Stringed Things: TAISHOGOTO (a.k.a. “Nagoya Harp,” similar to India’s Bulbultarang)




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Published on Jan 12, 2017

TAISHOGOTO (a.k.a. “Nagoya Harp,” similar to India’s Bulbultarang): A Japanese stringed musical instrument that's like a cross between a typewriter, zither, and mountain dulcimer. It's a long, hollow box with strings running its length; above the strings are a span of numbered typewriter-like keys, which, when depressed, "fret" (on a hidden “mountain dulcimer”-like neck) the strings. It is played lengthwise and strummed (strings can also be bowed). All chromatic pitches available, and the drone strings (octave pair) can be tuned to suit most keys.

Fun stuff!!!! Never knew this instrument existed, till I saw film composer Daniel Pemberton talk about it in his Spitfire CRIBS episode. In this video, I'm just improvising in (mostly) G Dorian, tossing in a "b5" quite a bit (then G Mixolydian lickage at the end). Mostly mucking around in 4/4 (with 2/4 and 3/4 sprinkles). I know it's lame of me to say this (!), but I can play this thing much better than in this video!! My excuse: To fit the long instrument in the camera's "frame," I had to put it on the floor and "squat" in front of it, reaching down to play it, lol. (The reason you may have noticed my "fret-hand" fingers bending backwards a bit!) Anyways, ENJOY!!!

Song: "Taishogoto Improvisation #1"
© Dale Turner 2017


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