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Characteristics of Yul and Ryeo in Saibara-ryakufu Saibara is a Japanese court song genre of the Heian period. By the fifteenth century the performance tradition of saibara had died out completely and only 6 pieces of the original, which have been preserved to this day, were reconstructed during the Edo period. At present, there is a question concerning saibara on the issue that it does not have a distinction between yul and ryeo scale. To my best knowledge, research on the problem of yul and ryeo scales has not been carried out to date. Therefore characteristics of yul and ryeo in the original saibara are unknown to us. In this paper, I analyze Saibara-ryakufu (henceforth SR) notated before the middle of the fifteenth century in order to find out the musical characteristics of yul and ryeo in the original saibara. First, I transcribed SR to five staff notation, and analyzed the melody. The results demonstrate that yul uses five-tone scale and ryeo uses six-tone scale, and in the function of tone sang and u function in yul as beginning tones while gung and chi function in ryeo as beginning tones. Moreover, one of the big differences between yul and ryeo is that yul-gak (the perfect fourth from gung) is used in yul and ryeo-gak (major third from gung) is used in ryeo. In short, this paper clarified that in the original saibara, yul and ryeo differed in scale, function of tone, and melodic structure as well as that yul and ryeo had their own characteristics. These facts in original saibara differ from present saibara which does not have a distinction between yul and ryeo scales.


Characteristics of Yul and Ryeo in Saibara-ryakufu Saibara is a Japanese court song genre of the Heian period. By the fifteenth century the performance tradition of saibara had died out completely and only 6 pieces of the original, which have been preserved to this day, were reconstructed during the Edo period. At present, there is a question concerning saibara on the issue that it does not have a distinction between yul and ryeo scale. To my best knowledge, research on the problem of yul and ryeo scales has not been carried out to date. Therefore characteristics of yul and ryeo in the original saibara are unknown to us. In this paper, I analyze Saibara-ryakufu (henceforth SR) notated before the middle of the fifteenth century in order to find out the musical characteristics of yul and ryeo in the original saibara. First, I transcribed SR to five staff notation, and analyzed the melody. The results demonstrate that yul uses five-tone scale and ryeo uses six-tone scale, and in the function of tone sang and u function in yul as beginning tones while gung and chi function in ryeo as beginning tones. Moreover, one of the big differences between yul and ryeo is that yul-gak (the perfect fourth from gung) is used in yul and ryeo-gak (major third from gung) is used in ryeo. In short, this paper clarified that in the original saibara, yul and ryeo differed in scale, function of tone, and melodic structure as well as that yul and ryeo had their own characteristics. These facts in original saibara differ from present saibara which does not have a distinction between yul and ryeo scales.