Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Japanese Koto Music

About once a month, the Musical Instruments Department holds a live concert, using one of the instruments from the collection. It is astounding to me that every instrument displayed in this wing, no matter how old, is in working condition. Today's concert, entitled "The World of the Koto," featured the Japanese Koto (click the 'play' button on the image above to hear). In a small corner of the Musical Instruments gallery, a brilliant musician, Masayo Ishigure, played three pieces on the instrument:

1. "Sakura" from Two Variations on "Sakura" and "Kojo no Tsuki" (1971)

2. Chidori no kyoku — "The Song of the Plovers" (ca. 1855)

3. "Tori no Yo Ni" — Flying Liike a Bird (1985)

The music reverberated through the space like a combination between a harp, piano, and guitar. I got the feeling that I had stumbled upon a treasure only for those in the know — even I had only been to the musical instruments wing once, but you can bet I'll try to make it to the next concert: Music from a 400–year-old continuous living tradition—Norway's hardanger fiddle.

1 comment:

  1. Was there a live performance? That's really cool. The instruments look so beautiful.


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