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[History of Japanese musical instruments] Hichiriki: Folk musical instruments

Instrument
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Hichiriki is a traditional Japanese musical instrument used in the most types of music among the elegant musical instruments. It is said that it was introduced from China as one of the musical instruments of Gagaku. It originated somewhere on the Asian continent and is said to be a modern musical instrument without any major improvements. It is said that the tone has not changed at all since ancient times. Hichiriki is a musical instrument that is often in charge of the main tune because it has a double reed-like shape, is loud, and can freely produce pitches.

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Location

This instrument was born in Japan.

History of Hichiriki

Hichiriki is a wind instrument that plays a central role in gagaku. It is said to have originated somewhere on the Asian continent more than 2000 years ago and was introduced to Japan via China around the 1st century BC. It is said to be a musical instrument that was widely spread throughout Japan around the 5th or 6th century. It is used in the most types of music among gagaku instruments, and is the central instrument in gagaku. There was a distinction between large hichiriki and small hichiriki, but in the 10th century only small hichiriki remained. It is often used in ancient Japanese Kagura. Since it is a characteristic instrument, it is not often used in popular songs. In addition, this instrument is an instrument whose shape and tone have not changed at all since ancient times. It remains in its old form until the present day. Hichiriki is also said to have roots in oboe, a Western musical instrument.

Features of Hichiriki

Hichiriki is an aerophone instrument shaped like a double reed. It is said to be the most important instrument in gagaku, and since it has a loud volume and can freely produce pitches, it is mainly in charge of the main tune. Hichiriki can change the pitch of one or more notes up and down by adjusting the lips and breath without changing the fingering. The size of the hichiriki is 18 cm in length, 1.5 cm in diameter at the top, and 1 cm at the bottom. As a mechanism for producing sound, the sound is generated by closing or opening the place where the double reeds meet. Since the range is only about one octave, decorative playing styles have been developed. Hichiriki is a vertical flute that makes a sound by inserting a reed made by carving a phragmites into a bamboo tube and breathing in from the reed. Bamboo has nine finger holes, wrapped in a thin string-shaped cherry tree bark, and finished with lacquer.

Hichiriki song

Hichiriki is often used mainly in gagaku. Since the volume is loud and the pitch can be freely set, it is an instrument that is often in charge of the main tune.

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