Art & Design

Talk & Demonstration: Exploring the Music of Noh

15 May 2016, London

Comprising drama, music and dance, Noh is Japan’s oldest surviving form of theatre with a history going back over 600 years. Among its performative elements, the music of Noh is considered an equally integral piece to the art and its ensemble of four musicians, known as the hayashi, create an atmosphere which gives Noh its distinguished dramatic power. Consisting of the nohkan (traverse flute) player and three percussionists, the highly trained musicians individually use their traditional instruments to evoke moods, expressions and enhance the performance on stage.


In this special talk, the Japan Foundation have invited three performers of classical Noh repertoire to introduce the pivotal sounds of this theatrical art. Featuring introductions and small demonstrations by Yukihiro Isso (nohkan flute), Tatsushi Narita (kotsuzumi shoulder drum) and Mitsuhiro Kakihara (otsuzumi hip drum), the performers will demonstrate the roles of their individual instruments and the vast array of expressions the music can convey in the performance.


Due to Noh’s symbolic and highly stylised nature, it can often be considered something difficult to appreciate or follow, but this event will give you an understanding through which to enjoy this traditional theatrical art, and will immerse you within the fascinating world of Noh.



This event is organised with mu:arts.


The speakers will also be taking part in Noh Reimagined - The Contemporary Art of Classical Japanese Theatre, a two-day festival taking place at Kings Place, London from 13-14 May 2016 supported by The Japan Foundation. For more information, and booking details, please click here.



This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To book your place via Eventbrite, please click here.

15 May 2016, 2.00pm
20 BEDFORD WAY (Drama Studio, Level 1), 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL


The Japan Foundation