Types Of Music In Japan

One of the most noteworthy features of the Japanese culture is the different types of music in Japan. The distinctive quality of the different types of music in Japan is how they involve their cultural elements from different parts of the country and synchronizes it in peace and harmony. The diverse types of music in Japan have a very strong influence on their present culture and give birth to a whole new meaning of Japanese tradition.

Although, the different types of music in Japan was once mainly confined to concert performances and operas, today with the introduction of radio and television, this music has reached every home.

There are basically two types of music in Japan:

* folk music

* Art music

ask music mainly focuses on the art of Japan and involves different styles that are introduced in different periods in Japanese history. Although the different types of music in Japan has been introduced at different times in history, they are better maintained and preserved over the years with only very little modification. Vocal music has always been a critical part of Japanese musical history and still holds a very important role, more than instrumental music. Music back then was generally developed as part of a drama known as Kabuli, Bunraku and Noh.


this was the first ever significant music development that took place during the Heian Period. Gagaku was considered one of those types of music in Japan that was highly popular with the upper classes and was generally performed in courts. These types of music in Japan had three categories:

* original foreign music

* your music

* compositions from foreign influences

Gagaku was also performed in shrines and temple apart from courts and other high noble places.


This types of music in Japan was developed from the kamakura period to the Muromachi period and experienced an outstanding group in the field of theatrical arts. This music I want everything right from the peasant dances in rice plant fields to the ritual practices in shrines. By the time this century was coming to a close, Japan’s musical history also witnessed Noh drama with specialized music known as Nohgaku.

This was one of the most stylized and symbolic forms of act that is generally performed by the musicians tuned actors. This type of music had to elements to it – vocal and instrumental. The vocal part is generally performed as chorus by actors and singers. It generally narrates a story and includes speech.


This was considered as one among the different types of music in Japan and was played as minor part of Zen services. It was considered as a most favorite instrumental music by Buddhist priest.


the music for koto is known as Sokyoku and is completely composed eight and narrated by buying clothes and women among the wealthy upper class. It has two elements of vocal music -Melody and narrative.

To this very date, the creation and preservation of this traditional Japanese classical music has been going on and is not neglected by contemporary musicians and composers.