Shidai (utaigoto)

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Shidai (次第) is a shōdan of the utaigoto musical type. Shidai is a brief introductory chant sung in standard hiranori congruent rhythm by one or more actors. The last two lines are then repeated by the chorus (jitori) in a low pitch in free rhythm, although this not always indicated in the chant books. The poetic meter is 7/5, 7/5, 7/4 syllables. The shidai serves as a thematic prelude to the play and is usually sung by the waki (and wakizure, if any) immediately after the shidai entrance music. In 32 plays the shite enters to the shidai sequence, and in five of these (e.g. Atsumori) both the waki and the shite enter to shidai music. The term shidai is adapted from a Buddhist chanting style, in which the leader of the group chants the first line, the group repeats that line, and the leader repeats a third, new line (Yasuda 1989:527 note 79 and p. 152). Also see jishidai. [DP&KWB]