Min'yō Music Description

Min'yō / Minyou is generic name of Japanese old trad song. Since Min'yō is Japanese original music that continues from ancient times to the present, it does not have a Western scale and Western instruments are not used. As rare case, singer sometimes sing along with Western instruments for contemporary music, but it will be Kayōkyoku. Fusion, Jazz, and Easy Listening also has cover of Min'yo songs using Western instruments. Even Disco and Funk have cover of Min'yo songs. They are crossover music using Min'yo famous songs.

The Western scale is seven scales. However, the Japanese scale is five scales. The Japanese scale "ヨナ抜き" (Yona-nuki : "Yo" means 4, "Na" means 7, "Nuki" means Without) It without using 4 "Fa" and 7 "Si". Also other Japanese scale "ニロ抜き" (Niro-nuki : "Ni" means 2, "Ro" means 6, "Nuki" means Without) It without using 2 "Re" and 6 "La". The vocal does not have Kobushi (Enka vibrato). You can judge Min'yō from this sound. Or in many cases 民謡 is printed on cover and label so you can judge Min'yō. 民謡 is old trad song from all over Japan. The area name is printed next to "民謡" credit.

These are the types of Minyou.

追分 Oiwake means the branch point of the Japanese country road. It is a traditional song that was sung in that area. As a musical characteristic of 追分 Oiwake, Rhythm does not have a clear meter (You can not hit a crap hand well) Wide range (there are many songs from high voice to low voice) Extend the vowel (one-tone and multiple-voice type, often one character of lyrics etc. is extended for a long time like a Melisma)

甚句 Zinku (都々逸 Dodoitsu) It is estimated that it occurred during the Edo period. It is characterized by lyrics constituting 1 chorus with 7, 7, 7 and 5 (都々逸 Dodoitsu). Various lyrics were invented. 5, 7, 7, 5 in some cases. Many folk songs throughout the country have this form. There are both a melisma type and a syllable type. A shout is inserted, which is often inserted before and after lyrics.

シマ唄 Shima-uta is Min'yō from 鹿児島県奄美群島 (Amami Islands) which 沖縄 Okinawa and 鹿児島 Kagoshima people' trad song.

And 労働歌 Roudouka = Work song. It belong under the Min'yō. These traditional work songs are songs that have been inherited by workers from a long time ago.

馬子唄 Mago-Uta is a song for a person to sing while leading a horse. It also called 馬追い歌 (Umaoi-Uta)、馬喰節 (Bakurou-Bushi). Many lyrics are in Zinku style (1 chorus with 7, 7, 7 and 5) It is difficult because it has melisma style and does not have a constant rhythm. Likewise, cow songs fall into this category.

舟歌 Funa-Uta is Sailor's song. It’s kind of Work song.

木遣唄 Kiyari-Uta is song for carrying heavy logs, workmen's chant while pulling a heavy load.

地突唄 Zitsuki-Uta, According to Japanese trad music classification, it is one of work songs. It's the workers singing with shout when hardening the construction site before building the house. We will hang a weight of about 112.5 kilograms by assembling a large wooden scaffold. 16 to 30 people with rope attached to this are pulled up rhythmically when singing it with shout. This will facilitate integration of work.

ユンタ Yunta is is a form of trad song transmitted to 八重山諸島 / the Yaeyama Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, which is a work song in which men and women sing alternately.

Also 舞踊 = Buyō, It belong under the Min'yō. 舞踊 = Buyō is old trad dance song with Japanese instruments Shamisen, Koto etc. In many cases 舞踊 is printed on cover and label so you can judge 舞踊.

盆踊りの歌 Bon-Odori song, Bon Odori meaning simply Bon dance, is a style of dancing performed during Obon. Originally a Nenbutsu folk dance to welcome the spirits of the dead, the style of celebration varies in many aspects from region to region. Each region has a local dance, as well as different music. The music can be songs specifically pertinent to the spiritual message of Obon, or local min'yō folk songs. Consequently, the Bon dance will look and sound different from region to region.

音頭 Ondo, An "Ondo," usually refers to a kind of song with a distinct swung 2/2 rhythm. This "swing" can be referred to as "Ukare" in Japanese. "Ondo" is a term used in older Japanese genres, but it is still used today when referring to songs written in this swinging style. Sometimes the rhythm is NOT swung and it is played straight through. This is called "Kizami". There are other names used to describe older Japanese genres of music. For example, "Fushi" or "Bushi" (節), with its literal meaning of "node," "knuckle," or "joint," refers to the nodes found in bamboo, usually found at a steady sequence. Thus "Fushi" can also have the abstract idea of "sequence" to refer to notes and beats in a sequence, i.e., a melody.

Not every old Japanese melody with a swung rhythm is called an "Ondo," as sometimes the term "Fushi" or "Bushi" is used to refer to a tune with a swung 2/2 rhythm, both of these having more or less the same meaning of "tune" or "melody." The folk song Goshu Ondo, for example, does not follow this rule, as the rhythm is NOT played in a swung fashion. The folk song Tankō Bushi has a swung 2/2 rhythm, even though it has "bushi" in its name.

In Japanese folk music, "Fushi" and "Ondo" follow the name of the song. For example, Tokyo Ondo, Mamurogawa Ondo, and Hanagasa Ondo all have "Ondo" in their names. Kushimoto fushi, Burabura Bushi, and Soran Bushi all have a rendering of "Bushi" or "Fushi" in their names.

