The Japanese Sound Culture

Interesting notes from an article written by Tadahiko Imada.
“The decision of whether some sounds are regarded as music or not rests with the cultural background of the listener. In other words, cultures do not share the same methods of listening; there are as many ways of listening as there are cultures and ears. I am going to introduce the Japanese sound culture and its heritage.
It is very difficult to explain the Japanese musical sensations in Genji Monogatari using English. It seems the ancient Japanese people considered various sounds as the total ‘scenery,’ and being more imaginative than us, there was no border between sound and music in the ancient Japanese sound culture. The Japanese people regarded sound as an abstract image rather than as a pragmatic acoustic event, like the sound of the bloom of a lotus flower and suikinkutsu, for instance. The concept of sound was extended from the real sound of an instrument to sounds of a variety of phenomena in the ancient Japanese culture.”
Japanese Sound Culture