Item description for The Koto: A Traditional Instrument in Contemporary Japan by Henry Johnson...
The koto is a unique Japanese musical instrument. It has a history in Japan of over 1200 years and today does much to represent Japan's traditional past. This book examines this fascinating instrument in terms of its physical form, manufacture and instrument types, its performance traditions and social organisations.
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Reviews - What do customers think about The Koto: A Traditional Instrument in Contemporary Japan?
Finally, a book about the wonderful Japanese koto Jan 2, 2005
Along with Mt. Fuji, Cherry Blossoms, Geisha, and the Shamisen, the Japanese koto is THE symbol of traditional Japan. Other then a couple of advanced musicological studies, and a chapter or two in other books about Japanese music, no other book gives such a complete reference to this all important instrument. Not only does this book include just about every aspect about the history, design, construction, and music theory of the Japanese koto, but it is also a beautiful book with wonderful photos, diagrams, and charts covering the full spectum of knowledge about this instrument. From Yatsuhashi to the most modern "Doremi Popcorn" koto, "The Koto" is also very accessible to the average reader. As a student of the koto, I only dared to dream about a work such as this, and now my dream has come true. My only small complaint (if any) is that for the price, a CD might have been included with a sampling of koto pieces, illustrating the diverse music that the koto has produced over its almost 2,000 year history.
History of a traditional stringed Japanese instrument Dec 9, 2004
The Koto: A Traditional Instrument In Contemporary Japan is a thorough, illustrated history of a traditional stringed Japanese instrument. The text goes into depth on the koto's useage throughout history, techniques for tuning and playing it, its performance today, methods for constructing individual instruments as works of art, and much more. A comprehensive resource covering just about anything and everything there is to know about the haunting melodies that continue to be played on this remarkable instrument, up to the modern day.
traditional instrument of Japan Oct 28, 2004
"The koto...is a thirteen-string Japanese zither." The traditional koto is about six feet long with thirteen movable bridges placed under its strings. The player sits at the end known as the "head." Nontraditional kotos can vary in length as well as some of the design details. As with many objects and activities in Japanese society, the koto and the playing of it have been used to signify the social class and certain social situations. Varied individuals such as aristocrats, blind male professionals, and female amateurs indicated their status by how they played the instrument. An ethnomusicologist at the U. of Otago in New Zealand, Johnson ranges through the construction and design of the koto, music for it and the performance of this, the koto's place in Japanese culture, and changes in these as Japanese society has changed. Color photographs of different perspectives, including close-ups when called for, accompany the technical, historical, and sociological topics. With the size and quality of a coffee-table art book, this work makes this somewhat specialized subject readily accessible to readers with different interests about Japanese culture and musicology.