Part of the Japanese Obon celebration involves participating in the local community dance. The tradition of the Bon dance, or Bon odori (盆踊り), dates back a few hundred years, and it is usually accompanied by the local tune. In recent times, new music has been used for Bon dance accompaniment, including late enka hits and music written specifically for bon dancing. The "Ondo" rhythm has always been common in Japanese folk music, but even the newer music written for Bon dances has been written in this style.

It is common to find names of newer music with the word "Ondo" attached to it. For example, Japanese franchises such as anime, video games and Tokusatsu TV series have their own ondo: the Pokémon Ondo, the Naruto Ondo, the Hunter x Hunter Ondo, the Doraemon Ondo, Ojamajo Doremi Ondo, Shiawase Kyoryu Ondo, the Love Live! Sunshine!! Sunshine Pikkapika Ondo and even the Super Sentai series has several Ondo songs such as Carranger Ondo, Bomb Dancing Megaranger, Hurricane Ondo, Bakuryu Kazoeuta, Let's Go On-do, Minna Summer DAY Ondo, Kyutama Ondo. There is fan-made Touhou Ondo and DoDonPachi Ondo. Ondo were commonly used as the opening themes for anime in the 1960s and 70s, especially with Tatsunoko Productions. Even non-ondo music is starting to make the bon dance scene. The selection ranges from traditional sounding Enka, such as Hikawa Kiyoshi's "Zundoko-bushi," to more modern non-Japanese hits, such as the Beach Boys' "Kokomo."

音頭 Ondo is a congratulatory song. For that reason Japanese major record companies have 演歌 Enka singers singing 音頭 Ondo. Because 音頭 Ondo belongs to 舞踊 Buyō, and it must be 民謡 Min'yō for the style. However, 音頭 Ondo which has been released in recent years has no 民謡 Min'yō identity due to the diversity of Western musical instruments. It should be a 歌謡曲 Kayōkyok.

騒ぎ唄 Sawagi-Uta. Geisha sing to play with customers. Tempo is fast, lively and bright sound. Geisha sang this to warm banquet up with shamisen and Japanese drum.

今様 Imayou / Imayō A style of Japanese old songs. 今様 Imayou / Imayō means "Modern and Contemporary" and it was the name meaning "Modern epidemic song" at the time. In the Heian period (794 - 1185) 今様 Imayou / Ima yō occurred in the middle of the Heian period. In the latter half of the Heian period, it was left in the record of the history book that 後白河天皇 (Emperor Go-Shirakawa) loved it, he was too passionate and had sore throat for 今様 Imayou / Imayō. The lyrics are characterized by 7, 5, 7, 5, 7, 5, 7 and 5 constituting one chorus, and various lyrics were produced. Songs are syllables and melisma types.

Geisha sings old Japanese songs in response to customer requests. That is not necessarily only Minyou. Geisha was singing 歌謡曲 Kayōkyoku、長唄 Naga-Uta、 清元 Kiyomoto / Kiyomoto-bushi、民謡 Minyou、端唄 Ha-Uta、 小唄 Kouta、宮薗節 Miyazono-bushi / 薗八節 Sonohachi-bushi. If 三味線 Shamisen is used, these kinds are often collectively called Min'yō / Minyou.

These all are the 舞踊 Buyō that geisha sang. It belongs to 民謡 Min'yō.

長唄 Naga-Uta, The official name is 江戸長唄 (Edo Nagauta). 長唄 Naga-Uta, literally "long song", is a kind of traditional Japanese music which accompanies the kabuki theater. It was developed around 1740. Influences included the vocal yōkyoku style used in noh theater, and instruments included the shamisen and various kinds of drums.

小唄 Kouta, The official name is 江戸小唄 (Edo Kouta). 小唄 Kouta is 俗謡 (Popular song) originally derived from the 端唄 Ha-Uta. It was the Meiji (1868 - 1912) to Taisho (1912 - 1926) years that established as an abbreviation. 端唄 Ha-Uta uses 撥 Bachi (the plectrum for stringed instruments such as the shamisen and biwa) for the shamisen. But 小唄 Kouta is finger picking. In some cases, "小撥 Ko-Bachi" (Small Bachi) may be used. 端唄 Ha-Uta uses percussion instruments. But 小唄 Kouta is a song only with a shamisen. In recent years, there are also playing percussion instruments in special cases. 端唄 Ha-Uta sings flat. But 小唄 Kouta sings skillfully. In this case, in order to give out the coolness which is the characteristic of the song, this technique must be not disgusting and disconcerting.

端唄 Ha-Uta is a collective term for short songs from the middle of the Edo period (1603 to1868). Until the 1920s, songs were also called by the name of 小唄 Kouta, but later it became clearly distinguishable from 端唄 Ha-Uta / 小唄 = 俗謡 (Popular song). It was the Meiji (1868 - 1912) to Taisho (1912 - 1926) years that established as an abbreviation.

清元 Kiyomoto / Kiyomoto-bushi is one of the shamisen music, a kind of 浄瑠璃 Jōruri (Jōruri is a form of traditional Japanese narrative music in which a 太夫 tayū sings to the accompaniment of a shamisen. As a form of storytelling, the emphasis is on the lyrics and narration rather than the music itself.) It is mainly used as accompaniment music of 歌舞伎 Kabuki and 歌舞伎舞踊 Kabuki Buyō (Kabuki's dance tune).

宮薗節 Miyazono-bushi / 薗八節 Sonohachi-bushi. One of the old songs of 浄瑠璃 Jōruri, the ancestor of 宮古路 薗八 (Sonohachi Miyakoji. the first generation, unknown birth and death year) in the middle of the Edo period (1603 to1868).

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