Gagaku is the court music of Japan. Tracing its history to 9th century Japan, it is considered one of the oldest continuously performed music traditions in the world. Gagaku includes instrumental music, vocal music, and dance.
The course introduces playing techniques, basic repertoire, and performance practice of the ensemble. It also includes activities in instrument construction, gagaku-related song, and ceremonial dance. The student is expected to learn to play one of the melodic instruments, to become familiar with all the instruments, and to understand the aesthetic and historical basis of the tradition.
The Hawai`i Gagaku Kenkyukai, a community-University organization dedicated to the study and performance of this tradition, consists of former class members.
The instructor is Rev. Masatoshi Shamoto. The founding teacher of this class, Rev. Shamoto has been an important performer and teacher of gagaku in Japan, Hawai`i, and Germany.