Japanese Ceremonial Music in California: Buddhism, Shinto, and Concert Halls



Email: rambelli@ucsb.edu

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Project Description

An innovative project on the cultural history of Gagaku (ancient Japanese ceremonial music) in California. It involves tracing knowledge about Gagaku to early "world music" ethnomusicology sources, the role of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in the first part of the 20th century, and the activities of contemporary composers such as Henry Eichheim, Henry Cowell, Lou Harrison, John Cage, LaMonte Young, and Alan Hovhaness, among others. This project bring together Japanese studies, history of California, Asian-American studies, religious studies, and music history, and traces global processes of "world music" from the standpoint of an ancient and important non-Western musical tradition and its impact on Western music and back.

Undergraduate Contribution

Archival research in libraries and on the internet, bibliographical research, possibly fieldwork and perhaps interviews with performers at Japan-related temples and shrines in California.

Requirements and/or Application Instructions

Some knowledge of religious studies and intellectual history is necessary; competence in the Japanese language and musicology is welcome but not indispensable. Only students committed to research, attentive to details, and with a good sense of personal initiative need apply. Please contact professor Rambelli via email, indicating in detail why you would like to participate in this project and how you think you can contribute to it.