Catalog of Shōdan: Main Chants



The Ageuta chant starts in the higher range and finishes in either the medium or low range. It is sung by an actor, jiutai, or both an actor and jiutai. Based on poetic text with regular rhythm, it is customary for the first line of text to be repeated. It is commonly set in hiranori.

The Ageuta is often composed of two parts clearly discernable by the nohkan’s material. In the first part, the nohkan player performs the takane pattern during the uchikiri, which separate the two iterations of the first line of text. In the second part, the nohkan player performs two patterns: naka no takane or a variation of it, and mi roku no ge. The first pattern is in the high register of the instrument whereas the second and last one starts in the medium range and finishes in the low range, mirroring the overall registral descent of the vocal line.

The Ageuta is often used as the closing shōdan in the first act's Waki- and Shite-Enters dan, as well as the first act itself.

Between the two plays there are five Ageuta.

Hashitomi – Ageuta 1

The first Ageuta in Hashitomi is sung in yowagin mode by jiutai accompanied by hayashi. It closes the first act.

Hashitomi’s first Ageuta featured on this video is sung by the jiutai accompanied by the hayashi. It closes the first act. It is short enough that the nohkan's part does not include a naka no takane. The second one is also set for jiutai and hayashi. It closes the Shite Re-enters dan. It is shorter than the first one, thus the nohkan’s part includes only the takane pattern. This being said, in this production of Hashitomi, the takane is not performed in the second Ageuta. This is because it coincides with the removal of the drape around the tsukurimono that hides the shite. The nohkan's pattern has been left out to keep the focus on the appearance of the shite.

Kokaji’s first Ageuta is set for an actor (waki), jiutai, and hayashi. It closes the first act’s Waki Enters dan. Its second one set for jiutai and hayashi, closes the first act’s Dialogue dan. Since it is the second Ageuta in the play, the hishigi takane pattern replaces the takane. It is used as a variation to avoid plain repetition. Finally, Kokaji’s third Ageuta set for jiutai and hayashi, closes the first act’s "Shite Exits" part. There is no uchiriki separating the first line from its repetition, so the nohkan player does not play the takane pattern. Although the Ageuta's second part usually includes nohkan music, it is not played when the first act closes with the exit music raijo, as it is the case with this production.

Examples in the Plays:

Hashitomi - Ageuta 1
Hashitomi - Ageuta 2

Kokaji - Ageuta 1
Kokaji - Ageuta 2
Kokaji - Ageuta 3