koto

琴 (こと)

originally a generic term for all plucked string instruments, i.e. lutes and zithers; eventually the general term was applied to this one specific instrument, the 13-string Japanese zither or horizontal harp; modern players may use 17- and 21-string models as well; strings are stretched across a long (6-foot) wooden body and arched over moveable bridges; strings are tuned by moving the bridges; tones can be changed or muted by pressing down with the fingers; played by plucking with 3 plectrum/picks placed on the thumb and first 2 fingers.

Japanese_Koto

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