Talk and Demonstration: Exploring the Music of Noh


Comprising drama, music and dance, Noh is Japan’s oldest surviving form of theatre with a history going back over 600 years. Among its performative elements, the music of Noh is considered an equally integral piece to the art and its ensemble of four musicians, known as the hayashi, create an atmosphere which gives Noh its distinguished dramatic power. Consisting of the nohkan (traverse flute) player and three percussionists, the highly trained musicians individually use their traditional instruments to evoke moods, expressions and enhance the performance on stage.

In this special talk, the Japan Foundation have invited three performers of classical Noh repertoire to introduce the pivotal sounds of this theatrical art. Featuring introductions and small demonstrations by Yukihiro Isso (nohkan flute), Tatsushi Narita (kotsuzumi shoulder drum) and Mitsuhiro Kakihara (otsuzumi hip drum), the performers will demonstrate the roles of their individual instruments and the vast array of expressions the music can convey in the performance.

Due to Noh’s symbolic and highly stylised nature, it can often be considered something difficult to appreciate or follow, but this event will give you an understanding through which to enjoy this traditional theatrical art, and will immerse you within the fascinating world of Noh.

Date: 15 May 2016 from 2.00pm
Venue: 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

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