Mayumi Miyata

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Mayumi Miyata
宮田 まゆみ
Born (1954-04-01) April 1, 1954 (age 69)
GenresContemporary classical music

Mayumi Miyata (宮田 まゆみ, Miyata Mayumi) is a Japanese player of the shō, a traditional Japanese mouth organ.

Miyata was born on April 1, 1954, in Tokyo and graduated from the Kunitachi College of Music, where she majored in piano. While in school, she began studying gagaku music from Ono Tadamaro of the Imperial Household Agency.

Although the shō is generally associated with Japan's ancient gagaku court music, Miyata was among the first players of the instrument to specialize in contemporary classical music. She plays a specially constructed instrument with extra pipes, allowing for the use of more chromaticism.

The US composer John Cage (1912–1992) composed a number of works for Miyata just before his death. Cage met her during the 1990 Darmstadt summer course.[1] She has also premiered works by Tōru Takemitsu, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Maki Ishii, Joji Yuasa, Klaus Huber, Toshio Hosokawa, and Uroš Rojko.

In 2005, Miyata performed in three songs by the Icelandic musician Björk, for the soundtrack album to Drawing Restraint 9, a film by Björk's contemporary media artist boyfriend Matthew Barney, about Japanese culture and whaling. Miyata also appeared in the film, playing the shō in one scene. Previously, one of Miyata's compositions, "Music for Shō and Harp (Cort Lippe)", was sampled in the Björk single, "Venus as a Boy".

She has performed in Japan, Australia, the United States, and Europe.[citation needed]


  • Chaya Czernowin: Die Kreuzung - on Mode Records 77 (1996)
  • John Cage Edition Vol. 23 - Two4 - on Mode Records 88 (2001)
  • John Cage Edition Vol. 26 - One9 - on Mode Records 108 (2003)
  • Helmut Lachenmann: Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern - ECM New Series (2 CDs) 1858/59 (2004)
  • Toshio Hosokawa - Landscapes - ECM New Series 2095 (2011)



  1. ^ Haskins, Rob (October 2004). "The Extraordinary Commonplace: Cage's Music for Shō, Violin, Conch Shells". Archived from the original on 2012-02-09. Retrieved 2008-08-10.

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