Gagaku is a type of traditional Japanese court music. It's roots are based in continental Asian music forms, like Komagaku, which originated from China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Gagaku was mainly transmitted into Japan from China via Korea during the Naya (710-794) and Heian (794-1185) periods. Gagaku was played only in royal and noble courts in Japan until the military Kamakura period (1185-1333), when it waned in popularity in the noble courts and was only sustained by three musician guilds located in Nara, Osaka, and Kyoto. In 1868, the Meiji Restoration collected the guild musicians skilled in Gagaku and set them up in Tokyo, further preserving this unique and ancient court music. In formal courts, dances known as Bugaku accompany the music, which is played by an orchestra composed of percussion, wind, and stringed instruments. Gagaku is also considered one of the four major forms of traditional Japanese music/theater, which consist of Noh, Kabuki, Bunraku, and finally Gagaku. In recent years, it has become a tradition to play Gagaku on the radio and broadcast the court sessions on television during the new year celebrations.

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