Other woodwinds instruments

Traditionally, musicians from the kangen orchestra do perform any repertoire from gagaku’s three main bodies of music and dance. Some different woodwind instruments are used in these works, such as: kagurabue and komabue.

 

1. Kagurabue

Description

It is a six-holed transverse flute made of bamboo. It is approximately 45 cm long (18 inches). With the exception of the mouth and finger holes, the entire instrument is wrapped in birch or cherry bark and then lacquered. This flute is used in the accompaniment of kagura-uta.

From bottom to top: Kagurabue, ryûteki, and komabue

Figure 1

Tuning and Transposition

The kagurabue sounds one octave higher than written, and it is tuned to an A-430Hz.

 

Range

It has a range of 2 octaves. The kagurabue does not have an octave-hole, so over-blowing the pitches of the lower octave produces those of the octave higher. The pitches shown in whole note are playable by opening/closing the instrument’s six holes, while the ones shown in black are produced by half-holing or breath manipulation.

Range of the kagurabue

Figure 2

2. Komabue

Description

It is a six-holed transverse flute made of bamboo. It is approximately 37 cm long (14.5 inches). This flute is used in Komagaku, music that originated from Korea often played as a dance accompaniment. It is very similar to the kagurabue, but it is much thinner, as a matter of fact, it replaces it in the accompaniement of azuma asobi.

 

Komabue

Figure 3

 

Tuning and Transposition

The komabue sounds one octave higher than written, and it is tuned to an A-430Hz.

 

Range

Its range slightly exceeds 2 octaves. The pitches shown in Figure 4 in whole note are playable by opening/closing the instrument’s six holes, while the ones shown in black are produced by half-holing or breath manipulation. Again, over-blowing the pitches of the lower octave produces those of the 2nd and 3rd octaves.

 

KomabueRange.jpg

Range of the komabue

Figure 4