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 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]

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<Events Schedule 2014>

[Viola da gamba Society Japan The 40th Summer Seminar 2014 in Kyoto]

Date: Saturday, August 9 -Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Registration starts at 1pm on Aug.9
Venue: "Kansai Seminar House"
    23 Ichijouji takenouchi-town, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-city, 606-8134
    TEL:075-711-2115, Int'l Call +81-75-711-2115
By Subway from Kyoto Station
Take the Karasuma Line (16 min.) to Kitayama station. From station exit 2, take a taxi for about 10 min. to venue.
By Bus from Kyoto Station
Take the No.5 bus (bound for Iwakura Soshajo-mae) to Shugakuin-michi (50 min.). Walk 15 min. to venue.
By Car
25 min. drive from Kyoto Higashi interchange

Faculty: Yukimi Kambe, Sarah Mead, Rei Yorita
Harpsichord: Sakurako Mitsuhashi
Instrument Maintenance: Sakae Ishii, Teruaki Hirayama

Participation Fees:
Fees include overnight stay, meals, consort lessons, faculty's concert and symposium.
    Members of VdGSJ: \46,000, Student Members: \36,000
    Non Members:\50,000, Student Non Members:\40,000
Additional Fee for solo lessons:
    \6,000(without harpsichord), \8,000(with harpsichord)

All day participation is standard, but we will accommodate partial participants, i.e. no lessons, faculty's concert only (see Notes below※), etc.

Maximum number of participants is 40 persons

Please send your application form to:
E-Mail : event* <Please change * to @ when you use.>
     Hiroshi Okuyama ( Director of VdGSJ in charge of seminar)
Application Deadline: 22nd June, Sunday

  • Detailed information will be sent to all participants in early July.
  • If you do not have an instrument, rental is available. We may charge rental fees in case there are more people who want to rent than the number of instruments available.
  • ※If you wish to attend the faculty concert and symposium only, please purchase a ticket( \3,000). For inquiry, please contact Hiroshi Okuyama at the above address.
《The outline of the schedule of summer seminar 2014》
  AM PM Evening
  Reception Beginners Lessons
Consort Practice
Solo practice with harpsichord
Solo Lessons
Solo Lessons
Consort Lessons
Free Consort
Faculty Rehearsal
Faculty Concert Symposium
Solo Lessons
Consort Lessons
Free Consort
Participants rehearsal
Solo Concert(participants) Auction
Consort Rehearsal Consort Concert (participants) Ending: noon

<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.

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