Kokyu: instrument composition, history, use, playing technique

Kokyu: instrument composition, history, use, playing technique

Kokyu is a Japanese musical instrument. Type – bowed string. The name comes from Japanese and means “barbarian bow” in translation. In the past, the name “raheika” was common.

Kokyu appeared under the influence of the Arabic bowed rebab in the Middle Ages. Initially popular among peasants, later it was used in chamber music. In the XNUMXth century, it received limited distribution in popular music.

The body of the tool is small. The related bowed instrument shamisen is much larger. The length of the kokyu is 70 cm. The length of the bow is up to 120 cm.

The body is made of wood. From wood, mulberry and quince are popular. The structure is covered with animal skin on both sides. Cat on one side, dog on the other. A spire 8 cm long extends from the lower part of the body. The spire is designed to rest the instrument on the floor while playing.

The number of strings is 3-4. Production material – silk, nylon. From above they are held by pegs, from below by cords. The pegs at the end of the neck are made of ivory and ebony. The pegs on modern models are made of plastic.

When playing, the musician holds the body vertically, resting the spire on the knees or the floor. To make the raheika sound, the musician rotates the corus around the bow.

Kokiriko Bushi - Japanese Kokyu | こきりこ節 - 胡弓

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