Introduction to World Music
October 19, 2009
"Sakura Sakura" (さくら さくら),
Who is the voice of sakura in japanese? " Chie Nakamura "
Sakura (さくら) is the name of a traditional Japanese folk song depicting spring, the season of sakura. Contrary to popular belief, the song did not originate from ancient times (as in, not from the Heian period or prior). It was first composed during the Edo period for children learning to play the koto. Originally, the lyrics "Blooming cherry blossoms" were attached to the melody. The song has been popular since the Meiji period, and the lyrics in their present form were attached then. It is often sung in international settings as a song representative of Japan. Throughout the ages there have been many rearrangements of the song, but Michio Miyagi's rendition is often regarded to be the best of them all. The cherry blossom is Japan's national flower and has for years appeared in the country's poetry, paintings, and music, as well as on its craft, clothing, and other commercial items. From January through June each year, there are numerous cherry blossom festivals held throughout Japan. Not surprisingly, there is even this popular traditional song, Sakura, Sakura (Cherry Blossom, Cherry Blossom), commonly sung to celebrate the national flower. Its melody and text date back nearly to Medieval times, and the song has been popular in Japan since at least the eighteenth century. The melody is simple and well-known to Westerners from various commercial incarnations, even if they recognize it only as some generic far Eastern tune. But it is hardly generic-sounding. The melody is charming in its sweet melancholy and forlorn sense of innocence. Its rising, opening phrases lead to a gentle but lovely fall, after which sonorities remain mired in lower ranges until the theme is heard again. The text is just as simple, speaking of the fragrance of cherry blossoms and likening their appearance to clouds. Those with an interest...
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