Document technical information

Format pdf
Size 5.4 MB
First found May 22, 2018

Document content analysis

Category Also themed
not defined
no text concepts found


Carl Perkins
Carl Perkins

wikipedia, lookup

Claude Debussy
Claude Debussy

wikipedia, lookup

Charlene Choi
Charlene Choi

wikipedia, lookup

Igor Stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky

wikipedia, lookup

Osamu Tezuka
Osamu Tezuka

wikipedia, lookup




University of Nebraska - Lincoln
[email protected] of Nebraska - Lincoln
Student Research, Creative Activity, and
Performance - School of Music
Music, School of
Mai Nagatomo
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, [email protected]
Follow this and additional works at:
Part of the Composition Commons
EUROPEAN TRADITION" (2012). Student Research, Creative Activity, and Performance - School of Music. Paper 54.
This Article is brought to you for free and open access by the Music, School of at [email protected] of Nebraska - Lincoln. It has been
accepted for inclusion in Student Research, Creative Activity, and Performance - School of Music by an authorized administrator of
[email protected] of Nebraska - Lincoln.
Mai Nagatomo
A Doctoral Document
Presented to the Faculty of
The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska
In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements
For the Degree of Doctor of Musical Arts
Major: Music
Under the Supervision of Professor Paul E. Barnes
Lincoln, Nebraska
December, 2012
Mai Nagatomo, D.M.A.
University of Nebraska, 2012
Advisor: Paul E. Barnes
Makiko Kinoshita is one of the leading contemporary composers in Japan.
Kinoshita’s 9 Preludes (2001) is remarkable twenty-first century piano literature that
provides abundant use of various musical styles. The most important style that
Kinoshita combined with traditional Western writing is jazz; especially the rhythmic and
harmonic language of Jazz music. This document provides a detailed analysis of
Kinoshita’s unique treatments of form, tonality, harmony, rhythm, and motivic materials.
The central section of this study employs musical examples in order to examine how
Kinoshita fuses diverse elements of musical styles with modern musical language to create
her own idiom. Along with an analysis of the work, Kinoshita’s biography, and musical
aesthetics will be discussed. In addition, a brief history of Western music in Japan is
Copyright 2012, Mai Nagatomo
I would like to deeply thank my advisor, Dr. Paul Barnes who successfully guided
me in writing this document. I sincerely appreciate his precious time spent supervising
this document. His comments greatly influenced my paper. Moreover, I would also like
to thank Dr. Brenda Wristen and Dr. Rhonda Fuelberth who spent their invaluable time to
improve my document. I would not have made it without their warm support.
I also would like to express my gratitude to Tysen Dauer, Janet Hildebrand, and
Amber Knight for their assistance in editing this document. Their constructive comments
drastically improved my writing skills. Without their help, I would not have been able to
write this document.
Finally, my sincere thanks go to my parents in Japan, Yasuhiro and Fumiko
Nagatomo who encouraged and supported me to accomplish my studies in the U.S. Their
aid and love has allowed me to achieve my goal.
CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………….1
Biography of Makiko Kinoshita…………………..…………………………………………….4
Initial Reception of Western Classical Music………………………………………………….7
The Beginning of Western Classical Influence………………………………………………..9
Japanese Classical Music from 1900 to 1950……………………………………...............11
Japanese Classical Music from 1950 to 1970………………...…………………………..…13
Japanese Classical Music from 1970………………………………………………………..…15
Jazz History in Japan………………..…………………………………………………………..15
Kinoshita’s View of Music History in Japan…………………………………....................16
Genre of Music…………………………………………………………………………………....18
Beautiful Sound over Avant-garde Technique………………………………………………..19
Importance of Tone Color and Resonance…………………………………………………..20
Harmony over Melody…………………………………………………………………………..21
Orchestral Sound………………………………………………………………………….……...22
General Characteristics…………………………………………………………………….…….23
Piano Music…………………………………………………………………………………….....23
CHAPTER IV: 9 PRELUDES………………………………………………………………………….25
Origin of Work……………………………………………………………..…………………….25
Motivic Materials………………………………………………………………………………...75
Unity in the 9 Preludes……………………...…………………………………………......…..83
CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION………………………………………………………........................86
Makiko Kinoshita is a well-known, contemporary Japanese composer writing for
a variety of genres including piano, voice, opera, chamber music, choir, and orchestral
works. One of her piano pieces, 9 Preludes (2001), exhibits resourceful musical elements
and stands out as an important part of the twenty-first century piano literature. This
work provides the pianist with a valuable opportunity to study the evolution of
contemporary preludes, especially after studying preludes composed in the Baroque and
Romantic eras. The work not only contains a great deal of unique writing but is also
technically demanding and appropriate for recital programming. Each prelude involves a
number of different musical elements that help to keep the audience interested throughout
the performance. The work sounds both modern and traditional at the same time, and this
quality is what first attracted me to the work.
One of the most outstanding characteristics of 9 Preludes is its jazz harmony and
rhythm. Traditional Western writing styles are fused with a contemporary jazz style to
create unique and beautiful twenty-first century music. This document will explore how
Kinoshita skillfully mixes jazz elements with traditional Western style. Kinoshita creates
her own musical language, combining these two different styles in addition to modern
techniques including modality, specifically heavy use of the octatonic and whole-tone
pitch collections.
The purpose of this paper, besides the theoretical analysis of 9 Preludes
mentioned in the previous paragraph, is to introduce Kinoshita and Kinoshita’s 9
Preludes to a non-Japanese audience and performers. This paper will help to
contextualize and present Kinoshita’s 9 Preludes as a recital piece and provide teaching
material to study the work as one of the more uniquely written set of preludes in the
twenty-first century.
Another purpose of this study is to provide an academic resource on Kinoshita
and her 9 Preludes since there are few academic resources on both Kinoshita and her
music, especially in English. The biggest reason why Kinoshita and this work are not yet
widely known is because they are quite new. The limited resources about Kinoshita and
her 9 Preludes, which were essential to the writing of my document, include the
composer’s official website, her blog, a music theory book written by the composer, the
preface of 9 Preludes, and two articles including interviews with Kinoshita provided by
the Piano Teachers National Association in Japan. One of the interviews was conducted
in collaboration with pianist Takashi Obara who has performed and recorded many works
by Kinoshita. Both interviews provide material to understand Kinoshita’s music such as
her life, musical activities, aesthetics, compositional ideas, and compositional style.
One of the most valuable resources on Kinoshita’s piano music is Yuka
Nakayama’s dissertation, A Performance and Pedagogical Guide to the Piano Music By
Makiko Kinoshita (2011). Nakayama is the first person to study Kinoshita’s music
academically and also the first person to record Kinoshita’s 9 Preludes. In Nakayama’s
dissertation, she discusses the composer’s general style in her piano works, performance
suggestions, and the level of difficulty of each piece. This dissertation is also very helpful
because the author personally interviewed Kinoshita in an effort to better understand the
composer’s music.
In this document, 9 Preludes’ uniqueness, especially the mixture of jazz influence
and traditional writing, will be shown primarily through analysis. The analysis will focus
on form, tonality, harmony, rhythm, and motivic materials. In addition, how Kinoshita
unified all 9 Preludes into one cycle will be discussed. Along with this central analysis,
the composer’s biography, the history of Western music in Japan including jazz history,
the composer’s general musical style and aesthetic, and influential composers are supplied
to deepen this study. Chapter one includes an introduction and the composer’s
biography. In chapter two, the history of Western music in Japan is discussed.
Investigating the historical context and circumstances of Western music in Japan will offer
a better understanding of the composer and the piece. Since Kinoshita’s 9 Preludes are
highly influenced by jazz, the history of jazz in Japan will be briefly discussed. Chapter
three describes the composer’s general style, musical characteristics, and musical
aesthetics. This chapter provides readers details about Kinoshita’s philosophy as a
composer. Chapter four is the heart of this document as it provides a detailed analysis of
9 Preludes with a number of musical examples. The beginning of chapter four discusses
the origin of 9 Preludes. The conclusion is stated in the final chapter.
Biography of Makiko Kinoshita
Makiko Kinoshita was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1956, the oldest daughter of a
public servant. Kinoshita was brought up in a relatively wealthy family who could afford
to have her study various musical instruments from a young age. She started learning the
organ at the age of five and the piano at the age of six. As an elementary and junior high
school student, she was engaged as a choir accompanist. Kinoshita often participated in
choir contests and music festivals as an accompanist. She began taking violin lessons
when she was in upper grades in elementary school. Kinoshita made progress in learning
violin for two or three years, however, she stopped taking violin lessons because her
teacher was too strict for her. In middle school, she temporarily studied flute when she
belonged to the brass band club.1
To realize her dream of becoming a pianist, Kinoshita went to Tokyo
Metropolitan High School of Music and Fine Arts and specialized in piano performance.
Kinoshita was good at sight-reading and the skill allowed her to quickly learn any music
Makiko Kinoshita, “Music Composer, Kinoshita, Makiko: Official Web Site,” (accessed June 18, 2012).
from Baroque to Contemporary.2 However, Kinoshita changed her major after graduating
high school. Kinoshita mentions on her website that there were a lot of opportunities
that finally caused her to switch to composition while she was in high school. For
example, writing musicals for high school festivals awakened her enjoyment of composing
her own works. Composing cadenzas of Mozart’s concertos is another example. Her
instructor was impressed by her work and it helped her to have the confidence and
motivation to change her major.3
Kisnoshita spent one year preparing to enter the university as a composition
major after graduating high school. In 1976, She started to study as a composition
student at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts where she studied with Mareo
Ishiketa (1916-1996), Toshiro Mayuzumi (1929-1997), Kenjiro Urata (b. 1941), and
Shozo Maruta (b. 1928).4 In her freshman and sophomore years she was interested in
classical saxophone, and it resulted in the composition of saxophone sonatas and
saxophone quartets. From her junior year on, she began to eagerly write orchestral works
because she was fascinated by the larger sound of orchestras.5 The composer felt that
piano composition leads easily to orchestral composition because she considers the piano
Eiko Sudo, “インタビュー第11回 木下牧子” [Interview 11: Professor Makiko Kinoshita;
Piano Pieces Made In Japan], Piano Teachers National Association, (accessed June 18, 2012).
Makiko Kinoshita, “Music Composer, Kinoshita, Makiko: Official Web Site.”
Yuka Nakayama. A Performance and Pedagogical Guide to the Piano Music by Makiko
Kinoshita. (DMA diss., Ball State University), 11.
Ibid., 11.
to be a “little orchestra.”6
From 1980 to 1982, she continued her study of composition at the same
university as a graduate student. Orchestral works were her main genre during this time.
