James Nyoraku Schlefer

SHAKUHACHI SHEET MUSIC
Original Compositions for Shakuhachi

• Solo, Duet, Quartet, Quintet & Orchestra
• Ensemble with Japanese Koto & Shamisen
• Ensemble with Western Stringed Instruments

Scores in Kinko-ryu & Western 5-Line Staff Notation
Each score accompanied by a CD


FLARE UP
For solo Shakuhachi

Flare Up is a challenging solo shakuhachi piece that uses double-tonguing, singing while playing and some extremely high notes. Based on a repetitive rhythmic pattern, the music builds from beginning to the end in one long crescendo culminating in a fortissimo climax.

Western 5-Line Staff notation.
6 minutes, 4 pages.
Can also be played on Western silver flute.
JS-2 - Comes with a CD recording of the piece performed by James Nyoraku Schlefer.

BROOKLYN SANYA
For solo Shakuhachi

Brooklyn Sanya is based on the honkyoku “Sanya.” It maintains the spirit, formal structure, and many of the melodic elements of the traditional music, while incorporating new musical ideas.

Western 5-Line Staff and Kinko-ryu notation.
9 minutes, 7 pages.
Can also be played on Western silver flute.
JS-3 - Comes with a CD recording of the piece performed by James Nyoraku Schlefer.

AZUMA NO KYOKU
Duet for two Shakuhachi

The original melody of Azuma no Kyoku is accompanied by a newly composed melody that provides a harmonic second part. The second part can be played on a 2.0' or a 2.4' shakuhachi, or the piece can be played with 1.6' and 1.8' shakuhachi.

Western 5-Line Staff and Kinko-ryu notation.
8 Minutes, 8 pages.
Can also be played on Western silver flute.
JS-4 - Comes with a CD recordingof the piece (MIDI FILE).

COUPLE DANCE
Duet for two Shakuhachi

Couple Dance is an original score that was composed for modern dance. The work presents several rhythmic sections alternating with slower sections, and a unique percussion section. Second part doubles on 2.4'.

Western 5-Line Staff notation.
15 minutes, 15 pages.
Can also be played on Western silver flute.
JS-5 - Comes with a CD recording made by John Kaizan Neptune and James Nyoraku Schlefer.

TIMELESS MOMENT
Quartet for four Shakuhachi

Original music for four shakuhachi with the fourth part doubling on 2.4'. This is a simple, gentle piece.

Western 5-Line Staff and Kinko-ryu notation.
4 minutes, 6 pages.
JS-6 - Comes with a CD recordingof the piece (MIDI FILE).

KUMOIJISHI
Quartet for four shakuhachi

The original melody of Kumoijishi is accompanied by three shakuhachi grouped as a chordal accompaniment. This version of the honkyoku classic is a true blending of musical cultures. Three 1.8 and one 2.0' shakuhachi.

Western 5-Line Staff and Kinko-ryu notation.
7 minutes, 9 pages.
JS-7 - Comes with a CD recordingof the piece (MIDI FILE).

DUO NO. 1
Duet for Shakuhachi & Koto

This duo is a fast-paced, highly rhythmic piece with a meditative slow section and a section based on the Blues.

Western 5-Line Staff notation.
12 minutes, 10 pages legal size.
Can also be played on Western silver flute.
JS-8 - Comes with a CD recording of the piece performed by James Nyraku Schlefer (shakuhachi) & Masayo Ishigure (koto).

DUO NO. 2
Duet for Shakuhachi & Shamisen

Rapid-fire shamisen licks, and double-tongued shakuhachi form the basis for this fast moving work that has a beautiful slow section using Japanese scales.

Western 5-Line Staff notation.
8 minutes, 11 pages.
Can also be played as a Flute and Guitar duo.
JS-9 - Comes with a CD recording of the piece performed by James Nyraku Schlefer (shakuhachi) & Yoko Reikano Kimura (shamisen).

Recorded live in Japan, this is a performance of "Duo No.2" is performed by James Nyoraku Schlefer and Reikano Kimura.

DARANI
For Shakuhachi, Violin, Viola & Cello

Darani is originally a honkyoku piece for solo shakuhachi. This arrangement presents the original, beautiful melody in a new, harmonic setting accompanied by Western string trio.

Western 5-Line Staff notation.
8 minutes, 8 page score, includes separate parts for each instrument.
Can also be played on Western silver flute.
JS-10 - Comes with a CD recordingof the piece (MIDI FILE).

