20 Oct

Recording Studio: Japanese Koto

Recording Studio: The Koto is a traditional Japanese musical instrument. It originated from the Chinese Guzheng but developed its own tradition in Japan since the 8th century. It was traditionally played as a form of entertainment in the imperial courts.

Depiction of the Recording Studio Japanese Koto was a motif of early traditional visual arts. The Koto is a string instrument from the zither family and can be played solo or in accompaniment. Accordingly the Koto has two different forms.

Recording Studio: The Koto – Stringed with Silk

Like its Chinese predecessor, the Koto consists of a single resonance body made of wood up to 2 meters in length, over which the strings are stretched, which when plucked brings musical notes.

Traditionally the Koto is stringed with silk. It is tuned by shifting the base on which the strings are stretched. With a pick and three fingers of the right hand (thumb, index and middle finger), the strings are plucked and they vibrate.

Originally the Koto was laid on the ground when played. Today there are Koto instruments that can be played standing on special stages with pits that are in the floor.

Depending on the use, two main forms of the Koto developed over the centuries. There is the So, a conducting instrument about 1.8 to 2 meters long and with 13 or more strings. The K’in is used as a solo instrument and is the direct successor to its former Chinese antecessor, about one meter long and has seven strings.

Recording Studio: History of Japanese Koto

The history of the Koto dates back to the Nara Period (719-793). Back then the original Chinese instrument, the Guzheng was brought to Japan and adopted as court music. The instrument subsequently was developed a bit further in Japan, but independently from its Chinese antecessor and founded its own Japan tradition. For a long time the Koto was exclusively played in the imperial court.

The famous blind Shamisen player Yatsuhashi Kengyo (1614-1684) was the first in the seventeenth century to learn how to play the instrument and it became a traditional Japanese music. His teacher was the court musician Hasui.

When Yatsuhashi Kengyo handled the Koto, he fit the tune of the strings to Japanese folk music and composed songs, which still belong to Japanese culture today. This is true for the most popular Koto song today, Rokudan no Shirabe.

He also freed the recording studio instrument from its role as a conducting instrument and made it a solo instrument. Yatsuhashi Kengyo strived throughout his life to make the Koto popular in Japan, in which he was without a doubt successful.

Recording Studio

 

 

17 Oct

Audiobook: ‘The Last Unicorn’ by Peter S. Beagle

What Audiobook Are We Listening To?

This week at Crash Symphony Productions, we’re listening to The Last Unicorn written by Peter S. Beagle and read by the very author. This audiobook brings to life Beagle’s classic magical tale of grief and loss.

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Voice Over Sydney: Nepali Language

Voice Over Sydney: Since the creation of greater Nepal, the Nepali language has been popular as an easy means of communication between all language speakers of the nation. Many years before the creation of greater Nepal, the Nepali language had been in use from Bhramhaputra in the east and Kashmir in the west. The linguists have taken the stone inscription of Adityabanshi king Damupal, dating back to 1038 BS, as the official source of Nepali language. A copperplate inscription dating back to 1280 BS is the historical evidence of Krachalya King’s victory over Kedar-land Gadawal to create Sija’s Rigime. After studying the gold inscription of Prithvi Malla of 1413 B.S, we can surmise that the Nepali language came into existence in Gorkha and Gadawal since then.

Voice Over Sydney: Nepali Language Origins

Linguist Balkrishna Pokharel has written that the Nepali language used in Kirat era until 1382 BS is indicated by Simrangaud king Harisingh Dev’s Pandit Jyotirishwor’s Maithiti book ‘Barnaratnakar.’ Similarly, Bhanubhakta Pokharel writes, “Five-seven hundred years prior to the unification of Nepal, the kings and rulers of the nations in this region relied on Nepali language for inter-state use as in sending letters, treaties and agreements. Prithvi Narayan Shah, during his unification campaign spanning Baise, Chaubise, Limbuwan, Khumbuwan including Apungi breakaway states, used Nepali language whenever he had to speak with the monarchs of these states.” In this fashion, the Nepali language gained a status as the inter-caste medium of communication.

