Sound of 1000 Years: Gagaku Instruments from Japan

Event Date: 

Saturday, September 25, 2021 to Sunday, December 12, 2021

Event Date Details: 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all exact dates and times are tentative and subject to change. 

Sound of 1000 Years

Gagaku, which translates to “elegant music,” is the classical music and dance of the Imperial Court of Japan and an important component of Buddhist and Shinto liturgies. It originated in ancient China and the Korean peninsula, and incorporated influences from India, Persia, and Southeast Asia. In Japan, these influences blended with ancient indigenous songs and dance taking on original characteristics. 
This exhibition explores the history of Gagaku through a display of the unique instruments played by Gagaku musicians, along with costumes, photographs and videos, and other artifacts. Sound of 1000 Years is organized by the AD&A Museum in collaboration with Fabio Rambelli, International Shinto Foundation Chair in Shinto Studies and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at UC Santa Barbara.
Image: Gagaku performance with Taiko drum, from Gagaku Workshops: Court Music and Dance from Japan, held March 5-6, 2020. Photographed by Daigengna Douer.