Buddhism spread from Korea & China / Imperial court music (gagaku) based on Chinese & Korean court music
Early Medieval (1100s-1400s) = feudal clan wars / Japanese society destabilized / highly refined theater (noh) / patronized by regional aristocrats, Buddhist priests & warrior class (samurai)
Late Medieval (1400s-1800s) / Tokugawa (Edo) period (1600-1867) = military dictatorship (shogunate) / brought political stability / imposed national isolation / four-tiered class system consisted of nobles, samurai, peasant farmers & urban middle class (artisans & merchants) / musical theater (kabuki & bunraku) & chamber music (featuring koto, shamisen & shakuhachi) supported by urban middle class
Modern / Meiji period (1868-1911) & Showa period (1926-89) = Imperial court restored but political power resided with government / long period of self-isolation ended as Japan modernized / American & European music imported / modern musical styles & new music technology (karaoke) developed
Characteristics of Japanese traditional music
pentatonic scales
monophonic & heterophonic textures
free rhythm (flexible pulse)
timbral variety
musical space & silence (ma)
consistency & close attention to detail in performance
Japan Musical Genres
theater music (kabuki & bunraku)
concert music (gagaku & chamber music)
religious & festival music (shomyo & matsuri-bayashi)
Japanese Guild System = guilds transmit musical knowledge guild membership legitimizes teachers & performers guilds set standards & control quality of musical performances rigid heirarchy (familial-paternalistic) preserves musical traditions change & development of new musical styles are discouraged
graceful music” / imperial court music & dance / classical form /
oldest ensemble musical style still performed / based on ancient Chinese & Korean court music / three main styles are Shinto (siabara), Chinese (togaku) & Korean (komagaku) /
concert performance (kangen) / classical dance (bugaku) accompanied by gagaku ensemble
Gagaku Musical Characteristics
slow tempo & free rhythm reflect traditional aesthetic of unhurried gracefulness

performers listen closely to each other in order to synchronize playing (no underlying beat is played)

technical mastery of an instrument is valued over instrumental virtuosity
/ pentatonic Yo scale (D-E-G-A-B)

Gagaku Instruments
= double-reed flute (hichiriki / human voices) transverse flute (ryuteki / dragon flute)
17-pipe free-reed mouth organ (sho)
4-string lute (gakubiwa)
/ 13-string zither (gakuso)
7-string zither (wagon)
small gong (shoko)
/ small hourglass drum (kakko)
small barrel-shaped drum (taiko)
large barrel-shaped drum (tsuri-daiko)
Gagaku Piece

(music of divinity / “music brought from heaven”)

performed by Kyoto Imperial Court Music Orchestra / togaku ensemble /
piece features ordered repetition of 3 main parts / each part is 32 beats long /
slow pulse (2-3 secs) gradually quickens (1 sec) /

ryuteki begins unadorned melody /
drum & percussion punctuate melodic line (not metrical structure) /

hichiriki joins melody / sho plays dense tone clusters / koto & biwa strum short motive (not harmonic accompaniment) /

performers play without personal expression / hold & play instruments in ritualistic manner

Borders China and Russia
/ divided into North (communism) & South (republic) at 38th parallel
Korean History
Three Kingdoms period (56 BCE-668 CE) / adopted Buddhism, culture (writing system) & technology from China / Unified Silla period (676-936) / Korean arts flourished / Gogoryeo period (936- 1392) / Mongol invasion (1231-56) / Joseon period (1392-1910) / isolationism (hermit kingdom) / capital moved to Seoul / class system formed (king, yangan (scholar-ruler), government officials, generals, farmers & slaves) / Japanese Occupation (1910-1945) / harsh treatment under Japanese / Korean independence after WWII / North & South division (1945-present) / internationalized civil war—Korean War (1950-53) / development of Korean national music (Kugak) / government-supported cultural institutions preserve traditional Korean music
Korean music aesthetic
Court Music (emotional restraint / long, slow rhythms / symbolize dignity of the kingdom)

/ Folk Music (unreserved emotion) / folk singer required to make audience laugh or cry / feel longing or sorrow (han)

Korean Musical Genres
Aak (Confucian ritual music / oldest continuously living music tradition in world) /

P’ansori (epic storytelling) /

Samul-nori (folk-derived percussion music) /

P’ungmul (farmer’s band music) /

Sanjo (semi-improvised instrumental solo music)

