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Utaibon (謡本)

The utaibon is the book of words (lyrics) and musical notation for the syllables (goma-ten and goma-setsu, indicating note length). The music of Noh is completely different from Western music, with the score written not in five lines, but instead vertically with the goma-ten written to the side. The direction of the goma-ten indicate the direction of the sound, with the more detailed syllable notation being notated differently according to school. The books are typically bound in the Japanese-style, with most including one play per book, but there are also smaller, more portable shūchibon and larger books, hyakubanshū, with one hundred plays collected in a single book. Utaibon were traditionally passed down in the form of handwritten copies, and with the development of printing technology in the Edo era many more utaibon began to be published, playing a great role in the popularization of utai.

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