Masumoto [Massumoto], Kikuko
- J. Michele Edwards
(b Tokyo, Feb 2, 1937). Japanese composer and ethnomusicologist. Her musical studies began with piano lessons from her mother. In 1963 she graduated from Tōhō Gakuen College of Music, having studied with composers from various stylistic backgrounds: Minao Shibata and Yoshirō Irino (serialism) and Sadao Bekku and Akio Yashiro (French school). She went on to study ethnomusicology at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music with Fumio Koizumi and Shigeo Kishibe, and pursued private study of gagaku with Masataro Tōgi and Sukehiro Shiba. She became assistant professor (1982), professor (1992) and guest professor (1997) at Tōhō Gakuen College of Music.
Influences of gagaku, nō and shōmyō (Buddhist chanting), stemming from Masumoto’s work in ethnomusicology, became apparent in her compositions in about 1976; these include microtones, proportional and free rhythm and, in Ranjoh, a meditative atmosphere. In general her works favour linear writing and gradual unfolding of themes rather than thematic contrasts. Her vocal music employs the range of timbres between singing and speaking, drawing on narration styles from ...