“pan” (place where people gather) + “sori” (sound)

narrative folk music / dramatic storytelling (satires & love stories) /

utilizes literature, music & gesture to convey story / story told by singer (Kwangdae) holding folding fan / accompanied by drummer (Kosu) playing shallow two-headed barrel drum (puk) with stick & hand /

singing integrates multiple musical modes (cho) & melodic types from both classical & folk genres from different regions /

performers can improvise within strict conventions

= melodic mode / melodic type, mood, singing style & ornamentation
P’ansori vocal characteristics
singer uses wide range of vocal sounds (whispering, speaking, singing & shouting) /
husky-raspy voice /
extreme vibrato /
many terms used for vocal quality (fifty-three different terms) / song (sori) /
dialogue or narration (aniri) /
extensive training / physical strength & vocal endurance
dramatic gestures / singer uses symbolic props (e.g. fan & handkerchief)
P’ansori performance space
traditional performance takes place on straw mat. drummer seated to left of singer
historically performed in open space.
Ch’un- Hyang-ka
(The Song of Ch’un-Hyang) =
story of young woman named Ch’un-Hyang (“Spring Fragrance”) / daughter of professional singer (kisaeng) / secretly marries lover Li Mongnyong (student & son of village magistrate) / lover leaves for Seoul to study / becomes government official / returns to village in disguise to check on wife & mother-in-law / women mistreated while husband was absent / critique of feudalism /

two performers (singer & drummer) / emotional affect of song determined by combination of melodic mode & rhythm / full story takes 8 hours to perform

P’ansori performance space
traditional performance takes place on straw mat. drummer seated to left of singer
historically performed in open space.
Was originally a british colony. First black african country to gain independence from colonial rule.

English is official language

Ghanian Music
each linguistic group maintains its own music & dance traditions /

Westerners mistakenly assume that West African music (particularly drumming) predominant throughout sub-Saharan Africa / West African music more familiar to Westerners than music from other parts of sub-Saharan Africa / West Africa is closer to Europe & USA / Western African music spread to Americas by African diaspora

West African polyrhythmic ensemble
ensemble consists of vocalists accompanied by variously pitched drums (low, middle & high), bells, & rattles /
each instrument plays a recurring rhythmic riff or timeline pattern (ostinato) /
basic pulse is not articulated by an instrument or conductor but is felt by all participants (musicians, singers & dancers) /
rhythmic patterns are often organized around a 2-vs-3 cross-rhythm (Western notion of meter is not entirely applicable) / cross-rhythm can be heard as one “rhythmic melody” or parts can be heard separately / some rhythmic patterns will follow the 2-pulse timeline & others will follow the 3-beat timeline
Akan recreational band
amateur group of villagers from small farming community /
recreational bands play at public festivals & ceremonies as well as community events & for entertainment
ensemble features vocalists, drummers & percussionists /
vocalists sing in call-and-response form / performers create complex polyrhythms / each part must interlock precisely with the others / each part refers to a central timeline played on a loud instrument (bell or rattle) with a distinct timbre different from the drums /
individual parts played in relation to the timeline pattern as well as simultaneously to other parts /

master drummer oversees all aspects of performance & makes sure musicians fit parts in with group / master drummer will play timeline of another instrument to establish a new pattern or “speak” (improvised solo) with his drum to communicate with musicians, singers or dancers while playing with the entire group

Akan ensemble instruments
double-headed hourglass variable-pressure drum (dondo) played with a hooked stick
pair of tall single-headed drums (tom tom)
iron clapper bell (afrikyiwa)
gourd rattle with external beaded netting (maraca)
Talking Drum
music for listening (not dancing) / African “tonal” languages / vocal intonation is important to meaning / drums capable of bending pitch are used to imitate the inflections of speech / talking drums are used as a surrogate for speech / talking drums give words more power & enable praise singing to be heard by ancestral spirits / talking drums are often used to honor royalty or powerful ancestral spirits
Ghana Instruments
tension drum (dondon) used as talking drum / pitch can be altered by squeezing or releasing the strings attached to the drum heads /
drums with single pitch paired together (high- & low-pitch) to convey rising & falling vocal patterns / talking drummers imitate rhythm of speech /

talking drums used in a variety of contexts such as praising singing, making announcements & recounting events / can be played alone or within an ensemble

pair of goblet-shaped wooden drums / act as talking drum / played by a single musicians with two hooked sticks / performer on CD speak Twi (a common tonal language in Ghana) before playing each spoken phrase on drums / rising & falling tones must be played by two consecutive strokes (from low to high or high to low)
English official language
West Africa
Republic of Senegal
French colony- French language
Merged with gambia in senegambia confederation.
Jali and Jaliya
Senegal and gambia
Jali (“blood”) / Jaliya (“transmission by blood”)
music tradition started during Mali Empire (Mandinka / 1230s-1600s)
wandering musician & poet / oral historian (history is passed orally from generation to generation) /

praise singer (griot – French term for “wondering minstrel”)
endogamous class (marry within class) / praise singing considered a family trade / musical skills & knowledge passed from father to son / praise singing accompanied by either harp or lute chordophone (kora / koni / xhalam) or xylophone idiophone (balafon) depending on location & cultural preference


harp-lute or bridge harp / made from calabash (gourd) covered with cowhide / wooden pole passes through calabash / 21 strings attached to pole & pass over bridge which rests on cowhide / strings are fixed to bottom of calabash / strings arranged in two planes running perpendicular to face of instrument / strings tuned so that player must alternate between planes to produce ascending & descending scales (left = odd notes / right = even notes) / four 7-note scales (close to Western major, minor, Lydian & Blues scales)

