The shakuhachi (尺八 (しゃくはち)? IPA: [ɕakɯhatɕi]) is a Japanese end-blown flute which is held vertically like a recorder, instead of transversely like the Western transverse flute. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Japan topics. The end-blown flute or rim-blown flute is a keyless Woodwind instrument played by directing an airstream against the sharp edge of the upper end of a tube The recorder is a woodwind Musical instrument of the family known as Fipple Flutes ' or internal duct flutes &mdash whistle-like A transverse flute or side-blown flute is a Flute which is held horizontally when played Its name means "1. 8 foot", its size. It is traditionally made of bamboo, but versions now exist in wood and plastic. Bamboo is a group of Woody perennial Evergreen Plants in the True grass family Poaceae, subfamily It was used by the monks of the Fuke sect of Zen Buddhism in the practice of suizen (blowing meditation). Fuke Zen (普化禪 was a branch of Zen Buddhism which existed in Japan from the 13th century until the late 19th century Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism, referred to in Chinese as Chan. Buddhism is a family of beliefs and practices Suizen (吹禅 is a Zen practice consisting of playing the Shakuhachi Bamboo Flute as a means of attaining self-realization Its soulful sound made it popular in Western 1980s pop music.
The name shakuhachi means "1. 8 foot", from its size. It is a compound of two words:
Thus, "shaku-hachi" means "one foot eight" (almost 55 centimeters), the standard length of a shakuhachi. Other shakuhachi vary in length from about 1. 3 shaku up to 3. 3 shaku. (The longer the shakuhachi, the lower its tuning. ) Although the sizes differ, they are all still referred to generically as "shakuhachi".
A recorder player blows into a duct, a narrow wind-way over a block called a "fipple", and thus has limited pitch control. Fipple Flute or Tubular Ducted Flute mouthpieces are commonly found on end-blown Woodwind instruments such as the Tin whistle and the Recorder The shakuhachi player blows as one would blow across the top of an empty bottle (though the shakuhachi has a sharp edge to blow against) and has substantial pitch control. The five finger holes are tuned to a pentatonic scale with no half-tones, but the player can bend each pitch as much as a whole tone or more, using techniques called meri and kari, in which the blowing angle is adjusted to bend the pitch downward and upward, respectively. A pentatonic scale is a musical scale with five pitches per Octave in contrast to an heptatonic (seven note scale such as the Major scale Kari, in Shakuhachi music is both a property of a note and a technique Pitches may also be lowered by shading or partially covering finger holes. Since most pitches can be achieved via several different fingering or blowing techniques on the shakuhachi, the timbre of each possibility is taken into account when composing or playing. In Music, timbre (ˈtæm-bər' like timber, or, from Fr timbre tɛ̃bʁ is the quality of a Musical note or sound that distinguishes different The shakuhachi has a range of two full octaves (the lower is called otsu, the upper, kan) and a partial third octave (dai-kan). The different octaves are produced using subtle variations of breath and embouchure. The embouchure is the use of facial muscles and the shaping of the lips to the Mouthpiece of a Wind instrument.
