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Koto in NYC


Nikon NIKON D3
Lens- AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED
ISO- 200
Focal Length- 200.0 mm (200.0 mm in 35mm)
Aperture- f/4
Exposure Time- 0.01667s (1/60

Nikon NIKON D3
Lens- AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED
ISO- 200
Focal Length- 70.0 mm (70.0 mm in 35mm)
Aperture- f/4
Exposure Time- 0.01667s (1/60)​
Last edited by a moderator:

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief

The recital seems fun. I have to widen my horizons!

I am so ignorant. I looked up "Koto" and discovered

"The koto (Japanese: 箏) is a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument derived from the Chinese zheng, and similar to the Mongolian yatga, the Korean gayageum, and the Vietnamese đàn tranh. ... Koto are about 180 centimetres (71 in) length, and made from kiri wood (Paulownia tomentosa)."

However, I do not remember learning about any one of them. First time I have seen a string instrument with multiple bridges, one for each string. Are they used for tuning in instrument and dividing both sides of the strings lengths? I wondered whether they pluck both sides of the string? If they so, then what is the special quality of the notes on either side? Are they complimentary in some way.

It is a beautiful instrument. I found a song played on you tube here. Yes they do use both sides, but I would love a musicology explanation of the benefit and what gives the music its "Far Eastern" musical character?

I found a video on tuning this fascinating instrument and behold, the bridges do slide in tuning!


Roshni Patel

New member
Hey Steven,

This shot has been possible because of the observation and the instrument which I came across for the first time which is really so precious. Shot are so well captured. Lovely!
sorry it took so long to answer your question. at times my life can become "hectic".
i have known and listened to the Koto since i was very young along with other instruments from, in my case, the other side of the world. I am very much a lover of many types/styles of music. my mother introduced me to Japanese culture when i was around 7. she was employed by a Japanese international trade bank. i was very lucky to get to know the families of the people that worked there. they, in turn, reinforced my learning.

these days in music the younger Japanese have joined both their traditional instruments with modern rock band instruments creating an interesting fusion of sound. they also put on a pretty entertaining show. reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagakki_Band

the Japanese always seem to see value in their past and use it in their present and future.

Nicolas Claris

Really nice pic… and music!
Oh I really love! it reminds me my previous travel to Japan :)
So much that I changed the background music of my next exhibition dedicated website!
Thank you so much Steven!