A few months ago, we shared some information on the Shakuhachi, a Japanese flute used for traditional and cultural Japanese music by PARMA composer Marty Regan.
Another instrument used by Regan’s is the Koto (こと) – the national instrument of Japan. The Koto comes in a variety of configurations (13, 17, 21, 25, and 30 string) and is shaped after a dragon, with various parts of the instrument being named after the creature (head and tail, for example).
Originating in China, the instrument is constructed from Paulowina wood with silk strings, moving bridges for tuning, and is adorned with ivory, ebony, tortoise shell, and metal figures.
The Koto creates wonderful tonality, especially over a full ensemble. Take a listen to Marty’s 21-string Koto Concerto No. 2 here https://soundcloud.com/martyregan/21-string-koto-concerto-no-2