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Start Archive Comparisons, n°18/2016 This article focuses on the descriptions of music in Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters, 712) − the oldest existing chronicle of Japan. The author discusses respectively: the circumstances of the creation of Kojiki (activity of Hieda no Are, the compiler from Gagakuryō Japanese Court Music Bureau), the characteristics of early Japanese performing art traditions (kagura ritual dance, chinkon ceremony of recalling the soul), the analysis of ancient folk songs kayō and the symbolism of the oldest musical instruments. The analysis of the selected musical descriptions was carried out in regard to the socio-cultural context as well as the linguistic aspects. Based on the evidence material presented in this article, the author characterized the musical life of ancient Japan. Special attention was also paid to the role of music in shaping the literary work.

This article focuses on the descriptions of music in Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters, 712) − the oldest existing chronicle of Japan. The author discusses respectively: the circumstances of the creation of Kojiki (activity of Hieda no Are, the compiler from Gagakuryō Japanese Court Music Bureau), the characteristics of early Japanese performing art traditions (kagura ritual dance, chinkon ceremony of recalling the soul), the analysis of ancient folk songs kayō and the symbolism of the oldest musical instruments. The analysis of the selected musical descriptions was carried out in regard to the socio-cultural context as well as the linguistic aspects. Based on the evidence material presented in this article, the author characterized the musical life of ancient Japan. Special attention was also paid to the role of music in shaping the literary work.

Takemitsu Toru is one of the most prominent and recognizable Japanese contemporary composers. The composer is famous for his skill of combining the elements of traditional Japanese music with Western style composition. The article presents his career, inspirations, Japanese aesthetics such as ma and sawari. His perception of music and his relation to Japanese music and traditional instruments in comparison to the Western music traditions is also described.

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