concours96.jpg The 27th All Japan Guitar Concours was held by International Guitar Orchestra Association from Sep. 30 to Oct. 13, 1996. It's the largest-scaled guitar concours consists of 10 sections such as solo, ensemble, orchestra, conducting, arrangement, composition, education, guitar & mandolin, manufacture, and keyboard guitar. Dr. H. Niibori who was the president of the association wrote his impression about the concours on this issue. Let we report how the concours was as introducing his impression here.

At first, he wrote he had been impressed so much to listen to the ensemble section. It's very high-level these years. This year, 3 ensemble groups of Kyohoku high school guitar club in Yamanashi prefecture entried to it and one won the special gold prize and another won the gold prize. Kyohoku high school isn't located near Yokohama city where the headquarters of Niibori group is. But they made the full use of the text books of Niibori Method and Niibori Guitar Orchestra's video tapes. Additionally, they invited Niibori Guitar Ensemble to their school for a concert and a seminar, and attended the summer guitar seminar that took place annually at Nihon Guitar Music Conservatory in Shizuoka. It's easy to imagine how it was difficult for them because of the distance, time and money. They even recorded seminars they attended and researched them carefully later. They did the all thing they could do. He said the prizes were the fruits of their good efforts.

In the composition section, two persons won the gold prize this year. One of them was 'NRM Legend of the galaxy' composed by Masatoshi Ishizuka. He incorporated percussions and an oriental fiddle to the guitar ensemble and created a fantastic music. Especially the rain sound made by striking the side of guitar body with the finger nails was very unique, and highly evaluated. The other was 'Gold Rush' composed by Kengo Momose. He imagined the gold rush happened in old America and completed it. Electrical guitar, electrical-acoustic guitar, guitarron and tam tam created the cheerful sound. Dialogue part of them was so fun. But enjoyable sound to the contrary, it requires players very high-technique. This year, lots of pieces that were composed for Niibori method original guitars, guitar orchestras and the electrical guitars entried to it. Of course, pieces that made use of NRM (Niibori Rhythm Method) appeared on the stage and showed the variety of performance. It is heard that composers all over the world came to a deadlock. But by using the original guitars and NRM, it is possible to give birth a lot of masterpieces. Since the scores composed for a large orchestra or require players high-technique need a professional instructor, we have to pick out scores carefully and introduce them in this magazine or include them in the music books. If you need scores for a large orchestra or high-leveled, please feel free to contact us. We have a great number of scores that have not been released yet.

For the solo section, Dr. Niibori recommended of the double-strings cembalo guitar with rosetta and the 7-strings bass guitar. He said these guitars had the most impressionable and persuasive sound, and they showed their potential power especially for the pieces by Bach.

The orchestra section made a great sensation this year too. He added some advice about 'form' and 'conducting'. He has been active as a conductor of the guitar orchestra for 40 years. He knows how conductors influence the performance. These are his advice for conductors.

- Bad Conducting -

  1. Move back and neck vertically even if music is legato.
  2. Wrists bend and can't make the good use of the tip of the tact.
  3. The beginning point of the auftakt is too high and the instruction from the pre-beat to start is incorrect.

- Good Conducting -
  1. Conduct with the most suitable breathing for the music and no unnecessary movement of the upper part of the body.
  2. Lead the music with the tip of the tact lively.
  3. Control the music with the left hand with sensitive movement.

At last, Dr. Niibori wrote the total impression of this year's concours like this; '"Minute conducting with the right breathing" and "how to make use of the latest scores" decided the result. I made sure that seminars, the application of video tapes and the advice of a good instructor were very important to acquire them.'

By the way, the association is open to anyone in the world. There are lots of privileges for the members. For example, the send of instructors for lesson of conducting or video tape lesson are available. It is highly recommended you to be a member of the association.

For your information, its first general meeting will take place at the headquarters of Niibori Group in Yokohama on January 6, 1997. Visitor will be welcomed. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask below.

For questions, advice & requests about Monthly Harmony,

Niibori Guitar Music Academy, Editorial Office

143-14 Fujisawa, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa-ken,
251-0052 Japan
Phone: +81-466-23-8338 / Fax: +81-466-23-9337

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