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Kyorei (Taizan Ha)

虚鈴

This is a piece of genre Koten from the Taizan Ha School.

Kyorei (Taizan Ha) appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen

Ethnic Folkways Library - Music of the Shakuhachi Yasuda Shinpu

    Considered next in importance to Choshi in the Koten Honkyoku. This is one of three Kyorei, or especially treasured pieces of the Meian school. A meian student can buy a package of all the Meian scores. They are usually numbered. Choshi is the first. However at the back are the three extra special pieces which are not numbered. Kyorei is one. It is said that this is a tune Hoto Kokushi brought back from Sung China.

    Kyochu Kuzen once imagined that he heard the sound of a reitaku (a staff with rings carried by certain monks that would produce a ringing sound when moved) while he was praying in the Asama temple of Yamato. He then composed this tune based upon the same kotokan that is used for Choshi.

Ichion Jobutsu Matsumoto Kyozan

Koten Shakuhachi Gaku Zen Shu - 1 Takeuchi Chiko

Meianji Shoden Shakuhachi Honkyoku Shu 03 Yoshimura sôshin Fuan

Prayer for the Missing, A Cynthia Nyoen Chaffee

Sui Zen - Blowing Meditation on the Shakuhachi - 02 Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin

    This piece, played on a 2.4, is the one with the most ancient origin. The various versions of Kyorei, after some 16 generations of evolution, came to replace the original Kyotaku (False / Empty Bell). Perhaps, in violation of the standard of exact transmission, some people were inspired to deliberately add to it. Or perhaps, since it was not notated, but simply passed on over a very long time, changes evolved unintentionally and naturally.

    This is considered the oldest and most "suizen" (breathing meditation) of all honkyoku. It is played using no head movement. All of Kyorei is usually played in the low octave, but the closing section can be played in the higher octave, if the player so desires, according to circumstances.

    Like Daiwagaku, it has a pure feeling that transcends time. Although this piece is very ancient, and sounds as old as it is, it could also be very modem. It has an extremely unusual structure, with five short melodic patterns, and can be divided into two sections.

    Even though it has a simple melodic structure, it really is not a simple piece. It does not have a simple feeling. It is very beautiful, with well-composed tension, and is many people's favorite piece. It embodies the foundation, the fundamental quality of all honkyoku because it is the origin for, or the closest thing we have to the origin for, all the other honkyoku. It best transmits the old original form It has been suggested that Kyorei is related to BanshikiCho, the prelude to the Kinko School's version of Shin Kyorei.

    Paradoxically, Kyorei is normally among the first and last pieces that a student would master. It is technically simple, but it's difficult to playa simple sound perfectly. Our philosophical goal, to play the perfect sound to cause world peace, is, after all, the hardest thing you could do.

    Playing something like this is like being spiritually naked. There's nothing to hide behind. Pieces with more flamboyant, dramatic movements are ultimately easier to play; fast passages are often easier to play than the slow passages. Similarly, in classical trio music performed on shakuhachi, koto and sangen, the first one or two pieces that are studied in a level are also the final pieces that are studied before you are licensed to teach. Kyorei is like that. It's a special kind of piece that is, in some ways, the last piece. It's the easiest and hardest at the same time.

Take no Shirabe; Fuke Shu Honkyoku Yes


Zen Music with Ancient Shakuhachi - Disc 2 John Singer

    (Empty Bell) This piece is considered to be the oldest , and contains the fundamental characteristics of all Honkyoku. It represents the sound of a bell rung by the 9th century wandering Chuan Buddhist monk Fuke Zenshi. Legend has it that a monk named Chohaku, inspired by Fuke and his teachings, composed this piece.


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017