Shakuhachi: the most Beautiful Sad Sound in the World.

Via Waylon Lewis
on May 21, 2013
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It’s Shakuhachi.

It’s like auditory haiku–lots of space and simplicity and longing. It’s often played when one misses another.

Most folks won’t care much, but I love this, grew up around it in the Shambhala Buddhist community. It’s the sound, to me, of unrequited love—yes love held within dignity…loneliness with precision, not depression…raw, unmanaged emotion. ~ ed.

You know the Shakuhachi, or Japanese flute? It’s the most beautiful sad sound I think I know.

“Just a relaxing song from the famous japanese flute…the Shakuhachi.
The name of the player is MIYATA Kohachiro, and the piece is called ‘Honshirabe’, from an album called ‘Shakuhachi – The Japanese Flute’, on the Elektra Nonesuch Explorer series. Many thanks to edosan2 who gave me the information. =)

The piece is actually called Choshi (maybe Honshirabe is another name). It belongs to the category of honkyoku music, the solo zen music everyone thinks of when they hear the shakuhachi (sankyoku is the genre of chamber music). Choshi literally means tuning music, and this piece was traditionally played as a way to warm up and set the mood for a longer honkyoku piece. Many thanks to cannedmoose for the extra information. =)”


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


2 Responses to “Shakuhachi: the most Beautiful Sad Sound in the World.”

  1. Barbara says:

    What a wonderful thing to come across on this stormy night. Thank you

  2. Susan says:

    I agree completely, Waylon. It is the most beautiful and poignant sound. I have a CD by Debbie Danbrook and whenever I play it, I am compelled to simply just be in the moment and listen. I once attended a Toronto symphony concert and Yo-Yo Ma was the guest…listening to him play his cello concerto was a similar experience. Music can be such a profound healing voice. Stirs the soul….Thx for this.