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Rokudan no Shirabe

六段の調

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. This piece was composed for Shamisen by the person Fukakusa Kengyo.

History:

Music of Six Steps (Rokudan-no-shirabe) is a representative style of koto music composed by Yatsuhashi Kengyo (kengyo is an honorary title given to blind koto masters) who died in 1685. Yatsuhashi was an epic figure in the history of the koto, and his compositions have been widely handed down.

Music of Six Steps is an "absolute" music consisting of six sections of 52 beats. Though this piece was originally composed for the koto, it later became fashionable to play it on the shamisen (three-stringed guitar-like instrument). The popularity of Rokudan was such that succeeding composers often adapted the melody.

Rokudan no Shirabe appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Abe Keiko - 03 None
Abe Keiko
Abe Keiko Record Set - 01

Abe Keiko
All the Best from Japan


Araki Kodo III and Fukuda Eika - Collection of Famous Performances - 02 Araki Kodo III Kawada Tou Fukuda Eika

Art of the Koto - Volume I
Yoshimura Nanae
Challenging Eternity Disk 20


Developments of Japanese Traditional Music Works Interpreted by Yonin no Kai - Vol 1


Distant Cry of Deer, The Koga Masayuki

Endless Sea - Impressions of Japan John Singer

Fascination of the Koto 2
Yonekawa Toshiko
    Rokudan (Instrumental composition in six sections)

    Composed by Yatsuhashi kengyo (d. 1685) One of the few instrumental pieces (danmono) which has been transmitted to the present. This piece consists of six sections and each of them has the same number of beats, although the tempo is accelerated.

Flute and Koto of Japan Yamaguchi Goro
Yonekawa Toshiko
Fujii Kunie Sokyoku Jiuta No Sekai 1 None

Fujii Kunie, The World of Shamisen and Jiuta Singing 1 None
Fujii Kunie

Fukami Satomi - Sokyoku Jiuta Shu - 1
Fukami Satomi

Haru no Umi - Koto Meikyoku Sen - 1 Yamamoto Hozan Sawai Tadao

Heart of Zen - Simplicity Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin

Ikuta Ryu Sokyoku Senshu Volume 01


Ikuta Ryu Sokyoku Senshu Volume 02


Isaac Stern - The Classic Melodies of Japan Yamamoto Hozan

Japan - Ensemble of Traditional Instruments of Japan None


Japan - Splendour of the Koto


Japanese Koto Music with Shamisen and Shakuhachi


    ROKUDAN NO SHIRABE by Yatsuhashi Kengyo, follows a traditional form. The title stands for its form-six sections of 52 beats of 1/2 counts. It dates from early koto history, is neither descriptive nor symbolic. Simple of melody and technique, it is reminiscent of Bach, takes the form of concerto grosso played by koto, shamisen and shakuhachi.

Japanese Music for Two Shakuhachi Riley Kelly Lee

    Rokudan was composed for solo koto in the 17th century by Yatsuhashi Kengyo, the father of the classical koto music tradition. The second part (kaede) was added in the 20th century, and Rokudan is often played as a koto duet. In making this presentation for two shakuhachi, the first three sections are played at a rather slow tempo to bring forth the instruments' special qualities. A prolonged cadence and slight pause are then introduced at the end of section 3, to further emphasize the changing character of the piece at the beginning of section 4.

Kimio Eto - Koto Master None Eto Kimio
    A classic piece of the Sixteenth Century. Originally composed for solo koto, it was re-arranged for two kotos about eighty years ago.


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

Koga Masayuki Shakuhachi Solo Music Koga Masayuki

Koto - Keiko Nosaka
Nosaka Keiko
Koto Music of Japan



Koto Music of Japan, The
Hagiwara Seikin
    Music of Six Steps (Rokudan-no-shirabe) is a representative style of koto music composed by Yatsuhashi Kengyo (kengyo is an honorary title given to blind koto masters) who died in 1685. Yatsuhashi was an epic figure in the history of the koto, and his compositions have been widely handed down.

    Music of Six Steps is an "absolute" music consisting of six sections of 52 beats. Though this piece was originally composed for the koto, it later became fashionable to play it on the shamisen (three-stringed guitar-like instrument). The popularity of Rokudan was such that succeeding composers often adapted the melody.

Koto no Kyoshu Nihon no Merodi-shu


Koto no Miryoku - Disk 1


Melody of Japan - Stillness of Winter



Midare - Kazue Sawai Plays Koto Classics
Sawai Kazue

Miyagi Michio - Best One


Moon at Dawn Koga Masayuki Sunazaki Tomoko

Moonlit Castle John Singer


Music For Two Shakuhachi Andreas Fuyu Gutzwiller


Musical Anthology of the Orient, Unesco Collection Vol 3
Nakanoshima Kin'ichi
    Sokyoku means "pieces for koto" (d. JAPAN I, SOKYOKU). In general, this term also includes vocal compositions accompanied on the koto or shamisen and koto. The so-called danmono (pieces in sections) are an exception, being purely instrumental exercises most of which were composed by Yatsuhashi Kengyo in the 17th century.

