Music of Japan

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The music of Japan includes a wide array of performers in distinct styles both traditional and modern. The word for music in Japanese is 音楽 (ongaku), combining the kanji 音 ("on" sound) with the kanji 楽 ("gaku" fun, comfort).[1] Japan is the second largest music market in the world, behind the United States,[2] and most of the market is dominated by Japanese artists.[citation needed]

Local music often appears at karaoke venues, which is on lease from the record labels. Traditional Japanese music has no specific beat[clarification needed], and is calm. The music is improvised most of the time. In 1873, a British traveler claimed that Japanese music, "exasperate[s] beyond all endurance the European breast."[3]

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