A 1. 8 shakuhachi produces D4 (D above Middle C, 293. 66Hz) as its fundamental - the lowest note it produces with all five finger holes covered, and a normal blowing angle. In contrast, a 2. 4 shakuhachi has a fundamental of A3 (A below Middle C, 220Hz). As the length increases, the spacing of the finger holes also increases, stretching both fingers and technique. Longer flutes often have offset finger holes, and very long flutes are almost always custom made to suit individual players. Some honkyoku, in particular those of the Nezasaha (Kimpu-ryu) school are intended to be played on these longer flutes. Honkyoku (本曲 "original pieces" are the pieces of Shakuhachi or Hocchiku music played by Mendicant Japanese Zen monks
Much of the shakuhachi's subtlety (and player's skill) lies in its rich tone colouring, and the ability for its variation. Different fingerings, embouchures and amounts of meri can produce notes of the same pitch, but with subtle or dramatic differences in the tone colouring. The embouchure is the use of facial muscles and the shaping of the lips to the Mouthpiece of a Wind instrument. The honkyoku pieces rely heavily on this aspect of the instrument to enhance their subtlety and depth. Honkyoku (本曲 "original pieces" are the pieces of Shakuhachi or Hocchiku music played by Mendicant Japanese Zen monks
Shakuhachi are usually made from the root end of a bamboo culm and are extremely versatile instruments. Bamboo is a group of Woody perennial Evergreen Plants in the True grass family Poaceae, subfamily Holes can be covered partially (1/3 covered, 1/2, 2/3, etc. ) and pitch varied subtly or substantially by changing the blowing angle. Professional players can produce virtually any pitch they wish from the instrument, and play a wide repertoire of original Zen music, ensemble music with koto, biwa and shamisen, folk music, jazz, and other modern pieces. Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism, referred to in Chinese as Chan. The koto ( 琴 or 箏) is a traditional Japanese stringed Musical instrument derived from the Chinese Zither ( Guzheng The biwa ( 琵琶) is a Japanese short-necked fretted Lute, and a close variant of the Chinese Pipa. The shamisen or samisen ( Japanese: 三[[wiktionary 味|味]] 線, literally "three flavor strings" also called sangen (literally
Due to the skill required, the time involved, and the range of quality in materials to craft bamboo shakuhachi, one can expect to pay from USD 300 to USD 5,000 for a new or used flute. The United States dollar ( sign: $; code: USD) is the unit of Currency of the United States; it has also been Because each piece of bamboo is unique, shakuhachi cannot be mass-produced, and craftsmen must spend much time finding the correct bore shape for each individual flute to result in correct pitch over all notes. Specimens of extremely high quality, with valuable inlays, or of historical significance can fetch USD 10,000 or more. Plastic or PVC shakuhachi have some advantages over their traditional bamboo counterparts: they are light weight, extremely durable, nearly impervious to heat and cold, and typically cost less than USD 100. Shakuhachi made of wood are also available, typically costing less than bamboo but more than synthetic materials. Nearly all players, however, prefer bamboo, citing tonal qualities, aesthetics, and tradition.
The bamboo flute first came to Japan from China. A was a Mendicant Monastic of the Fuke school of Zen Buddhism. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Japan topics. China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National The shakuhachi proper, however, is quite distinct from its Chinese  and Korean ancestors, the result of centuries of isolated evolution in Japan.
During the medieval period, shakuhachi were most notable for their role in the Fuke sect of Zen Buddhist monks, known as komusō ("priests of nothingness," or "emptiness monks"), who used the shakuhachi as a spiritual tool. Fuke Zen (普化禪 was a branch of Zen Buddhism which existed in Japan from the 13th century until the late 19th century A was a Mendicant Monastic of the Fuke school of Zen Buddhism. Their songs (called "honkyoku") were paced according to the players' breathing and were considered meditation (suizen) as much as music. Honkyoku (本曲 "original pieces" are the pieces of Shakuhachi or Hocchiku music played by Mendicant Japanese Zen monks
Travel around Japan was restricted by the shogunate at this time, but the Fuke sect managed to wrangle an exemption from the Shogun, since their spiritual practice required them to move from place to place playing the shakuhachi and begging for alms (one famous song reflects this mendicant tradition, "Hi fu mi, hachi gaeshi", "One two three, pass the alms bowl"). is a military rank and historical title in Japan. The Japanese word for "general" it is made up of two Kanji words sho, meaning "commander" They persuaded the Shogun to give them "exclusive rights" to play the instrument. In return, some were required to spy for the shogunate, and the Shogun sent several of his own spies out in the guise of Fuke monks as well. This was made easier by the wicker baskets that the Fuke wore over their heads, a symbol of their detachment from the world.
