“Vocal” Terms

Kataji (片地)

The basic unit of the Noh music rhythm is a simple octuple measure, and the rhythm is called honji. ...

Okuri (オクリ)

The basic unit of the Noh music rhythm is a simple octuple measure, and the rhythm is called honji. ...

Tori (トリ)

The basic unit of the Noh music rhythm is a simple octuple measure, and the rhythm is called honji. ...

Honji (本地)

The basic unit of the Noh music rhythm is a simple octuple measure, and the rhythm is called honji. ...

Densho (伝書)

Books that have been in traditional Noh or kyōgen families for generations. Densho includes not only...

kyōgen-utai (狂言謡)

A type of chant recited by kyōgen actors. It includes "koutai," a short utai recited in drinking par...

Fushi (節)

A form of vocal referring to vocal parts with melody, or such a melody itself. The part without melo...

Sanben gaeshi (三遍返シ)

A non-standard way of chanting shidai, in which the shidai part is repeated three times. Normal shid...

Wagin (和吟)

A type of vocal that has different meanings in different schools. In the Kanze School, it refers to ...

Chūgin (中吟)

A form of vocal used in the Hōshō School. It refers to a method of chanting that uses both tsuyogin ...

Su-utai-ōgi (素謡扇)

A fan used for su-utai (vocals without hayashi). It is a type of shizume-ōgi but slightly smaller (f...

Jibyōshi (地拍子)

A rule of rhythmic structure for Hyōshiai, or Noh vocals that match the rhythm. There are three type...

Honji (本地)

Nohvocals are classified into hyōshi-ai , or vocals matching the rhythm, and hyōsyi-awazu, or vocals...

Uki (ウキ)

The name of a musical scale for chanting. Uki appears between middle and high basic notes, between h...

Sōga (早歌)

A form of music from the middle ages. Sōga is a style of full-length song perfected by the Priest My...

Iro (イロ )

A kind of vocal intonation to decorate the melody. Its use is optional; the actors will decide wheth...

Yatsu-wari (八ツ割)

The basic unit of the Noh music rhythm is a simple eight beat, although variants exist such as six, ...

Chū-nori (中ノリ)

A vocal style linked to tempo and rhythm. Noh vocals sometimes take the rhythm of the music, and som...

Ō-nori (大ノリ)

A vocal style linked to tempo and rhythm. Noh vocals sometimes take the rhythm of the music, and som...

Yatsubyōshi (八拍子)

The eight-beat Yatsubyōshi rhythm structure is the most basic in Noh. The vocals that match the rhyt...

Yōkyoku (謡曲)

The lyrics of Noh, or chanting those lyrics to a tune. The term Yōkyoku came into use around the lat...

Yuri (ユリ)

A vocal technique of vibrating a low-pitched voice for decorative purposes, Yuri consists of hon-yur...

Wanyashoten (わんや書店)

Publisher which carries Noh-related written materials including chant books, headquartered in Jinbo-...

Rangyoku (闌曲,蘭曲,乱曲)

In Ze’ami’s treatises on Noh, an actor who has reached the highest level of his craft is said to hav...

Tsuzuke-utai (ツヅケ謡)

One variety of hiranori vocals. Sung with a relatively even beat, tsuzuke-utai is a lively vocal sty...

MitsuJi-utai (三ツ地謡)

One variety of hiranori vocals. Relatively unrestricted by the rhythm and easily adaptable to the eb...

Heike (平家)

When Heike Monogatari, or The Tale of the Heike, is performed with a biwa, a Japanese lute, it is kn...

Hyōshiawazu (拍子不合)

The vocals matching the rhythm, or hyōshi, are known as hyōshiai, and the vocals not matching the rh...

Hyōshiai (拍子合)

The vocals matching the rhythm, or hyōshi, are known as hyōshiai, and the vocals not matching the rh...

Meru (滅ル/メル)

Meru is used to describe the quality of both the vocals and music. It is used in contrast to haru, ...

Hiraki (ヒラキ)

Hiraki refers to the idea of release in vocals or forms. During the forms, or kata, the performer e...

Hiraki (開き)

Hiraki refers to the idea of release in vocals or forms. During the forms, or kata, the performer e...

Noh-gaku Shorin (能楽書林)

Publisher handling both chant books and other Noh-gaku-related material. Noh-gaku Shorin is headqua...

Hinoki Shoten ( 檜書店)

Publisher handling both chant books and other Noh-gaku-related material. During the Edo era, it rec...

Haru (ハル/張ル)

Haru is when the vocals or kakegoe are sung in a higher pitch. “More haru” thus means “increase the ...

