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Traditional Japanese music is the term used to describe historical Japanese folk music, or traditional music.

One of the characteristics of traditional Japanese music is a sparse rhythm. It also doesn't have regular chords. In Japanese music, one cannot beat time with one's hands because there is an interval ma (間?). The rhythms are based on ma; silence is important. Japanese music flows, in an attempt to reflect the feeling of nature. The tempo usually starts out very slow and gets faster, returns to being slow again, and has a drawn-out ending. Traditional Japanese music is influenced by Chinese music because some of the musical instruments used in it came from China.

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