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日本楽器法(英語版) Composing for Japanese Instruments
by Minoru Miki
Translated by Marty Regan
Edited by Philip Flavin

ISBN 978-1-58046-552-6

The unique sounds of the biwa, shamisen, and other traditional instruments from Japan are heard more and more often in works for the concert hall and opera house. Composing for Japanese Instruments is a practical orchestration and instrumentation manual with contextual and relevant historical information for composers who wish to learn how to compose for traditional Japanese instruments. Widely regarded as the authoritative text on the subject in Japan and China, it contains hundreds of musical examples, diagrams, photographs, and fingering charts. Many of the musical examples can be heard on a companion website. The book also contains valuable appendices, one of works author Minoru Miki composed using Japanese traditional instruments, and one of works by other composers – including Tōru Takemitsu and Henry Cowell – using these instruments.

Originally published in Japanese by Ongaku no Tomosha in 1996, Minoru Miki’s orchestration manual Composing for Japanese Instruments is widely regarded as the authoritative text on the subject. A practical manual with contextual and relevant historical information for composers who wish to learn how to compose for traditional Japanese instruments, it contains hundreds of musical examples, diagrams, photographs, and fingering charts, and comes complete with two accompanying compact discs of musical examples. This book is the only resource of its kind available for English-literate composers.


Minoru Miki was a composer of international renown, recognized in Japan as a pioneer in writing for Japanese traditional instruments. Marty Regan is associate professor of music at Texas A&M University. Philip Flavin is associate professor at the Osaka University of Economics and Law and adjunct senior research associate of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

Table of Contents [目次]

  • Introduction 序説
  • Chapter 1: Wind Instruments 第1章 管楽器
    • 1-1: Shinobue 篠笛 - 構造/基礎音階各種と派生音,運指/音域・音色/吹奏の技術/手の技術
    • 1-2: Ryūteki 竜笛 - 構造/基礎音階各種と派生音,運指/音域・音色/吹奏の技術/手の技術
    • 1-3: Nōkan 能管 - 構造/基礎音階各種と運指/音域・音色/吹奏の技術/手の技術
    • 1-4: Shakuhachi 尺八 - 構造/基礎音階各種と派生音,運指/音域・音色/吹奏の技術/手の技術
    • 1-5: Hichiriki 篳篥 - 構造/基礎音階各種と派生音,運指/音域・音色/吹奏の技術/手の技術
    • 1-6: Shō - 構造/基礎音階各種と運指/音域・音色/吹奏の技術/手の技術
  • Chapter 2: String Instruments (lutes) 第2章 抱絃楽器
    • 2-1: Biwa 琵琶 - 構造/音域と調絃・調音/左手の技術/右手の技術
    • 2-2: Shamisen 三味線 - 構造/音域と調絃・調音/左手の技術/右手の技術
    • 2-3: Special shamisen 特殊な三味線についての追記
      • (1) Futozao (Gidayū shamisen) 太棹(義太夫三味線)
      • (2) Futozao (Tsugaru shamisen) 太棹(津軽三味線)
      • (3) Sanshin 三線
    • 2-4: Kokyū 胡弓 - 構造/音域と調絃/左手の技術/右手の技術
  • Chapter 3: String Instruments (zithers) 第3章 伏絃楽器
    • 3-1: Koto - 構造/音域と調絃/左手の技術/右手の技術
    • 3-2: Special Kotos 特殊な筝についての追記
      • (1) Gakusō 楽箏
      • (2) 17-string bass koto 十七絃箏
      • (3) Nijūgen (21-string koto) 二十絃(21絃)箏
  • Chapter 4: Percussion Instruments 第4章 打楽器
    • 4-1: Membrane Percussion 革の打楽器 - 小鼓/大鼓/壱鼓・三の鼓/羯鼓/楽太鼓(雅楽用)/大太鼓
    • 4-2: Wood and Bamboo Percussion 木と竹の打楽器 - ささら(簓)/びんざさら(編木)/笏拍子/木鉦/木魚
    • 4-3: Metal and Stone Percussion 金属と石の打楽器 - 鐘/鏧(きん)/鉦鼓/金鼓/鉦(しょう)/鉦(当り鉦)
  • Afterword あとがき
  • Appendix I: Works for Japanese
    Instruments by Minoru Miki
    Appendix I: 三木稔 日本の楽器を含む作品表
  • Appendix II: Contemporary Works
    for Traditional Japanese Instruments
    by Composers
    other than Minoru Miki, 1981-2005
    Appendix II
  • Notes Notes
  • Glossary Glossary
  • Index Index


The English edition of Minoru Miki’s groundbreaking work Composing for Japanese Instruments is an insightful and valuable book that will be a great asset to composers and scholars in understanding and creating music using traditional instruments from Japan. As a composer with extensive experience with these instruments, Marty Regan excels at conveying this important information to the international community.

Kenny Endo, taiko-artist

This book is a milestone for composers around the world who are interested in creating new music for Japanese instruments. Minori Miki had a comprehensive vision for Japanese music filtered throught the perspective of world music, as well as a deep understanding of each instrument. Marty Regan’s translation reflects his respect for his mentor and other composers who came before him in the long history of Japanese music.

Yōko Reikanō Kimura, koto/shamisen player and lecturer at the Institute of Traditional Japanese Music, Senzoku Gakuen College of Music

An invaluable resource for all composers, scholars, and performers who are interested in Japanese instruments. The aptly chosen examples from both traditional repertoire and Miki’s own contemporary pieces, clear charts for ranges and fingerings, and in-depth discussion of idiomatic performance techniques go a long way to help demystify these beautiful instruments. I wish I had this book many, many years ago.

Ken Ueno, Rome Prize-winning composer and professor at the University of California, Berkeley

Composing for Japanese Instruments is a well-organized and systematic manual on how to approach, listen to, and compose for traditional Japanese instruments. When Minoru Miki first published it in 1996, he brought alive the arcane world of traditional Japanese instruments and music for a new generation of Japanese composers. Now, with the English edition, composers and scholars from around the world will have the same opportunity to discover and utilize the rich musical possibilities inherent in these beautiful instruments.

Christopher Yohmei Blasdel, Shakuhachi performer, Artistic Director, The International House of Japan, Inc.