The term Japanese music refers to the different genres that are practiced in Japan, both of native and foreign origin. The term “music” in modern Japanese is 音楽 (ongaku), obtained by combining the ideogram 音 (“sound”) with the ideogram 楽 (“music”, “pleasure”).
The popular music scene of modern Japan includes a wide range of singers, whose interests range from Japanese rock to Japanese salsa, from Japanese tango to Japanese country. Karaoke, the well-known amateur singing show on a musical basis that takes place in bars and small nightclubs, has its origins in Japan.
Japanese music, like oriental music in general, is based on a pentaphonic scale and places great importance on noise components.
Outside of Japan there is a particular opinion of Japanese folk music: it is considered a kind of bubblegum pop, made up of songs with a mixture of Japanese lyrics and choruses in incomprehensible English. Pop stars of this genre (aidoru kashu in Japanese), usually attractive young men, form boy and girl bands. Composer John Clewley described the production as urban references to popular styles of kayōkyoku and enka, from Western classical music to jazz and all forms of Western pop music.
Traditional Japanese music (hōgaku) has always been linked to the country’s rituals, literature and dance. Theater music is a very important area in the Japanese tradition. Musicologist Isabel Wong attributes her classical music ritual to the Japanese “love of storytelling”, saying that the Japanese are much more attentive to words than music.
Japan is the world’s largest physical music market, with $2 billion worth of physical format sales in 2014, and the world’s second largest music market, with a total value of $2.6 billion in 2014, dominated by Japanese artists, with 37 of the top 50 selling albums and 49 of the top 50 selling singles in 2014.
Japanese music song charts
You can choose between listening to the following list (which we have considered the best) directly from our website (you need to be logged in to the Spotify browser) or you can open it in your app by clicking on its logo.
(LIST) Japanese music mix
(TOP-10) Typical, traditional, folk music of Japan
Japan offers a wide range of songs; Among the best lists are the following:
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Japanese music is present on YouTube, although it is difficult to search for it as it does not have the same alphabet. That’s why we make it easy for you.
(LIST) Best current pop songs
(LIST) Songs from Japan about everything
(TOP-10) Japanese songs
The Japanese artists who break it in the music market.
(TOP-5) Mix videos (>20 min.)
Compilations in a single video of the most varied of the typical music of the Japanese nation.
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