Description

The term enka (演歌)was originally used to refer political protest songs from the late 19th century. First used in the contempory sense in the mid-1960s, the term was used to denote music that combined Western melodies, instrumentation and notation with Japanese style vocalization and rhythms, often using a pentatonic scale. The style developed in the late 1930s, and was influenced by Scottish, Irish, Italian and Russian folk melodies, chanson and big band, as well as drawing on Japanese musical traditions. The popularity of artists like Misora Hibari starting in the 1950s solidified it's place in Japanese popular music, especially for older listeners. The genre's popularity started to wane in the 1970s as rock and Western style pop became more popular, though some artists like Hibari had hits into the 1980s and beyond. Basically Enka must be minor melody song that made without the scale of the "Fa" and "Si". Enka and J-pop can not coexist on the same genre. Archetypal enka singers employ a style of melisma—where a single syllable of text is sung while moving between several different notes in succession—known as kobushi. Kobushi occurs when the pitch of the singer's voice fluctuates irregularly within one scale degree; this compares with vibrato, which vibrates in a regular cycle. The kobushi technique is not limited to enka, as can be heard in the Italian song "Santa Lucia." In the late 1930s and early '40s, the music of composer Masao Koga began to resemble Buddhist shomyo-chanting possibly because his record label asked him to produce music. Although Koga became a composer whose work is considered seminal to the creation of the genre, present-day enka is different from Koga's primary music because the singing styles of many postwar singers were different from the kobushi of Koga's musical note.
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