A Five Minute Playlist for You and Your Favorite Music Tribute Artist

1 / 10 1 / 10 Yoko Kanno composed the eclectic score for ‘Cowboy Bebop’​ “This Bebop Oh So Beautiful” by Yoko Kanno is the score for the 1995 Japanese film Cowboy Bebop.

Credit: Ward Suzuki/Getty Images

1 / 10 2 / 10 “This Bebop Oh So Beautiful” by Yoko Kanno is the score for the 1995 Japanese film Cowboy Bebop.

Credit: Ward Suzuki/Getty Images

Like other non-Western composers of western music, Japanese composer Yoko Kanno was inspired by jazz, symphonic movements and modern day pop music. Known for his stark, angular music, Kanno became one of the first Japanese composers to enter the Western classical music world in the 1950s. As the son of one of the two Baroque masters, Kanno was raised in the classical traditions of Japan, though he never settled in the northeastern town of Sapporo where the major traditions of his Baroque influences originated.

Kanno’s compositions have often been described as a juxtaposition of modernism, romance and conservatism. In his multi-genre score for Cowboy Bebop, he evokes the romanticism and worldliness of jazz while exploring the western sensibility of a Western composer.

It is Kanno’s most representative music. The imagery he creates reflects western elegance and grace in a fairly restrained modernist style and his movements are accompanied by brass and woodwind in a style that is reminiscent of early classical music.

But Kanno has always done more than just provide his inspiration to Western composers. He is a faithful modernist and has influenced young composers in Japan as well as contemporary western musicians. His most recent compositions are wholly Western in sound and flavor, expressing his deep curiosity and fascination with modernism and opera as he continues to adapt his music to fit new Western practices, such as electronic sound systems.

Below, listen to Cowboy Bebop with Yoko Kanno.

Leave a Comment