A Conductor's Introduction to the Performance of Modern Japanese Choral Music
AuthorHowell, Matthew Clayton
Japanese Choral Music
AdvisorChamberlain, Bruce B
Committee ChairChamberlain, Bruce B
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractCurrently in Japan there are 5,202 choirs registered as part of the Japan Choral Association. The majority of these choirs are amateur or professional choirs. This situation contrasts with that in the United States where colleges and universities are the primary entities perpetuating the advancement of the choral art. Most likely because of this, there is little if any academic investigation of modern Japanese choral music. Even in Japan, there is not a substantial body of academic study of this literature. As a result, this repertoire is seldom, if ever, performed outside of Japan.Numerous problems confront Western choral conductors interested in programming modern Japanese choral music that is based on traditional Japanese musical idioms. In this document, I have provided information that will allow Japanese choral literature to be accessible to non-Japanese speaking conductors. This information is divided into four areas. First, an overview of Japanese music history is provided. Next, a discussion of the elements of traditional Japanese music such as genre types, modes and tonalities provides the necessary background for a conductor to approach modern Japanese choral music. Third, a practical method whereby non-Japanese speaking choral conductors may transcribe the two phonetic Japanese alphabets into readable English phonetics is proposed. Fourth, a practical approach to the performance of modern Japanese choral music, inclusive of various musical genres, voicing, and instrumental complements is suggested. Discussion of representative choral works by three native composers including a work based on a folk tune, a work for women's chorus, a work for men's chorus, and a composition for mixed chorus and traditional Japanese instrumental complement provides concrete application of the aforementioned discussions.Lastly, in this document I will provide information on several contemporary native Japanese composers, their compositions, and their publishing companies to facilitate the acquisition and performance of this rich choral repertory.