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About 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