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Music from the Tang Court


  • 8 tables 22 music examples
  • Page extent: 328 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.53 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521543361)

The series of volumes of Music from the Tang Court considers a repertory of music at least 1400 years old. During the two centuries before 841 the Japanese Court borrowed a large amount of secular entertainment music from China. This 'Tang Music' (Togaku) survives in Japan in a substantial body of manuscripts, but is transformed in character in contemporary performance. This edition transcribes and comments on the music as it survives in its earliest sources. This process has revealed surprising evidence for ancient interconnections in Asian musics, and the essays in this seventh volume present aspects of this research to date. They provide evidence, for example, of music in a scale of four notes only from Bali and from Ancient China, as well as, most significantly, for the transportation from the Tang capital to Japan of 'several tens of scrolls of music in tablature'.

• Part of the internationally recognised series transcribing the Chinese music brought to Japan 1400 years ago • This volume contains extended essays covering key factors of the research of over 20 years • Claims interconnections between the musics of Asia which has hitherto been unrecognised


Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. How the Togaku repertory was acquired by the Japanese; and the processes of 'acculturation' that followed its acquisition Laurence Picken; 2. In search of the music of pre-Nara Japan Laurence Picken, Noël Nickson and Okamoto Miyoko; 3. 'Old Music', 'New Music', and other classificatory terms in the musical vocabularies of Late Nara and Heian, Japan Laurence Picken; 4. Locational and functional names of notes in modal note-sets across Eurasia Laurence Picken and Noël Nickson; 5. Modal note-sets and related matters in Ancient China; in Ancient and Modern India and Persia; in Ancient Greece Laurence Picken; 6. The modal system of Togaku as a vestige of 28 mode-keys of the Tang inheritance: different modes with like finals; like modes with different finals Laurence Picken; 7. Parallels in the organization of music in time in Indonesia, Ancient India and Ancient China Laurence Picken, Nicholas Gray and Robert Walker; Envoi; Cumulative bibliography.


Laurence Picken, Noël Nickson, Okamoto Miyoko, Nicholas Gray, Robert Walker

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