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Boomkat Product Review:
"Essentially a soundtrack to the tranquil beauty of ancient Japan, the tracks here are performed by the Ensemble Nipponia and were recorded live during the group's 1976 tour of North America. The different genres of traditional Japanese music are represented here, including folk, religious, dramatic, lullaby and even narrative chanting-all showing a great diversity in instruments and their uses, as well as vocal techniques, formal construction and rhythmic patterns. Historically, the almost total absence of a written tradition in many genres has resulted in the loss of much music composed before the 17th century, a process that was accelerated by the widespread disregard for traditional music in the early years of Japan's selfimposed Westernization. Since the end of WW II the government and concerned musicians have made concerted efforts to preserve and revive traditional music. Four of the most important of Japan's traditional instruments are represented here, including the koto (a large zither, almost 6 feet in length), the shamisen (a three-stringed instrument close to a banjo), the shakuhachi (a bamboo flute), and the biwa (a Japanese lute)."