This is a piece of genre Koten.
This piece was composed for Shakuhachi by the person Jin Nyodo.
|Arrangement of 7th century Gagaku Shotokutaishi|
Somaku Sha appears on the following albums
|Art of the Shakuhachi Vol I
According to ancient myths, this piece originated when Prince Shotoku (?-622) was playing the shakuhachi in a court music (gagaku) piece of the same name. A mountain spirit appeared and danced to this accompaniment. Since the gagaku shakuhachi has become entirely extinct, it remains a mystery what kind of music the Prince might have played. In any case, Somakusha, a bugaku ( dance piece ) in the Tagaku (Chinese-style music) repertory and featuring one dancer, is still performed by imperial court musicians today. A version for shakuhachi of the music for this dance was created by Ono Tadatsugu in the 1920s. Ono was a member of an important family of gagaku musicians. He was also an accomplished shakuhachi player with the bamboo name (a name given to skilled shakuhachi performers) Gindo.
The piece begins with a prelude-like section known as netori (to 1' 15’) and then proceeds to the Somakusha proper. The melody is unlike most shakuhachi music today, for it features the scales, rhythms, timbres, and ornamentation of gagaku music.