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Old Mar 12, 2010, 2:56 AM   #1
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Default Making Music: The Koto

What is a Koto? The koto is a string instrument that originated in China and came to Japan in the 7th-8th century. The Japanese koto is a large instrument, about six feet long, consisting of a hollow body made from Paulownia wood (kiri). Underneath the body are two sound holes, one at each end. There are 13 strings which are tied over stationary bridges at each end of the body. The strings are the same size and same tension. A movable bridge, called a ji, is placed somewhere along the length of each string. The ji lift the strings off of the body so that they will resonate when plucked. The strings are tuned by sliding the movable bridges back and forth.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 4:39 AM   #2
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Beutiful pick Selvin.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 3:20 PM   #3
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great picture Selvin. The yellow sash realy adds a nice pop of color.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 6:33 PM   #4
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Beautiful photo, however I'm confused. I thought a Koto was a string instrument with a square box on the bottom and a long slender neck/fingerboard. I thought it had four strings. So if your photo is a Koto, what is the instrument I am describing?

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Old Mar 12, 2010, 6:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calr View Post
Beautiful photo, however I'm confused. I thought a Koto was a string instrument with a square box on the bottom and a long slender neck/fingerboard. I thought it had four strings. So if your photo is a Koto, what is the instrument I am describing?

Cal
Do you mean a Shamisen?



This is a Koto
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 9:13 PM   #6
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Yeah! That's what I'm talking about. Thanks.

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Old Mar 12, 2010, 9:38 PM   #7
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Folks,
Thanks for your kind comments.
Calr,
If you view old Samurai movies (the equivalent of our westerns) the heroine sometimes uses a shamisen as part of her arsenal. Either as shield or having a sword/dagger hidden in the long neck she wields it with bloody results in dispensing the "bad" guys.

Yes, even Japanese Samurai movies have become politically correct. Actually ladies wielding deadly shamisens have been a fixture in Samurai movies for quite some time.
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