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The Onkyo music movement or Onkyokei (音響系, Onkyōkei) (translation: "reverberation of sound"[1]) is a form of free improvisation, emerging from Japan in the late 1990s. Onkyō (translation: "sound, noise, echo"[2]) places much more emphasis on sound texture than on musical structure, distilling elements of techno, noise, and electronic music into a unique hybrid.[citation needed]

The Off Site, a venue in Tokyo, is home to the Onkyo music movement, which is characterized by improvisation, minimalism, and "quiet noise".[3] Onkyo improvisation, "explores the fine-grained textural details of acoustic and electronic sound".[1]

It is typified by small and often quiet musical gestures, and liberal use of both electronics and silence. Prominent musicians working in this area include Toshimaru Nakamura, Sachiko M, Otomo Yoshihide, Tetuzi Akiyama, and Taku Sugimoto.[citation needed]

It influenced the development of electroacoustic improvisation, or EAI, a genre with which it is strongly intertwined. The transnational circulation of onkyo also influenced its representation as a form of "Japanese new music," despite claims by its authors that onkyo had little to do with Japanese cultural identity.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Cox, Christoph and Warner, Daniel, eds. (2004). Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music, p.413. ISBN 0-8264-1615-2.
  2. ^ John H. Haig and Andrew N. Nelson (1999). The Compact Nelson Japanese-English Character Dictionary, p564. ISBN 0-8048-2037-6.
  3. ^ Priest, Gail (2008). Experimental Music: Audio Explorations in Australia, p.28. ISBN 1-921410-07-8.
  4. ^ Novak, David (2010). "Playing Off Site: The Untranslation of Onkyo." 'Asian Music41(1):36-60.'

External links[edit]

  • "Onkyo". Harvard Kennedy School, The Citizen. 23 March 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-08-28.