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Kyoto Imperial Court Music Orchestra Kyoto Imperial Court Music Orchestra
The Kyoto Imperial Court Music Orchestra performs Gagaku, which is the ancient music of the royal court of Japan. Dating from the Nara (645 - 710) and Heian (794 - 1185) periods, Gagaku is a stately, formal music performed by an orchestra conisting of wind, reed, string and percussion instruments. Most notable, and giving Gagaku its characteristic sound, are the hichiriki, a double-reed instrument (somewhat like an oboe) with a nasal sound which is used to carry the melody, and the sho, which consists of 17 reed pipes and provides the harmony.

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