In response to these developments, several particularly difficult honkyoku pieces, e. g. , Shika no tone, became well-known as "tests": if you could play them, you were a real Fuke. If you couldn't, you were probably a spy and might very well be killed if you were in unfriendly territory.
With the Meiji Restoration, beginning in 1868, the shogunate was abolished and so was the Fuke sect, in order to help identify and eliminate the shogun's holdouts. The, also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution, or Renewal, was a chain of events that led to enormous changes in Japan 's political and social structure Fuke Zen (普化禪 was a branch of Zen Buddhism which existed in Japan from the 13th century until the late 19th century The very playing of the shakuhachi was officially forbidden for a few years. Non-Fuke folk traditions did not suffer greatly from this, since the tunes could be played just as easily on another pentatonic instrument. However, the honkyoku repertoire was known exclusively to the Fuke sect and transmitted by repetition and practice, and much of it was lost, along with many important documents.
When the Meiji government did permit the playing of shakuhachi again, it was only as an accompanying instrument to the koto, shamisen, etc. The Government of Meiji period Japan from 1868-1911 was an evolution of institutions and structures from the feudal order of the Tokugawa bakufu towards The koto ( 琴 or 箏) is a traditional Japanese stringed Musical instrument derived from the Chinese Zither ( Guzheng The shamisen or samisen ( Japanese: 三[[wiktionary 味|味]] 線, literally "three flavor strings" also called sangen (literally It was not until later that honkyoku were allowed to be played publicly again as solo pieces.
Shakuhachi has traditionally been played almost exclusively by men in Japan, although this situation is rapidly changing. Many teachers of traditional shakuhachi music indicate that a majority of their students are women. The 2004 Big Apple Shakuhachi Festival in New York City hosted the first-ever concert of international women shakuhachi masters.
New recordings of shakuhachi music are relatively plentiful, especially on Japanese labels and increasingly so in North America, Europe, and Australia. Although the instrument is sometimes considered quaint and outdated in Japan, it is experiencing growth overseas. The primary genres of shakuhachi music are:
Shakuhachi are often used in modern film scores, particularly ones by James Horner. Honkyoku (本曲 "original pieces" are the pieces of Shakuhachi or Hocchiku music played by Mendicant Japanese Zen monks Sankyoku ( 三[[wiktionary 曲|曲]] often romanized sankyōku) is a type of three-member Japanese traditional musical ensemble Shinkyoku are modern musical compositions for Shakuhachi. The term is commonly used to describe early post- Meiji era compositions influenced by western music The, or Meiji era, denotes the 45-year reign of the Meiji Emperor, running in the Gregorian calendar, from 23 October 1868 to 30 July James Roy Horner (born August 14 1953) is an American Composer of orchestral and film music Films in which it is featured prominently include: Legends of the Fall and Braveheart by James Horner, Jurassic Park and its sequels by John Williams and Don Davis, and The Last Samurai by Hans Zimmer and Memoirs of a Geisha by John Williams. Legends of the Fall is a 1994 Drama film based on the 1979 novella of the same title by Jim Harrison. Braveheart is a 1995 historical action-drama movie produced and directed by Mel Gibson, who also starred in the title role James Roy Horner (born August 14 1953) is an American Composer of orchestral and film music Jurassic Park is a 1993 Science fiction film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the novel of the same name by Michael John Towner Williams (born February 8 1932) is an American Composer, conductor and Pianist. The Last Samurai is a 2003 Drama film / War film directed and co-produced by Edward Zwick, who also co-wrote the Screenplay based on Hans Florian Zimmer (born September 12, 1957 in Frankfurt/Main, Germany) is an Academy Award, Grammy, and Golden Memoirs of a Geisha is an Academy-Award -winning movie adaptation of the novel of the same name, produced by Steven Spielberg 's Amblin John Towner Williams (born February 8 1932) is an American Composer, conductor and Pianist.
