CEAPS/EALC Speaker: “Gagaku: A Brief Introduction and Thematic Cultural History”Dr. LeRon Harrison (Independent Scholar/Musician)
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This lecture will provide a brief introduction to gagaku (Japanese court music) and its cultural history. The introduction section will briefly explain the four genres that make up the music and focus on the instruments used in instrumental music as a prelude to the performance. The second part will focus on the cultural history of gagaku. With a history that spans more than thirteen hundred years, the lecture will focus on themes in the history of gagaku rather than laying out a chronological history of the music. Themes such as the relationship between gagaku and Buddhism, communities of practices within and outside of the Imperial court, and the history of gagaku in the US will be introduced.
Dr. LeRon Harrison is a scholar of Japanese poetry and Japanese imperial court music. He received his BA in Japanese Language and Literature from UC Berkeley, MA in Japanese from Indiana University, and PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures from UC Irvine and taught at UC Irvine, Stanford, University of Oregon, and Murray State University. His research interests focus on waka, Japanese court poetry and the appropriations of and interactions with Chinese poetry.