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About Hana Hachijo

Traditional, arranged by Chieko Kojima

One of the chain of Izu Islands located to the south of Tokyo, Hachijo Island is home to a distinct style of drumming where particular attention is paid to the movement of the arms and bachi (drumsticks). Hana Hachijo is an arrangement based on that style in which two performers play a single drum, casting sound in waves across the instrument. Like the different flowers that bloom from season to season, never the same twice, this composition evolves in tandem with the relationship of the performers and their respective spirits.

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Syllabus outcomes

Outcomes
Description
4.7

demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through listening, observing, responding, discriminating, analysing, discussing and recording musical ideas

5.7

demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through the analysis, comparison, and critical discussion of music from different stylistic, social, cultural and historical contexts

4.8

demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through aural identification and discussion of the features of a range of repertoire

5.8

demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through aural identification, discrimination, memorisation and notation in the music selected for study

4.11

demonstrates an appreciation, tolerance and respect for the aesthetic value of music as an artform

5.11

demonstrates an appreciation, tolerance and respect for the aesthetic value of music as an artform

4.12

demonstrates a developing confidence and willingness to engage in performing, composing and listening experiences

5.12

demonstrates a developing confidence and willingness to engage in performing, composing and listening experiences

Music 1 P4

recognises and identifies the concepts of music and discusses their use in a variety of musical styles

Music 1 P5

comments on and constructively discusses performances and compositions

Music 1 P6

observes and discusses concepts of music in works representative of the topics studied

Music 1 P10

demonstrates a willingness to participate in performance, composition, musicology and aural activities

Music 1 H10

demonstrates a willingness to participate in performance, composition, musicology and aural activities

Music 2 P3

composes, improvises and analyses melodies and accompaniments for familiar sound sources in solo and/or small ensembles

Music 2 P5

analyses and discusses compositional processes with stylistic, historical, cultural and musical considerations

Music 2 H5

demonstrates a developing confidence and willingness to engage in performing, composing and listening experiences

Activities

Activity 1

Learning intention

Students observe specific movements and recognise rhythmic changes.

Success criteria

Students make an action when they observe a figure of 8 and when the base rhythm changes.

Syllabus outcomes

  • 4.7, 4.8, 4.12
  • 5.7, 5.8, 5.12
  • Music 1: P4, P6, P10, H10
  • Music 2: P3, P5, H6

Resources

Activity

Watch the performance of Hana Hachijo (1:22:50 – 1:31:15)

  • Students make an action every time they see Chieko form a figure of 8 with her arms.
  • As the tempo increases, the base rhythm (called ji-uchi or shitabyoshi, played here by Ian Cleworth), changes rhythm. It is a seamless transition, but there is definite point of change. Students make an action when they hear/see Ian change the ji-uchi rhythm. (Hint: it occurs at 1:27:32)

Activity 2

Learning intention

Students compare the stance, rhythm, venue, costume and instrumentation of 3 different performances.

Success criteria

Students participate in discussions.

Syllabus outcomes

  • 4.7, 4.11
  • 5.7, 5.11
  • Music 1: P4, P5

Resources

Activity

Watch the YouTube clips then answer the following questions.

The videos feature Hachijo Island residents playing the taiko in their unique style. Although only men traditionally played (some) taiko styles in Japan, Hachijo Island has always seen both women and men play the taiko. Video 1 is of a woman and video 2, a man.

Question
Answer
Looking at the stance of each player in the two videos, what is the chief point of difference?
The woman has her feet together and the man has them placed wide apart.
The Hachijo-daiko base rhythms (called ji-uchi or shitabyoshi) are central to the ‘flavour’ of the music. Ji-uchi are played by an accompanying player on the other side of the taiko. What is the difference between the two shitabyoshi in the two videos?
The woman’s rhythm is a “swing” type rhythm, while the man’s rhythm is a fast, driving rhythm notated and sung thus:
Comparing the two Hachijo Island players on the two YouTube videos with Chieko and Taikoz’s performance in The Beauty Of 8 what are some points of difference?
  1. The Hachijo Island performances take place outside. Chieko and Ian are performing in a concert hall.
  2. Chieko wears a kimono, whereas the Hachijo Island players wear everyday, casual clothing. (A follow up question could be: Speculate as to why this is so. Answer: Chieko’s performance is taking place in a concert hall, which requires a more formal approach to clothing and costuming. Chieko also intends to create a very different atmosphere to playing in a casual outdoor setting).
  3. The performance of Hana Hachijo in the context of The Beauty Of 8 adds extra musical elements not usually associated with traditional playing on Hachijo Island. Two distinct musical additions are the noh theatre bamboo flute called nohkan and cymbals, which are heard at 1:27:18.

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