Gidayu is the major form of narrative shamisen music, founded by Takemoto Gidayu (1651-1714) in the commercial centre of Osaka. Together with playright Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1724) they created bunraku, the puppet theatre tradition. Many kabuki plays were derived from bunraku. The gidayu musicians are positioned on the stage left, the singer (tayu) releasing an extraordinary range of vocal expressions, making them as much actors as singers. This CD is performed by a great standard bearer of the Takemoto Gidayu tradition.