East Asian Zither (Gu Zheng, Dan Tranh, Koto)

Posted at July 20, 2013 | By : | Categories : Strings | 0 Comment

si-guzheng-lrgEast Asian zithers are large trapezoids, often with a slightly arched surface. The resonating box is made from wood and has several movable bridges. In order to tune the instrument, the strings are first tuned to the same tension, and then these bridges are moved into the appropriate position. Today, they generally have between 12 and 25 pentatonically tuned strings, which are plucked with plectra attached to the fingers. The fist of these instruments to emerge was the Chinese guzheng in the Warring States period and gaining in popularity until during the Tang period, it was the most commonly played instrument. It lead to the development of other similar instruments, like the Japanese koto and the Vietnamese dan tranh and the Korean gayaguem.