Her works began to be performed throughout the world during her studies at the
university and it pushed her into the professional composing world. When she graduated
from the university, her orchestral piece Koten (1979) was chosen as one of the most
outstanding graduation pieces. When she was in graduate school, Kinoshita composed the
wind orchestra piece, Introduction and Allegro (1981), as a competition piece which was
premiered by the All Japanese Band Association. The following orchestral works were
also awarded prizes which made Kinoshita’s name known to the world: Kangengaku no
tameno isshou (1978), Fantasy (1977), and Aura for Orchestra (1986). Kinoshita not
only composes orchestra works but also writes in a wide variety of other genres. The
opera, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2003), written for the 20th anniversary
commemoration of the Mozart Theatre, is one of her best known compositions.
Furthermore, Sinfonietta (for strings), Percussion Concerto, The Trembling Moon (for
percussion ensemble), Twisting Landscapes (for clarinet, violin and piano), A Circuit of
Dreams (for piano), Jashumon-Hikyoku (for mixed voices and orchestra), Blue (for female
voices and percussion), and Nirvana (for voice and piano) are representative of her
Sudo, “Interview 11: Professor Makiko Kinoshita.”
Makiko Kinoshita, “Music Composer, Kinoshita, Makiko: Official Web Site.”
History of Western Music in Japan
Initial Reception of Western Classical Music
Understanding the place of Western music in Japanese history will help readers to
better appreciate Kinoshita and her music. The piano was created in the West and was
the main vehicle used to compose in Western countries. However, this was not the case
in Japan. In comparison to Western traditions, it has not been long since the piano was
imported to Japan. The earliest description of the clavichord in Europe is from 1404,8
and that of the harpsichord from 1397.9 It is known that the piano was invented by
Bartolomeo Cristofori (1651-1731) by the year of 1700.10 On the other hand, the first
piano was officially imported to Japan in 1869,11 more than 150 years after its invention.
Portuguese sailors were the first Western European people to visit Japan and their
visit was completely unintentional. In 1543, their boat washed up on the island of
Tanega which is located in the southern part of Japan. This inspired missionaries from
Spain and Portugal to starting visiting Japan to propagate Christianity. In 1549, when the
Spanish missionaries brought Christianity with them, Roman Catholic music including
Gordon Stewart, A History of Keyboard Literature: Music for the Piano and Its Forerunners
(Schirmer Press, 1996), 3.
Ibid., 5.
Ibid., 8.
Junko Ueno Garrett. Japanese Piano Composition of the Last Hundred Years: A History of
Piano Music in Japan and a Complete List of Japanese Piano Compositions. (DMA diss., Rice
University, 1998), 1.
sacred polyphony and plainchant and their instruments such as lute and viol were brought
to Japan.12 By the time of the late sixteenth century, instruments including harps, violins
and flutes, were brought to Japan by Portuguese missionaries.13 These missions founded
music schools or seminars to teach music in Japan.14 General Nobunaga Oda (15341582), the ruler at the time in Japan, allowed them to build the first Christian church in
1553. However, General Oda did not support Christianity, therefore, the musical
elements of this religion did not filter into Japanese culture successfully.15 When
Hideyoshi Toyotomi (1536-1598) became general, the missionaries experienced an even
more desperate situation. General Toyotomi prohibited Christianity and all foreigners
were ordered to leave Japan in 1588. The next general, who was even more strict, Ieyasu
Tokugawa (1542-1616), began to rule in 1600 and his descendents ruled Japan until 1868.
In 1639, Japan became a closed country by the command of General Tokugawa, and the
period of isolation lasted for about 250 years. In 1868, Western cultures began to be
accepted in Japan when the Tokugawa government eventually collapsed due to the Meiji
Restoration. The Meiji Restoration was a major political revolution in 1868 which led to
the reinstatement of the Emperor as ruler in stead of General Tokugawa. This power
shift resulted in the modernization of Japan in many respects including a Westernization
of the culture. This is when the first piano was officially brought to Japan.
Ibid., 1.
Hisao Tanabe, Japanese Music (Tokyo: Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai, 1959), 46.
Ibid., 46.
Garret, 2.
The Beginning of Influence of Western Culture
Due to the Meiji Restoration, the new Meiji Period (1868-1912) began and the
Japanese people sought to develop in many areas like politics, economics, and social
problems. Therefore, Japan opened the door to foreign nations to develop the country
and as a result, the attempt brought rapid modernization and Westernization to Japan.
Music is one of the examples of Western cultural influence. The strong foreign influences
on Japanese music include the performance of foreign military bands, adaptation of
Western music in public school, and the establishment of an actual music education
system including the first music school-the Tokyo Academy of Music. The Tokyo
Academy of Music later became Tokyo National University of Fine Arts where
Kinoshita attended for both undergraduate and graduate school. Military bands were
organized under strong influence from Western culture. Foreign teachers were invited to
supervise the bands.16
Around 1882, songs comprised of Japanese melodies with traditional Western
harmonies, began to be written. Typical Japanese melodies consist of YoNa nuki Onkai
(the pentatonic scale without the 4th and 7th scale degrees). Many composers started to
write songs for primary schools with the same method of using Japanese melodies with
Western harmonies in Japan17; this is the first important Western musical influence that
Tanabe, 48.
Garrett, 7.
emerged in the educational system.18 The study of composition, performance, and
theoretical analysis of music developed slowly. “The only way to learn composition was
to copy European styles instead of inventing a distinct Japanese music.”19 Many
composers had a difficult time composing for Western instruments since they had to
know how to play them first.
Rentaro Taki (1879-1903), one of the first students to graduate from the Tokyo
Academy of Music, was the first composer to write a piano solo piece in Japan in 1900.
Taki was sent to the Leipzing Conservatory to study composition, but he had to go back
to Japan early in the year due to tuberculosis of the lungs. His first composition,
Menuetto, contains both Western and Japanese elements; in the trio section, he used
traditional Japanese melody (YoNa nuki Onkai) and traditional Western harmony.20
Kosaku Yamada (1886-1965) was another great composer whose effort helped to
improve music in Japan. He graduated from the Tokyo Academy of Music in 1908. He
was a voice major and taught himself composition. A formal composition major was not
yet established due to a lack of suitable professors. Even though his musical style became
distinct from Western music later in life, he started his career as a composer by imitating
Western music. Specifically, he studied and copied the structure of eighteenth and
nineteenth century German compositions. In 1910, Yamada had an opportunity to study
Tanabe, 48.
Garrett, 4.
Ibid., 8.
composition in Berlin with Max Bruch and Leopold Wolff.21 He mentions in his
biography that he was frustrated because he was only allowed to copy the design of his
teacher’s compositions for the first one and one-half years.22 In 1912 when he was in
Berlin, he composed the first Japanese symphonic work. On the way back to Japan from
Berlin, he stopped in Moscow, due to the WWI, where he heard the music of Alexander
Scriabin who influenced him to stop imitating German music. He made a great
contribution to the Japanese musical world by organizing the first Japanese symphony
orchestra and founding the Japanese Opera Association. In addition, he became the first
Japanese composer to acquire an international reputation. In 1918, he was the first Asian
conductor at Carnegie Hall where he conducted the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
Yamada’s own works were performed at the concert.23
Japanese Classical Music from 1900 to 1950
In the first quarter of the twentieth century, vocal music was the main vehicle to
develop Westernized Japanese music. Pianos were too expensive for the general public,
therefore, vocal music was more widely accepted. In the beginning of the twentieth
Ibid., 13.
Kimiko Ito. The Character Pieces for Solo Piano by Kosaku Yamada
(1886-1965). ( DMA diss., University of Georgia), 9.
century, some composers started to show interest in traditional Japanese music because
they realized that national elements of music were important and they attempted to use
these elements in their music. For example, Kiyomi Fujii (1899-1944) composed Okayo
which contained many Japanese traditional elements. Okayo is a song accompanied by a
Western instruments. The song is based on YoNa nuki Onkai and the sound of
shakuhachi (Japanese traditional instrument, a vertical bamboo flute) is imitated in the
flute part while Japanese drums are imitated in the piano part.24
During the Showa Period (1926-1989), Japanese composers became more
ingenious, distinct, and varied with their use of Japanese traditional elements in
combination with a German musical influence. Up until this point, German music had
been the only strong influence. After 1918, Japanese composers had more opportunity
to hear different types of foreign musicians through frequent visitation by famed
musicians from the Western world. Examples of these musicians include Kreisler and
Prokofiev from Russia.25 In addition to German music, French Impressionism came into
the picture and influenced Japanese composers. Incorporating new ideas and styles with
Japanese elements was common among Japanese composers. Tomojiro Ikenouchi (19061991), who was the first Japanese student to enter the Paris Conservatory, is a great
example. After studying at the Paris Conservatory, Ikenouchi become fascinated by
Japanese traditional culture such as Noh (traditional Japanese theatre in which songs,
Garrett, 21.
Tanabe, 50-51.
dance, and mime are performed by people wearing masks) and Haiku (a poem with three
lines and usually 17 syllables, written in a traditional Japanese style).26 During this
period, a composition department at the Tokyo Academy of Music was established in
1932.27 Composers started to show their interest in composing instrumental and
orchestral works as much as they had previously written vocal works.
In the World War II period, listening and performing works by foreign composers
both old and new was forbidden by the government. Composers were also restricted by
the government; they could only compose pieces that the government approved.28
Japanese Classical Music from 1950 to 1970
Many piano pieces were composed after 1950 in Japan. From 1950 to 1970,
composers in Japan were influenced by contemporary European composers such as
Stravinsky, Bartok, Schoenberg, Berg and Webern. Many composers were fascinated by
twelve-tone technique. Garrett suggests that, “It was very natural for the post-war
generation to be drawn to twelve-tone music because it had relatively few audible
connections with either Western traditional music or Japanese traditional music.”29 Along
with twelve-tone music, avant-garde styles such as electronic music, graphic notation, and
musique concrète were also experimented with by Japanese composers. At this time,
Garrett, 48.
Mikiko Sakamoto. Takemitsu and The Influence of “Cage Shock”: Transforming the
Japanese Ideology into Music. (D. M. A. doc., University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2010), 5.
Ibid., 5-6.
Garrett, 59-60.
many Japanese composers could afford to study abroad. Pianists who improved their
technique dramatically contributed to the growth of Japanese contemporary music. They
started to play Japanese contemporary music more actively and contemporary pieces by
foreign composers who employed new piano techniques and new notations. The new
foreign music introduced by pianists deeply influenced Japanese composers.30 Many
