Published on March 11, 2019

Indications of the Meiji Period are brought back in Sogakudo of the Former Tokyo Music School.


The pipe organ in Sogakudo, which is said to be the oldest one for concerts in Japan

Sogakudo of the Former Tokyo Music School
The Former Tokyo Music School (the present Music Department, Tokyo University of the Arts) was founded in 1887 as the first music school in Japan, and its new school building with the concert hall "Sogakudo" was built in 1890 at the site where Nishi Shikendera Temple previously stood (near the present Sogakudo Concert Hall). Later, its management and administration were transferred from Tokyo University of the Arts to Taito City, and it was relocated and reconstructed at the present location. It opened as Sogakudo of the Former Tokyo Music School. It has still maintained the exterior at that time as an important cultural property.
(8-43 Uenokoen, Taito City)
 

Reopened Sogakudo of the Former Tokyo Music School

 

 
Refer to this guide book's "history - Touring Sogakudo of the Former Tokyo Music School"
 
Refer to this guide book's "culture - Learning at Tokyo University of the Arts"

  Sogakudo of the Former Tokyo Music School was designed by Hanroku Yamaguchi, who had designed many buildings in the Meiji Period, and Masamichi Kuru, who designed The Imperial Library (the present International Library of Children's Literature, National Diet Library), and built as a school building of Tokyo Music School in 1890. The acoustic design of the concert hall "Sogakudo" on the second floor was worked out by Rokushiro Uehara. It has a high vaulted ceiling, which was made considering a visual impact, ventilation and acoustics.
  The building became old after more than 80 years had passed since its construction in around 1965, and its relocation to areas outside the boundaries of the Metropolis was suggested. However, the Architectural Institute of Japan and a group of musicians launched a campaign to conserve the building at the site, so Taito City took over it in 1983, and reconstructed the new building at the present site in Ueno Park in 1987. It was designated as an important cultural property in the following year of 1988.
  Sogakudo was opened to the public after the relocation and reconstruction, and used as a concert hall. In 2013, it was closed in order to conserve its facilities, and underwent restoration work. It reopened in November 2018, and was opened to the public again as well as started to be used as a concert hall.

Rentaro Taki played piano, Kosaku Yamada sang songs, and Tamaki Miura debuted as the first Japanese opera singer in the concert hall "Sogakudo" on the second floor.
 

Beams with splendid ornaments are used for the ceiling of the hall.

The walls of the hall have a two-tier structure in which straws and sawdust are filled.
 

The pipe organ in Sogakudo of the Former Tokyo Music School

  Yorisada Tokugawa, a music researcher, bought the Sogakudo's pipe organ from England in 1920, installed it in the concert hall "Nankigakudo," which was designed by William Merrell Vories, in Shirokane Sanko-cho, Shiba-ku (the present Shirokane, Minato City). The pipe organ was used for concerts and other events. Later, it was donated to the Tokyo Music School in 1928. It has 1379 pipes, and employs a pneumatic action mechanism. It is the oldest pipe organ for concerts in Japan. Along with the restoration work, the pipe organ was also restored, producing unchanging tones.


At the commemorative ceremony to celebrate the reopening of Sogakudo on November 1, 2018, a string ensemble by Kazuki Sawa, the president of Tokyo University of the Arts, was performed, and the pipe organ was played by Rie Hiroe, an professor at the Tokyo University of the Arts.

A model of the pipe organ in which the pneumatic action mechanism is reproduced, is displayed in an exhibition room on the first floor. A large fan that sends air in the pipe organ is installed in a room just under the organ.

10 thousand of outer wall boards were removed by hand, and seismic reinforcement work was conducted for interior structures of the building and walls.



A harp that represents a harmony between the West and the East, "Sho," or traditional Japanese wind instrument resembling panpipes, and a gable ornament, on which a large drum decorated with flames is depicted in the center of it, are attached to the large roof of the Sogakudo entrance.

Sogakudo of the Former Tokyo Music School
The Former Tokyo Music School (the present Music Department, Tokyo University of the Arts) was founded in 1887 as the first music school in Japan, and its new school building with the concert hall "Sogakudo" was built in 1890 at the site where Nishi Shikendera Temple previously stood (near the present Sogakudo Concert Hall). Later, its management and administration were transferred from Tokyo University of the Arts to Taito City, and it was relocated and reconstructed at the present location. It opened as Sogakudo of the Former Tokyo Music School. It has still maintained the exterior at that time as an important cultural property.
(8-43 Uenokoen, Taito City)
 

Reopened Sogakudo of the Former Tokyo Music School

 

 
Refer to this guide book's "history - Touring Sogakudo of the Former Tokyo Music School"
 
Refer to this guide book's "culture - Learning at Tokyo University of the Arts"