    The formal unit underlying these pieces is the dan (step, section). According to the number of dan the pieces are called "Rokudan no shirabe", or "Hachidan no shirabe", that is, pieces in six sections, pieces in eight sections, etc. Each dan is made up of 104 hyoshi, one hyoshi being the basic metrical unit. An extra four hyoshi, which constitute the initial motive of the first dan, are not counted in the 104. The tempo of a danmono is fixed. After a subdued beginning it is increased and reaches a climax which usually occurs towards the end of the last section, and then the piece is concluded quietly. The koto is tuned in Hirajoshi.

Musical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 1 None Yonekawa Toshiko
    Melodies in six movements

    This is a solo koto piece believed to have been composed by YATSUHASI kengyo (1614-85), though a different tradition has it that the composer was KITAZIMA kengyo (?1690). The piece is also known as Rokudan. As the name suggests, except the 4 beats at the beginning of the 1st dan, there are 52 beats in each dan. The original tune of the 1st dan is presumed to be derived from Sitiku syosin syu (published 1664) or Sitiku taizen (published before 1687) and it was already performed then as an ensemble for koto, shamisen, and hitoyogiri shakuhachi. It is thought that the present form of six dan, in which there is pronounced variation, developed from repeating the dan of this original version three times. From a standpoint of the training system of specialists, Rokudan no shirabe is transmitted as a koto kumiuta omotegumi tukemono. However, as a koto piece, it has achieved the most popularity and has been variously arranged for shamisen and shakuhachi or has had kaete versions added. As sangen pieces, there are the Rokudan sugagaki (composed by HUKAKUSA kengyo) and the kaete Sansagari Rokudan (composed by KUNIYAMA koto). Similarly, in the kaete for koto there are, for example, the Nakazora Rokudan and the Kumoi Rokudan (Sansagari Rokudan in the transposed version for koto). A variety of instrumental variations are possible such as a shakuhachi and kokyu ensemble. There are many examples of complete Rokudan pieces which quote the entire Rokudan or pieces which use only a part of Rokudan. In the maebiki of MITUZAKI kengyo's Akikaze no kyoku or in Aioi no kyoku, a piece in the Meiji shinkyoku repertoire, it is possible to have an ensemble of the full Rokudan. In MITSUZAKI kengyo's Godan ginuta, however, the 5th dan of Rokudan is used and, in such pieces as the Hototogisu, Sumiyosi and Usu no koe of Yamada ryu sokyoku the 1st dan of Rokudan is performed in the ainote. This is an indication of how much Rokudan is enjoyed by so many people. The melody follows the dan and gradually the degree of variation increases so that Rokudan may be seen as a variation on a theme. The fundamental techniques of koto playing are effectively included so that it can also be used as a practice piece. It is the oldest classic koto piece with a simple form. As a performance, it is most suitable to play solo on the koto, because it enables a performer to display subtle tone colors most effectively. Yet, for the performer, it is also one of the most difficult pieces to play. The tuning is in hira zyosi throughout the piece.

Musical Instruments of Japan - 3


Rokudan


Rokudan Koto no Meikyoku
Nakanoshima Kin'ichi
Rokudan no Shirabe - Koto Favorites
Yuize Shin'ichi

Selections from Koto, Shamisen and Shakuhachi
Yonekawa Toshiko
    Roku-Dan is instrumental music performed by Koto only. It was completed in the Edo period during the seventeenth century. Koto is an instrument of 13 strings stretched lengthwise on a rather thick hollow wooden body. It was introduced into Japan from China during the early eighth century. Most Koto music is accompanied by a vocal portion, Koto-Uta. Roku-Dan is unique for Koto music as it is without Koto-Uta. Being a kind of etude, it is easy to play even for beginners. At the same time, it is a fine work for music appreciation. The composition is made up of 6 paragraphs of variations. Each one consists of 120 beats. This is the reason why it is called Roku-Dan. Roku means six in English.

Shakuhachi - Classical Modern Best 30 - 05


Shakuhachi Tokusen - Araki Kodo III Araki Kodo III Yes Yes

So - Japanese Traditional Music
Yonekawa Toshiko
Sokyoku Jiuta Taikei 07
Miyagi Michio
Sokyoku Jiuta Taikei 07 Araki Kodo III Kawada Tou Fukuda Eika
Togashi Noriko - 01 None
Togashi Noriko

Tomiyama Seikin - So
Tomiyama Seikin V
Traditional Music of Japan


Yamada Ryu Sokyoku Meikyoku-shu
Nakanoshima Kin'ichi


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017