Some days ago I found a CD of Beatles Songs played by a Koto-Ensemble. Unfortunately I did not find information about this recording. But this CD contains very interesting arrangements of some of the most popular songs by the Beatles for a koto ensemble.
The koto is the national instrument of Japan. The typical sound of the koto includes harplike arpeggios, vibrato, glissando and even tremolo like on the mandolin.
I have searched for youtube videos with Beatles songs played on koto and I have found the following three videos:
Enjoy the songs of the Beatles played on the koto!
The Beatles_I Feel Fine by Osamu Kitajima 喜多嶋修
Dr. Osamu Kitajima – performing “I Feel Fine” at Japan America Theatre, in Los Angeles 1991 along with Masakazu Yoshizawa, Freddie Ravel, Anjani Thomas, and Hiromitsu Nishikawa.
The Beatle’s Yesterday played on Koto.
(interesting recording, but unfortunately the sound is muted when the camera zooms in or out)
Come Together, Imagine – Sonidos del Japón (Japan Sounds) en Lima
Akira Inoue (Keyboards/Teclado), Masako Kawamura (Koto), Fumiko Waku (Koto), Michie Kobayashi (Koto), Ryozan Sakata (Shakuhachi), Houchi Fukuda (Shakuhachi) y Manuel Miranda (Flauta Traversa).
The koto ist the national instrument of Japan. The koto is a kind of a zither played with three fingers bearing finger picks. The koto has movable bridges for each string that can be used to change the tuning quickly. The left hand can press down the strings to change the pitch and create some special effects.
I have recently listened to some videos with traditional music for koto and groups of koto players, but also to some very interesting new music for koto. In this post I have selected some videos of traditional koto music and videos that show some details about how the koto is played.
伝統音楽デジタルライブラリー 箏演奏 「讃歌」
The following video shows a group with koto, violin and other instruments:
The following video is a demonstration of the different picking tchniques of the right hand on the koto. You can find three more instructive videos in the profile senzokuonline with information about the basics of the koto, the left hand techniques and a complete piece with animations.
伝統音楽デジタルライブラリー 箏 「右手の奏法」
Playlist Koto with many interesting videos of traditional Japanes koto music
The playlist starts with variations of the famous tune Sakura: