日本歌曲における歌唱法の実践的研究--伝統音楽との接点,その考察と実践論 [in Japanese] Practical Research on Vocal Techniques Used in Japanese Art Song : The Applicability of Traditional Japanese Vocal Genres [in Japanese]
Search this Article
Japanese art song, defined as composed vocal mucic dating to the Meiji era that has Japanese lyrics and is based on Western musical principles and singing style, is often criticized because the words are difficult to understand in performance. This difficulty can be traced to such factors as intonation, rhythm, and reverberation, factors that stem from the classical Western singing style. The author conducted experiments, based on her own experience as a singer, in order to ascertain if this difficulty could be ameliorated by incorporating traditional Japanese vocal techniques into the singing style of the Japanese art song. This dissertation presents the results of research conducted so far, including a generalized description of the problems involved, a description of concrete vocal techniques to solve those problems, scientific analyses, and directions for future study. Two principal themes form the basis of the paper: 1) Pracitical research on voice production techniques used in Japanese art songs that are heavily influenced by traditional Japanese folk genres; and 2) comparative acoustical analyses of movement between notes in the melodic lines of Japanese art song and traditional genres. For the first theme, the author compared a purely Western singing style with one modified by the inclusion of traditional folk vocal techniques. Since the author has training in both forms, her own voice served as the test medium. Emphasis was placed on the resonance function, with comparative acoustical and phonetic analyses. This research brought to light the following characteristics of folk-influenced singing technique as compared with purely Western style singing: 1. A melodic line without vibrato is maintained that incorporates such traditional ornaments as "yuri" and "kobushi." 2. Singing formants are closer to the phonemes of spoken Japanese. 3. Singing formants are more clearly distinguishable. 4. The mouth opening is kept relatively small, and the corners of the mouth are often drawn back and up. 5. The tongue and larynx tend to be kept in a high position. This results in a smaller resonance cavity. 6. The soft palate tends to be more relaxed. 7. The false chords are not used during voice production. From these results it can be seen that the resonance function of the folk-influenced singing style differs to some degree from the purely Western style. It is also true, however, that an analysis of singing formants and false chords reveals certain elements the two styles have in common. This seems to indicate that folk vocal techniques can be used successfully to improve the comprehensibility of the sung words without destroying the basic singing style of Japanese art song. The second principal theme involved a comparative analysis of the movement between notes in the melodic lines of Western and traditional singing styles. Ten volunteers from both genres were tested, and the author's own voice was analyzed in both styles using a sound spectrograph. The results showed that in Western music the notes were held precisely the length indicated by the written notation, that vowels received vibrato, and that consonants were uttered as short punctuation between the vowels. In comparison, traditional singing techniques were based on a melodic line free of vibrato but ornamented by minute changes in dynamic level and timbre, particularly during held vowels and when movement was made between notes. The length of the notes was treated relatively freely; as a result, syllables were easily elided and the movement between syllables often did not correspond exactly to the movement between notes, producing an effect of rhythmic variety. The treatment of consonants was also quite diverse and rich. Among the subtle melodic ornaments found in the traditional singing style, a strong/weak accentuation is rare, reflecting the equal syllabic stress of spoken Japanese and contributing to more effective expression. The traditional vocal techniques of Japanese folk genres have an applicability that exceeds the bounds of their origins and can be used effectively to improve the comprehensibility of the sung word in Japanese art song.
- Bulletin Faculty of Music,Tokyo National University of Fine Arts & Music
Bulletin Faculty of Music,Tokyo National University of Fine Arts & Music (13), p1-38, 1987
Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music