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Koto

The Koto is a Japanese zither, about two metres in length. It has about a dozen silk strings stretched across a wooden board. It has a moveable bridge, for raising the pitch of a note. Strings are plucked with the fingers, or the player may wear plectrums attached to their finger-nails. 

The koto is usually tuned to the pentatonic scale, which has only the 5 notes corresponding to our western scale degrees of 1, 2, 3, 5,  and 6.  A 20-string koto can be tuned to the diatonic scale, thereby giving a range of 2 and a half octaves, with no chromatics. But all sorts of other tuning arrangements are possible.


Music featuring the Koto. Tunes available as mp3
  
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