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Shakuhachi Instructions, Books, Music, Instructional DVD

The Japanese Shakuhachi Flute by M. Levenson

Monty Levenson
Monty Levenson's The Japanese Shakuhachi Flute
Monty Levenson's
The Japanese Shakuhachi Flute

For those folks who are into doing it themselves, here is a craft manual dealing with the construction of the shakuhachi. It explains how to make your own flute with clear and simple instructions. This manual covers all aspects of the craft: selecting bamboo, where to find it, working the bore of the flute and how to tune the shakuhachi. It provides information on fashioning the blowing edge and inserting the utaguchi, lacquering the bore, binding and repair. There are several diagrams and a source listing for Japanese and other tools.
22 pages.
classic
Price:$15.00

Take-No-Michi Book and CD

Take-No-Michi Book and CD
Take-No-Michi Book and CD
This is a shakuhachi playing guide designed specifically for beginning students with no access to a teacher. Written in clear language, it covers the fundamentals of producing a sound and learning to play Kinko-ryu honkyoku. The keynote of this edition is "simplicity", which is the essence of Tokuyama-sensei's approach to shakuhachi. His main disciple and editor of this instructional guide, Barry Nyosui Weiss, writes about his teacher: "His tone was simple and pure, a reflection of his true spirit. Since our first lesson, I have been going more inside the music, more inside myself. For the rest of my life, I will practice this simple way."

Chapters include information and advice on the structure and care of shakuhachi, practice, posture, breath, embouchure, how to hold the instrument, finger positions and making your first sound. It provides an explanation of the basic 5-note shakuhachi scale, timing and rhythm before teaching you how to produce each tone in both octaves. Several practice melodies are taught in a step-by-step method.

Once the fundamentals are mastered, Tokuyama teaches the student some of the more nuanced aspects of playing Kinko honkyoku on the shakuhachi. He illustrates the proper head positions for meri and kari notes as well as special fingerings for the highest notes played on the instrument.
A CD, fingering chart and many excellent illustrations are included. 65 pages.
Takahashi Tokuyama has studied with several senior shakuhachi masters, but aligns himself with no particular school. His recordings are entirely from the ancient traditional Japanese shakuhachi masterworks collection, the Koten honkyoku.
Price:$50.00

Blowing Zen, One Breath, One Mind, Original Volume, w/ CD

Blowing Zen, One Breath, One Mind
Blowing Zen, One Breath, One Mind

Blowing Zen: One Breath, One Mind by Carl Abbott The complete guide for both the aspiring Shakuhachi maker and player. It includes basic information and historical background on the instrument, a discussion of playing techniques and instruction for playing the following pieces: Honkyoku (Solo Music) & Sankyoku (Ensemble Music), Kuro Kami, Sode Koro, Sho Dan, Tsuru No Koe, Kon Go Seki, Hi Fu Mi, Roku Dan, Chi Dori, Minyo (Folk Tunes), Hi No Maru No Hata, Haru No Ko Gawa, Yu Yuke Ko Yake, Himingaeyo, Kazoe Uta, Ko Ju No Tsuyki, Sakura, Haru Ga Kita, Hotaru No Hikari.  It comes with a fingering chart and several examples of musical notation which can be heard on its accompanying 72-minute instructional CD covering all 17 pieces listed above. This book features the most comprehensive review of Shakuhachi construction techniques available in English, including detailed information and photographs on bore design and fabrication. 93 pages. PG-7. 

Price:$33.00

Blowing Zen, One Breath, One Mind, Expanded Addition, w/ CD

Blowing Zen, One Breath, One Mind
Blowing Zen, One Breath, One Mind

Blowing Zen: Expanded Edition is two books in one. The first is the original Blowing Zen (1992) which guides you step-by-step from producing sound to playing Buddhist Meditation music. Also included are detailed build-your-own shakuhachi instructions. The 'Expanded" section is Blowing Zen II, which contains sheet music for an additional 26 Hon Kyoku compositions (Zen Buddhist music), pitch graphs, more San Kyoku (Japanese Chamber music), and more Japanese folk music.

