michiyuki: the traveling songs

Playwright Erik Ehn has written 32 michiyuki (travel songs) that are being offered to the musical community to be set to music.

what’s a michiyuki?

In Noh plays, there is a moment when the chorus chants the Michiyuki, or “travel song” describing the character’s travels. The vocals often include the place name and description of the setting as well as the events of the journey. In kyōgen, journeys and excursions are known as Michiyuki, with the performers usually reciting lines while circling the stage. After the Michiyuki, a line is included to indicate the character’s arrival at their destination, which is known as the tsuki-zerifu, or “arrival line.”

song structure

  • There are 32 songs. Each is comprised of a two to four minute primary composition, with eight composed fragments / variations that last 15 to 30 seconds.
  • All genres of music are invited.
  • Orchestration is up to the composer: vocal soloist only or with instrumental parts, from lone guitar / laptop to power pop trios to chamber strings to drum and bugle corps.

how to participate

  1. Send a note from this site so we know you’re in the mix.
  2. Select a song and compose the primary composition (Prime) with its eight fragments (A through H).
  3. Submit a recording of the composition and fragments to ehnOrchestra.org along with any written scores and notes.
  4. Specify your license for this work using Creative Commons. We are encouraging artists to select the Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike license if you want your work to be included in a Spring 2011 invitation to the artistic community to download, remix, and share.


They are most welcome. Use the inquiry form on this site.