The sound of the shakuhachi is also featured in western genres of music, from electronica to pop-rock to jazz music, especially after being commonly shipped as a "preset" instrument on various synthesizers and keyboards beginning in the 1980s. Here is a short list of well-known tracks from various musical genres where you can hear the sound of an electronic or emulated shakuhachi:
|Year||Artist or band||Album||Song, range, notes|
|1974||Tangerine Dream||Phaedra||"Sequent C' " [full 2:18 track]|
|1985||Tangerine Dream||Le Parc||"Yellowstone Park" [0:00-0:05, 2:23-2:50]|
|1985||Tangerine Dream||Legend OST||"Opening" [0:00-0:30]|
|1985||Tangerine Dream||Legend OST||"Unicorn Theme" [0:00-0:10]|
|1985||Echo & the Bunnymen||Songs to Learn & Sing||"Bring On the Dancing Horses"|
|1985||Wang Chung||To Live and Die in L.A. (OST)||"Wake Up, Stop Dreaming" [???-???]|
|1986||Coil||Horse Rotorvator||"The First Five Minutes After Death" [1:15-1:45, 2:38-3:38, 4:30-end] - morbid shakuhachi. Tangerine Dream is a German Electronic music group founded in 1967 by Edgar Froese. Phaedra (1974 is an album by the German Electronic music group Tangerine Dream. Tangerine Dream is a German Electronic music group founded in 1967 by Edgar Froese. Tangerine Dream is a German Electronic music group founded in 1967 by Edgar Froese. Legend is a soundtrack album released in 1986 by the German band Tangerine Dream for the North American theatrical version of the film Legend Tangerine Dream is a German Electronic music group founded in 1967 by Edgar Froese. Legend is a soundtrack album released in 1986 by the German band Tangerine Dream for the North American theatrical version of the film Legend Echo & the Bunnymen are an English Post-punk group formed in Liverpool in 1978 Songs to Learn & Sing is a Compilation album by Echo & the Bunnymen which was released on 15 November 1985 (see 1985 in music " Bring On the Dancing Horses " is a single by Echo & the Bunnymen which was released on 14 November 1985. Wang Chung are a British New Wave Musical group. The group found their greatest success in the United States with five Top 40 hits including To Live and Die in LA ( 1985) is a American Neo-noir Crime film directed by William Friedkin and based on the Novel The To Live and Die in LA soundtrack is Wang Chung's third album and second on Geffen Records. Horse Rotorvator is the second LP released by the British industrial group Coil.|
|1986||Peter Gabriel||So||"Sledgehammer" [0:00-0:16, 3:16-3:34]|
|1987||Coil||Gold Is the Metal||"The First Five Minutes After Violent Death" [0:30-1:30, 2:45-3:45, etc. Peter Brian Gabriel (born 13 February 1950 in Chobham, Surrey, England) is an English Musician and Songwriter. So is the fifth studio album (and seventh album overall by British rock musician Peter Gabriel, released in 1986 " Sledgehammer " is a hit song by Peter Gabriel from his 1986 album So. Gold Is the Metal with the Broadest Shoulders was the third album released by Coil in the year 1987 ] - morbid shakuhachi.|
|1987||Coil||Unnatural History III||"Music for Commercials": Liqueur [0:41-1:26] Natural Gas [03:15-04:00]|
|1987||Roger Waters||Radio K.A.O.S.||"Me or Him" [0:09-0:22, 1:27-1:35, 2:06-2:20, etc. Unnatural History III was the third in a series of three compilation albums by Coil. George Roger Waters (born 6 September 1943 in Great Bookham, Surrey) is an English rock musician Radio KAOS is a 1987 Concept album / Rock opera by former Pink Floyd bassist and songwriter Roger Waters. ]|
