Mindful playing: a practice research investigation into shakuhachi playing and meditation

Day, Kiku. 2022. Mindful playing: a practice research investigation into shakuhachi playing and meditation. Ethnomusicology Forum, 31(1), pp. 143-159. ISSN 1741-1912 [Article]

17411912.2021-1.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

This article describes a practice research project investigating how the practice of meditation may be integrated into the playing of shakuhachi, an instrument utilised during the Edo period (1603–1867) as a tool for spiritual practice by monks of the Fuke sect and later becoming part of the hōgaku (Japanese traditional music) world as a stage instrument. Although we cannot know how the monks were trained to use the shakuhachi in meditation, I have combined my own shakuhachi and meditation experiences, in order to investigate how a shakuhachi player today may approach the incorporation of meditation in their musical practice. In transforming my experience into words, I here employ auto-elicitation, a micro-phenomenological interview technique developed by Claire Petitmengin to describe the subtle and fine-grained experiences of meditation while playing. The project here is regarded as a practice research within the field of ethnomusicology and challenges the narrow kind of scholarship in academia, which overshadows the practice research—the research of the act of playing music.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):



Practice research; shakuhachi; meditation; spirituality; micro- phenomenal elicitation interview; auto-elicitation

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



26 December 2021Accepted
8 February 2022Published Online

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

17 Feb 2022 15:27

Last Modified:

25 May 2022 10:52

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)