styles of composers appeared at this time and this is when composers stopped imitating
pure Western music and began establishing their own style and language.
One of the best known and internationally recognized composers from this period
was Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996). In the1960s, Takemitsu started to show interest in
the sounds of traditional Japanese instruments including Shakuhachi, Biwa ( a fourstringed Japanese lute), and Koto ( a long Japanese zither with thirteen strings).
Takemitsu actively used these instruments in his music. One of his most performed
works, November Steps (1967), a commission for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra,
is great example: Biwa and Shakuhachi are ingeniously blended with Western orchestral
instruments. In the 1960s, the sounds of Japanese traditional instruments captivated
many Japanese composers and using these instruments in compositions became popular.
Takemitsu’s new concept of “Stream of Sound”, the idea that the sounds surrounding us
in the world are all music, including noise, influenced many composers and encouraged
them to use unique compositional ideas. In addition, his treatment of silence as equally
important as notes distinguished his music from his Japanese contemporaries.
Ibid., 62.
Japanese Classical Music from 1970
In the 1970s, serialism and chance music were the main vehicles for Japanese
composers along with electronic music, musique concrète, computer music, tone-clusters,
and minimalism.31 Japanese contemporary music began to be known internationally
especially after 1970; many Japanese ensembles had opportunities to perform
contemporary Japanese music during their tours in many parts of the world. Also, many
Japanese compositions started to be performed at international festivals.32 Many
Japanese composers continued to be influenced not only by Japanese traditional
instruments but also Japanese culture and arts such as Noh and Gagaku (Japanese ancient
imperial court music and dances), Japanese landscapes, and the philosophies of Shintoism
and Buddhism. After 1970, Japanese composers created various styles of music by
incorporating Japanese traditional elements, Western classical music, various kinds of
foreign music and influences of both Japanese and foreign cultures. The influences of
leading Western composers continued to be the central to the growth of Japanese classical
Jazz History in Japan
Jazz was imported to Japan around the period when American jazz started being
recorded in the 1920s. The first appearance of jazz in Japan is assumed to have been
Ibid., 89.
Ibid., 90.
through recordings.33 Jazz gained its popularity in smaller ports such as Kobe and
Yokohama. After the Meiji Restoration, Japan developed dramatically with heavy
influence from the foreign cultures. The country became prosperous and Western
European/ American culture was embraced in Japan. Therefore, jazz was easily accepted
in Japan. However, the Japanese government prohibited listening to any foreign works
including jazz during WWII. Many jazz recordings were destroyed during this period,
but some of the recordings were kept alive through remaining American sailors/soldiers
and the younger Japanese generations.
After WWII, jazz started to regain its
popularity, especially by American sailor/soldiers who played jazz during their stays in
Japan.34 Most of the influence at this time would have been recordings of popular big
bands such as the Glen Miller orchestra and Count Basie’s band.35 Some Japanese
classical composers started to be fascinated by jazz around this time period and they
began to fuse jazz elements into their works.36
Kinoshita’s view of music history in Japan
Kinoshita expresses her thoughts about music history in Japan in her interview
from 2008:
E. Taylor Atkins, “Localizing Jazz and Globalizing Identities in Japan” Jazz France Japan
Association, last modified September 13, 2005,
Sakamoto, 6.
John Fordham, Jazz (New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1993), 18-23.
Ibid., 7.
In the Meiji Restoration, a new law decided to teach students Western music
and it resulted in a lack of teaching Japanese traditional music. I resent that
fact. Japanese composers lost their identities somewhat at the point. The
history of Japanese music is cut off about 100 years ago and that of western
music in Japan abruptly began 100 years ago.37 [Author’s translation]
In the interview, Kinoshita also explained the condition of music when she grew up. She
could listen to many kinds of music when she was young. She often heard people
practicing Western classical music like Beethoven, Mozart and Clementi and was exposed
to various sounds such as pop, jazz, folk music, and Japanese music in everyday life. She
thinks that both Japanese music and Western music cannot stand by themselves as a
mainstream music in Japan. Kinoshita believes that the fusion of many kinds of music is
the substance of real Japanese music given the extremely wide variety of genres in
existence in Japan.38 Kinoshita’s eclectic music environment could help explain the
diverse musical styles including jazz present in her music. A great example is Prelude
No.3 which can be played alongside a bebop jazz recording because it shares multiple
rhythmic and melodic similarities.
Sudo, “Interview 11: Professor Makiko Kinoshita.”
Makiko Kinoshita’s Music and Musical Aesthetic
Genre of Music
Kinoshita composed a relatively small number of piano pieces in spite of the
fact that she used to be a piano performance major in high school. She only published
sixteen pieces for piano solo and six for piano duet out of about 100 publications. In the
preface to her 9 Preludes, Kinoshita also stated why she composed for other genres rather
than piano works:
When I was studying composition I used to like working with large ensembles
and I composed nothing but works for orchestra. wind band and choir. My
preference for thick textures, rhythms and rich bass sonorities rather than for
chamber music textures was influenced strongly by my having specialized in
piano performance until leaving senior high school. But despite this, I wrote
almost no piano music, partially because I felt that I could write for the piano
at any time, but also because I deliberately tried to remove myself from the
piano since I found myself unable to get away from thinking in terms of the
instrument when I composed for instrumental combinations of any kind.
(Perhaps I should add that this didn’t affect my predilection for the piano as
an instrument to accompany songs and choral music.) My attitude seems to
have borne fruit to the extent that, even when I make sketches for an orchestral
work these days, I am able to write immediately in full score and no longer
think in terms of the piano. Today, now that the piano has ceased to be a
special instrument for me, I feel that I am at last able to compose worthwhile
music for the instrument.39
Orchestral pieces were a focus of her output while she was studying at the
university. However, she gradually shifted her interest to vocal works especially choral
Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes (Tokyo: Ongakuno-Tomo-Sha, 2001).
music. In graduate school, composing The Ark (1980), a commissioned work for a choir
group at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, opened Kinoshita’s eyes to the fascination
of writing for choir. The Ark was highly praised and became acknowledged as an
exceptional piece which led to international recognition of Kinoshita as a choral
composer.40 Kinoshita composed sixty-eight pieces for choir among about one hundred
total publications making this genre over half of her output. Therefore, she is widely
known as a choral composer in Japan.
Beautiful Sound over Avant-garde Technique
Kinoshita is the type of composer who focuses on creating an orchestral-like rich
and harmonically beautiful sound over writing avant-garde music. Kinoshita confessed
that she was in a slump when she was writing orchestral pieces in graduate school.
Unlike other types of ensembles, orchestra music is expensive to perform, therefore
Kinoshita would write orchestra pieces for competitions which provided the performers.
Since this type of beautiful sound was not a priority in competition, she focused on
creating music with new techniques and showy effects. Kinoshita stated that this is when
she had lost her path in composing music. Even outside of the competition world in the
early 1980s, there were a lot of musical critics who insisted that music should be avantgarde.41 As a result, Kinoshita started showing her interest in choral works and found
Nakayama, 12.
Sudo, “Interview 11: Professor Makiko Kinoshita.”
exactly what she was looking for in composing.
Vocal works, which more readily accepted a melodic-based, more traditional style
became Kinoshita’s main vehicle to expose her talents. Kinoshita discusses her vocal
works in an interview with the Japanese Piano Teacher Association which included a
conversation with the pianist Takashi Obara who has recorded 7 CDs (6 CDs are
collaboration with two singers and one CD is piano works for four hands) of Kinoshita’s
music. According to Kinoshita, piano parts have a very important role in her vocal music
and they are written like conversations between the singer and pianist which clearly
shows her traditional balanced treatment of music.42 Kinoshita’s vocal music is usually
tuneful and “her melodies, particularly in her songs, frequently follow the natural
intonation of the Japanese language.”43 Obara expressed that her melodies are easy to
sing, beautiful, touch people’s hearts, but are also unique. Obara believes that Kinoshita
composes music that makes people want to sing after listening the first time. These
impressions of her music show that her music contains a great deal of traditional writing.
Importance of Tone Color and Resonance
Most of Kinoshita’s instrumental music is atonal, but a number of choral and
vocal works have lyrical melodies which are based on modes. To Kinoshita, it does not
Eriko Taniguchi, “特別インタビュー 小原孝先生X木下牧子先生対談” [Special
Interview: Talk by Mr. Takashi Obara and Ms. Makiko Kinoshita], Piano Teachers National
Association, (accessed June 18,
Nakayama, 15.
matter if music is tonal or atonal. Rather she focuses on the quality of tone color and
resonance. She tries to create resonances which have originality but still sound rich and
full. She creates this through carefully placed voicings and harmonic motion. Kinoshita
expresses that writing music with beautiful resonance involves a high risk in the
contemporary music scene.44 The current preference among music critics was for a more
avant-garde style. Critics wanted new techniques and new sounds and more subtle and
traditional music was rejected by this audience.
Harmony over Melody
According to an interview with Kinoshita, harmony is a more important aspect
than melody for her, and she thinks it may be because she was a piano major until
graduating high school. She hardly ever composes music by creating melody first and
then adding harmony, but instead creates a harmonic line and then adds melodies which
rise to the surface. Therefore, Kinoshita expresses that playing her music requires a
pianist with great ears that allow him to feel the resonances of harmonic change at every
moment because a pianist cannot play a melodic line well without understanding the
detailed harmonic changes.45 Pianist Takashi Obara thinks that Kinoshita’s treatment of
harmony is the most important aspect of her idiomatic writing style: it contains sudden
changes of harmony that surprise the performer. Takashi Obara also expressed that he
Sudo, “Interview 11: Professor Makiko Kinoshita.”
Taniguchi, “Special Interview: Talk by Mr. Takashi Obara and Ms. Makiko Kinoshita”.
“really enjoyed finding those unexpected harmonic changes” in her pieces.46
Orchestral Sound
Kinoshita tends to be particular about creating orchestral sounds. Kinoshita does
not consider any part of music as an “accompaniment part” even when writing for piano
duo, trio, quartet and even the piano part of vocal music. She thinks the idea that dividing
music between melody and accompaniment parts creates flat and boring music. For
example, the piano duo Labyrinthine Piano is a four-hands arrangement of some of
Kinoshita’s early choral music. It would be easier to arrange for two pianos, but
Kinoshita intentionally wrote for four-hands to create a thick density of resonance.47
