NOH AS A MUSICAL PERFORMANCE WITH REGARD TO THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT
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Japanese noh drama is, similarly to the Western opera, a performance in which the textual, musical and choreographic parts unite to form a unique whole. The text written by the original playwright was inseparably interwoven with the musical element and it cannot be fully understood or appreciated without each other. In the times of the classical noh playwrights Kannami and Zeami, the performances are known to have attracted audiences, of all social strata, by their musical charm as well as by the rich texts and spectacular dance. Today, it is difficult to figure out the fascination the spectators must have felt then, as the musical side has undergone a centuries long development which has blurred the supposedly captivating original melody of the sung fushi parts. I am trying to get at the core of what can be reconstructed of the musical part of noh, on the basis of outlying the development of musical scales used in Japan.
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