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Season 2012 Episode 03.21.12

Gagaku and Hogaku Japanese Music at Columbia

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Gagaku, which literally means “elegant music,” is East Asia’s oldest musical tradition, currently enjoying a revival both in Japan and on the Morningside campus. Gagaku “has always been of the cosmos,” says Barbara Ruch, a professor emerita at the Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies. “And if they play well enough, they will be able to call in powers that will make the rice grow and make us get over our emotional pain. Its purpose is not to feed on passions but to untie our emotional knots.”moreless

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