Pro Musica Nipponia
Japanese English
SHAKUHACHI

Shakuhachi is categorized into "flute family" instrument, made of bamboo, a vertical pipe without a lied. There are some kinds of length by each semitone, according to keys, but we usually use Fis-pipe, E-pipe, D-pipe, C-pipe, H-pipe, and A-pipe. Aliases such like Fis-pipe or A-pipe are called by the each lowest tone, so Shakuhachi is not a transposition instrument. The sheet music must be written in truth tone. Expect the case that length is specified, each of the players select the length of the instrument considering its key. This is also performed during a musical performance too, such when the key moved. There are two types of Shakuhachi. The difference between them is the number of finger wholes, one has five finger holes and the other has seven. We select either of them according to the tune. Originally, Shakuhachi is "five finger holes-shakuhachi". There are five finger holes and arranged " mi/sol/la/si/re/mi " from each lowest tone. " seven finger holes-shakuhachi" was developed in the middle of 20th century, and generally used for contemporary music. There are seven finger holes, and arranged " mi/fa/sol/la/si/do/re/mi " from each lowest tone. According to the key, the length of the instrument becomes different, so the compass is also different by each instrument. Refer to the table below. In the table, tones which are written in whole tone, are the tones which finger holes are opened fully, and written in black tones are the tones which finger holes are half opened. Dynamic ranges are different according to the tones. Usually we use tones bound with slur. Higher sound can also be played, but it is difficult to play legato.

Five-holes Shakuhachi
(notes indicated as x are not able to play by Five-holes Shakuhachi)

G-pipe


Fis-pipe (comparatively used in Pro Musica Nipponia, commonly called isshaku-yonsun)


F-pipe


E-pipe (most generally used, commonly called isshaku-rokusun)


Dis-pipe


D-pipe (most generally used, commonly called isshaku-hassun)


Cis-pipe


C-pipe (comparatively used in Pro Musica Nipponia, commonly called nishaku)


H-pipe (comparatively used in Pro Musica Nipponia, commonly called nishaku-issun)



A-pipe (comparatively used in Pro Musica Nipponia, commonly called nishaku-sanzun)


Seven-holes Shakuhachi
G-pipe


Fis-pipe (comparatively used in Pro Musica Nipponia, commonly called isshaku-yonsun)


F-pipe


E-pipe (most generally used, commonly called isshaku-rokusun)


Dis-pipe


D-pipe (most generally used, commonly called isshaku-hassun)


Cis-pipe


C-pipe (comparatively used in Pro Musica Nipponia, commonly called nishaku)




H-pipe (comparatively used in Pro Musica Nipponia, commonly called nishaku-issun)


A-pipe (comparatively used in Pro Musica Nipponia, commonly called nishaku-sanzun)


<register and timbrel technique of Shakuhachi>
Same as (western) flute, the whole rage of the register of Shakuhachi is divided into three octaves; low, middle, and high depending on its fingering. The lowest octave (first octave) coincides to the second, while some irregular preparation is necessary in the third (high) octave.
The dynamic range of in each register is exactly same as the case of flute; fortessimo in low register or pianissimo in very high register needs player's advanced technique.
There are special ways on Shakuhachi playing that would be sharing a sense with western modern (avant-garde) music. Modern ways in flute playing developed in 20 century in western music, have traditionally been practiced in the field of traditional music of Shakuhachi.
Some timbrel effects on shakuhachi.
over blow (With breath noise) usually notated by a line over the stave like cresendo
- Sorane (staccato by over blow) usually notated by special (composer's own) sign like *
- Flutter tonguing (in general notation)
- Yuri (vibrato by shaking heard)
horizontal Yuri: amplitude modulation
vertical Yuri: pitch modulation (in a semitone higher and lower)

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