Shamisen (Japanese music instrument)

Shamisen is one of Japanese traditional stringed musical instrument. Shamisen own means of three lines, derived from the word Sha (three) and Sen (line). Originally shamisen is an instrument that was brought from China, but instead it's called the shamisen, but those that call saxian kokin and its shape does not exactly match the shamisen in Japan. There are several opinions about the history of the entry into the Japanese shamisen. Of the seventeen sources century and eighteen, wrote that the shamisen was introduced around the year 1562 at the port of Sakai near Osaka. Other sources mention the year 1574 written in diary style restrooms Uwai, writing of a mission the king of the Ryukyu archipelago which includes a shamisen player in his entourage. There is also a mention that the shamisen is another form of a simplified instrument Biwa.

Shamisen tool consists of three parts, ie Do (body), Sao (neck), Itomaki (peg).Shamisen body made ​​of red sandalwood, mulberry wood, or wood apple. The shape resembles a box, the top closed and the bottom is covered by kulis cats, but can also be covered with leather or plastic dog. For use in staging or concert, the shamisen is made as possible, and increasingly expensive. Section it carved with decorative patterns of herring bone, known as ayasugi, so the resulting sound much better.

Sao neck or it can be divided into 3 parts for easy on the bottom. Its thickness varies according to type of music he played. Used strings made ​​of twisted silk, but today is very rare that uses pure silk, for easy break. Instead, shamisen makers replace it with plastic or nylon. These strings attached to a rope-shaped ornaments of a (neo) at the bottom of the body and three pegs or itomaki.

Itomaki is made ​​from ivory, wood, or plastic. The tool used to pluck shamsien called a bachi. Bachi is also used to pick Biwa.In addition to the varied forms of shamisen, shamisen music forms were various kinds. There are multiple streams of music or genre of shamisen. But actually what makes it kind of shamisen varies is because it is influenced by each flow shamisen. For every genre of shamisen has specific characteristics, both in terms of sound quality that is unique, style of music games that have distinctive rules, of course the shape and size of his shamisen was different. But that difference did not sound at first hearing, because the difference is slim. But if you are an expert in this case, it will be very obvious difference in every genre.

Shamisen Genre Chart :

Katarimono is the flow of narrative music. Exhibition shamisen accompaniment to the singing of tales and stories. Utamono Meanwhile, songs that emphasize melody shamisen. While the streams below, has a slim difference. There are about love story content (Bungo), family tragedy (Kato), and others. Cause why the genre of shamisen more and more, is because the community knows that when a student deviates from the style of his teacher, then became the opposite or counterclockwise. So every time the student created the same kind of music that are not being taught by the teacher, then created one other musical genres.
Among young Japanese traditional musical instruments like the shamisen is not too popular. Similar to the situation of youth in Indonesia. Lack of awareness of the importance of maintaining the heritage of ancestors who have become the hallmark of the nation. But they perform a variety of ways to preserve what has been taught by generations of parents, especially in terms of art. The shamisen players collaborate their instrumental music with modern musical instruments, like guitars, drums, and piano. As performed by Yoshida Brothers. The Japanese government also provided a degree annually to every artist is considered appropriate to accept each year. The highest degree is Ningen kokuho or State property. So that the artists always feel motivated to produce works best.
Shamisen is often used to accompany the staging of kabuki (mask play), dance geisha, and Matsuri Matsuri-specific.
In addition to the shamisen, there are also some traditional Japanese musical instrument that is not less interesting. As with any stringed musical instrument Biwa and Koto. Percussion instruments have Taiko and Tsuzumi. As well as wind instruments, such as Sho, Yokobue, and shakuhachi.

History : 

In the classification of musical instruments, including the shamisen lute stringed musical instrument similar to the neck (neck) are connected to the body. Around the world there are many different kinds of musical instruments like lute, ranging from guitar, sitar, to the ukulele. Culture of ancient Egypt knew the three-stringed stringed instrument that evolved into the Persian setaru or sitar ("se" means "three" and "taru" means "string"). In China, a similar musical instrument zither made with snakeskin upholstery called sanshen (sanxian). Trade between the Kingdom of Ryukyu and introducing Fuzhou sanshen musical instrument which is then in Okinawa called sanshin.
At the end of the 16th century, merchant ships brought sanshin Ryukyu origin introduced into the Sakai city dwellers. Shamisen oldest extant today is the shamisen named Yodo the work of craftsmen in Kyoto. Shamisen is specially made by order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi to awarded to the wife Yodo-dono. Shamisen Yodo have a form that is not much different from the existing shamisen.
Sanshin development of foreign origin into shamisen can not be separated from the role of the blind musician from Tōdōza blind associations. Sanshin played with a pick-shaped nails from buffalo horn developed into a shamisen is plucked with a bachi are used to pluck the instrument Biwa. A more crisp sound of the shamisen was more unpopular than the person who impressed Biwa sound heavy and serious.
Blind musician named one of the Ishimura Kengyō credited with developing the game until the shamisen technique favored people. At the beginning of the Edo period, Ishimura Kengyō pioneered the genre of music that uses and is known as Jiuta shamisen.
Broadly speaking shamisen music is divided into two types, Utaimono (Accompaniment track) and Katarimono (escort story).


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