Setting a fight to music

Two senryū from Kikkawa Eishi 吉川英史's "Kyōhō—Tenmei-ki no Edo no ongakukai" (享保ー天明期の江戸の音楽界, "The Edo musical scene from Kyōhō to Tenmei [1716—1789]) collected in Hōgaku (ed. Yamakawa Naoharu 山川直治):

大薩摩 喧嘩に節を 付けたよう
Ōzatsuma/ kenka ni fushi o/ tsuketa yō
Ōzatsuma/ Like setting a fight/ to music

メリヤスは 女の愚痴に 節をつけ
Meriyasu wa/ onna no guchi ni/ fushi o tsuke
Meriyasu/ like a woman's complaining/ set to music

"Meriyasu" refers to shamisen music which can be stretched out or run through quickly to fit the necessities of iiia given scene. The point that Kikkawa seeks to make with these two points is that even at the time the scene-stealing Ōzatsuma was perceived as tough and manly while meriyasu, well, wasn't. (Personally I imagine all those Edo hobbyists carefully plucking through their meriyasu homework.)

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Leonardo Boiko:

To set music to. Is there anything the verbo 付く/付ける _doesn’t_ do?


ah 節に付ける=match the melody


I don't know about 節に付ける (do people say that?) but 節 (in this context) means "tune", so 節を付ける is pretty intuitive.

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