QUINTET
For Shakuhachi, Two Violins, Viola & Cello

Quintet was written with three of my favorite elements of music at the forefront; rhythm, structure, and the combined sound of a sting quartet with shakuhachi. The three-movement form recalls a Baroque-era concerto grosso, with its fast-slow-fast structure, but within a distinctly contemporary musical idiom. Both the first and last movements have substantial solos for both the violins and the shakuhachi. The first movement is in two sections. The first part revolves around a disturbing melody that recurs several times. This gives way, first to an energetic call and response between the shakuhachi and first violin, and then to a lighter pizzicato section that resolves the unease of the main melody but leaves the listener with a question mark. The second movement starts as a blues and devolves into a section of true despair. The shakuhachi solos are in the style of the traditional music of Zen meditation. The third movement is in rondo form and presents a jagged main theme that recurs throughout and is punctuated by several rock-style solo passages for the shakuhachi and violins.

Western 5-Line Staff notation and parts. Three movements.
25 minutes, 45 page score legal size, includes separate parts for each instrument.
Can also be played on Western silver flute.
JS-11 - Comes with a CD recording (MIDI FILE) of the piece.

James Nyoraku Schlefer & the Satori Chamber Ensemble at the premiere of QUINTET in May, 2006.

BIG PIECE
For Shakuhachi Orchestra (15 players) or Quintet

Big Piece had its premiere at the BIG APPLE SHAKUHACHI FESTIVAL (NYC) in 2004. It is meant to be played by a large group of shakuhachi players, with several players on each part. It can also be played by five players with one person to a part. Parts 1-4 use 1.8' and part 5 uses 2.4' shakuhachi.

Western 5-Line Staff notation. Parts in Western 5-Line Staff or Kinko-ryu notation.
9 minutes, 15 page score, includes separate parts for each instrument.
JS-12 - Comes with a CD recordingof the piece (MIDI FILE).

SHAKUHACHI DUETS
Ten original compositions for two shakuhachi.

This is a dual-language edition with text in English and Japanese and the musical scores transcribed in both Kinko-ryu and Western 5-Line Staff notation. The accompanying practice CD includes each piece with both parts performed together as well as each part separately. This enables you to play along "Karaoke" style while following the written notation provided. Since the duets are transcribed in Western 5-line staff as well as Japanese cursive notation, they can be played along with silver flute, violin, guitar or any other instrument.

Western 5-Line Staff and Kinko-ryu notation.
64 pages.
Can also be played on Western silver flute.
JS-1 - Comes with a CD recording of each piece & parts performed by James Nyoraku Schlefer.


James Nyoraku Schlefer is a leading performer and teacher of shakuhachi in New York City. He received the Dai-Shi-Han or Grand Master's Certificate in 2001, and in 2007, he received a second shi-han license, this one from Yoshio Kurahashi and the Mujuan Dojo in Kyoto. In Japan he has worked with Aoki Reibo, Yokoyama Katsuya, Yoshinobu Taniguchi, and Mitsuhashi Kifu. His primary teacher in New York was Ronnie Nyogetsu Seldin. Schlefer holds a Master's degree in Western flute & musicology from Queens College (CUNY) and currently teaches music history courses at the City University of New York. He has four solo recordings, Wind Heart (which traveled 120,000,000 miles aboard the Space Station MIR) Solstice Spirit (1998,) Flare Up (2002,) and In The Moment (2008.) His music has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered.

Nyoraku is a member of the Japanese music group Ensemble East, which performs traditional and modern chamber music for Japanese instruments, including the shamisen and the koto. He is currently the curator of Japanese music programming for Arts at Tenri, a monthly chamber music series in New York City.

Schlefer began his musical career as a Western flutist. For the past several years he has turned his attention to creating new music and to date has written numerous pieces for shakuhachi in combination with both Japanese and Western instruments. A dedicated and respected teacher, Nyoraku Sensei is head of the Kyo-Shin-An teaching studio in New York City. He has edited books of traditional notation and written and published two etude books for shakuhachi technical development.


Concerto for Shakuhachi, Strings, Harp and Percussion - First Movement
"Hazy Awareness".

Written and Performed by James Nyoraku Schlefer and the SONOS Chamber Orchestra, Erik E. Ochsner, Music Director. LIVE performance - Merkin Concert Hall, NYC, May 13, 2009.

See Videos of the Second Movement "Crystal Solitude" & Third Movement "Outside".


Learn more about James Nyoraku Schlefer

SHAKUHACHI WORKBOOK: Daily Practice Exercise for Technical Development

THE PRACTICAL SHAKUHACHI: Etudes for Technical Development

SHAKUHACHI DUETS: Ten Original Compositions for Two Shakuhachi

Sheet Music of Original Compostions

Recordings


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