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Midare Rinzetsu

This is a piece of genre Sokyoku in the style of Dan mono from the Ikuta Ryû - 生田 School. This piece was composed for Koto by the person Yatsuhashi Kengyo.

History (Clive Bell):

This melody was a decisive factor in establishing the Koto as a solo instrument. It demands a free and unrestricted interpretation, and shows that although the composer lived in a feudal society he possessed a freedom which makes his composition almost modern.

Midare Rinzetsu appears on the following albums

All the Best from Japan

Aoki Reibo no Shakuhachi Aoki Reibo II Yes
Araki Kodo III and Fukuda Eika - Collection of Famous Performances - 01 Araki Kodo III

Art of the Koto - Volume I
Yoshimura Nanae
Best Take 3 - Tomoko Sunazaki
Sunazaki Tomoko
Challenging Eternity Disk 20

Evening Snow
Tanaka Yoko
Fascination of the Koto 3
Yonekawa Hiroe
    Disorder. The title is an abbreviation of Madare rinzetsu. Rinzetsu, as a term of gagaku, refers to exceptional and extraordiry performance practices. Although this piece belongs to the category of danmono (purely instrumental pieces divided in sections) like Rokudan and Hatidan, the size and structures of its sections are not regular. Although there are different opinions, Yatuhasi kengyo (1614-1685) is generally considered to the bhe composer of this work.

    - Notes by Kikkawa Eisi, translated by Miri Park

Fascination of the Shakuhachi - 4 Yamamoto Hozan Yamamoto Hiroyo
    Also called MIDARE RINZETSU, JUDAN NO SHIRABE and JUNIDAN SUGAGAKI. This is a kind of instrumental tune called dan-mono (type) or shirabe-mono. Along with ROKUDAN NO SHIRABE, this is the most well-known of its type. Among the dan-mono tunes, only this piece does not have a standardized number of notes in every dan (part), and therefore it is called MIDARE (in disorder). It is counted as having ju-dan (ten parts) in the Ikuta school and juni-dan (twelve parts) in the Yamada school. This piece was already famous in the early Edo Era, as one of the instrumental pieces for sankyoku gassoh (an ensemble consisting of three instruments, koto, shamisen and shakuhachi), Nowadays, YATSUHASHI kengyo is credited as the composer, but it is hard to believe that the original MIDARE had a ten-or twelve-part construction. Unlike ROKUDAN, this dynamic tune was originally for solo koto, the other parts being added later.

Fujii Kunie Sokyoku Jiuta No Sekai 1 None

Fukami Satomi - Sokyoku Jiuta Shu - 1
Fukami Satomi

Haru no Umi - Koto Meikyoku Sen - 1 Yamamoto Hozan Sawai Tadao
Ikuta Ryu Sokyoku Senshu Volume 04

Japanese Koto Music with Shamisen and Shakuhachi

    Yatsuhashi Kangyo, founder of a koto school who lived from 1614 to 1685, is the composer. The title, means "unorthodox." There are a number of unharmonic tones produced by plucking two strings at once, giving an unusual after-tone. It is played by two musicians.

Kimio Eto - Koto Music None Eto Kimio
    Of the many classic compositions, Midare is considered to be the most recognized and well known of the classic numbers. On the while, it is divided into three parts, and the final quick movement is said to describe the snow falling incessantly in the forest.

Kinko Shakuhachi Gaikyoku Anthology Volume 1 - First Level - tape 2 Kawase Junsuke III

Koto - Keiko Nosaka
Nosaka Keiko
Koto and Shamisen Gendai Meikyoku Shu 09

Koto Music of Japan

Koto no Kyoshu Nihon no Merodi-shu

Koto no Miryoku - Disk 2

Kurokami None

    This melody was a decisive factor in establishing the Koto as a solo instrument. It demands a free and unrestricted interpretation, and shows that although the composer lived in a feudal society he possessed a freedom which makes his composition almost modern.

Midare - Kazue Sawai Plays Koto Classics
Sawai Kazue

Miyagi Michio - Best One

Musical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 1 None
Yonekawa Toshiko

    The original piece is a koto solo reputedly composed by the father of early modem sokyoku (koto music) YATSUHASHI kengyo (1614-1685). The title is an abbreviation of Midare rinzetsu. However, there is also a claim for KURAHASHI kengyo (?-1724) as composer. As is the case with Rokudan no shirabe, Midare is classified as a dan mono but, in contrast to other dan mono where each dan has the same number of beats the number of beats in Midare is not fixed and the way the dan are divided differs from tradition to tradition. This is also another special feature of Midare. (In the traditions to the west from Kyoto and Osaka, there are 10 dan, in the Yamada ryu, 12 dan). As a result, there are versions called, for example, Zyu dan no shirabe. Zyu dan no Midare and Zyuni dan no shirabe. Midare has the same standing and history as Rokudan no shirabe. It is the original tune of the three dan structured Rinzetsu recorded in Sitiku syosin syu (published 1664) and Sitiku Taizen (published before 1687). It is thought that the structure of this piece became more complex and transformed into the Midare of today. It was transmitted as a koto kumiuta uragumi tukemono (depending on the traditions it is also called the omotegumi or nakagumi). When adapted to the sangen, it is call Zyuni dan sugagaki and this version is related to be an arrangement of IKUTA kengyo (1656-1715). In the case of this piece too, various ensembles of instruments are possible. Today, there are many performances either as koto solo or duets. Some of them are called Kyo Midare and Kumoi Midare on the basis of differences in the kaete and, in these versions, sangen and shakuhachi are added. However, solo performances on the sangen seldom take place. Similarly, the Sansagari Midare and other kaete (kaede) are not performed today. In this respect ensembles with sangen honte and kaete are very enterprising attempts. The kaete of YONEKAWA was first performed in 1988 and this recording has had some revisions made to it. The honte here is a sangen arrangement of the original koto and the special methods of the koto are skillfully converted to techniques which bring out delicate nuances in the sangen. In the kaete, there are a number of passages demanding a high level of instrumental skill and the marvelous texture revealed in both parts is combined with the sangen's delicate tone color and tempo change. This performance reveals completely the charm of jiuta sangen. Both the honte and the kaete are tuned in hon tyosi though in the 7th dan of the kaete the 1st string is lowered a tone and becomes iti sagari.

