ESS Shakuhachi Forum Forum Index ESS Shakuhachi Forum
Practice, Culture and History of Japanese Bamboo Flute 尺八. A Project of the European Shakuhachi Society (ESS)
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Japanese VS Chinese bamboo

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    ESS Shakuhachi Forum Forum Index -> ESS Forums -> The Playpen
Previous topic :: Next topic  
Author Message
Jon Palombi
Member

Offline

Joined: 11 May 2011
Posts: 78
Localisation: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: 2011-06-28, 04:24    Post subject: Japanese VS Chinese bamboo Reply with quote

PublicitéSupprimer les publicités ?
Hey Guys,

Being a shakuhachi newbie, admittedly, I was wondering if some of our more learned members could explain a few things to me about the bamboo used to craft shakuhachi? Obviously, it's common knowledge that the most expensive shakuhachi are crafted in Japanese madake and Chinese madake bamboo shakuhachi are more inexpensive. Even amongst gifted makers and those of the highest reputation.

So, is this because of the Japanese bamboo source's lofty economy or is there a distinct difference in the genus of the two country's bamboos? Are they the very same species, both genuine madake? Or are they separate species of bamboo, altogether? And what about the Korean bamboo used for daegum? A relative to madake? Sorry about the avalanche of questions...

In other words, is there a marked difference in the way they play and/or just what makes one more preferable than the other to the experienced player? As a side note, how does torachika (tiger bamboo) compare to madake? It's quite lovely but I wonder if it is as applicable for shakuhachi flutes? Chinese xiao seem be be frequently made from what was described as "black bamboo" or "purple bamboo". Is this bamboo a similar species to Japanese torachika or something completely unique?

I now have 2 Japanese root-end madake shakuhachi and 3 Chinese root-end shakuhachi. Frankly, I'm not sure if I yet understand what is superior and what is not... given my newbieness. That being said, having been a flutist for 35 years now, I can sense many things about any particular flute in-hand, once I bring it to my lips and blow through it. But I humble myself before a more experienced and enlightened community. Essentially, I ask for some practical guidance.

Please forgive my ignorance in these matters, as I have largely been a Western classical silver flutist (although I am an ear player and cannot read classical music scores). Mostly I have played Jazz, blues, new age and world music. In terms of bamboo, I am most familiar with Indian bansuri. Bansuri are made from the lightest and often transient bamboo. Most of my best ones have split over the decades. Vermont is a harsh climate for bansuri flutes. Nothing robust like madake shakuhachi. Sad

Somehow, I have a feeling that I am about to go deeper into what the flute is all about, as a sonic device and as a companion into a new degree of spiritual awakening. I am very keen to discover what I may experience, by embracing this mysterious tube of simple bamboo, coupled with all the hidden potential of human wind.

Thanks in advance for your assistance, Jon.
_________________
Music is the very breath of life.


Last edited by Jon Palombi on 2011-06-29, 21:27; edited 3 times in total
Back to top
kerry
Member

Offline

Joined: 20 Apr 2011
Posts: 19
Localisation: Nashville, Tennessee

PostPosted: 2011-06-29, 15:10    Post subject: Japanese VS Chinese bamboo Reply with quote

Jon Palombi wrote:
Frankly, I'm not sure if I yet understand what is superior and what is not...

Horst and Ricebag, please forgive me Wink
The sonic and timbre qualities of any particular shakuhachi are totally and unequivocally resultant from the shape and texture of the bore of the particular shakuhachi.
Back to top
CharlesKoeppen
Member

Offline

Joined: 22 Mar 2011
Posts: 103
Localisation: ny usa

PostPosted: 2011-06-29, 15:14    Post subject: Japanese VS Chinese bamboo Reply with quote

I'm curious what the more experienced players and makers will say about this. I have a similar background to yours with silver flute and some other types of flutes, have just over 4 years experience with shakuhachi, and can only say that while Japanese madake has a much nicer look and feel, I am unsure Japanese madake sounds better. Also, watching and comparing videos Perry Yung has made to demonstrate his own and refurbished instruments leads me towards the opinion that the kind of madake does not effect the sound much.

As far as the tiger bamboo, Monty Levenson makes student shakuhachi that I understand are pretty good out of it. However, Monty's tiger bamboo student instruments are cast-bore and that could negate some of the acoustical differences that might be more obvious in jinashi instruments.