Voice Over Sydney: Nepali Language before Nepal

There are plenty of archives to indicate that Prithvi Narayan Shah, before unification of Nepal, had used Nepali language when speaking with Kantipur’s king Laxminarsingh Malla and his son Pratap Malla. There are many evidences that kings Jagat Prakash Malla, Bhupatendra Malla, Bhaskar Malla, Pratap Malla and Jayaprakash Malla used Nepali language in their correspondence. As Nepali language was already in use among the smaller states before the creation of greater Nepal, it helped Prithvi Narayan Shah in his unification campaign.

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14 Oct

Recording Studio: Music of Azerbaijan

Recording Studio: Azerbaijani music was developing through the centuries. The traces of ancient music of Azerbaijan were found in a number of monuments, excavated in time of archeological digs, as well as in rock carvings of Gobustan (18-3 millennium B.C) and Gemigaya (3-1 millennium B.C). Kitabi Dede Gorgud (8th century), creative works of Nizami, Fizuli provide full coverage of medieval music art, music genres and music instruments. The records of such prominent medieval scientists of Azerbaijan as Sefiaddin Urmevi (18 century), Abdulgadir Maragai (17 century), Mir Movsum Nevvab (19 century) pointed out the highly developed art and culture of music and mastery performance and cited theoretical issues of music in medieval Azerbaijan.

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Sydney Recording Studios: Fijian Music

Sydney Recording Studios: Fijian music combines the traditional Melanesian and Polynesian styles, as much of Fiji is influenced by these two cultures. However, other cultures, including the Indo-Fijians, have played a part in Fijian music as well. Folk music, traditional dances and different instruments are also largely involved with this type of music. The songs of Fiji are upbeat with beautiful rhythms and harmonies, and even the more modern music styles still convey aspects of ritualistic and traditional patterns.

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13 Oct

Recording Studios Sydney: 5 String Bass

Recording Studios Sydney: At the start of the 1960s bass players in the UK were pretty spoilt for choice. The trade embargo with America was finally lifted so along with all the continental names including Framus and Hofner we had Fender, Gibson, Harmony, Rickenbacker, Gretsch and Danelectro.

It was like all our Christmases had come at once! Lots of different styles, shapes and sizes but while the early bass guitar designs may have differed slightly on scale length they were all presented as four-stringed instruments. This was taken from the popular upright basses that were in common use at the dawn of the bass guitar and although 5-string uprights were available these were mainly used in orchestras.

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12 Oct

Voice over Sydney: Marathi Language

Voice Over Sydney: Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Maharashtrian people of western India. Among the Indo-Aryan languages, Marathi is the southern-most language.

Voice Over Sydney: Marathi Language

Marathi ranks 4th in India according to the number of speakers as their primary language. Marathi belongs to the group of Indo-Aryan languages which are a part of the larger of group of Indo-European languages, all of which can be traced back to a common root.

Voice Over Sydney: Marathi Language History

Marathi can be traced back far beyond the 10th century. It descends from Sanskrit through Pali, Maharashtri and Maharashtra – Apabhramsa. A gradual process of change and modification in the spoken language has led to the rise of the present Marathi. The origin and growth of Marathi literature is indebted to two important events.

The first was the rise of the Jadhava dynasty whose capital was Devgiri. The Jadhava’s adopted Marathi as the court language and patronized Marathi learned men. The second event was the coming of two religious sects known as Mahanubhav Panth and Warkari Panth which adopted Marathi as the medium for preaching their doctrines of devotion. Writers of the Mahanubhav sect contributed to Marathi prose while the saint-poets of Warkari sect composed Marathi poetry. However, the latter group is regarded as the pioneers and founders of Marathi literature.

Voice Over Sydney: Written Marathi Language

The first known examples of the written Marathi language are found in inscriptions dating to about the 11th century. Today Marathi is most commonly written using the Devanagari script, which is also used in the Hindi and Sanskrit languages. The Sanskrit alphabet dates back to circa the 7th century AD and long served as the sacred and literary language of Hindi India. The form of Devanagari used to write Marathi is slightly different from that used to write Hindi and other Indian languages; variables may include characteristics such as diacritic marks inserted to alter pronunciation.

The Devanagari script is easily recognized by the horizontal line over each letter that connects groups of letters. In the Marathi language, the Devanagari script is used both for official purposes and printed literature, as well as for everyday handwriting. An alternative form of cursive Devanagari, known as Modi, is also used for handwritten Marathi, although less frequently.

Voice over Sydney Marathi