Main Article Content
A puzzling situation defines the contemporary transmission of nō theater. On one hand, the genre’s community of practice is governed by strict orders to preserve musical sound through repeated imitation and to avoid change at all costs. On the other hand, the community discourages explicit dialogue between teachers and learners concerning what exactly constitutes those ideal musical sounds as well as the extent to which those sonic ideals are being faithfully maintained across performances. With a focus on the transmission of hiranori vocal rhythms, Fujita explores the ambivalent strategies with which participants navigate this conundrum and discovers a paradoxical process by which nō theater’s so-called “preservation imperative” actually encourages musical change.
Citation: Fujita, Takanori. The Community of Classical Japanese Music Transmission: The Preservation Imperative and the Production of Change in Nō. Translated by Edgar W. Pope. Ethnomusicology Translations, no. 9. Bloomington, IN: Society for Ethnomusicology, 2019.
Originally published in Japanese as “Koten ongaku denshō no kyōdōtai: nō ni okeru hozon meirei to henka no sōshutsu." In Shintai no kōchikugaku: shakaiteki gakushū katei toshite no shintai gihō, edited by Fukushima Masato, 357-413. Tokyo: Hitsuji Shobō, 1995.
Note to Reader: This 2.5 mb PDF file includes photographs, musical transcriptions, and embedded audio tracks. Embedded audio will not work when viewed in a browser; the file must be downloaded and opened in Adobe Acrobat. Please ensure that your Flash Player is up to date and that Acrobat "trusts" the document.
A copyright holder of an original article published in this series agrees to the following terms:
By submitting to Ethnomusicology Translations, the copyright holder grants to Ethnomusicology Translations the non-exclusive right to translate the submission into English.
By submitting to Ethnomusicology Translations, the copyright holder grants to Ethnomusicology Translations the non-exclusive right to distribute an English-language translation of the submission worldwide in electronic format, print format, and/or any other medium.
The copyright holder represents that the submission is an original work and that they possess the right to grant the rights contained in this agreement. The copyright holder also represents that the submission does not, to the best of their knowledge, infringe upon anyone’s copyright.
A translator who publishes with this series agree to the following terms:
The translator retains the copyright to his/her translation.
By submitting to Ethnomusicology Translations, the translator grants to Ethnomusicology Translations the non-exclusive right to reproduce, transform (as defined below), and/or distribute his/her submission worldwide in electronic format, print format, and/or any other medium.
The translator agrees that Ethnomusicology Translations may, without changing the content, transform the submission to any medium or format for the purpose of preservation.
The translator agrees that Ethnomusicology Translations may keep more than one copy of this submission for purposes of security, back-up, and preservation.
The translator represents that the submission is his/her original translation and that he/she has the right to grant the rights contained in this agreement. The translator also represents that his/her submission does not, to the best of his/her knowledge, infringe upon anyone’s copyright.
The translator may enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of Ethnomusicology Translations’ published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgment of its initial publication in Ethnomusicology Translations.