I looked up as 演奏する meaning to play (a song).

Does it only mean play a song as in 'perform' a song or can it also mean play as in play back a recording?

Would this be valid?


1 Answer 1


演奏する only means you operate an instrument so that the melody is played. In your example, you should most naturally use 流す ("broadcast, let it play") or かける ("put on").


There is another word 再生する ("revive, play back") you may often see in software UI where English would have "Play", but this one is more focused on the action of having recording machines reproduce the audiovisual content, and may not imply a human enjoys it.

  • 1
    In legal contexts related to copyrights, 演奏 encompasses playing a music via a CD, etc. For example this page says お店で音源を流すことが「演奏」になるの?と思うかもしれませんが、録音されたCDやストリーミングの音源などを再生することは、著作物の「演奏」に該当します。 Of course this also means laypeople usually don't think playing a CD is 演奏.
    – naruto
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 1:06

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