Setsugekka (雪月花)

The three characters refer to the snow of the winter, moon of the fall and flowers of the spring (...

Sotogumi (外組)

The Utaibon is the book of words (lyrics) and musical notation for the syllables, and when they are ...

Uchigumi (内組)

The Utaibon is the book of words (lyrics) and musical notation for the syllables, and when they are ...

Koutabushi (小歌節)

In kyōgen, adding the verses of the kouta popular in the middle ages to where the words, or kotoba w...

Kouta (小歌)

Noh and kyōgenplays believed to incorporate folk songs from the Muromachi era. Kouta is represented ...

Kamiuta (神歌)

The lyrics sung to shikisanban (okina). When okina is performed alone it is also known as and listed...

Kake-ai (掛合)

Parts sung by one character and another, or one character and the ji-utai, typically performed out o...

Katari (語リ)

Katari, or simply “speaking” refers to one character telling stories of past events or famous storie...

Kiri (キリ)

Kiri refers to the end of something. In Noh, this is the final party of the play, as in kiri-no-utai...

Shodō (初同)

Within a Noh play, the vocals sung by the jiutai at the very beginning to match the rhythm. However,...

Jitori (地取リ)

The vocal performed after the shidai, one of the chants in Noh (where the vocals are the focus) by t...

Jigashira (地頭)

The lead performer/person responsible for the jiutai. There is no conductor in Noh, and no absolute ...

Dokugin (独吟)

In Dokugin, one actor sits on the stage and chants the best part of the vocal. This does not follow ...

Wataribyōshi (渡リ拍子)

One of the rhythms used in Noh and kyōgen. The narrow definition is a sagariha performed slowly as e...

Kimari Moyō (極リ模様)

Using the standard color and design in costumes and fans when performing Noh or kyōgen. One example ...

Su-utai (素謡)

Utai in Noh sung completely without the inclusion of the hayashi. There are no movements such as dan...

Utaibon (謡本)

The utaibon is the book of words (lyrics) and musical notation for the syllables (goma-ten and goma-...

Nayose (名寄)

A list of the plays performed by each school in Noh and kyōgen. In the Edo era, each school would su...

Waka (ワカ)

Noh plays are made up of numerous segments, and waka is one name for these segments. Waka are typica...

Yowagin (ヨワ吟)

“Weak song,” the converse of “strong song,” or tsuyogin, when referring to the way a melody of a ch...

Tsuyogin (ツヨ吟)

“Strong song,” the converse of “weak song,” or yowagin, when referring to the way a melody of a cha...

Irimawashi (入り廻し)

A type of verse in a Noh chant, or a type of musical notation in a chant book. Noh chants may be bro...

Kudoki (クドキ)

Kudoki refers to vocals in Noh that are full of lamenting and sorrow sung by the shite, shitetsure a...

Machi Utai (待謡)

The shōdan including the vocal sung by the waki who waits (machi) for the entrance of the nochishite...

Michiyuki (道行)

The michiyuki, or “travel song” is the shōdan describing the character’s travels. The vocals often i...

Nanori (名ノリ)

The nanori, or “name-saying,” is the part or shōdan of a Noh or Kyōgen play in which the performers ...

Dan (段)

Dan is a segment of a Noh play. Noh is made up of a collection of dan, and is used in phrases such a...

Kotoba (コトバ)

Kotoba, or “words,” refers to parts of vocals that include words only and no notes. In chant books, ...

Hiranori (平ノリ)

A type of vocal rhythm. There are three types of vocal rhythms that correspond to the rhythm of the ...

Rongi (ロンギ)

Noh chants are made up of numerous shōdan. Rongi is one name for shōdan. The rongi are usually sung ...

Issei (一セイ)

Issei, or “one voice,” is a short vocal sung directly after the entrance of the shite. They are ofte...

Sashi (サシ)

Noh chants are made up of numerous shōdan. Sashi is one name for shōdan. They are usually sung befor...

Kuri (クリ)

Noh chants are made up of numerous shōdan. Kuri is one name for shōdan. Kuri act as the introductory...

Ageuta (上歌)

Noh chants are made up of numerous shōdan, and ageuta refers to the shōdan or their form. Beginning ...

Kusemai (曲舞)

One of the medieval arts prevalent from the Nanboku-chō era to the Muromachi era, kusemai is also re...

Kuse (クセ)

A single Noh play is made up of a combination of numerous shōdan, or “modules,” and kuse is one name...

Jiutaikata (地謡方)

The chorus of performers that sings the verses to certain Noh sequences, around eight jiutaikata sit...


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