This again shows her thoughts about the importance of resonance. Kinoshita insisted that
both the primo and secondo parts are equally important and it is similar to a two-people
orchestra. Therefore, a steady change of tone color and sound quality like playing
orchestral music is suggested for performers.48 In terms of solo piano music, Kinoshita
believes that the left hand part is important even while the right hand part plays a tuneful
melody.49 Kinoshita thinks that controlling every finger to produce its own tone colors
and volumes freely can be realized at the piano: a one-person-orchestra. She suggested
pianists to be aware of it from early age when learning piano.50
General Characteristics
Kinoshita has several characteristics that are consistent in her compositions.
For example, most of her works have programmatic titles. In more depth, it can be
seen that Kinoshita’s music can be divided into two broad styles: lyrical versus
rhythmic.51 Kinoshita tends to use the first, lyrical style in vocal and chorale music.
Kinoshita is more likely to use her rhythmic style in other kinds of compositions
like piano works. Some of Kinoshita’s pieces contain only one style while others
contain both styles in different sections or simultaneously. For example, in her
chamber music, there is an alternation of both styles to create a set. Examples of
this combination of styles can be found in the 9 Preludes.
Piano Music
Her piano pieces require various technical skills and musicality; some of them
are written for pedagogical purposes and some of them are written for experts to play in
their recitals. For example, 9 preludes are written for experienced adults, and A Circuit of
Dreams (1986) was written for professional pianists to display their superlative
technique. Alice in Wonderland (1993) was composed for children who reached an early
Nakayama, 14.
advanced level to show their transcendent skills.52 Some of her pieces are easy because
they are composed for beginning students. Beside her works for piano solo, Kinoshita
also composed six pieces for piano duet, two of which are cycles. Like her piano solo
pieces, the duet pieces vary in their requirement of pianists’ technique and musicality.
One of the cycles, Gentle Rain (2003), is a great pedagogical work; it consists of 10 pieces
and was written to be played by students and their teacher or parent.53 Another cycle
piece is Ladyrinthine Piano (2010). Based on her earlier choral pieces, it is categorized as
a more complex piece and is great work for advanced pianists. In her blog, she expressed
that when she writes piano pieces, they naturally tend to be complicated pieces which
require a transcendental piano technique. She is often asked to write pieces for children,
therefore, she has not had the chance to write pieces for adults at an intermediate level of
piano technique. She stated that “maybe it is about time for me to begin writing those
kind of pieces”.54
Makiko Kinoshita, “ 作曲家⋅木下牧子の日々” [Music Composer, Daily Life of Kinoshita
Makiko], (accessed June 18, 2012)
Nakayama, 19.
Kinoshita, “Music Composer, Daily Life of Kinoshita Makiko.”
9 Preludes
(All musical examples of 9 Preludes included in this analysis are used with express
permission from the Ongakuno-Tomo-Sha Corporation )
Origin of the Work
Kinoshita spent more than 16 years composing 9 Preludes before its publication
in 2001. The compositional ideas of 9 Preludes are traceable to 1984 through 1985 when
she was teaching piano to a high school student who wanted to pursue a degree in
composition. Kinoshita helped by composing a new piece for each of this student’s
lessons. Kinoshita conceived several compositional ideas for 9 preludes from this
process.55 Kinoshita composed five or six preludes between the years of 1984 and 1985.
Later, some of these original preludes were revised and some of them were thrown away.
Prelude No.1 is the only work that remains from these original preludes. Kinoshita later
composed several new preludes to complete the published set.
Unlike her other piano compositions which have descriptive titles, Kinoshita’s 9
Preludes are set apart by the use of the non-programmatic title “Preludes” and the
numbers employed to divide them.56 At first, Kinoshita planned to write twelve preludes
like Bach and Chopin who wrote their preludes in twelve distinct keys. However, when
Nakayama, 21.
she finished writing the ninth prelude, she was satisfied and thought that the work was
In the preface to her 9 Preludes, Kinoshita expresses the vision of her music,
which is made evident by her stated compositional goals:
In the world of contemporary music, it is still perhaps customary for
composers to write technically demanding music that can be played only by
a small number of virtuoso performers and to search for sounds that no one
has heard before. But I am not really interested in doing this myself. My
aspiration is to create new music based on my own aesthetic sense by
writing works which are both modern and beautiful, universal, and
This statement clearly gives us a hint that Kinoshita’s 9 Preludes contains more modern
scales and harmonies but with a traditional base. This makes her music more audience
friendly and accessible to a greater number of performers than other contemporary works.
Unlike many contemporary pieces, the forms of 9 Preludes are conventional; the
simplicity of form helps the audience to appreciate the modern sound easily. Kinoshita
uses a common form to unify the entire work: each individual prelude is in A B A ternary
form except Prelude No.9, which has a slightly different structure. Moreover, in
Preludes Nos. 1-7, the initial A section is immediately repeated prior to the B section,
making it twice as long as the final A section. Double bar lines are employed to divide
Ibid., 22.
Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes (Tokyo: Ongakuno-Tomo-Sha, 2001).
the different sections except in Prelude No. 6, which is the only prelude that does not
contain any double bar lines. The end of Prelude No.7 contains a relatively long coda
beginning in m. 121, wherein Kinoshita shows the distinctions between the different
sections by employing changes in tempo, range, dynamic, and meter. Prelude No.8 is the
only prelude that follows a true ABA form.
Kinoshita’s treatment of A B A form can be traced to character pieces by late
Romantic composers such as Chopin and Schumann. Chopin’s character pieces are
typically in A B A form, although the final A sections are typically shorter than the first
A sections since the final A sections are often truncated. Many of Schumann’s small
pieces within his cyclic works are in A B A form. For instance, his Papillons Op. 2 and
Carnaval Op. 9 contain many small pieces which are in A B A form.
Prelude No. 9 has the most complex form of the entire set of preludes. This
writer feels that this movement is in A B C A form due to the composer’s use of double
bar lines to divide sections in this movement, as she has done throughout the complete
work. However, in Yuka Nakayama’s document on the composer, the argument is made
that Prelude No. 9 follows an A B B’ A arch form.59 Due to the differences in mode and
atmosphere, which will be discussed in depth on p. 46, this paper will consider the inner
sections as two different musical sections.
Another important fact in regard to the form of each prelude is that each section
typically overlaps with the section that follows. This could be seen as one of Kinoshita’s
Nakayama, 51.
unique stylistic features. All sections of Preludes Nos.1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 8 overlap with
one another. Preludes Nos. 3, 7 and 9 do not contain sectional elisions as prominently as
the other preludes, but there is at least one instance of this compositional trait still present
in each. For example, in Prelude No. 9, the first A section overlaps into the B section,
while the C and final A section are clearly divided with double bar lines preceded by
Kinoshita’s treatment of metronome markings is another important element of her
style and is of great use when analyzing form. In Preludes Nos. 2, 4, 5, 6, and 8, tempo
changes are indicated with a new metronome marking when the B sections appear.
Kinoshita employs the same tempo for the outer A sections in each prelude by using
either the notation ‘a tempo’ and/or the same metronome marking. In these five preludes,
the metronome markings at the B sections are always marked faster than the outer A
sections. However, the B sections of the remaining preludes (Preludes Nos. 1, 3, 7, and
9) keep the same tempo as the initial A sections of the pieces. Kinoshita shows a
tendency to use more metronome markings than tempo markings, providing very specific
tempo instructions for the performer. It is interesting to point out that Kinoshita typically
uses softer dynamics in the B sections. This further clarifies the division of the sections
since it leads to a natural change of moods.
Transition sections play an important role in the creation of the form of each
piece. Kinoshita is extremely consistent in using texture to designate the transitions. All
transition sections of the work share the same type of texture: linear contrary motion.
The first transition section of the work appears in mm. 23-26 of Prelude No. 1 (Figure 4.
Figure 4. 1: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 1, mm. 20-29
m. 20
m. 23
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
The same kind of transitions are used before the B section and final A section. In
the B section, this transition texture is used twice when the music moves through
distantly-relayed keys, such as is found in mm. 64-67, when the transition connects a
section based on the E minor seventh to a section of music based on an extended C major
seventh chord (Figure 4. 2).
Figure 4.2: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 1 mm. 62-71
m. 64
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
The use of the same kind of texture for all transition sections throughout the work
is one of Kinoshita’s skillful, unique writing techniques. Kinoshita tends to use these
transitions as a bridge between different sections or between passages in the same
section. Transitions are especially clear in the even-numbered preludes (Preludes Nos. 2,
4, 6, and 8). The beginning of the B section in Prelude No. 2 (mm. 21-24) clearly shows
the emergence of a transition which sets up the B section material (Figure 4. 3). The
transition from the B section to the final A section in Prelude No.6 (mm. 48-50) is
another great example (Figure 4. 4).
Figure 4. 3: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 2, mm. 21-24
m. 21
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Figure 4. 4: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 6, mm. 46-50
m. 46
m. 48
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Another aspect of traditional writing that has an important influence on
Kinoshita’s music is the use of Classical and Baroque structures as seen in Preludes Nos.
4 and 7. Prelude No. 4 uses bar form construction at the first part of the B section
(mm.17-28). Two one-measure basic ideas are followed by a four-measure continuation,
and the pattern is repeated with a slight change of notes and different cadential notes.60
Nakayama also pointed out in her dissertation that Prelude No. 7 contains
elements in the outer sections that resemble a fugue. The subject played by the right
hand is followed by the counter subject in the left hand at m. 5, and the subject is restated
at m. 10 and m. 14 in new tonal areas (C minor and D major, respectively).61
The final A section of Prelude No. 7 continues to resemble fugal writing, but adds
other interesting aspects. Both subject and counter subject are presented simultaneously
at the beginning of the final A section (m.93) in the original starting key of F minor.
Then the subject is restated in the key of flat-II (G-flat) at m.101, which acts like a
Neapolitan, and in the key of VI at m.106. These sections are where Kinoshita’s
interesting writing skill is most evident. Kinoshita employs a traditional sequence
technique from m. 107 to set up the climax of the piece, wherein the music returns to the
starting key of F minor after visiting several other key areas. Interestingly, the strong
beats of the right hand in mm.107-120 are an octatonic pitch collection. In fact, the
