Skip to main content
Select Source:

koto

koto (kō´tō), a Japanese string instrument related in structure to the zither. It consists of an elongated rectangular wooden body, strung lengthwise with 7 to 13 silk strings. The uniformly long strings are tuned to one of several standard tunings by moveable wooden bridges. The koto is placed horizontally on the floor with the player seated behind it, and it is plucked with the fingernails or with a plectrum. The instrument was introduced to Japan in the 8th cent., and its present repertory has developed since the 16th cent. It is played solo and in duets, is used to accompany a singer to play in specific small ensembles.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"koto." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"koto." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/koto

"koto." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/koto

koto

koto. 13-stringed Japanese psaltery, strs. being of waxed silk, tuned by movable bridges. 6′ in length, 3″ high and 9″ wide. Rests on floor, the right end being raised by 2 small legs. Player sits on his heels, plucking the strs. with right hand and using plectra on thumb and first 2 fingers, modifying pitch with left hand. Used in ritualistic mus. and regarded since 17th cent. as Japanese nat. instr.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"koto." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"koto." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/koto

"koto." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/koto

koto

kotoblotto, Giotto, grotto, lotto, motto, Otto, risotto, Watteau •Cocteau •molto, Sholto •pronto, Toronto •Ariosto •auto, Oporto, Porto, quarto •in toto, koto, Kumamoto, Kyoto, photo, Sesotho, Yamamoto •Bhutto, Maputo, Pluto, prosciutto, ritenuto, sostenuto, tenuto •Cousteau • putto • gusto • Pashto •undertow • Erato

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"koto." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"koto." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/koto

"koto." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/koto