Kora Music
pieces have two sections /
improvised solo melodic runs played as introduction & between vocal parts (birimintingo) / steady repetitive pattern (melodic ostinato) played while singer praises (kumbengo)
Jali with Kora
Song about a warrior. fought battle against fulani, captureds prisoners and returns to mandika . stronghold. Pulls prisoners to home creating cloud of dust. They think dust is fire until they see kallafa.

Listeners “spray” Jali by placing money on forehead.

English is official language. Landlocked country south africa.
Mbira dza vadzimu
Commonly called Mbira- Distinctive music of Shona
Lamellophones- Metal tongues.
Mbira Music

two basic structural parts-
Kushaura- Lead part played on high pitch range.
Kutsinhira- following part played on lower keys.

Piece consists of four recurring harmonic segments that repeat with endless variations in melodic line.

Singing may be either solo or call and response.

Two gourd rattles played 2v3 rhythm.

Mbira Performance practice

mbira music is used in a variety of context / entertainment, storytelling & spiritual rituals /

Shona spirit possession ceremony (bira) is most important ritual using mbira music / ancestral spirits contact community through body of entranced community member / ancestral spirits guide & protect community members in their daily lives /

mbira is “specialists’ instrument” requiring high performance level (particularly in ritualistic contexts) / musicians are “called” by ancestral spirits to learn to play mbira / players feel obligated to play proficiently in order to facilitate possession

Nyama musango
Mbira song

Shona acestral spirit song

Harmonic segments are 4 beats long.
Duple meter pulse of hosho marks harmonic segmentsmelodic line starts in high pitch range / “following” part starts when melodic line reaches lower pitch range / main theme begins when melodic line reaches high pitch range again / first & second harmonic segments use higher pitch range / third & fourth segments use lower pitch range

Zimbabwean popular music

Shona word for “struggle”
Invented and popularized by musician thomas mapfumo
Traditional Mbira played on electric instruments.

South Africa
Johannesburg is one capital.

Bantu speaking black ethnic groups include Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho, Bapedi, Venda, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi, Ndebele /

South African History
1795 British colonization.
Diamonds and Gold 1884
African American music was imported 1890s
Ragtime and Jazz 1910s
Urbanization and industrialization
South Africa
largest Bantu-speaking group / Zulu / Xhosa / Swazi
Nguni Music
South Africa

mostly vocal music / few instruments / no drum ensembles

Nguni vocal Music
South Africa

intricate polyphonic texture / non-simultaneous entries / overlapping phrases / no cadence points / call-and-response form / high voice sings lead melody / chorus sings ostinato patterns / syncopated rhythms / choreographed movements (ingoma) / music linked closely to movement

Zulu Male choral Music
South Africa

Unaccompanied choral singing
indigenous Zulu choral traditions combined with European church & African-American popular music
evolved in workers hostels & work camps / developed by migrant workers & urban working class / singing competitions / channeled energies & aggressions

European Church music
four-part harmony (SATB) / basic chord progression (I-IV-V-I)
African American Music
Minstrelsy & Jubilee / Orpheus McAdoo & Virginia Jubilee Singers (1890s) / choreographed movements / coordinated costumes
South Africa
all-male close harmony singing / high lead singer (falsetto) / bass & tenor back-up singers

hit song “Mbube” (Lion) by Solomon Linda & His Evening Birds (1939) / covered in USA as “Wimoweh” by Weavers (1951 / #6 USA) & as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by Tokens (1961 / #1 USA)

Ishikwela jo
South Africa

(WWII) = harsh & strident singing style / bombing (shouts)

Cothoza mfana
South Africa
Smooth Close harmony singing
South Africa

(1960s) = contemporary male choral music / Joseph Shabalala & Ladysmith Black Mambazo / smooth close harmony singing / grunts, groans & shouts (imitate animals) / Paul Simon & album “Graceland” (1986) / success in USA (TV & films)

Phesheya Mama
South Africa
Mbube vocal choir
performed at Utrecht Zulu Singing Competition