pitches in mm.107-114 present an entire octatonic scale. The sequential writing
Nakayama, 34.
Ibid., 43.
represents traditional Baroque style, while the use of an octatonic scale and parallel open
fifths in the left hand represent a more twentieth-century outlook on style (Figure 4. 5).
Figure 4. 5: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 7 mm. 107-114
Octatonic Scale
m. 107
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Another great example of Kinoshita’s use of traditional sequence technique is
presented in Prelude No. 8. The outer sections are based on sequential passages. For
example, mm. 1-5 (right hand extended trill leading to chromatic scale) is repeated six
times in a sequential manner. The left hand is playing a melancholy melody over a wide
range which is also repeated sequentially. The traditional treatment of the sequence is
updated in two ways: the two hands do not always change at the same time, and the
repeated sections vary in length (Figure 4. 6). Although Kinoshita’s writing reflects
traditional technique to some extent, the piece sounds contemporary because of its
irregular phrasing, wide melodic range, and lack of a typical major/minor tonality.
Figure 4. 6: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 8, mm. 1-15
m. 1
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Kinoshita’s treatment of tonality in this work is extremely fascinating. Important
aspects of the composer’s writing style can be found through a detailed analysis of the
tonality. Kinoshita’s most unique and often-used tonal choice is the octatonic scale. It is
hard to discuss her writing without discussing her ingenious use of this pitch collection.
Compositional use of the octatonic scale can be traced back to the early twentieth century
with composers such as Olivier Messiaen and Igor Stravinsky.62 All preludes except
Preludes Nos. 1 and 4 contain at least one of the octatonic pitch collections listed in
Table 4.1. The sections based on these octatonic scales have important roles in the
pieces. For example, the transition section between the B section and the final A section
in Prelude 6 at mm.48-50 are chosen exclusively from an octatonic pitch collection
(Previous Figure 4. 4). Kinoshita has a tendency to use octatonic pitch collections
specifically for B sections and transition sections. The last half of the B section in
Prelude No. 3 (mm. 31-42) is purely based on an octatonic pitch collection (Figure 4. 7).
Arnold Whittall. "octatonic scale." The Oxford Companion to Music. Oxford Music Online.
Oxford University Press, (accessed
October 5, 2012)
Figure 4. 7: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 3, mm. 31-42
m. 31
Octatonic Pitch Collection
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
What makes Kinoshita’s use of octatonic pitch collections more interesting is her
use of all three different combinations. The octatonic scale is based on an alternation of
whole- and half- steps, and there are only three basic combinations: one that contains C
and D, one that contains C and C-sharp, and one that contains C-sharp and D. Every
octatonic scale consists of pitches from one specific combination shown in Table 4.1: the
pitch collections of every octatonic scale can be categorized as either Combination 1,
Combination 2, or Combination 3.
Table 4.1: The Three Octatonic Pitch Collections
Octatonic Pitch Collection
Combination 1
C, D, D#(Eb), F, F#(Gb), G#(Ab), A, B
Combination 2
C, C#(Db), D#(Eb), E, F#(Gb), G, A, A#(Bb)
Combination 3
C#(Db), D, E, F, G, G#(Ab), A#(Bb), B
Kinoshita’s skillfull use of these octatonic pitch collections can be found in the B
section in Prelude No. 5 in mm.36-42. The Combination 2 octatonic pitch collection is
employed in the first two measures, followed by a three-measure passage based on the
Combination 1 octatonic pitch collection with the addition of Bb. The Combination 3
octatonic pitch collection is utilized afterwards (Figure 4. 8). The change of pitch
collections within driving rhythmic figures in the same texture and register creates an
ambiguous and unstable musical wave.
Figure 4. 8: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 5, mm. 35-43
Combination 2 Octatonic
m. 36
Combination 1 Octatonic
Combination 3 Octatonic
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Contrastingly, the passage immediately following (mm.47-60) is purely based on the
Combination 3 octatonic pitch collection, which provides the audience some sense of
tonal stability (Figure 4.9).
Figure 4. 9: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 5, mm.47-61
Combination 3 Octatonic Pitch Collection
m. 47
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Another great example of this technique is the transition section between the first A and
B section in Prelude No. 8 (mm.18-25). Most of this transition section is written as a
tremolo, which is unique to this prelude. Despite the thicker sound created by the
tremolos, Kinoshita’s typical transition texture (linear contrary motion) is still present in
the larger picture. The first part of the section is based on the Combination 2 octatonic
pitch collection and the second half is based on the Combination 1 octatonic collection.
This section again exhibits Kinoshita’s tendency to switch pitch collections within the
same rhythmic figure, texture, and register for a gradual and smooth shift (Figure 4. 10).
Figure 4. 10: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 8, mm. 16-25
Combination 2
m. 16
Combination 2
Combination 1
Combination 1
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
The most extreme example of this technique is presented in the second half of the B
section (mm. 49-66) of Prelude No. 8, which includes the transition section before the
final A section. Kinoshita employs all three combinations of octatonic pitch collections
here. The most important and curious element of this example is that Kinoshita
sometimes presents one pitch that does not belong to the selected octatonic collection as a
color tone. For example, in measure 49, the music is based on the Combination 2
octatonic pitch collection except for the color tone F. Measure 50 is based on the
Combination 1 octatonic pitch collection except for the color tone E. Measure 51 is also
based on the Combination 1 collection but contains G as a color tone. Measures 52-55
purely utilize Combination 1 pitches and are followed by a Combination 2-based passage
with the color tone F in m. 56. Measure 57 uses only pitches from the Combination 3
collection, and mm.58-60 are based on Type 2. The transition area, entirely based on
Combination 2, follows at m. 61 (Figure 4. 11). Kinoshita’s ingenious insertion of color
tones creates a natural and smooth musical shift between pitch collections, since the color
tones used in a previous passage usually belong to the next passages’ pitch collections,
much like a harmonic anticipation in standard theory. This color tone effect creates a
beautiful resonance that belies the typically distressing or jarring sound of the octatonic
Figure 4. 11: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 8, mm. 49-68
Combination 2
Combination 1
m. 49
Combination 1
m. 53
m. 56
m. 60
Combination 2
Combination 3
Combination 2
Combination 2
m. 64
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Kinoshita’s inclination toward octatonic pitch collections in her B sections also helps
support the musical form. The changing tonality in the B sections, allows the listener to
readily identify this as a new musical idea. Debussy used a similar treatment of modern
scales and form in his prelude Voiles. Debussy defines his A B A form of the piece by
using a whole tone pitch collection in the A sections and a pentatonic scale in B section
(Figure 4. 12).
Figure 4. 12: Claude Debussy, Voiles, mm. 1-963
Claude Debussy, Preludes for Piano Books 1 and 2, ed. James R Briscoe (New York: G
Schirmer Inc, 1991), 4.
Kinoshita’s Preludes Nos. 3 and 5 are great examples of how her music resembles
the methods of Debussy’s formal plan in his Voiles. In Kinoshita’s Prelude No.3, the
Combination 3 octatonic pitch collection makes up the entirety of the music of the latter
half of the B section. The outer A sections of the piece are highly chromatic, and no
specific pitch collection can be determined. The outer A sections in Prelude No. 5 are
comprised of vertically stacked open fourths and fifths, whereas the B section is highly
based on an octatonic pitch collection. Kinoshita’s treatment of parallel perfect fourths
and fifths reflects Debussy’s writing technique; for instance, he makes frequent use of
parallel perfect fourths and fifths in his Mouvement from the first book of Images.
Kinoshita’s Prelude No. 8 essentially shows the same method of establishing formal
structure. In the B section, the music is based on multiple octatonic pitch collections that
use extra color tones for several measures, as mentioned previously. The outer A
sections’ form is based on sequential motion without the use of any specific pitch
collection; this statement supports the notion that Kinoshita’s use of octatonic pitch
collections may be planned to divide the formal sections.
The last prelude, Prelude No. 9, further exemplifies Kinoshita’s use of octatonic
pitch collections to separate the sections of her pieces, and supports the assertion that the
prelude is in A B C A form. Kinoshita employs different pitch collections to emphasize
the B and C sections. Both sections contain materials from the A section toward the end.
However, Kinoshita’s use of different pitch collections provides a clear division in the
structure. The beginning of the B section (mm.28-35) is based on a whole tone pitch
collection except, E and C on the right hand, which are added for color. Then,
completely new material is presented in descending chromatic thirds. This music is
uniquely written, with a combination of syncopation and quick progression of
asymmetrical meters, such as in mm.36-41 (Figure 4. 13). While a whole tone pitch
collection is already used in the A section in mm. 15-19, the use of extended jazz chords
and an octatonic pitch collection, which occupy most of the A section, remain the
dominant tonal focus here. Therefore, employment of the whole tone scale is one of the
landmarks of the B section.
Figure 4. 13: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 9, mm. 26-40
B section
m. 26
Whole Tone Pitch
Collection with Color
Tones E and C
m. 31
m. 35
Descending Chromatic 3rds
m. 38
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
The C section in Prelude 9 presents new material based on the church modes in
mm.47-57. A five-finger pattern in D-flat Lydian mode emerges in the right hand in mm.
47-48 followed by a descending E Phrygian scale with a raised 6th in mm.49-50. Then,
the left hand presents a similar five-finger pattern in A Lydian mode in mm. 51-53. A G
Dorian five-finger pattern is played by the left hand in mm. 54-56, and finally, the
complete G Dorian scale appears in the left hand in m. 57 (Figure 4. 14). The first part of
this church mode section is accompanied by an open fifth interval, which is one of
Kinoshita’s most frequently recurring sonorities throughout the entire work.
Figure 4. 14: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 9, mm. 47-59
E Phrygian Mode with a raised 6 th
m. 47
m. 51
m. 54
D-flat Lydian Mode
A Lydian Mode
G Dorian Mode
m. 57
G Dorian Scale
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
The modal harmonies found in the C section of Prelude No. 9 are explicitly stated
only in this section of the work; however, subtle modal threads run through Prelude No. 7
as well. This piece starts with a fugue-like subject in F minor, which is the prospective
home key in the A section. The subject is then restated in C minor (key of minor V),
which sounds unexpected, since this would be in C major in traditional music. The E-flat
which keeps this V section minor is a unifying note through the entire A section. E-flat,
which is the unaltered 7th scale degree of F minor and the 3rd scale degree of C minor,
creates a strong reference to the F Aeolian mode, or natural minor scale. If the section
was constructed more traditionally, the listener could expect to hear raised E natural
notes, which would present the more familiar sonority of F harmonic minor.
None of Kinoshita’s 9 preludes contain a key signature. This is probably because
