The Viola da Gamba Society of Japan - Who Are We ?

    The Viola da Gamba Society of Japan (the Society) was founded in 1973 for the purposes of spreading the viola da gamba (viol) and its music, promoting and enhancing playing, research, exchanging information, and fostering friendship among its members. The Viola da Gamba Society of Japan is the third oldest Viola da Gamba Society in the world after the UK and the USA.
    The Society has around 250 registered members, including amateur and professional players, instrument makers, composers, and musicologists.

General Informtion

Events Schedule 2016

Viols in Japan in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (Kambe, Yukimi)

On-line Services

<General Information>

[Main Activities]
  • The publication of a quarterly magazine.
  • The organisation and support of viol-related events.
[Events organized by the Society]
  • An annual viol summer course.
  • An annual autumn consort weekend.
  • Other meetings as arranged.
  • From time to time the Society also organises and supports open-to-the-public lessons, lectures and concerts related to the viol, such as those listed below:
  • 1990: M. Hirao lecture on “Trattado de Glosas by D. Ortiz”;
    1991: W. Kuijken solo recital;
    1991: A. Crum lesson (open to the public);
    1992: J. Savall lesson (open to the public);
    1997: Chelys Consort of Viols lecture concert 'History of the In Nomine' ;
    2001: P. Pandolfo lesson (open to the public).
[Services to Members]
  • A quarterly magazine - the only publication dedicated to viols in Japan.
  • A membership list - useful when looking for consort members to play with.
  • A scholarly journal (issued on an irregular basis).
  • A reduction to Society-organized events, such as the viol summer course.
  • Members’ discounts available at the following co-operating stores:
    • Academia Music Ltd.
    • Casa de la Guitarra S. A.
    • Shimokura Musical Instruments Co., Ltd.
  • A members’ mailing list.
[Membership Type]

Individual Membership: For individuals.
Student Membership:For students.
Family Membership: Available to those who live at the same address. Only one copy of each bulletin is provided to the registered address. Other services are provided as for individual members.
Corporate Members: For corporations and societies.

[Annual Fees]
  • Individual Membership: 4,000 JPY
  • Student Membership: 2,000 JPY
  • Family Membership: 4,500 JPY
  • Corporate Membership: 8,000 JPY
[How to contact us]

<Please change * to @ when you use.>

<Events Schedule 2016>

[The 42nd Summer Course 2016: Intimate Dialog of Viols]
Let's enjoy the happy hours playing viols together for four days!

Thursday, July 28 - Sunday, July 31, 2016

Iruka-no-sato MUSICA (Japanese-style hotel)
    54 Shino-daira, Inuyama, Aichi 484-0017, Japan
    Phone:0568-69-0031 Int’l call: +81-568-69-0031 (in Japanese only)
    All rooms have views of the Lake Iruka, and Mt. Owari-Fuji besides the lake.

90 minutes from Central Japan International Airport (NGO) by train and taxi.
45 minutes from JR (Shinkansen) Nagoya terminal by train and taxi.

Advanced course: Tetsuo Shimizu, Takeshi Sudo
Beginners’ course: Kaori Koike
Harpsichord: Michiko Sugiura
Instrument maintenance: Tatsuki Inoue

[Participation Fee]
Members of VdGSJ: JPY47,000, Student Members: JPY37,000
Non Members: JPY51,000, Student Non Members:JPY39,000
Individual lesson (50 minutes, optional):
    JPY6,000 (w/o harpsichord), JPY8,000 (w/ harpsichord)
The fee includes accommodation, meals, consort lessons, and the instructors’ concert.
Partial participants are also welcome. Contact us for the detailed information.
If you wish to attend the instructors’ concert only, please purchase the ticket (JPY2,000).

Consort lessons, Lessons for beginners, Individual lessons (optional), Concert and lecture by instructors, auction, and party.
24h-playable spaces are available.

Hitomi Yoshida, VdGSJ Director of event organization
E-mail: event* (replace the * with @)

Open from May 25 to June 5, 2016.
Detailed information will be sent to all the participants in early July.

Beginners, without instrument, and/or returnees after some leave from viol play, anyone is very welcome.
Some rental instruments for free are available. We may charge a rental fee in case we don’t have enough number of free instruments.

  AM PM Evening
  Reception Instructors’ concert
Beginners lessons
Orientation for consort lessons
Orientation for individual lessons (w/ harpsichord)
     Welcome Party
Individual lessons
Consort lessons
Free session
Individual lessons
Consort lessons
Free session Lecture
Individual lessons
Consort lessons
Free session
Rehearsals for participants (solo).
Participants’ concert (solo) Party
Rehearsals for participants (consort) Participants’ concert (consort) Around noon: Closing remarks

Past Events

<Viols in Japan in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries>
Kambe, Yukimi

    Japan shared the European vogue of viols through Portugal in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. An examination of bowed string instruments’ terms in archival documents, called Kirishitan monjo, demonstrates that Jesuit missionaries, then active in Japan, employed viols in both religious and secular ceremonies. Christians played a set of viols for polyphonic music. Japanese envoys* who visited the Iberian Peninsula and Italy from 1584 to 1586 brought a small viola da braccio to Japan. The following terms are found: viola(s) de arco, violoni, viola da gamba, viola, rabequinha and viola semplice. (from RILM abstract)

*  "Tenshô ken'ô shisetsu" (Japanese envoys in Europe 1582-90)
The original article: Journal of the Viola da Gamba Society of America Volume vol. 37, 2000, pp. 31-67.

<On-line Services>

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