Nagauta (長唄, literally "long song") is a kind of traditional Japanese music which accompanies kabuki theater. It was developed around 1740. Influences include the vocal yōkyoku style used in noh theater, and instruments include the shamisen and various kinds of drums. The music is a combination of different styles stemming from the music popular during the Edo period.

Sake Cup by Santō Kyōden, 1783-1784, a meriyasu

The shamisen, a plucked lute with three strings, is a very popular instrument in nagauta. Nagauta performers generally play the shamisen and sing simultaneously.

Nagauta is the basis of the Nagauta Symphony, a symphony in one movement composed in 1934 by composer Kosaku Yamada.

Meriyasu is considered a subset of nagauta.[1][2]

Further readingEdit


  1. ^ Santō, Kyōden (1783). "Sake Cup". World Digital Library (in Japanese). Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  2. ^ William P. Malm (1963). Nagauta: the heart of kabuki music. C. E. Tuttle Co. p. 17. Retrieved 28 May 2013.

External linksEdit