the musical segments do not remain within a single key long enough to justify a key
signature. Prelude No. 3, for example, is arguably removed from any tonal focus to the
extent that it cannot be attributed to any key. In the A section, the right hand plays
unrelated triads while the left hand plays a driving chromatic pattern in sixteenth notes
(Figure 4. 15). The groups of unrelated triads remain a constant driving force throughout
this prelude. Interestingly, all chords used in Prelude No. 3 are major triads that lack
traditional progression.
Figure 4. 15: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 3, mm. 1-6
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Similarly, Prelude Nos. 2, 4, and 6 are based on polychords that cannot be
associateed with a particular key signature. On the other hand, some of the preludes
demonstrate conventional tonal motion on a large scale. For example, Prelude No.5
begins with repeated open fifths on G and D on the strong beats in mm.1-4. Then the
open fifth harmony changes to C to G open fifth in mm. 5-8, which proceed until the
restatement of the A section at m. 9. At this point, the fifths return to G and D; this
progression presents an overarching I-IV-I motion. This simple foundation is overlaid
with busy melody that is littered with chromatic colors, effectively obscuring any
functional harmonic sense that the open fifths would have lent in s simpler texture
(Figure 4. 16). Kinoshita’s writing is fascinating in that she draws on traditional
influences and camouflages them with modern melodies and color tones.
Figure 4. 16: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 5, mm. 1-9
m. 1
m. 4
m. 7
G (I)
C (IV)
G (I)
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
In the B section of the same piece, the G and D open fifth figure is prolonged as an echo
of the A section (m.22-24). It changes once again to become a C and G open fifth in mm.
25-26, followed by an F and C open fifth in mm.27-28. This motion can be interpreted as
the traditional tonal progression G(V)-C(I)-F(IV) if the listener accepts that the music
shifts key centers from G to C before the B section (Figure 4. 17). This could also be
viewed as a linear version of the parallel perfect intervals mentioned on p. 46.
Figure 4. 17: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 5, mm. 22-28
m. 22
G (V)
m. 25
C (I)
F (IV)
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Another example that provides a traditional tonal reference is the A section of
Prelude 9. The piece opens on a D minor chord with a major seventh and ninth added,
and the music stays in the central key of D until the occurrence of an octatonic passage in
mm. 5-8. Then, in m. 9, a C dominant eleventh chord appears, and the passage remains
in C major until the F minor-major seventh chord in m. 13 (Figure 4. 18). Kinoshita’s
chord choices can be viewed as follows: D minor (i) - tonal interruption (octatonic) - C
major (V of new key F minor) – F minor (i). If F major were used instead of F minor, it
would be more traditional; a modulation from D minor to F major is a relative key
modulation. Instead, Kinoshita changes the mode to make the music more exciting.
From m. 13 until the middle of the B section, the prospective tonal plan is once again
interrupted by music heavily based on the Combination 3 octatonic pitch collection
alternating with a whole tone collection.
Figure 4. 18: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 9, mm. 1-15
m. 1
D minor (i)
Combination 3 Octatnic Pitch Collection
m. 4
m. 7
Combination 3 Octatonic Pitch Collection
C major (V of F minor)
m. 10
m. 13
F minor (i)
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Kinoshita displays skillful and playful tonal motion in Prelude No. 1. Unlike
other preludes, this piece presents a clear tonal center in the A section. B minor is the
central key of the section because it often appears at the beginning and ending of the
phrases. Interestingly, the phrase-ending B minor chords are preceded almost every time
by either C minor chord (flat-II), A minor chord (flat-vii), or a combination of C minor
and A minor chords. In the B section, Kinoshita employs the keys of F major in mm. 8386 and B-flat major in mm. 87-89, which are distantly related to the home key (flat-V and
flat-I, respectively). The use of these chords, which defy traditional tonal progression, is
meant to provide a color shift for the new section. This relates to the jazz technique of
allowing harmony to function as color.
Another ingeniously planned and hidden surprise is found in the A section of
Prelude No.8. As stated previously in this chapter, Kinoshita employs a sequence
technique to form the A section; therefore, it appears to lack a tonal plan. The prolonged
notes of the left hand melody which appear at the end of every phrase in mm. 1-13 form
an E-flat major seventh chord (Figure 4. 19). Therefore, it is highly possible that E-flat is
being treated as a central tonality. This statement is supported by the beginning of the B
section, which commences with an E-flat major chord in m. 26 (Figure 4. 20).
Figure 4. 19: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 8, mm. 1-15
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Figure 4. 20: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 8, mm. 26-28
B section
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Kinoshita’s treatment of tonality consists of many different features, some of
which demonstrate a traditional approach, and some of which display Kinoshita’s
idiomatic language. Kinoshita’s intricate and unique compositional style is evidenced by
the examples given in previous paragraphs, which continually focus on the composer’s
masterful fusion of traditional and modern harmonies and styles. Most importantly, in
spite of her employment of different and sometimes unfamiliar of pitch collections in
succession, Kinoshita’s ability to provide extremely beautiful tone colors and harmonies
which pervade listeners’ hearts is outstanding.
In contrast to traditional harmonies such as major/minor triads and seventh
chords, many of Kinoshita’s harmonies are composed of extended chords commonly
found in jazz music. The B section of Prelude No. 1 provides a great example of this
technique. The first passage in the section is created by an extended E minor seventh
chord with added ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth (mm.53-56) followed by an A major
triad-based passage. An extended C major seventh chord with a ninth, raised eleventh,
and thirteenth follows in mm. 58-59. Finally, a passage built upon an extended A minor
seventh chord with a ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth is presented in mm. 60-62 (Figure 4.
21). The raised eleventh is often added to major seventh and dominant seventh chords in
jazz music to enhance the harmonic color. The majority of the B section of Prelude No.1
consists of passages based on extended major or minor seventh chords, and the eleventh
is raised for all major chords.
Figure 4. 21: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 1, mm. 51-61
B section
m. 51
m. 56
A major chord
Extended C major chord
Extended E minor chord
Extended A minor chord
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
As Yuka Nakayama stated in her dissertation, Prelude No. 2 also displays a jazz
influence in a number of passages.64 The constant use of extended dominant seventh
chords with a ninth, raised eleventh, and thirteenth is observed as one of the important
characteristics of the piece. Moreover, it is interesting to mention that the first note of the
bass (root of the chord) in almost every measure of the A section is a member of the
Combination 1 octatonic pitch collection (Figure 4. 22)
Figure 4. 22: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 2, mm. 1-8
Combination 1 Octatonic Collection in Bass
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
One of Kinoshita’s characteristic harmonic treatments is the employment of
chords which can be analyzed as both extended jazz harmonies and sets of polychords to
cretate harmonic motion. For instance, Prelude No. 6 is based on a successive
Nakayama, 27.
presentation of jazz chords, sets of polychords, and chords which can be analyzed as both
extended jazz harmonies and sets of polychords. To create this harmonic effect, the
texture is extremely thick and all chords are rolled to add more density. The piece opens
with an extended F major seventh chord with an added ninth, and is followed by a chord
which can be looked at both ways: either as an extended C dominant seventh chord with a
ninth and eleventh, or as a polychord comprised of a C major triad over a G minor
seventh chord. The first half of m. 2 presents a polychord built by an A major triad over
a whole tone chord (a chord created from a selection of pitches in a whole tone
collection). Then the music shifts to another polychord, built by a C augmented chord
over a B-flat dominant seventh chord (Figure 4. 23). Again, the context of these chords
is ambiguous, and they can be viewed either as jazz chords or modern-style polychords
depending upon the interpretation of the analyst or performer.
Figure 4. 23: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 6, mm. 1-2
m. 1
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Because Kinoshita treats thick chords with a rolled technique, they typically sound like
extended chords even thourgh they could be analyzed as polychords. The dissonance of
the polychords is avoided since the pitches are not heard simultaneously at first. The
thick chords that are presented in a close register for both hands, as seen in mm. 1-4,
sound like extended jazz harmonies. The thick chords that are presented in a wide range,
such as those found at the end (mm.60-63), sound like polychords (Figure 4. 24).
Figure 4. 24: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 6, mm. 60-63
m. 60
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
The composer’s fresh treatment of chords is displayed in the A sections of
Prelude No. 5. These sections are based on a constant presentation of perfect fourths and
fifths. The left hand plays only open fifth harmonies, which shows Kinoshita’s humorous
side; the number five is emphasized by the left hand’s constant open fifth to connect to its
prelude number, No. 5. The right hand alternates between open fifths and fourths. When
the open harmony of both hands meets vertically, it creates a unique harmony in two
ways. First, the majority of these harmonies can be analyzed as either some kind of
seventh chord or extended seventh chord with missing pitches. For example, the last beat
in m. 1 is a C dominant eleventh chord with a missing third, and ninth. The harmony in
the second beat of m. 2 is a D diminished seventh chord. The last chord of m. 3 is a Bflat minor eleventh chord with missing fifth and ninth.
In addition, Kinoshita sometimes employs chords based on open fifths which
contain three different pitches related by the interval of a fifth, one of which is doubled.
When Kinoshita uses this kind of pitch collection, the doubled pitches are the center of
the fifth relationship. For example, the first chord in Prelude No. 5 (m. 1) consists of Bflat, A-flat, and two E-flats in the outer parts. E-flat is the center of fifth relationship; a
fifth above E-flat is B-flat, and a fifth below E-flat is A-flat. The same compositional
technique is employed in m. 3, wherein the first harmony is based on E-flat, two B-flats,
and F (Figure 4. 25). Other examples of this compositional technique are observed in
mm. 7, 9, and 11. This can be analyzed as another example of Kinoshita’s use of parallel
perfect fifths in a vertical format, in contrast with her simultaneous use of planing and
linear realization of the perfect intervals, as previously discussed. Once again,
Kinoshita’s unusual treatment of harmony emerges; most importantly, the repeated open
fifth and fourth harmonies lend the piece a dark quality because they include dissonant
pitches which are either a half step or whole step apart.
Figure 4. 25: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 5, mm. 1-3
m. 1
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Kinoshita’s employment of linear bass motion appears in several preludes. For
example, in the B section of Prelude No. 2 (mm.29-36), the first note played by the left
hand in each measure, which is the root of the chord, shows a linear bass motion (Figure
