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about commmons: schola

About commmons schola

for schola

"Schola" is the Latin word for "school." You often hear the word "scholastic," but this word means "complex and serious," and has somewhat of a negative connotation. However, just because we named this CD series "schola" doesn't mean we're trying to force scholastic "musicology" or a serious "appreciation for music" on anyone. We're actually trying to free people from this mindset. That being said, we're also not trying to fit everyone into our world of personal music favorites. Instead, we're reinventing the standard for everyone to be able to share easily so that the love of music can be shared wider and deeper. We want schola to be a school where people can enjoy learning while also holding unwavering standards.

With the standardization of the internet, everyone can now access a variety of information about music easily. Because of this shift, music can no longer be judged, whether for better or worse, and has all become equal. The old view of music - one that prioritized western classical music and judged traditional and popular music - was luckily made a relative view. Actually, this review of values was done at the end of the last quarter of the 20th century.
Put simply,
* Classical music did not solely originate and progress from the West, but was born from interactions with non-western cultures and has always been created out of further mutual interferences.
* Classical music was not created from a pure "high culture," but rather was built and enjoyed in the societal (social) realm, ever mixing and melding with popular music of the time.
*Classical music's history has been woven together not only by "maestros" like Bach and Beethoven, but also by the many efforts of numerous "minor" musicians and music styles since the 19th century.

This reexamination of history occurred, making us now have to stand in front of a chaotic amount of music that is all considered equal. In the midst of this situation, schola's plan is not to simply put out a universal culture type textbook, but to create a quite ambitious project that picks up on new music and then creates a universal standard. Just creating a standard based on a wide range of balanced knowledge wouldn't be enough. It's alright for people to choose special types of music based on their personal preferences. This specificity is what leads to the birth of a universal standard. Things that lay outside cultural norms are resounding around us at all times, in all places. These such sounds are exactly what we should refer to as truly "classical."
schola throws away the stuffy old textbooks full of boring knowledge and aims to be both exceptional and universal, inviting all people to experience a never-before-heard world of music.

commmons:schola series


Directed by Ryuichi Sakamoto
"School of Music"

Rated as a "collection of music" and "the encyclopedia of music," our goal is to become an archive that passes on music from around the world to future generations. As a musical material, we look at the creation and historical background of music and inspect the relationship between music and society from an educational point of view. As one of the fun perks of a music school, this uniquely commmons series directed by Ryuichi Sakamoto is based on an original commmons concept, putting together 16 volumes on classical music + 14 volumes on non-classical music, for a total of 30 volumes, with theme selections by some unique individuals. Three volumes have been released each year, starting with volume 1 on J.S. Bach (selected by Ryuichi Sakamoto) released in September 2008 and volume 2 on Jazz (selected by Yosuke Yamashita) in January 2009, with the collection spanning 10 years through to 2018.


JSBachEach album from this series features a unified design, with a scholarly quality fit to be set on a bookshelf, like encyclopedias or western collections of classical literature. While emphasizing the readability of the booklet, the packaging uses a hard-cover DVD sleeve. An in-depth 120-page catalog includes explanations of the songs chosen by the selectors, discussions between Ryuichi Sakamoto and the selectors, musical history taught by experts, thoughts on the historical setting, a music chronology chart, an anthology, and a sound catalog for the selected songs. This catalog adds informational value as a musical material by helping people read and learn about each track recorded, while also being a valuable read that shares about the selectors' views and interests. Instead of adding the normal liner notes or booklets, we appointed Shigeo Goto as the chief editor with the goal of creating an enriching read with content equal to that of a book.