Two piano players are necessary to play “Generation”. The first performance of this work was by Toshi Ichinayanagi and Yūji Takahashi in 1981. It takes about 15 minutes when you play this piece.
Its score is only one paper. The musical pattern and the way of composition is shown by the sentences written in it.
The title “Generation” means the occurrence or the formation of musical grammar and style. Minao Shibata often explained his musical organization by the term ‘skeleton’. ‘A tale of the musical skeleton’, which was serialized in ‘Ongaku-geijutsu (Music Art)’ and published in a book form in later years, analyzed about melody of Japanese folk songs and technique of dodecaphony. He considers that ‘skeleton’ is the basis of musical style as a foundation of the piece “Generation”.
There are five descriptions written in a memo for the performers, which was written by the composer. In the first description, he made references to the themes like etudes and variations from around 1800, which don’t show particularly unique and individual musical style. The second description mentions about the ‘Romanticism’, which is assumed to be the works by R. Schumann, J. Brahms and F. Chopin. ‘Chromatic scale’ and ‘general form’ are also mentioned in the text. The third description indicates the following sentences: “Removing grease will be done at the peak of music which is like bilious temperament. The awakening music as Sati’s style. Transparency and clear. Short like a part of transition”. According to the composer, the forth description is important in the aspect of performance, and the fifth description is important in the aspect of the view of music. The fourth description is the part of improvisation in rondo form. The subject is chaotic yet magnificent and fascinating. The dodecaphony and non-pitch are applied along with works by M. Reger and J. S. Bach. The term ‘folklore’ is explained in the fifth description. Fork music will be played at the last of this piece.
This piece was composed in 1981, which is the period Shibata wrote the theatre pieces with materials from folk entertainment. Shibata’s these compositional ideas are reflected in the piece