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date: 29 March 2020

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Source:
The Oxford Companion to Music
Author(s):
Ian RumboldIan Rumbold

A highly stylized form of Japanese theatre established in the late 14th and early 15th centuries, synthesizing elements of literature, theatre, dance, and music, and featuring both symbolism and economy of means. The participants comprise three categories of actor (principal, second principal, and comic relief), a small chorus (singing in unison), two assistants, and three or four instrumentalists (playing bamboo flute, hourglass drums, and barrel-drum). The actors' music includes intoned monologues and dialogues, as well as solo singing, in both metrical and free rhythm with instrumental accompaniment usually based, like the vocal lines, on units of eight beats.... ...

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