4. 26).65 Yuka Nakayama pointed out that this compositional technique seems to be the
composer’s favorite technique. This compositional method was also found in the B
section of Prelude No.3, as well as in some of Kinoshita’s other piano pieces such as
Hop, Hop. 66
Ibid., 31.
Figure 4. 26: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 2, mm. 28-36
m. 28
Linear Bass Motion
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
This technique of linear bass motion can be traced back to Chopin’s works. For instance,
a long linear bass line is found at the beginning of his Prelude Op. 28 No. 4 (Figure 4.
27). Chopin’s Preludes Op. 28 Nos. 6, 9 and 20 also display great examples of this
Figure 4. 27: Frederic Chopin, Prelude Op. 28 No. 4, mm. 1-1267
Kinoshita uses linear bass motion again in the A section of Prelude No. 6 (mm.
4-7). The linear bass motion is presented like Chopin’s, but differs sue to the addition of
twentieth century musical language; the bass notes create an ascending Combination 1
octatonic scale (Figure 4. 28).
Frederic Chopin, Preludes, ed. Ewald Zimmermann (München: G. Henle Verlag, 1968), 10.
Figure 4. 28: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 6, mm. 1-8
Ascending Octatonic Linear Bass Motion
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Another example of linear bass motion is displayed in Prelude No. 9. In the four
measures before the final A section (mm. 81-84), the music becomes more intense as it
nears the final climax. In the first measure of the final A section, a D minor extended
chord is provided, hearkening back to the initial prospective key of the piece. Kinoshita
uses linear bass motion in mm. 81-84 to reach the resolution chord of D minor.
Interestingly, a linear ascending soprano motion is employed at the same time to
emphasize the passion and intensity of the music. The linear ascending soprano motion
starts with D and climbs more than on octave, finally landing on the D-sharp which is
repeated until the end of the section. The linear descending bass motion begins with Dflat and goes down until it hits the F a minor sixth below. In the middle of this divergent
motion, D-flat in the left hand and D-sharp in the right hand are retained as pedal tones in
the last three and two measures before the final A section, respectively. Kinoshita
emphasizes these important notes because they are tendency tones which should resolve
back to the initial prospective key of D minor; the pitches, each a half-step apart from D,
are highlighted to provide the sense of return to the home key at the final A section
(Figure 4. 29).
Figure 4. 29: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 9, mm. 80-85
m. 80
RH: D-sharp is emphasized
LH: D-flat is emphasized
final A section
D minor
extended chord
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Jazz 9nfluences are also inherent in the rhythmic structure of Kinoshita’s music.
The unique rhythms which are often presented in jazz music are widely employed in the
work. The following characteristics of rhythm are often used in Kinoshita’s music to
create an ambiguous pulse and lack of bar lines which provides an important jazz
element: a sense of improvisation. Kinoshita’s commonly used rhythmic features are
listed in Table 4. 2.
Table 4. 2: Kinoshita’s rhythmic features
Ties from weak beats to strong beats
Accent on the weak beat
Rest on strong beat
Consistent use of rests to create
syncopation/ blur bar lines
Frequent meter changes
Asymmetrical meters
Kinoshita combines several of these characteristics of rhythm to create complex rhythms
often found in odd numbered preludes: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9. The following passages exemplify
Kinoshita’s complex treatment of rhythm (Figures 4. 30 and 4. 31).
Figure 4. 30: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 7, mm. 19-26
Weak Beat Accent, Constant Strong Beat Rest
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Figure 4. 31: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 9, mm. 35-43
Frequent Meter Change, Asymmetrical Meter, Tie from Weak Beat to Strong Beat
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Another prelude of great rhythmic interest is Prelude No. 3, which clearly shows
the influence of bebop. Bebop is a specific jazz style which was prevalent in 1940s
through the 1950s. The general characteristics of bebop are fast tempo; unison lines; use
of dissonance; and complex harmony, rhythm, and melody.68 Prelude No. 3 contains all
characteristics mentioned above. In addition, the prelude employs the metric marking
4/4, which is the typical bebop meter.69 Since the piece showcases the virtuosity of
bebop writing, it can be understood as a concert etude. As was stated previously, Prelude
No. 3 consists only of major triads along with a complex rhythm of sixteenth notes.
Kinoshita preserves a classically traditional harmonic practice by using simple major
triads throughout the piece, providing the performer with a well-guided, seemingly
improvised solo (Figures 4. 15 and 4. 32). These major triads represent ‘comping’
another element of jazz that typically helps define the pulse. Comping is defined as the
accompaniment provided by another member of a jazz ensemble while a soloist is
improvising. In addition to pulse, this also provides a harmonic base.
Richard J. Dunscomb and Willie Hill, Jazz Pedagogy: the Jazz Educatopr’s Hundbook and
Resource (Miami, Fla.: Warner Bros. Publications, 2002), 20.
Burnett James and Jeffrey Dean . "Jazz." The Oxford Companion to Music. Oxford Music
Online. Oxford University Press, (accessed
October 5, 2012).
Figure 4. 32: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 3, mm. 19-24
B section
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
In addition to rhythm being a huge part of Kinoshita’s jazz influence, the
rhythmic and metric content of the work also contribute to elements of form and overall
unifying structure. In several of the preludes, a change of meter or sudden focus on
syncopation helps clarify the start of a new section. For example, the outer sections of
Prelude No. 5 are based on relatively easy rhythms with stable meter, while the middle
section contains very complex rhythmic features previously listed in the table. Also, the
transitions often have a different rhythmic quality than the surrounding music. The
transition section (mm. 48-50) of Prelude No. 6 is a clear example, as it contains different
rhythmic values than seen prior to this point (Figure 4. 4). Kinoshita also uses an
alternation of harmonic-based preludes and rhythm-based preludes to unify the piece,
which will be discussed further in the next section.
Motivic Material
One of Kinoshita’s substantial compositional techniques to unify each piece is her
adoption of rhythmic motives in different sections. This technique is widely seen in the
rhythmically complex preludes (Preludes Nos. 3, 5, 7, and 9). For example, Prelude No.
7 contains intensely contrasting sections; however, the use of rhythmic motives keeps this
piece cohesive. Two main rhythmic motives, which mainly shape the A section, are the
rhythm of the first three notes in the right hand in m.1 and the left hand in m. 5 (Figure 4.
33). These rhythmic ideas appear together at the middle of the B section, beginning at m.
53 (Figure 4. 34).
Figure 4. 33: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 7, mm. 1-6
Rhythmic Motive 1
Rhythmic Motive 2
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Figure 4. 34: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 7, mm. 51-58
m. 51
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
In the A sections, Kinoshita commonly uses two different motives in an
alternating fashion at first, and then those same ideas are typically presented
simultaneously in later sections. The best example of this technique is shown in Prelude
No. 3. The A section of the piece is based on the alternate use of two different rhythmic
motives: chromatic running sixteenth notes with unexpected sixteen rests, and a
succession of major triads (Figure 4. 15). These two rhythmic motives simultaneously
appear in the B sections (Figure 4. 32).70 In fact, the entire prelude is built around these
two ideas. In spite of using only two motives throughout the piece, Kinoshita
successfully creates different moods for each section by juxtaposing the motives.
Another great example of the same technique is found in Prelude No. 9. The A
section is based on two different rhythmic motives presented alternately. The two
rhythmic motives are presented in the first two measures. The first is a series of
successive sixteenth notes, and the second is comprised of a combination of eighth and
sixteenth notes with ties (Figure 4. 18). These rhythmic motives are simultaneously used
in the B and C sections of the piece. In the beginning of the B section (mm. 26-30),
presentation of both rhythmic motives opens the new section (Figure 4. 35). The
combination of rhythmic motives is presented more clearly in the middle of the C section,
starting at m. 72 (Figure 4. 36).
Nakayama, 31.
Figure 4. 35: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 9, mm. 26-30
B section
m. 26
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Figure 4. 36: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 9, mm. 72-77
m. 72
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
A more complex example of this unique treatment of rhythmic motives can be
found in Prelude No. 5. The A section is based on three rhythmic motives. The first
rhythmic motive, presented in the right hand, is made up of four sixteenth notes tied to
the following quarter note. The second rhythmic motive, presented in the left hand, is an
eighth note followed by a sixteenth rest, and a sixteenth note tied to a quarter note. The
third motive, presented in both hands, consists of a group of sixteenth notes which
follows a strong beat rest (Figure 4. 37).
Figure 4. 37: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 5, mm. 1-3
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Interestingly, Kinoshita employs only the second and third rhythmic motives in the B
section. When the second rhythmic motive appears in the B section, it is always paired
with the third rhythmic motive. The combination of these rhythmic motives is prolific
beginning at m. 35 (Figure 4. 38).
Figure 4. 38: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 5, mm. 35-40
m. 35
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
The most interesting and complex employment of rhythmic motives is observed
in Prelude No. 4. The repetitive use of dotted rhythms presented in the right hand in m.1
is the signature rhythmic motive of the A section, since this rhythmic motive appears at
the beginning of every phrase (Figure 4. 39). The B section also contains its own
signature rhythmic motive: a combination of one eighth note and four sixteenth notes
(Figure 4. 40). This rhythmic motive signifies a shift to the B section because it is a
completely new rhythm and is used for the beginnings of phrases. These two rhythmic
motives, which represent different sections, finally merge at the end of the B section as a
transition when the meter changes to 9/8 in m. 29 (Figure 4. 41).
Figure 4. 39: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 4, mm. 1-6
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Figure 4. 40: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 4, mm. 16-19
m. 16
B section
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Figure 4. 41: Makiko Kinoshita, 9 Preludes, Prelude 4, mm. 28-33
m. 28
©2001 by ONGAKU NO TOMO SHA CORP., Tokyo, Japan.
Kinoshita’s use of repetitive melodic cells often observed in Prelude Nos. 5 and 7,
clearly shows one of the elements often found in jazz music. One of standard
characteristics of jazz improvisation is repeating melodic patterns.71
Kinoshita’s employment of rhythmic and melodic motives to unify pieces is one of her
important writing styles which displays the European traditional influence. Using
rhythmic and melodic motives to unify entire movement is significant to Classical
composers like Haydn and Beethoven. For example, the first movement of Haydn’s
Keyboard Sonata in A-flat major, Hob. XVI:43 are heavily based on rhythmic and
melodic motives to create entire movement.
Gregory Eug Smith, Homer, Gregory, and Bill Evans? The theory of Formulaic Composition
