Category:   ETHNIC MUSIC
Composer:   Traditional Japanese song
Arranger:   Ken Hakoda
Publisher:   Santa Barbara
Edition:   SBMP 559
Voicing:   SATB div
Setting:   A Cappella


Martha Coventry Graber
St. Paul Central High School 2009
R&R Chair Ethnic Music

Hiraita, Hiraita is a traditional Japanese pentatonic children’s song. The text describes the brief moments when a lotus flower opens and closes. Hakoda takes the melodic phrases of the melody and overlaps them throughout the voices, peaking with a rich fortissimo cluster chord, abruptly ending with an open fifth in alto and tenor and concluding with a restatement of the final phrase of the melody in parallel fifths in soprano and bass – very delicate and fragile. This piece offers a wonderful opportunity for developing a gorgeous unison, a clear and open tone, an awareness of careful tuning, and subtle expressiveness.