Muzyka w Makura no sōshi

Marta Wesołowska



The article focuses on the problem of music and musicality in The Pillow Book (Makura no sōshi) written by Sei Shōnagon in the 10th century. It has been proved that Sei Shōnagon exposed many aspects of the problem of music in Japanese literature of the Heian period (794-1185) – the time of the greatest heyday of aristocratic culture as well as the development of Japanese court music gagaku. Unlike any European work of this period, music as art performed an important role in aristocratic society, influencing predominantly themes and composition of the created literature. Apart from many biological-cultural factors being shown in Japanese sensitivity and penchant for nature’s music (Tsunoda Tadanobu’s theory) as well as specific musicality of Japanese language, this work shows unique musical character of Sei Shonagon’s writing, expressed on several levels: the level of thematizing music through introducing description of holidays or popular instruments of that time (biwa, hichiriki, koto etc.); the level of verbal music through description of the sounds, involving sounds heard during Buddhist and Shinto ceremonies, tones of particular instruments, voices of human and nature, mechanical sounds and artificial ones; the level of music visualization based on detailed description of musical instruments or performance without relating to their soundsphere; musicality on the emotional level manifested in showing strong feelings and emotions provoked by the music heard, and the symbolic level manifested by assigning specific qualities of symbolism to certain musical elements (flute, rain). The analysis of the above aspects was carried out in regard to the musical contexts, especially the popularity of gagaku court music and the musical education of the ladies-in-waiting in Japan of the Heian period.

Słowa kluczowe

Japanese music; gagaku; Makura no sōshi; Sei Shōnagon

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