From President Hiroki Niibori's Greetings to The 34th "All Japan Primary•Middle•High Schools' Guitar Festival"

Kiyomi Niibori (a member of NE & Ladies' Quartet, Master of Arts in Music)

"All Japan Guitar Concours" is held in every October and preceding Guitar Festivals are held in every August and September in various districts in Japan as the pre selection for the concours.
"All Japan Guitar Concours" (started in 1970) is sponsored by Nihon Kyouiku (Japanese Educational) Guitar League <NKG> and [International Guitar Orchestra Association <IGOA>], both of them were established by Dr. Niibori in 1969 and he has been working as the president, and it is the Japanese only one synthetic Guitar Concours covering 10 departments such as solo, ensemble, orchestra, for the field of performance, conducting, composing, arranging, education, and electric guitar categories, added in 2004.
"All Japan Primary•Middle•High School's Guitar Festival" is the pre selection for students' department (high school students or under) of the concours and held in Kantou and Shizuoka districts, having so many participants to the concours (the affair of the festival is reported on and after page 8 of this issue). The participants in the festival were also pre selected and, this time, participants in the festival in Kantou district were 16 persons for solo, 35 parties for ensemble, and participants for orchestra for this time were selected by big scaled (24 parties, about 900 performers) students' guitar concours = "Nationwide School Guitar Orchestra Concours 2009" at "JGA Guitar Music Festival", sponsored by JGA (Japan Guitar Association) = Japanese guitar world combined with other guitar leagues and associations.
President Niibori's "Greetings" carried on the program of the festival is introduced here for this time.

<From President Niibori's "Greetings" on the program>
"Nihon Kyouiku (Educational) Guitar League (NKG)" was established in 1964 = Tokyo Olympic was held (45 years ago). President was Mr. Daigorou Arima, President of Kunitachi College of Music, chairperson of the board of directors was me, Hiroki Niibori, and sponsor was ZEN-ON Music Co. Ltd.
President paid effort to take guitar ensemble in full-scale into colleges/universities of music, chairperson to develop teaching materials usable for school education, sponsor to make necessary text books, collections of pieces of music and musical instruments etc.
As known by many peoples, Tokyo University of Arts (typical national university of arts in Japan) and almost all Japanese colleges/universities of music were established at that time, however, their basis for education were put on 150~200 years old German and Austrian classical music, Beethoven centered. Thus, they put about 250 years' piano and vocal as the center of education and did not take guitar of 6000 years' history, the longest history.
No teacher of guitar was found in colleges/universities of music (almost all colleges/universities were established by specialists except for guitar and that will be possibly considered as the reason).
Postwar education of music was changed to "Japan must take in instrumental music, not only for usual vocals accompanied by piano" mainly by Mr. Masaru Hanamura, Senior Specialist for Curriculum, Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, and guitars were introduced into primary, middle and high schools in 1949 , but guitars disappeared from almost all of schools for about 3 years. That came from no teachers of music in the schools could teach guitar at all. And, guitarists in general played solo only, knowing no curriculums in school education, and guitar method for group lesson was not found at all.
On the other hand, guitar boom came around widely in Japan and many students played well to embarrass teachers graduated from colleges/universities of music. Guitars came to be widely performed in radio (TV), and records (discs), but no guitar was performed in Japanese colleges/universities of music, worldly. Any teacher having teacher's license had no experience of playing guitar, as though guitars widely played, and peoples having no experience to touch guitar became teachers of music at schools.
Kunitachi College of Music, brought up biggest number of teachers of music, adopted the method, developed by me (Hiroki Niibori was invited as instructor), to teach groups of schools, and taught college students of music wishing to become teachers of schools, then I established "Zenkoku (all Japan) Kyouiku (educational) Guitar League (ZKG)" to be known guitar well by teachers of primary, middle and high schools and I went around in Japan to make organizations and started to lead ensembles and orchestras. Soon guitarists having dreams of future joined next by next changing the name as "Nihon Kyouiku (Japanese Educational) Guitar League (NKG)", and I was selected as president, present Mr. Kiyonori Kobayashi was selected as chairperson of the board of directors, grown as the biggest organization of guitar.
For overseas countries, this orchestra method (N-Method), performed in full of harmony with high, medium and low pitched sound, is adopted in 27 countries, and the name of this organization in overseas is called as "International Guitar Orchestra Association (IGOA)".
This league brought not only development of "method" but also "bringing up talented persons", needless to say, to lead the age of heart in 21st century (high school course and specialty course of International Niibori Guitar Music Academy = accepting foreign students), attained enrichment of all aspects in professional music business such as performance, education, planning, management, stage managing, composition, arrangement, camera work, publishing, musical instruments (development, manufacture, sales), managing class rooms etc.
Wishing eggs of leaders of the world will be born from this organization for this time also.
This time, orchestra department should perform at "All Japan School Guitar Orchestra Concours 2009" and solo and ensemble department will be on stage for today, but the best charm of guitar is colorful beautiful sound and the longest history in mankind. Only guitar and piano can perform 3 elements of music (rhythm, melody and harmony) by a performer, and composers in successive generations gave birth of masterpieces by selecting one of them. Berlioz composed orchestra pieces using guitar, Schubert composed in his short life using 7 guitars, and modern composers use guitars in considerable percentages to improve deep sounding of tones. For old times, guitar was used in performing ceremony of god in Mesopotamia, maximum spread of guitars for population was realized in Greek age, since then it has been matured in Christian church to be proud of 6000 years' history. About 300 years ago, former type of piano, guitar as the mother, was made, and both of guitar and piano became to be used side by side with Strauss' guitar quartet in Beethoven age.
The letters of "guitar" in this league means guitar, having 6000 years' history with history of mankind, including piano, 300 years' history, and this league will research and practically utilize the guitar.
Today is hot contest of performers learned the above mentioned method. I am looking forward to having your warm support. Thank you.


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