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This volume, published in Japan, is by far the most comprehensive playing guide and history of the shakuhachi to come out thus far. Divided into two parts, it includes a complete playing manual which begins with information on bamboo and flute making techniques and goes on to discuss structure, care and handling of the instrument. There are chapters which explain fingering, ornamentation and reading the traditional Kinko Ryu notation. The second section of the book is a well-researched history of the shakuhachi. It is translated by Blasdel and adapted from a work by Yuko Kamisango, a recognized authority on Edo Period music in Japan.
THE SHAKUHACHI: A MANUAL FOR LEARNING was originally published twenty years ago by Ongaku no Tomo-sha, Japan's leading music publisher. It went through six printings and can still be found in many libraries, both public and private, around the world. This new version, published by Printed Matter Press, Tokyo, has been greatly updated, revised and made more affordable for shakuhachi enthusiasts. The new additions include the practice exercises re-written in easy-to-read computer generated fonts, a section on modulation in shakuhachi music, and a new chapter entitled, "Walking on its Own," a comprehensive and up to date treatment of contemporary shakuhachi history. There are also many new photographs and diagrams as well as listings of published music and places to purchase or have shakuhachi repaired.
Several practice exercises are provided in a separately-bound supplement written in both Japanese cursive and western notation. These exercises include folk songs, children's music and classical shakuhachi pieces which are recorded on an accompanying CD.
Also included are appendices of music publishers and stores selling shakuhachi flutes as well as a bibliography and complete index. Many photographs and illustrations.
Chapter and Subsection Titles
Preface to the New Edition
Part I - Learning to Play
1. The Materials
Part II - The Shakuhachi—Its History and Development
1. Types of Shakuhachi Found in Japan
Part III - The Shakuhachi—Walking on its Own
200 pages. PG-1
Christopher Yohmei Blasdel, born in Texas, began the shakuhachi and studies of Japanese music in 1972 with shakuhachi master, Living National Treasure Goro Yamaguchi. He received a teaching license and the professional name "Yohmei" from Yamaguchi in 1984. At the same time, he completed graduate work in ethnomusicology at Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. A permanent resident of Japan, he has performed, taught and lectured throughout China, Thailand, Europe, North America, Mexico, India, Malaysia and the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. He has been a visiting artist in residence at Earlham College, Richmond Indiana, guest professor at the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, invited artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, resident of Centrum Arts Center and recently awarded an Asian Cultural Council grant to study the transmission of Thai traditional music. He was an executive director of the Boulder World Shakuhachi Festival 1998 and is the artistic director of the Fukuoka Gendai Hogaku Festival for contemporary Japanese music. His book, "A Shakuhachi Oddyssey," written in Japanese, is published by Kawade Shobo Shinsha and was awarded the prestigious Rennyo Award for nonfiction.
In his musical activities, Blasdel maintains a balance between traditional shakuhachi music, modern compositions and cross-genre work with a great variety of well-known musicians, dancers, poets, and painters, both Western and Eastern. Blasdel presently performs, teaches, and records in Japan and around the world. He works as Advisor to the Arts Program at the International House of Japan, is part-time lecturer at International Christian University and Temple University in Tokyo, teaches privately at the Asahi Culture Center in Shinjuku and writes regularly for The Japan Times.
THE SINGLE TONE: A Personal Journey into Shakuhachi Music
THE ZEN MIND Video
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