in the Context of Jazz Piano Improvisation. (Ph. D diss., Harvard Univerity, 1983), 142.
Unity in the 9 Preludes
While each prelude in this set can stand perfectly well on its own, analyzing all of
the 9 Preludes together makes apparent the techniques used to combine them into a
complete work. One of the most important aspects of Kinoshita’s method of unifying all
nine preludes into a single work is form. They are all in ternary form except the final
prelude, which provides the intensity of the climax of the entire work with an extended
formal structure. The next important aspect of unifying the work is Kinoshita’s treatment
of the transition sections throughout the work. As mentioned previously, almost all
transition sections in the work share the same texture, which clearly brings a sense of
unification. Another important aspect is that each prelude has its unique characteristics
and this allows the audience to easily transition from one prelude to the next. These
characteristics can be looked as different parts of a long story or novel, and the complete
story is told by playing the entire work. In addition, Kinoshita’s alternate use of highly
rhythmic-based preludes and lyrical, resonant preludes creates a unity throughout the
work.72 Each prelude can be categorized as one of those types except Preludes Nos.1 and
9 as Table 4. 3 shows:
Nakayama, 55.
Table 4. 3: Kinoshita’s 9 Preludes as seen in two basic styles
Rhythmic preludes
No. 1
No. 2
No. 3
No. 6
No. 7
No. 9
No. 4
No. 5
Lyrical preludes
It can be assumed that Kinoshita includes both characteristics in Prelude No. 1 to
introduce to listener the both important aspects of the work and in Prelude No. 9 to
express the intensity of the final preludes and summarize the entire piece. The alternate
use of different elements of music helps to unify the pieces and keeps the audience’s
attention through the entire work.
In addition to Kinoshita’s use of motivic material to unify the piece and the
presentation of octatonic pitch collections in almost every prelude are other ways to
achieve unity. Moreover, Kinoshita’s coherent use of octatonic pitch collections in either
transition sections or the B sections creates a stronger organization of the pieces.
Moreover, the composer’s preferred use of different compositional techniques and pitch
collections to divide the formal sections also provides unity.
Furthermore, there is a consistent use of extended harmonies such as chords with
an elevenths, discussed previously, that provide an overall jazz feel through the different
emotions of each prelude. Kinoshita uses extended harmonies to produce this jazz feel in
two ways. First, the A sections tend to use extended harmonies in a more patterned or
progressive way. However, the B sections contain extended harmonies to add color and
accentuate small harmonic shifts in music that sounds very improvised.
The purpose of this study, introducing Kinoshita’s 9 Preludes to non-Japanese
performers and patrons, is demonstrated throughout the chapters with investigation into
specific topics. The main part of this study, which offers an analysis of the work along
with additional biographical and historical information, provides readers with a deeper
understanding of Kinoshita’s musical concepts. This will hopefully inspire a new
audience to explore the work.
Makiko Kinoshita’s 9 Preludes is one of the outstanding twenty-first century
works for piano. The work displays many of Kinoshita’s ingenious ideas and passions
for composition. The fusion of elements from the European tradition, American jazz, and
modern writing is clearly demonstrated, and the interaction of these elements reflects an
important aspect of her idiomatic language. The composer’s treatment of various musical
aspects including form, tonality, harmony, rhythm, and motivic materials clearly
indicates the depth of her musical ideas. In addition, Kinoshita’s method of unifying the
pieces is a remarkable example of her outstanding talent.
Moreover, the composer’s special care in forming a unique harmonic language
represents her personal style. In spite of using the octatonic pitch collection, the
harmonies Kinoshita creates are absolutely beautiful and enhance the language she
creates through masterful pitch choices. The further addition of color pitches which do
not belong to these pitch collections provides another layer significant to Kinoshita’s
ingenious writing technique.
Understanding not only the composer’s biography but also the context of Western
music history in Japan helps non-Japanese readers to study music from that culture.
Although Kinoshita’s experience does not include studying music in foreign countries,
her adoption of Western traditional style is an important characteristic that defines her
works. It is significant to point out that it has been only 143 years since the Meiji
Restoration, when the country first completely opened the door for foreign cultures. In
that short time, Japanese composers have developed their music education rapidly and are
now on the same level as most European countries in their understanding and use of
traditional Western composition technique. This effort is reflected in Kinoshita’s work,
wherein the Western classical influences present virtuousic musical elements. The fact
that Kinoshita grew up listening to a wide variety of music, including Japanese, jazz, pop,
folk, and Western classical music, is an important circumstance that explains the multiple
styles evident in Kinoshita’s 9 Preludes. For example, Preludes Nos. 1 and 2 show her
jazz influence by presenting a number of extended chords with ninths, raised elevenths
and thirteenths often utilized in Jazz music. In addition, Prelude No.3 contains elements
of bebop, which is also a clear and significant jazz influence. In contrast, Preludes Nos. 4
and 7 make use of bar form and fugue-like writing, respectively: these preludes represent
the composer’s traditional Western influence.
Kinoshita’s employment of traditional European writing style, including
sequence technique, fugue-like writing, linear bass motion, and use of motivic elements,
is highlighted in the work alongside the use of American jazz elements, such as
syncopation and extended chords. Kinoshita’s combination of traditional compositional
techniques with twentieth-century techniques is captivating. Music that relies on roots in
the bass for linear bass motion represents Chopin’s style, while octatonic scales created
by the same bass motion lend themselves to a more modern writing technique.
Kinoshita’s treatment of ternary form represents Romantic era tradition; Chopin and
Schumann, for example, also made use of ternary form in their works. However, the
manner of dividing the formal sections by utilizing different compositional techniques
resembles Debussy’s twentieth-century writing technique.
Kinoshita revealed a key compositional goal in an interview; she desires to write
“genuine music” that never loses its luster in spite of many performances. She wants to
write music that people can play alongside with Western classical pieces. She believes
that classical music will become established in Japan if people listen to, play, and love
both Japanese classical music and Western classical music. Kinoshita hopes that she can
write works to support this concept. 73
Kinoshita’s 9 Preludes is an important work which supports the continuing
growth of classical music in Japan. Kinoshita provides an approachable sound and
technique throughout the work while employing twentieth-century tools such as
octatonic scales and modality. For example, Prelude No. 6 is one of the most
approachable preludes because it provides beautiful harmonies and simple rhythms. The
reason why the piece provides an approachable sound despite using the twentiethcentury technique such as polychords, extended chords, and octatonic scales, is that
Sudo, “Interview 11: Professor Makiko Kinoshita.”
Kinoshita strived to create beautiful harmonies. In this example, Kinoshita softens the
dissonance of the polychord by utilizing the rolled chord technique.
In conclusion, 9 Preludes is absolutely a work that supports Kinoshita’s desire to
create a style that fuses many musical influences. This style results in music that can be
performed in a classical setting for years to come. The work offers spectacular and
beautiful harmonies which attract the audience, and Kinoshita keeps the work fresh and
interesting with a complex combination of extended harmony, jazz rhythm, and modern
writing techniques. These attributes highly recommend the work for both performance
and analytical study.
Furthermore, the composition has a role to play in encouraging young composers to
produce works of art that are audibly and technically approachable, rather than settling on
writing only music in a cutting-edge style. Kinoshita has created a piece that has
something to offer to all musical performers, from students to virtuosos, because it
contains a great deal of substance generated by the fusion of multiple styles. The 9
Preludes defy the expectation of contemporary works to be both audibly and technically
demanding, and can therefore draw new listeners to the appreciation of contemporary
music, along with the other genres that Kinoshita's piece encompasses. Finally,
Kinoshita's work fosters a sense of national pride: as both a pedagogical resource and a
concert piece, 9 Preludes supports the growth of Japanese classical music.
Atkins, E. Taylor. Blue Nippon: Authenticating Jazz in Japan. Durham, N. C.: Duke
University Press, 2001.
_______. “Localizing Jazz and Globalizing Identities in Japan.” Jazz France Japan
Association. Last modified September 13, 2005.
Burge, David. Twentieth-Century Piano Music. Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow
Press, 2004.
Chopin, Frederic. Prelude. Edited by Ewald Zimmermann. München: G. Henle Verlag,
Debussy, Claude. Preludes for Piano Book 1 and 2. Edited by James R. Briscoe. New
York: G Schirmer Inc, 1991.
Dunscomb, J. Richard and Willie Hill. Jazz Pedagogy: The Jazz Educator’s Handbook
and Resource Guide. Miami, Fla.: Warner Bros. Publication, 2002.
Fordham, John. Jazz. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1993.
Garrett-Ueno, Junko. Japanese Piano Compositions of the Last Hundred Years: A
History of Piano Music in Japan and a Complete List of Japanese Piano
Compositions. D. M. A. diss., Rice University, 1998.
Gordon, Stewart. A History of Keyboard Literature: Music for the Piano and Its
Forerunners. Schirmer Press, 1996.
Harich-Schneider, Eta. A History of Japanese Music. London: Oxford University Press,
Iida, Mari. The Acceptance of Western Piano Music in Japan and The Career of Takahiro
Sonoda. D. M. A. diss., The University of Oklahoma, 2009.
Ito, Kimiko. The Character Pieces for Solo Piano by Kosaku Yamada (1886-1965).
D. M. A. diss., The University of Georgia, 2004.
James, Burnett and Jeffrey Dean . "Jazz." The Oxford Companion to Music. Oxford
Music Online. Oxford University Press, accessed October 1, 2012,
Kinoshita, Makiko. Music Composer, Kinoshita, Makiko: Official Web Site. (accessed June 18, 2012).
_______. Music Composer, Daily Life of Kinoshita Makiko. (accessed June 18, 2012).
_______. 9 Preludes. Tokyo: Ongakuno-Tomo-Sha, 2001.
_______. Yoku Wakaru Gakuten [Easily Understandable Music Theory]. Tokyo:
Natsume-Sha, 2008.
Nakayama, Yuka. A Performance and Pedagogical Guide to the Piano Music by Mikiko
Kinoshita. D. M. A. diss., Ball State University, 2011.
Sakamoto, Mikiko. Takemitsu and The Influence of “Cage Shock”: Transforming the
Japanese Ideology into Music. D. M. A. doc., The University of NebraskaLincoln, 2010.
Smith, Gregory Eug. Homer, Gregory, and Bill Evans? The theory of Formulaic
Composition in the Context of Jazz Piano Improvisation. Ph. D diss., Harvard
Univerity, 1983.
Sudo, Eiko. “Interview 11: Professor Makiko Kinoshita; Piano Pieces Made In Japan.”
Piano Teachers National Association. (accessed June 18,
Tanabe, Hisao. Japanese Music. Tokyo: Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai, 1959.
Taniguchi, Eriko. “Special Interview: Talk by Mr. Takashi Obara and Ms. Makiko
Kinoshita.” Piano Teachers National Association.
(accessed June 18, 2012).
Taylor, Billy. Jazz Piano: A Jazz History. Dubuque, Iowa: W.C. Brown, 1983.
Whittall, Arnold. "octatonic scale." The Oxford Companion to Music. Oxford Music
Online. Oxford University Press, accessed October 1, 2012,

Report this document