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Gagaku – Koromo-gae

Gagaku literally means ‘elegant music’ in Japan. A term originally used in contrast with Zokugaku (popular music) and denotes classical music. It’s Japan’s most ancient classical music. As the sum-total of Japanese music, comprising native Japanese songs and dances handed down from ancient times, instrumental music and dances introduced to Japan from the Asian continent and Japanized, as well as music newly created under the influence of such music, Gagaku evolved into its present form around the 10th century A.D. (mid Heian period).

Gagaku has been performed mainly in the Imperial Court, in aristocratic society and at important shrines and temples.

Gagaku handed down by the Music Department of the Imperial Household Agency now sets the standard for Gagaku.


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