The Blowing Zen Companion CD comes with this book:  it contains the Japanese folk tunes, chamber music and Buddhist composition “Hi Fu Mi” taught in the first section of the book. It also includes examples of timing and standard Buddhist music phrases. There are also FREE recordings online of the Hon Kyoku contained in the Expanded section of the book.

The original is included:

Blowing Zen: One Breath, One Mind by Carl Abbott The complete guide for both the aspiring Shakuhachi maker and player. It includes basic information and historical background on the instrument, a discussion of playing techniques and instruction for playing the following pieces: Honkyoku (Solo Music) & Sankyoku (Ensemble Music), Kuro Kami, Sode Koro, Sho Dan, Tsuru No Koe, Kon Go Seki, Hi Fu Mi, Roku Dan, Chi Dori, Minyo (Folk Tunes), Hi No Maru No Hata, Haru No Ko Gawa, Yu Yuke Ko Yake, Himingaeyo, Kazoe Uta, Ko Ju No Tsuyki, Sakura, Haru Ga Kita, Hotaru No Hikari. Comes with a fingering chart and several examples of musical notation which can be heard on a 72-minute instructional CD covering all 17 pieces listed above. This book features the most comprehensive review of Shakuhachi construction techniques available in English, including detailed information and photographs on bore design and fabrication. 93 pages. PG-7. 

Price:$39.00

How to Play the Shakuhachi

How to Play the Shakuhachi by Yoshinobu Taniguchi
How to Play the Shakuhachi by Yoshinobu Taniguchi

How to Play the Shakuhachi A Guide to the Japanese Bamboo Flute Yoshinobu Taniguchi Traditional songs,(songs written in Japanese notation,) accompanied on CD. This instructional guide provides clear and concise information covering all aspects of the shakuhachi. It is highly recommended for beginning students of the instrument. Some of the chapters include notes on care of the flute, proper ways to hold the shakuhachi and initial steps in making a sound. Detailed instruction is provided on learning how to read traditional Kinko Ryu notation. A fingering chart is accompanied by extensive notes as well as a complete analysis of meter, duration and modes of performance as they relate to shakuhachi music. Taniguchi provides sheet music for several practice pieces of Japanese and American folk songs and Koten honkyoku which are included on any accompanying compact disk. This edition is highlighted by its many excellent hand drawings and calligraphy which complement the text. 53 pages

Price:$45.00

Kinko Shakuhachi for Beginners DVD

The first of a long-awaited series of video playing guides for shakuhachi in English. Beginning and intermediate students of the shakuhachi will all find this edition useful and informative. Kinko Shakuhachi is distinguished by the use of ornamentation, particularly the atari breath-finger attack, and by the variety of tone colors, most notably the meri techniques and alternate fingerings, available to the player. After a brief introduction to various performance settings for Kinko shakuhachi, this video guide gradually introduces the notation system, techniques and fingerings using pieces drawn from the traditional Kinko honkyoku repertoire. The musical compositions presented include Yuyake Koyake, Sakura, Kojo no Tsuki, and Kimigayo, amongst others. Particular attention is paid to the atari attack which is used on nearly every note in the performance examples. Huebner carefully demonstrates, discusses and takes the student through each melody with close-ups of actual performance and the traditional Kinko notation. Volume One: Includes performance and notation examples with exercises and pointers on tone production, the traditional notation system, and basic Kinko ornamentation. (41 minutes.)

Bruce Huebner is the first non-Japanese to graduate from the Japanese Music Department of the Tokyo University of Fine Arts & Music. He studied shakuhachi with Jensuke Kawase and earned his master teaching degree from Chikuyusha in 1995. He is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Fukushima College for Women in Japan.

Price:$45.00