Monthly Archives: October 2018

Poplar Music in East Asia

The article is about popular music in East Asia including J-pop, K-pop, and C-pop.

First, J-pop (an abbreviation of Japanese pop) is a word that refers to popular music produced in Japan, since about 1993 after the word and concept were born around 1989. It becomes one of the genres of songs sung by young people.

Next, K-pop is a concept called “Korean pops” at the end of the 1980s, mass music of Korea. From the late 1980s, it was affected by the fact that the word “J-pop” began to be used in popular music in Japan.
From around the late 1990’s, the term “K-pop” was used by Japanese media to refer to Korean popular music as a comparative term in Japan.

Lastly, generally speaking, the popular music of Grater China is called C-pop. Many are sung in Mandarin and Cantonese. Many Mandarin (Taiwanese) are from Taiwan, and in Singapore and Malaysia it is not as much as English or Malay but it is sung. Many Cantonese originate from Hong Kong. (Hong Kong Pops) In recent years, Hong Kong artists who are conscious of the continent (People’s Republic of China, PRC) market and sing even in Mandarin is increasing.

Intoroductory notes on the modes

This article is about modes as used in music.

In the theory of western music, a mode is a type of musical scale coupled with a set of characteristic melodic behaviors. For example, the gregorian mode (greek mode) is the mode used for the classification of Gregorian chant.

Greek modes

Mode I: Dorian
Mode II: Hypodorian
Mode III: Phrygian
Mode IV: Hypophrygian
Mode V: Lydian
Mode VI: Hypolydian
Mode VII: Mixolydian
Mode VIII: Hypo Mixolydian

The following modern modes are used in modern times.

Ionian
Dorian
Phrygian
Lydian
Mixolydian
Aeolian
Locrian

In Jazz, from around the 1960s, modern modes have been used. The first method is to use as an available note scale in certain code. The second method is to use mode as a tone, and to phrasing and harmony on it. In the second method, the emphasis is placed on the dominant tones and characteristic sounds.

In modern times, the mode is used to escape from music by a traditional narrow sense of tonality, that is, major and minor. For this reason, Ionian is not used because it makes it feel like a major tonality which is too much conventional tonality.

The definition of Ambient Music

Ambient music is a genre of music that emphasizes on tone and atmosphere over traditional musical structure or rhythm. A form of slow instrumental music, it uses repetitive, but gentle, soothing sound patterns that can be described as sonic wallpaper to complement or alter one’s space and to generate a sense of calmness. Intended to relax, the genre is said to evoke an “atmospheric”, “visual”, or “unobtrusive” quality.

Ambient music focuses on creating a mood or atmosphere through synthesizers and timbral qualities, often lacking the presence of any net composition, beat, or structured melody. It uses textural layers of sound without prevalent musical tropes, rewarding both passive and active listening. Nature soundscapes are usually included, and the sounds of acoustic instruments such as the piano, strings, and flute, among others, may be emulated through a synthesizer.

 As a genre, it originated in the United Kingdom in the 1970s, when new sound-making devices were being introduced to a wider market, such as the synthesizer.  Ambient music may have elements of new-age music due to usage of (synthesized) instruments, and drone music, as some works may use sustained or repeated notes. 

Ambient did not achieve large commercial success, being criticized as having a “boring” and “over-intellectual” sound. Nevertheless, it has attained a certain degree of acclaim throughout the years, especially in the internet age.  Due to its relatively open style, ambient music often takes influences from many other genres, ranging from classical, avant-garde music, folk, jazz, and world music, among several others.

 

The difference between EDM and IDM

Electronic dance music (also known as EDM) is a broad range of percussive electronic music genres made largely for nightclubs, raves, and festivals.  It is generally produced for playback by disc jockeys (DJs) who create seamless  selections of tracks, called a mix segueing from one recording to another. In Europe, EDM is more commonly called ‘dance music’, or simply ‘dance’.

On the other hand, Intelligent dance music (commonly abbreviated as IDM) is a form of electronic music that emerged in the early 1990s, characterized by an abstract or “cerebral” sound better suited for home listening than dancing. Inspired by a variety of sources, including techno, acid house ambient music, and breakbeat. IDM tended to rely upon individualistic experimentation rather than adhering to characteristics associated with specific genres.

 

New Single – Lake Biwa Rowing Song

Lake Biwa Rowing Song

by Yasuharu Nagura

about

Yasuharu Nagura has performed new live recordings entitled 『Lake Biwa Rowing Song』that is released on October 1, 2018.

He stayed in Otsu city, Shiga prefecture on August 13, 2018. After crossing the Biwako Bridge, he found a piece of music at the Biwako Ohashi Kome Plaza. It is called Biwako Shuko no Uta which is translated as Lake Biwa Rowing Song. Based on the score, he expressed Lake Biwa and its flow of water. He has made a few adjustments to the composition.

The photograph of the album is Lake Biwa in Shiga prefecture. It was taken from the mountaintop of Mt. Uchimi (altitude 1,096m).

credits

releases October 1, 2018

Yasuharu Nagura – music and photo
Chiaki Yoshida – composition

license

all rights reserved