The popularity of classical music in Japan

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While the West, mainly Brazil, is dominated by songs with standardized lyrics and rhythms. Japan remains strong with traditional classical music. Do you know what classical music is? 

It does not necessarily indicate symphonies, operas and instruments such as violin and piano. The main characteristic of classical music is its complexity of instrumentation, where we have several musical instruments that create an artistic expression.

Just to remember, we are talking about Western classical music and not traditional Japanese music. Both traditional classical music remains strong in Japan as well as Japanese popular music such as J-POP, J-Rock and others use techniques and complexities that no other country uses.


About 20% of the world classical music market is located in Japan. Throughout Japan it is possible to find musical art centers and concert halls.

Throughout Japan students are encouraged to enjoy classical music through clubs and works involving opera, piano, violin, singing, figure skating, theater and various extracurricular subjects involving music.

Classical music was introduced in Japan in the Meiji Period (1868-1912). Big names like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Wagner influenced all of Japan. The first symphonic performance in Japan took place on February 19, 1887 in Tokyo.

A influência da música clássica no japão

Classical music in Japan

In Japan, music education begins at the age of 6, students play instruments and sing. In high school, students choose between clubs and can decide to learn to play various traditional or classical instruments.


This means that all students in Japan have been exposed to classical music in some way and play some instrument. While some consider that enjoying classical music is something of the rich and elite, every day it is more common for Japanese people to enjoy this type of music and watch orchestras.

In Tokyo alone there are more than 4,000 classical music professionals, it is in this city that the largest number of professional orchestras in the world takes place. Nowadays classical music can be found in Japan not only in orchestras but in films, games, anime and dramas.

The greatest game composers in the world are in Japan. Big names like Toru Takemitsu (composer), Seiji Ozawa (conductor), Fujiko Hemming (pianist) were of great importance in the world of music. We can mention great composers of the games like Koji Kondo (Zelda, Mario), Akira Yamaoka and Nobuo Uematsu that influenced everyone.

A influência da música clássica no japão

In addition to all anime and games have classic music like soundtrack and background sound. Anime and manga have also given attention to classical music through their stories.

Great works like shigatsu wa kimi in use, nodame cantabile and several other school anime involving instruments and singing. These are mandatory anime for those who want to get deeper or better know classical music.

Read the article talking about my favorite sad soundtracks


Modern music influenced by classical music

From an early age, the Japanese are encouraged to learn classical instruments such as piano and violin. Nowadays most of the popular songs in Japan are complex and use several instruments.

You can see, take any western music, mainly Brazilian and compare it with Japanese songs, even those from anime. In Japanese music you can find large and complex changes in the middle of the music, in addition to the use of unconventional instruments in modern music.

Most Japanese songs are considered romantic. There is a great amount of music that uses the piano and violin, in addition to the numerous traditional Japanese instruments and synthesized sounds that give the music a gigantic complexity.

Even though classical music has died in many places, Japan remembers it as much in the traditional way as it shows in its modern music that with complexity, diversity and organization a true art is created. Not to mention the complexity of traditional music and organization and festival presentations.

A popularidade da música clássica no japão

I can state this from experience. After being influenced by music and film tracks, games and anime, I got to know Japanese songs that can differentiate and stand out only with instruments without the need for a voice or lyrics, which are the main things that most people notice. Is that you? What do you think of classical music? I would like to hear your opinion on the subject and I thank you for your comments and shares.