James Nyoraku Schlefer

Ten Original Compositions
for Two Shakuhachi

Dual Language Edition

Text in English & Japanese
Scores in Kinko-ryu & Western Notation

Shakuhachi Duets offers ten original compositions for two shakuhachi composed by grand master James Nyoraku Schlefer. This is a dual-language edition with text in English and Japanese and the musical scores transcribed in both Kinko-ryu and Western 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.

Shakuhachi Duets are a great way to learn ensemble playing, valuable experience before playing Sankyoku. The ten compositions start off simply and become progressively more complex, so there is music appropriate to all levels of ability. Each piece is original, yet drawn from traditional shakuhachi melodies and phrasing, challenging the player to exercise commonly used patterns. Karaoke tracks on the practice CD allows the player to emulate the traditional Japanese way of learning shakuhachi by copying one's teacher and playing in unison. This is a unique and fun way to learn ensemble performance.

64 pages. JS-1.

SchleferJames 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.

What People Say About SHAKUHACHI DUETS

James Noryako Schlefer's Shakuhachi Duets is a wonderful tool for playing and teaching. Ensemble playing is always beneficial for intonation, tone, rhythm and for enhancing musicianship of sight reading in Japanese and Western notation. The CD and accompanying booklet give equal opportunity to play both parts and to listen to the duets themselves. The simple melodies set in canonical style, i.e. call-and-response are deceptively simple and entertaining.
This collection holds up under repeated readings and study.

Bruce Stoller
Shakuhachi Performer & Recording Artist

Learn more about James Nyoraku Schlefer

SHAKUHACHI WORKBOOK: Daily Practice Exercises for Technical Development

THE PRACTICAL SHAKUHACHI: Etudes for Technical Development

SHAKUHACHI DUETS: Ten Original Compositions for Two Shakuhachi

Sheet Music of Original Compostions


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