|1988||And Also The Trees||The Millpond Years||"The Sandstone Man" [0:33-0:39, 3:25-4:36]|
|1988||Sade||Stronger Than Pride||"Love Is Stronger Than Pride" [0:28-0:33, 2:08-2:14, 2:28-2:33, 3:08-3:30, etc. And Also The Trees are a Gothic rock band formed in 1979 in the United Kingdom. See also Sade (band Helen Folasade Adu, OBE, (born 16 January 1959 better known as Sade (pronounced "shah-day" ʃɑːˈdeɪ is a Stronger Than Pride is the third Studio album by the English group Sade, released in 1988 on Epic Records. ]|
|Here Today, Tomorrow, Next Week!||"Pump" [2:06-2:22]|
|1990||Enigma||MCMXC a.D.||"Sadeness (Principles of Lust, Part 1)" [1:14-1:54, 2:56-3:16]|
|1991||Klaus Schulze||Beyond Recall||"Airlights" [0:00-0:05, 0:15-0:20, 0:40-0:50, 1:00-1:05, etc. The Sugarcubes ( Sykurmolarnir in Icelandic) were an Icelandic Alternative rock band formed in 1986 and disbanded in 1992 Björk Guðmundsdóttir (born 21 November 1965 is an Icelandic Singer-songwriter, Composer, actress and music producer. Here Today Tomorrow Next Week! was the second album released by the Icelandic alternative rock - pop band The Sugarcubes. Enigma is German electronic musical project founded by Michael Cretu, David Fairstein and Frank Peterson in 1990 MCMXC aD ( 1990 in Roman numerals followed by a seemingly incorrect abbreviation of " Anno Domini " is a Concept album created " Sadeness (Part I " is a 1990 song created by the musical project Enigma. Klaus Schulze (born August 4, 1947) is a German Electronic music Composer and musician. Beyond Recall is the twenty-third album by Klaus Schulze. Track listing "Gringo Nero" – 2654 "Trancess" ]|
|1993||Dave Brubeck||Late Night Brubeck||"Koto Song" [4:30-9:50] - Bobby Militello's flute emulation|
|1993||Future Sound of London||Cascade||"Cascade 1" [2:05-6:25] + "Cascade 6" [1:40-2:15] - opener/closer tracks|
|1994||Future Sound of London||Lifeforms||"Little Brother" [4:00-5:13(end)] - closer track|
|1994||Klaus Schulze as|
|Trancelation||"The End - Someday" [2:17-2:36]|
|1995||Michael Bolton||Greatest Hits (1985-1995)||"Can I Touch You. David Warren Brubeck (born December 6, 1920 in Concord California) better known as Dave Brubeck, is an American jazz pianist Robert Philip Militello, better known as Bobby Militello, Bob Militello, or Bobby M, (born 25 March 1950 in Buffalo New York The Future Sound of London (often abbreviated to FSOL) are a prolific British Electronic music band comprised of Garry Cobain and Brian "Cascade" is the first single from Future Sound of London 's 1994 Lifeforms album The Future Sound of London (often abbreviated to FSOL) are a prolific British Electronic music band comprised of Garry Cobain and Brian Lifeforms is a 1994 double album by experimental electronica group The Future Sound of London. Klaus Schulze (born August 4, 1947) is a German Electronic music Composer and musician. Klaus Schulze (born August 4, 1947) is a German Electronic music Composer and musician. Michael Bolton (born Michael Bolotin on February 26, 1953) is an American Singer-songwriter, best known for his Soft rock . . There?" [0:00-0:04, 3:26-3:50, 4:24-5:07]|
|1998||Symphony X||Twilight in Olympus||"Lady of the Snow" [0:00-0:26]|
|2001||John Zorn||The Gift||"Samarkan" [0:00-6:39] actual instrument|
|2003||Linkin Park||Meteora||"Nobody's Listening" [0:00-2:57]|
|2004||Autumn Tears||Eclipse||"At a Distance" [0:32-0:56, 1:19-2:15, 2:37-3:04, 3:47-4:15]|