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Complicatedness means simpleness (Musical analysis)


One piece of kagura dance can long over one hour.

The dance Odaidai is not so long but it one day until that all of repertory are performed by all dancers.

One day I visited to the shrine without any knowledge of their repertory. It is totally different from the other kaguras I already knew.

At the first sight, it looked to me too long, very repetitive, always same. I had no idea how we can distinguish one to another.

The Odaidai music is:

- 5 pieces

- danced several time by several group of dancers (so at first, you have to identify each piece)

- played by one two-faced drum named kakko, one big drum ôdaiko, and three or four shinobue flutes.

- it gives you "never-end" and "complicated" impression because the shinobue melodies never stops at first listen.

My supervisor passed to me a dissertation of Alia Toumi abour Lebanese religious music.

1. Separate in motif (Personally, by flutiste breathing at first)

2. Number them to indentify

3. Draw a graph

(This is first result. This was only trial...)

Below is the result how Piece 1 evolve. The axis x show you time, the axis y shos you the motifs.

It begin with motif 1, evolve 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, then repeat motif 5 twice, after motif 4 appears.

At the middle of the music (from 84 seconds), you hear 5-5-7-3-6, three times, and it finishes with motif 8.

This graph shows that it is not so complicated as our first impression. It is structured well, begins with melody of beginning and ends with the melody of ending. We can also say that this music, is very cyclic. The Motif 4 and 5 (finally I conclue them as variation of same motif) appear cyclicly, regularly. They are universal for other pieces.

The melody of the beginning and ending is universal for all pieces.

If we can identify each piece, it must be at the between of these regular melodies.

I drew a graph of middle part of Piece 1, 2 and 3, and superposed them.

Now you see the result;

You see Piece 1 in blue, Piece 2 in red and Piece 3 in green. Actually all pieces are totally superposed except the piece 1 is the shortest (After 4-4-6-4-4 it ends), piece 2 add motif 6 at the end, and in Piece 3, they repeat same melody three times.

We can also say that in Piece 2 you play a half of melody of Piece 3, in Piece 1 you play one third of Piece 3.

All are same.

This is what I got as a result. The things look sometimes very complicated. It is, in deed. But by just changing your view, it becomes very simple. Even simplest.

This is why I believe that the more complicated it is, the more simple it becomes. It is adequate to our daily life.


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