Japanese Song

the singer 1903

In the first half of the twentieth century, there was a strong tradition of classical song composition amongst Japanese composers. Whilst there are numerous interesting points of connection between these songs and singing elsewhere, it is not so simple to draw these connections, as the music is somewhat obscure, and not immediately accessible to scholars outside Japanese music studies. As a step towards changing that, at this short study evening, several songs by the composer Yamada Kōsaku (1886-1965) will be performed and discussed—the aim being to present these songs to scholars working in other traditions, and to find out where they see fruitful points of connection or differentiation. The songs will be briefly contextualised with a preliminary reading and English translations of the texts.

There will be live performances of the songs; if anyone would be interested in singing or, especially, playing the piano parts, please do contact Frances as soon as possible - frances.watson@stcatz.ox.ac.uk