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3466Re: [SCA-JML] greetings!

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  • Anthony J. Bryant
    Feb 6, 2001
      Confucius wrote:

      > > 'Fraid not. My sources indicate that the shamisen started
      > appearing in
      > > Japan in "early Edo" -- which is typically defined as
      > anywhere from 1610
      > > to 1680. If it were before 1610, they usually say
      > "Momoyama - early
      > > Edo." And the shamisen wasn't an accepted "court
      > instrument," either, no
      > > more than the banjo is typically found in an orchestra. It
      > was very much
      > > a commoner instrument, and more or less took the place of
      > the biwa as a
      > > joururi instrument.
      > Ah, okay. Well, any other possibilities for a 16th c.
      > stringed instrument (not as expensive as the biwa) that I've
      > overlooked?

      Given any thought to the fue or shakuhachi? They're a heck of a lot more
      portable... 'Course, you can't sing *and* play... There's the koto, but
      you have more issues to deal with in terms of lugging the thing around
      and tuning it each time you play. That's primarily why I gave up the
      koto, although there are times I wish I'd've stayed with it.

      > > The jabisen arrived in Okinawa or Japan sometime c. 1570,
      > and was
      > > modified between 1595 and 1625 into the shamisen, and then
      > started to
      > > gain popularity in Japan proper.
      > Wait--so, might I be safe with the Chinese version, then (it
      > arrived in Japan ca. 1570?)? Or would nobody have had those
      > in "Japan proper" until it became the shamisen?

      If you can find a jabisen.

      If you want to do shamisen, I think you have to give up the idea of
      being a monk. Shamisen didn't really make it early on as a monastic
      instrument; the tradition of the biwa was far too strong. If you *must*
      get a shamisen, develop an entertainer persona, as these would have been
      the folks popularizing it.

      > > Personally, I like shamisen, but they are quintessentially
      > Edo
      > > intstruments, and I'm just as annoyed by the thought of a
      > shamisen at an
      > > event as I am a modern-style guitar (which is also far too
      > common in the
      > > SCA).
      > Yes, I know your pain. Guitars still annoy me, but
      > unfortunately I've been numbed to almost-indifference by
      > people playing modern violin. However, I still have a
      > crusade against obviously post-period folk songs. Where I
      > am, nobody save myself performs actual medieval music...all
      > folk songs, and 17th c. stuff at best. I once heard some
      > ladies perform a badly-pronounced Arabic "tribal folk song"
      > in 5-part harmony...Oh, how I cringed.
      > >
      > >> (as a side note, Japanese folk singing is so hard to get
      > right! Has
      > >> anybody had any luck?)
      > > Some, yes. The tone waver problem is tough, as is singing
      > like I have a
      > > head cold. <G>
      > Yes! :) I have a lot of trouble getting Italian styles,
      > too. But you've had some luck? Any tips?
      > So, are you a musician?

      No, I just spent a lot of time in bars singing enka. And I have some
      friends (well, had... I've not been in contact for a while...sigh) who
      are Noh performers, and who showed me lots of cool tricks. Don't ask how
      long it took me to learn just to *walk* for Noh. And it's been like 10
      years, so of course I've forgotten it all and wasted yet another cool
      thing I once knew how to do. That sux, b'lieve me.

      No, I'm not a musician. Not a singer, either, as you'd know if you'd
      ever been in Usami when I had the mike. <G>

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