Pieces for Shamisen & Koto, (maybe + Shakuhachi)?


#1

Greetings, recently I discovered that a schoolmate plays the koto. So I suggested that we could find something to play together. I also have a friend who plays the Shakuhachi, but he’s not in school so it’s harder to meet.
I understand that we could possibly arrange something from our own repertoire. But are there any pieces that is already out there for these two/three instruments?
We also don’t have any instructor on Japanese music ever since the koto teacher left. So I am pretty clueless… thanks!


#2

Yep.

Your best keywords are going to be sankyoku and jiuta.

Sankyoku refers to a grouping of three musicians, and is best described as chamber music. Traditionally, these three played kokyuu, shamisen, and koto. However, the shakuhachi is a common replacement for the rare kokyuu.

Jiuta are “local songs” that utilize koto and a subtype of shamisen (called a sangen in genre). Shamimaster Toshi (and a few others on the forum) can direct you to specific pieces. Rokudan no Shirabe is the most famous.

Min’yo, being a weird catch-all, uses whatever is available; but finding sheet music can be difficult.

Nonetheless, here is an example of Kaigarabushi being played on shamisen, taiko, and koto.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALoUcEHBJWc

Here’s another link to the International Shakuhachi site. It has a listing of various pieces and their associated genres.

https://www.komuso.com/top/index.pl


#3

Obviously there’s a ton of stuff out there, Kuroda bushi etc.







Sakura - there may be several arrangements. Not sure if you often mix shamisen + koto on this though, they tend to have different versions? (Just tried shamisen + shakuhachi with a colleague on this once.)


#4

Maybe it may be obvious, but there is a really wide repertoire for koto/shamisen in sokyoku/jiuta


#5

Hi, I know this is an old post. I thought I responded, but maybe not.
It is true that there are wide range of repertoire, and there are tons of video out there.
But to actually learn the music, I was meaning to ask for a source of notation.
Are they notation out there for sale, and where can I obtain them?


#6

It really depends on the source. I’m afraid I don’t know much about purchasing koto or shakuhachi notation, but if you’re interested in putting together modern pieces with a sankyoku vibe maybe check out the Wagakki Band official scorebook! It takes a bit of applying 5 line staff to the wagakki (so might be beneficial to have a keyboard ready to work out the notes) but it’s not too difficult to piece together a trad. instrument only version of some of the songs inside. Just a thought!