Flute Solo

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The shakuhachi is a traditional Japanese oblique flute, made of bamboo with five finger holes. Although now used in a wide variety of Japanese music, the shakuhachi was originally used primarily by Komusō, mendicant Buddhist monks of the Fuke sect, as a form of meditation in the Zen tradition. The Fuke shakuhachi repertoire was then used as the basis for a style of original art music, first composed by Kurosawa Kinko. The name Honkyoku properly refers to the original compositions of the Kinko school, but is often used to describe any solo shakuhachi composition in a similar style. The subtitle “shirabe” literally means “preparation”, and indicates a relatively short Honkyoku used as a sort of prelude or introduction.

This composition is not true honkyoku in the traditional sense, but rather an attempt to emulate the timbral and aesthetic qualities of honkyoku in an original composition for the western concert flute. This effect is achieved through a variety of extended techniques including alternate fingerings that produce microtones or “bamboo tones”. The piece is written using non-conventional notation that allows great flexibility of rhythm and expression.

for information on obtaining sheet music, please contact me at WalkerWilliamsMusic@gmail.com