Gagaku is classical Japanese court music. Gagaku was brought to Japan from China in the 8th century. The meaning of Gagaku is literally 'elegant music'. Most of the music that survives is classified as Togaku (music from the Tang Dynasty). They are performed as dance pieces and concert pieces. In modern Japan, Gagaku is performed at ceremonies like that of New Year or a wedding held at a Shinto shrine.
Gagaku instruments consists of wind instruments, string instruments and percussion instruments. There are three type of wind instruments. They are Sho,
Ryuteki. There are mainly two kinds of stringed instruments,
Biwa. Also there are three kinds of percussion instruments,
Kakko. The wind instruments usually carry the melody. The two huge drums called dadaiko are a colorful part of a Gagaku performance.