Noh


Noh
Noh or No (Japanese:能 Nō) is a major form of classical Japanese musical drama that has been performed since the 14th century. Noh is made up of "mai" (dances), "hayashi" (music) and "utai" (words usually in songs). The performers use masks and dance slowly. Zeami and his father Kan'ami brought Noh to its present-day form during the Muromachi period.
Types of Noh drama.
Theater pieces of Noh is classified into 5 groups.
Noh players.
Usually, all Noh players are men. They have been taught their skills by their fathers. When a woman or girl appears in the drama, a male actor plays her role with a woman mask.
There are three types of Noh players: "shite", "waki" and "kyogen". "Shite" plays the hero or the heroine. He talks, sings and dances. "Waki" (meaning "Side") plays the sidekick of "Shite", and usually plays a traveller role in a certain place. He introduces us into the world in the drama. "Kyogen" appears in the middle of the drama if it has two parts, and plays the role of the local citizen. He talks to "Waki" and makes him notice what he hasn't noticed before their talk.
Music on Noh.
"Hayashi" means musical instrumentals. Kinds of drum ("Tuzumi", "Taiko") and flute ("Fue") are used in the theater.


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