Transmission of music is never carried out solely through writing; rather it occurs through both oral and written traditions. Tōgaku, a repertory of entertainment music imported to Japan from China between the seventh and the ninth centuries AD, was initially transmitted with a great reliance on the written tradition. However, during the course of its historical development, there was a gradual increase in the reliance on oral transmission. This paper studies changes in the oral and written traditions of tōgaku in Japan by investigating the notations and mnemonic devices used to resemble the melodies during the learning process. Copyright © 2011 Taylor & Francis.
CitationNg, K.-W. (2011). Orality and literacy in the transmission of Japanese Tōgaku: Its past and present. Ethnomusicology Forum, 20(1), 33-56. doi: 10.1080/17411912.2011.549359
- Oral transmission
- Mnemonic device