Honkyoku () are the pieces of shakuhachi or hocchiku music played by wandering Japanese Zen monks called Komuso. Komuso temples were abolished in 1871, but their music, honkyoku, is one of the most popular contemporary music styles in Japan. Komuso played honkyoku for enlightenment and alms as early as the 13th century. In the 18th century, a Komuso named Kinko Kurosawa of the Fuke sect of Zen Buddhism was commissioned to travel throughout Japan and collect these musical pieces. The results of several years of travel and compilation were thirty-six pieces known as the Kinko-Ryu Honkyoku.
The chanting of mantras used in or inspired by Buddhism, including many genres in many cultures:
Tibetan Buddhism is the most widespread religion in Tibet. Musical chanting, most often in Tibetan or Sanskrit, is an integral part of the religion. These chants are complex, often recitations of sacred texts or in celebration of various festivals. Yang chanting, performed without metrical timing, is accompanied by resonant drums and low, sustained syllables. Individual schools such as the Gelug, Nyingma, Sakya and Kagyu, and even individual monasteries, maintain their own chant traditions. Each instrument mimics the sound of an animal, the drums being the footsteps of elephants and the horns mimic bird calls.
Li Na, a famous Chinese singer who became a nun in 1997, produced many popular Buddhist music albums under her new name Master Chang Sheng (). Influential C-pop singers like Faye Wong and Chyi Yu (who released 4 albums featuring Buddhist chants) also helped Buddhist music reach a wider audience.
The musicians involved were: