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Special Lecture ~ "The Primacy of Corporeality in the Transmission of Japanese Traditional Music: Repetition and Indifference"

Tuesday, March 6, 2012
5:00 AM
Room 2609, School of Social Work Building, 1080 South University, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106

Takanori Fujita specializes in ethnomusicology and cultural anthropology. His main field is Japanese performing arts such as Noh drama and ritualistic music tradition of the medieval origin. As an ethnomusicologist, he is involved in comparative study of music transmission among Asian countries.
In the transmission of Japanese music and performing arts, repetitious practice and performance which discourage the introduction of any changes and variations is a highly valued form of learning. This mode of learning forces students and performers to practice performing arts on a thoroughly corporeal basis, which stresses repetition and indifference as conventions, and to disregard theoretical background. The origins of such thought and conventions may be easily traced to the doctrines and exegetical texts of Zen Buddhism. On the other hand, one finds that it is not text so much as the formal manners instituted in everyday life which disposes learners and performers to maintain the thought and conventions prevalent in the performing arts.