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Kyorei (Fudaiji)

虚鈴

This is a piece of genre Koten from the Fudaiji School.

History (Jin Nyodo):

Fudai-ji: KYOREI

1. About the title:
This is on& of the Three Traditional Pieces (Koten-Sankyoku). Among classical honkyoku it has come to be considered the piece with the most ancient origins. Please read the section on the Koten-Sankyoku in "Commonly Used Titles" for the traditional explanation of its derivation.

2. Structure of the piece:

The piece has an extremely unusual structure in that it is constructed systematically from five short melodic patterns and repetitions of them. It can be broadly divided into two sections, an opening dan and a closing dan which could be seen as a kind of "returning."

Opening dan: a (3 times) - b - a - b - c (3 times) - d (3 times) - e - a.
Closing dan: a - b - d (3 times) - e - a.

The entire piece is played in Ro (first octave), but the closing dan can be played in Ko (second octave) according to circumstances.

3. Special features of the piece:

Although the piece is assembled from extremely simple melodic patterns, there is no simplistic feeling to it; rather, it conveys a sense of remarkably crafted tension. As the point of origin for classical shakuhachi honkyoku it could be said to possess the appropriate style and fundamental quality. The feeling of systematic order and the feeling of firm and sturdy structure which permeate the entire piece are without equal among other honkyoku: so much so that one is included to believe the legend that this piece actually originated in China. As explained before, there are several types of pieces all called Kyorei, but considering the pre-modern mood of this piece we are inclined to think of it as the form which best transmits the old original form.

Kyorei (Fudaiji) appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Empty Bell, The David Duncavage

    Kyorei is one of the oldest honkyoku. It represents the sound of a bell rung by Fuke, a Zen monk who wandered about 9th century China. Legend says that a monk named Chohaku, inspired by Fuke’s teaching, composed Kyorei to imitate Fuke’s style of Zen. Kyorei was brought to Japan in the 19th Century by a monk named Gakushin.

Jin Nyodo No Shakuhachi 05 Jin Nyodo

    Fudai-ji: KYOREI

    2-shaku 8-sun
    10 min. 3 sec.

    1. About the title:
    This is on& of the Three Traditional Pieces (Koten-Sankyoku). Among classical honkyoku it has come to be considered the piece with the most ancient origins. Please read the section on the Koten-Sankyoku in "Commonly Used Titles" for the traditional explanation of its derivation.

    2. Structure of the piece:

    The piece has an extremely unusual structure in that it is constructed systematically from five short melodic patterns and repetitions of them. It can be broadly divided into two sections, an opening dan and a closing dan which could be seen as a kind of "returning."

    Opening dan: a (3 times) - b - a - b - c (3 times) - d (3 times) - e - a.
    Closing dan: a - b - d (3 times) - e - a.

    The entire piece is played in Ro (first octave), but the closing dan can be played in Ko (second octave) according to circumstances.

    3. Special features of the piece:

    Although the piece is assembled from extremely simple melodic patterns, there is no simplistic feeling to it; rather, it conveys a sense of remarkably crafted tension. As the point of origin for classical shakuhachi honkyoku it could be said to possess the appropriate style and fundamental quality. The feeling of systematic order and the feeling of firm and sturdy structure which permeate the entire piece are without equal among other honkyoku: so much so that one is included to believe the legend that this piece actually originated in China. As explained before, there are several types of pieces all called Kyorei, but considering the pre-modern mood of this piece we are inclined to think of it as the form which best transmits the old original form.

Kyoto Spirit Kurahashi Yodo II

    Kyorei is the oldest known shakuhachi piece, a slow quiet honkyoku that is at once very simple and very challenging: simple in its unornamented sighing melody, challenging because the player cannot hide behind technique.

Mukaiji - Komuso Shakuhachi Zenyoji Keisuke

    Kyorei is said to be the most important piece among the three authentic classical pieces Kyorei, Koku and Mukaiji. The piece is said to be created by copying the sound of the bell by Fuke-Zenji, the progenitor of Fuke-shu, the religion of Komuso monks. This piece is transmitted to Seien-Ryu and Myoan Taizan-Ha schools. Kyosui, extremely simple, strictly prohibiting any technical loquacity, this simple playing style provides the Zen flavor in the piece. Jin Nyodoh plays the begining part with Otsu note although the original one suggests to play with Kan note. This may be the result of his effort to make the piece sound more profound.

    Despite the legend, the piece is originated from Banshiki-Cho, a prelude song to Shinkyorei of Kinko school and refined in Zen style after played many times in Nagoya area. Such is a typical loose characteristic, yet attractive feature of Shakuhachi Honkyoku.

Mysterious Sounds of the Japanese Bamboo Flute - Watazumido-Shuso, The Watazumi Doso Roshi


Priests and Samurai Ryan Sullivan

    Played on Suikyo 2.1


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017