Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader

Dr. William Trantham

Second Reader

Dr. Paul Hammond

Third Reader

Professor Russell Hodges


Sokyoku (koto music) in Japan before the end of the seventeenth century is represented by only two genres: sets of solo songs with koto accompaniment which are called kurniuta, and koto solos called danrnono. Danrnono and kurniuta were the beginning of the sokyoku tradition which developed through the Tokugawa Period (1600-1868). It is the solo genre of sokyoku, the danrnono, which is the subject of this study. This genre is the most important of the few examples of Japanese music which are independent of literary influence. The danmono repertoire is also rather curious because it is limited today to only seven or eight compositions, but probably the most interesting aspect of the repertoire is its strong homogeneity. This small group of pieces is so homogeneous that the uninitiated listener, either Japanese or Western, has a difficult time distinguishing one piece from another. From the time the genre was established until the end of the seventeenth century, when it was almost completely abandoned with the advent of the Ikuta school of koto music, it shows virtually no stylistic evolution.



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