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Nothing Can Compare: A Selection of Okinawan Folk Songs

Nothing Can Compare: A Selection of Okinawan Folk Songs W E S L E Y I W A O U E U N T E N The traditional music of the Ryükyüs--both classical (for the court) and folk--can be traced back to ancient times, possibly to ritual chants (omoro). The chants were passed down orally, and though much must have been lost over time, 1,248 omoro were collected in the twenty-two­volume Omorosöshi, printed in three parts--in 1531, 1613, and 1623. Volume eight seems to establish the link between omoro and traditional court music and folk songs. Both omoro and classical music were composed with verses primarily in the ryüka form (three phrases of eight syllables followed by one of six syllables). From at least the early fifteenth century, Okinawan music was strongly influenced by the kingdom's contact with China. Beginning about 1404, Chinese investitute envoys to Okinawa were entertained with annual arts festivals (ukansen-odori) that included folk music (refined when performed at court) and dancing from all the provinces. Thus, royal court entertainment and folk music evolved together. After the Satsuma invasion in 1609, classical and folk traditions and instrumentation were influenced by the Japanese. However, it was in the interest of the Satsuma clan that the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Manoa University of Hawai'I Press

Nothing Can Compare: A Selection of Okinawan Folk Songs

Manoa , Volume 23 (1) – Jun 29, 2011

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University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright © University of Hawai'I Press
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1527-943x
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Abstract

W E S L E Y I W A O U E U N T E N The traditional music of the Ryükyüs--both classical (for the court) and folk--can be traced back to ancient times, possibly to ritual chants (omoro). The chants were passed down orally, and though much must have been lost over time, 1,248 omoro were collected in the twenty-two­volume Omorosöshi, printed in three parts--in 1531, 1613, and 1623. Volume eight seems to establish the link between omoro and traditional court music and folk songs. Both omoro and classical music were composed with verses primarily in the ryüka form (three phrases of eight syllables followed by one of six syllables). From at least the early fifteenth century, Okinawan music was strongly influenced by the kingdom's contact with China. Beginning about 1404, Chinese investitute envoys to Okinawa were entertained with annual arts festivals (ukansen-odori) that included folk music (refined when performed at court) and dancing from all the provinces. Thus, royal court entertainment and folk music evolved together. After the Satsuma invasion in 1609, classical and folk traditions and instrumentation were influenced by the Japanese. However, it was in the interest of the Satsuma clan that the

Journal

ManoaUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jun 29, 2011

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