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Title: Musical life in regional cities of the 1920s and '30s: a preliminary consideration of Kawagoe
Contributor(s): de Ferranti, Hugh (author)
Publication Date: 2007
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Abstract: Between 1985 and the late 1990s most of my research involved spending time with biwa players who had acquired their musical skills in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyushu during the 1920s and '30s. My concerns were with the world of biwa singing as they had experienced it, variously as aspiring young professionals in the nationally popular styles of Satsumabiwa and Chikuzenbiwa or as blind entertainers and ritualists in the remote countryside of southern Japan. In retrospect, perhaps I did my utmost to ignore the fact that those men grew up in a world where music-making and consumption occurred in a setting quite unlike that that which prevailed in the world of traditional music as I knew it. For decades after the Second World War traditional and non-traditional musics existed in fiercely guarded enclaves with little or no contact beyond the experiments of modernist concert-hall composers such as Takemitsu, musicians who were not of the 'hôgaku' world and who worked with mavericks from within it to produce their experimental works. The Satsumabiwa player with whom I studied between 1985 and 1989, Fumon Yoshinori, once told me that when he started learning biwa in the mid-1920s he had also hoped to learn Spanish guitar, having been inspired by records and the occasion of a concert by Andre Segovia in central Osaka. Fumon spoke to me of this in 1988, but it took me seventeen years to begin to think about the kind of inclusive, discriminating, but non-discriminatory attitude to musical experience that lay behind those words. The investigation I've recently begun, and intend to pursue for some years to come, is an attempt to understand that attitude's origins in the musical life of the interwar decades.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: The Journal of Daito Asian Studies [Daito Gakuronshu], v.7, p. 111-119
Publisher: Department of Asian Area Studies, Graduate School of Daito Bunka University
Place of Publication: Tokyo, Japan
Field of Research (FOR): 210302 Asian History
190409 Musicology and Ethnomusicology
200518 Literature in Japanese
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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