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The Moon over the Ruined Castle / Rentaro Taki (arr. Ken'ichi Masakado) [Concert Band (Wind Band)]

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Score and Parts or Score only (you can choose)

Composed by Rentaro Taki(24 August 1879 - 29 June 1903)
Arranged by Ken'ichi Masakado


Publisher:Golden Hearts Publications(ONSA)

Printing Material:
DX ver. : Biotope for score (B4 size), color fine paper for parts
Regukar Ver. : Color fine paper for score (B4 size) and parts

Program notes:

Rentaro Taki was one of the leading musicians of the early days of western music in Japan. He was a pianist and composer with a promising future, but died at the young age of 23.

The Moon over the Ruined Castle (Kojo-no-Tsuki) was composed as a publicly solicited work for the ‘Junior High School Song Collection’ being compiled by the Tokyo Music School (now Tokyo University of the Arts), where he was a student, and was published in 1901 together with two other pieces he had submitted at the same time.
The lyrics were written by Bansui Doi, and the song is an unaccompanied.
This song, which combines the style of Japanese poetry with a melody based on authentic Western music rather than the traditional Japanese musical style (pentatonic), is considered to be the first Western song composed in Japan and is historically important.

Yamada Kosaku (9 June 1886 - 29 December 1965), who also worked to popularise Western music in Japan, arranged this song with piano accompaniment in 1917. Today, Yamada's arrangement is widely known.

There are several differences between Taki's original and Yamada's version. 
First, the tonality. The original is in B minor (this arrangement for band is in C minor), while Yamada's version is in D minor.
Secondly, the note values and number of bars are expanded in Yamada's version. Both versions are in four-quarter time, and the speed specification is almost the same, which means that the Yamada’s version is sung more slowly than the original.
There are also other differences in the melody line, such as the presence or absence of sharp and the position of dotted note.

This is the first arrangement for band based on Taki's original. This arrangement would not have been possible without the enthusiasm of Mr Hiroshi Sakai, conductor and saxophone player of the Oita Prefectural Government Staff Band. Mr Sakai also came up with the idea of juxtaposing the two ‘The Moon over the Rough Castle’... I arranged the first half of the first chorus using the Yamada’s version, and the latter two to four choruses based on the Taki’s original. I feel that this gave the piece a greater ‘story’ (I hope my creation of the prelude, interlude and postlude helped with this).
Although it is an arrangement for band, I think it can also be used in performances with solo singing or chorus.
The original is still sung in Taketa City, where Taki spent his youth.  

(Ken'ichi Masakado)

Commissioned by Oita Prefectural Government Staff Band
First performance: 17 Feb 2024 ‘Oita Prefectural Government Staff Band Regular Concert 2024’. (Taketa City General Culture Hall - Rentaro Hall, Oita Prefecture)

Reference music

Clarinet in Bb 1
Clarinet in Bb 2
Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone in Eb 1
Alto Saxophone in Eb 2
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet in Bb 1
Trumpet in Bb 2
Horn in F 1
Horn in F 2
Trombone 1
Trombone 2
Double Bass
Suspended Cymbal