Musique Traditionnelle du Japon
    MIDARE, interprétée par Noriko Noda et Yayoi Nishimura au koto, est, avec Rokudan et Hachidan, l'une des pièces les plus célèbres et les plus anciennes du répertoire de cet instrument. Elle appartient à l'école de Yatsluhashi.

Musiques de l'Asie Traditionnelle Vol 20 Japon - The Shakuhachi of Reibo Aoki Aoki Reibo II Kamijo Taeko
    (Shakuhachi part arranged by Reibo Aoki) Shakuhachi Kaede (accompanying melody) by Reibo Aoki

    Koto Honte (main melody) by Taeko Kamijo

    Kengyo Yatsuhashi (1614-1685) pursued the spontaneousness and independence of sokyoku (koto music) and composed "Dan-mono" (musical piece in several steps) of six dan (steps) and eight dan (steps). MIDARE is mostly considered as the composition of Kengyo Yatsuhashi. It is developed from RINZETSU of Chikushi Koto. But it should be considered that it was greatly arranged by Yatsuhashi. There is another theory that say further arrangement was added by the top pupil of Yatsuhashi, Kengyo Kitajima.

    While other dan-mono has the equal beats of 52 for each don, the number of beats in each dan of this tune is irregular, and the change of tempo is more free and varied, where the name MIDARE (disorder) comes from. Shakuhachi Kaede was arranged by Aoki for this recording in January, 1982.

    Played with an Itshaku-hassun-kan).

Reiko Kimura - Music for Koto
Kimura Reiko

Rokudan Koto no Meikyoku
Nakanoshima Kin'ichi
Rokudan no Shirabe - Koto Favorites
Nakashima Yasuko

Selections from Koto, Shamisen and Shakuhachi
Yonekawa Toshiko
    This piece was completed in the early Edo Period, and was composed for performance by Koto only as in case of Rokudan. Midare and Roku-Dan are two indispensable works for study of Koto. The former differs from the latter in rhythm, that is to say Midare has some irregular rhythm passages in each paragraph.

Shakuhachi Tokusen - Araki Kodo III Araki Kodo III

So - Japanese Traditional Music
Fujii Chiyoga II Yamase Shoin III
Sokyoku Jiuta

Sokyoku Jiuta Taikei 07
Nakanoshima Kin'ichi

Soul of the Koto, The None

    There may be no other classical Japanese koto pieces that can be played in such a variety of ways as Midare. Midare, itself, means rough disordered, and unorthodox, and it is noted for its rough touch. However, the original version of this (which we can no longer hear) was an improvisation by Rinsetsu, describing the snow in the forest blown by the wind. It was later completed by Kengyo Yatsuhashi, the composer of Rokudan.

Sounds from Japan Yokoyama Katsuya

    This tune was composed by Yatsuhashi Kengyo (Kengyo is one of the ranks of Buddhist priests) who is said to have established the Koto tune, died at the age of 72 in 1685. Meanwhile, in Western world, two great masters Bach and Handel were born in the same year. This tune, like "Rokudan" and "Hachidan", which can be categorized as "Dan-mono" or "Shirabe-mono", is Koto solo music without words. Generally, Dan-mono consists of several Dans and each Dan is fixed at a total of 52 beats. The tempo gradually gets up speed Dan by Dan and calms down at the final phrase of the last Dan. But this Midare is an exception of "Dan-mono", because the number of beats of each Dan is not fixed and the tempo suddenly calms down midway, for which it is named "Midare" (disorder). When we listen to this tune, we are impressed by the composer's passion for Koto. (Mikiko Haga)

Sunazaki Tomoko

The Flower - Yoko Hiraoka and David Wheeler
Hiraoka Yoko

Tomiyama Seikin - So
Tomiyama Seikin V
Traditional Music of Japan, The - 02
Nakanoshima Kin'ichi
    As one of the instrumental pieces of Koto music, which is rare in the repertoire, Midare, literally means, disorder. It represents the varied style of Dan-mono which consists of several sections (dan). Each section of a piece is composed with the identical number of measures. The number of measures of each section in the piece Hachidan (Eight Sections) is the same as that in the piece Rokudan (six sections). Rokudan was composed a little earlier than Hachidan as the first of the Dan-mono pieces. Consequently, people used to enjoy the simultaneous performance of these two compositions as a duet. Contrary to this, the present piece, Midare, consists of twelve dans, the length of each differing from the others, This is why the piece is named Midare (disorder).

    Another feature of the form is a kind of free variation as in the case of other Dan-mono pieces. (Note: this piece is interpreted by Koto musicians of the Ikuta School as having ten sections, while in the Yamada School as having twelve sections. The performer of this record belongs to the Yamada school).

Yamada Ryu Sokyoku Meikyoku-shu
Nakanoshima Kin'ichi

The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018