This topic sounds like it could easily be stretched into the general "does material matter" question that doesn't seem to be easily resolved because scientific theory indicates that different typical flute making material should not make a difference in the sound but many makers, players, and listeners have a preference for one material over another.
_________________
Charles Koeppen
Kingston NY USA
Visit my shakuhachi website http://shakuhachi.atspace.cc
Back to top
Visit poster’s website
Brian Tairaku Ritchie
Moderator

Offline

Joined: 18 Mar 2011
Posts: 635
Localisation: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

PostPosted: 2011-06-29, 23:55    Post subject: Japanese VS Chinese bamboo Reply with quote

kerry wrote:

The sonic and timbre qualities of any particular shakuhachi are totally and unequivocally resultant from the shape and texture of the bore of the particular shakuhachi.


Let's not go there. Sad Bannir Crying or Very sad

To answer the question. Generally Japanese is better but I've played a few Chinese by Ken and Perry that were quite similar to the Japanese madake.
Back to top
S.P.Shepard
Member

Offline

Joined: 21 May 2011
Posts: 9
Localisation: California

PostPosted: 2011-07-19, 00:27    Post subject: Japanese VS Chinese bamboo Reply with quote

I have worked with both Chinese and Japanese madake.
The difference I find is Japanese madake has a slightly thicker wall and is a little heavier than Chinese.
It also costs a hell of a lot more than Chinese. Crying or Very sad

Overall, I have made and played both Chinese & Japanese Madake side by side and I couldn't hear or see any noticeable difference in the two.
_________________
When you've lost all hope and lost all your dreams, there's nothing like a camp fire and a can of beans.
Back to top
Visit poster’s website
Brian Tairaku Ritchie
Moderator

Offline

Joined: 18 Mar 2011
Posts: 635
Localisation: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

PostPosted: 2011-07-19, 03:27    Post subject: Japanese VS Chinese bamboo Reply with quote

Usually the Chinese has a thinner wall but Ken and Perry have a source who comes up with some pieces which are quite similar to the Japanese. In some cases I could tell the difference by looking at it and playing it but in other cases I couldn't.
Back to top
Jon Palombi
Member

Offline

Joined: 11 May 2011
Posts: 78
Localisation: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: 2011-07-24, 06:40    Post subject: Japanese VS Chinese bamboo Reply with quote

Brian Tairaku Ritchie wrote:
Usually the Chinese has a thinner wall but Ken and Perry have a source who comes up with some pieces which are quite similar to the Japanese. In some cases I could tell the difference by looking at it and playing it but in other cases I couldn't.


I would imagine that this is certainly true. I have a Perry Yung jinashi shakuhachi made from Japanese madake (1.8 in D) and also, one of his Chikusan jiari Chinese madake (ditto length and key). One is root-end, one non root-end. One unbound and one is bound dramatically. Each is free of any cracks. I honestly can't say I notice any different in their quality per se... but they each have their own voice, if that makes any sense. One is natural bore and one is lacquered and this sounds uniquely dissimilar to my fledgling ears. One without a plain utaguchi and one with a Tozan inlay. Each is a wonderful flute in their own right.

This leaves me with the strong impression that it is not really just the national origin of the bamboo but essentially, the magical synthesis of quality examples of the organic material, expert craftsmanship and attention to detail, overall stark simplicity and artistic balance, all of which these flutes undeniably embody. I haven't tried any wooden shakuhachi yet, so I am still limited to my immediate and direct experiences with bamboo. My Yuu sounds... kinda plasticy. Wink

So as I said, I'm not trained enough or yet ready to discern any difference between their sound quality, based purely on their genus or national origin, as bamboo shoots ... but I'm sure you and many of the other esteemed members easily could do so. I do appreciate their diversity and I would imagine each shakuhachi flute has it's own personality, for lack of a better word? Thank you for the kind replies, All.

Arrivederci, Jon
_________________
Music is the very breath of life.
Back to top
Contenu Sponsorisé






PostPosted: Today at 01:06    Post subject: Japanese VS Chinese bamboo

Back to top
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    ESS Shakuhachi Forum Forum Index -> ESS Forums -> The Playpen All times are GMT + 2 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  

Index | Create a free forum | Free support forum | Free forums directory | Report a violation | Conditions générales d'utilisation
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2017 phpBB Group