This CD presents five of the most known pieces of the Japanese koto repertoire. Three of the pieces are performed by a koto duet. The two others are joined either by a shakuhachi and a shamisen ("Rokudan") or a just shakuhachi ("Chidori"). Two of the pieces includes singing. What we hear on this CD are not the original classical versions. They are slightly re-arranged, a re-arrangement which includes doing the koto part with the two in unison, instead of the usual single koto. It is a good CD for those who wants to get a taste of Japanese music.
The koto is a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument derived from the Chinese guzheng. The koto is the national instrument of Japan. Koto are about 180 centimetres (71 in) long, and made from kiri wood (Paulownia tomentosa). They have 13 strings that are strung over 13 movable bridges along the length of the instrument. Players can adjust the string pitches by moving these bridges before playing, and use three finger picks (on thumb, index finger, and middle finger) to pluck the strings.