Music & Japan Homework Page
There's a famous quote attributed sometimes to Blaise Pascal, sometimes to Winston Churchill, sometimes to Abraham Lincoln, and sometimes to George Bernard Shaw (!): "I'm sorry I wrote you such a long letter; I wanted to write a short one but I didn't have time." In other words, being concise takes a lot of work! Please say your full thoughts about the topic you choose, but condense them to the most economical form, the smallest number of words needed. The most important thing to cover are literal sound descriptions and emotional identifications.
Sakura (Cherry Blossoms)
How is the sound and feeling of this music similar to or different from the Chinese folk music we heard? (See the examples of Chinese folk music referenced on the page here.) What scale of notes does "Sakura" use?
What overall themes are emerging as the distinctive aspects of the Japanese character?
Played by Miyata Kohachiro
Played by Kirsty Komuso
Played by "FauxKomuso"
Played by Tajima Tadashi
- Synopsis of the Story
- A Wanding Minstrel, I (Nanki-Poo, the son of the Emperor, with the men); Audio; Words.
- Behold the Lord High Executioner (Koko, a cheap tailor, has been elevated to this grandiose job); Audio; Words.
- Three Little Maids from School Are We; Audio (slower); Audio (faster); Words.
- FINALE ("For he's gone and married Yum-Yum"); Audio; Words.
- "Come, my Love!" -- Butterfly shows Pinkerton her treasures including small statues of her ancestors (notice what the orchestra plays around 1:20)
- Love Duet -- Butterfly and Pinkerton fall in love; she sings that being scorned by her family does not matter because of her love for Pinkerton
- The "Flower Duet" - (not to be confused with the flower duet from Lakme) Butterfly and her servant Suzuki sing of the return of Pinkerton (beautiful harmony at 3:25)
- The "Humming Chorus" -- Butterfly waits all night for Pinkerton to arrive; she is with her servant Suzuki and her son
- Finale -- Butterfly says goodbye to her son and prepares to committ ritual suicide (seppuku) [here is a version with staging]