Composing electroacoustic music relating to traditional Japanese music
Throughout the history of Japanese contemporary music composers have been exploring ways to merge Western-style art music and their original, traditional Japanese music. Although in the past compositions which applied expressions of traditional Japanese music to Western-style music were partly successful, ensembles of Western and Japanese instruments often resulted in a serious mismatch. The starting point of this paper is this experience of Japanese contemporary music. It insists that, while the cause is composers' ignorance of the difference in musical parameters between the two musics, those of electroacoustic music can be compatible with Japanese musical tradition in spite of its background in Western culture, because the most developed genre of Japanese music is timbre-dominant. This research examines, from the viewpoint of electroacoustic composition, the musical parameters, acoustical structure and sound aesthetics of traditional Japanese music, and explores the compositional strategy of live electronics for these non-Western instruments, applying them to acousmatic composition.