One of the characteristic features of Japanese music is how it blends the cultural components of the various lands that exist next to each other, in harmony. Thus, the music that the Japanese listen to, as well as compose is very diverse in nature.
The traditional Japanese music was often a part of the typical drama performances such as the:
Noh: This form of music has two primary elements, being:
Utai: The vocal element
Hayashi: The instrumental element
Another prime form of traditional music in Japan was the court music. In fact, a significant development that occurred in the musical history of Japan, happened during the Period of Heian (794-1192 A.D). This was when the music was introduced in the royal courts in the form of Gagaku.
There are a number of Japanese folk songs sung in the various provinces of the nation. Most of the compositions are associated with religious ceremonies and events, daily chores, which includes farming, laboring in the mountains, etc. However, off late these songs are mainly sung for entertainment reasons, except for in the region of Okinawa where the original tradition of folk singing is still prevalent in day-to-day life.
Today, there is an entire genre of popular Japanese music. This includes the music of the western world, as well as the Japanese rock and pop compositions. In fact, the original pop music of Japan is known as kayo kyoku.
The following is a list of the renowned Japanese singers: