Koto, A Japanese Musical Instrument
a Japanese high school girl describes the koto and
explains how it is played.
of the instrument
Japanese high school students play the
koto in their school club.
The koto, also called a kin, is a
Japanese musical instrument. It is a 13-string
board zither with movable bridges. Although it was
derived from continental Asian models, it has
developed structural characteristics that make it
is it played?
Michiko Takaiwa plays the koto.
The koto, which is made of paulawnia
wood, is placed horizontally on the ground on a low
it is played by plucking the strings with the thumb
and the first two fingers of the right hand, either
bare-handed or with an ivory piece called a
since the 16th century, the musician
uses the left hand to alter the pitch or sound of
each string by pressing or manipulating the strings
on the other side of each bridge.
of the koto
The koto has been popular in ensemble,
chamber, and solo music repertoires since the
earliest periods of Japanese musical history to the
present day. It is related to the Korean kum
and the Chinese chin musical
traditional Japanese arts:
the Koto Became
the Way of Tea
a Card Game
The Way of the Bow
Challenge of Kendo
- ©1997-2007- Sandy
and Thomas Peters