Invitation to Kabuki - Guidance for Kabuki appreciation
Expression in Kabuki
Geza (music and sound effects played in the corner at stage right)
Geza, which means accompaniment, is played in the Kuromisu room behind a black bamboo curtain hung on the Shimote [audience-left] side of the stage. Therefore, it is also called Kuromisu-ongaku (black bamboo curtain music) or Misu-uchi-ongaku (music played inside the black bamboo curtain). There are quite a large number of musical items and playing methods in Geza, but they can be roughly classified into the following 3 categories according to the musical instruments played.

Nikki Danjo appears with Narimono (Usudoro [light beating of drum]) Nikki Danjo played by Matsumoto Koshiro 9th, "Meiboku sendaihagi" 'Ashikagake yukashita' scene, November 1998 [Heisei 10]
The first type of Geza-ongaku is Uta (song) sung to shamisen accompaniment. Usually, Uta are sung by multiple Utakata (singers) of Nagauta, but in some cases, Dokugin (solo singing) is done by one Utakata in order to effectively express a very sentimental scene. The Dokugin sung during Oiwa's 'Kamisuki' (hair combing) in "Tokaido yotsuya kaidan" 'Moto no iemon rotaku' scene is a particularly famous example.

The second type of Geza-ongaku is Aikata, shamisen music without singing. Aikata is sometimes sung with lyrics, when it is called Uta-iri.

The third type of Geza-ongaku is Narimono, played by musical instruments other than shamisen. Narimono includes some music and a variety of sound effects.

Geza-ongaku creates various effects depending on its timing. It can express "Sono bamen rashisa" (looks the way that scene should) during Makuaki (opening of the curtain), Makugire (end of act) and scene changes. Geza for the entry of characters and during actor's speeches, expresses "Sono yaku rashisa" (looks like that role). In other words, Geza creates the atmosphere for the stage and entices audiences to become glued to the stage by sound.