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shomyo

classical chant of Buddhism in Japan. Both the Tendai and Shingon sects maintain the tradition and use its theoretical books and notation systems as the basis for other forms of Buddhist singing. Although derived from earlier Chinese sources, the major influences of shomyo nomenclature and performance practices are found in later Japanese music much in the way ancient Western art music is based on early Roman Catholic music theory

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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