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Playing the Taishogoto

Naemanson 19 Jun 05 - 06:51 PM
JohnInKansas 20 Jun 05 - 12:27 AM
masato sakurai 20 Jun 05 - 12:43 AM
JohnInKansas 20 Jun 05 - 02:04 AM
Haruo 20 Jun 05 - 04:12 AM
JohnInKansas 20 Jun 05 - 06:44 AM
Naemanson 20 Jun 05 - 06:56 PM
Haruo 21 Jun 05 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,vicki@worldtell.com 05 Feb 06 - 04:57 AM
Kaleea 05 Feb 06 - 06:19 PM
Naemanson 06 Feb 06 - 12:31 AM
GUEST,thiruvasakan paramasivan 19 Aug 06 - 10:06 PM
Naemanson 19 Aug 06 - 11:10 PM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Aug 06 - 04:14 AM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Aug 06 - 04:16 AM
Naemanson 20 Aug 06 - 07:38 AM
masato sakurai 20 Aug 06 - 07:34 PM
GUEST,Wilfried Ulrich 21 Jan 07 - 07:11 AM
Naemanson 21 Jan 07 - 05:30 PM
SharonA 17 Feb 07 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,Thiruvasakan Paramasivan 22 Mar 07 - 11:19 PM
GUEST,Thiruvasakan Paramasivan 23 Mar 07 - 02:02 AM
GUEST,ferina, Indonesia 20 Oct 07 - 06:05 AM
Naemanson 20 Oct 07 - 06:20 PM
Bill D 20 Oct 07 - 07:43 PM
katlaughing 20 Oct 07 - 11:19 PM
Mr Happy 21 Oct 07 - 06:01 AM
Mr Happy 23 Oct 07 - 04:56 AM
Mr Happy 29 Nov 07 - 11:44 AM
Mr Happy 02 Dec 07 - 06:20 AM
GUEST 12 May 08 - 06:04 PM
Mr Happy 13 May 08 - 05:15 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 May 08 - 06:06 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 May 08 - 06:08 AM
Mr Happy 13 May 08 - 06:12 AM
GUEST 14 May 08 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,Andem 23 Jun 08 - 01:16 AM
maldenny 23 Jun 08 - 06:27 AM
Mr Happy 23 Jun 08 - 06:30 AM
Mr Happy 26 Jun 08 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,Abskii 04 Sep 09 - 10:45 AM
Mr Happy 04 Sep 09 - 11:01 AM
Mr Happy 04 Sep 09 - 11:13 AM
Mr Happy 04 Sep 09 - 11:25 AM
masato sakurai 04 Sep 09 - 08:50 PM
SharonA 05 Sep 09 - 12:28 AM
GUEST,codrax 18 Dec 09 - 08:18 AM
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Subject: PLAYING THE TAISHOGOTO
From: Naemanson
Date: 19 Jun 05 - 06:51 PM

Yesterday my brother-in-law gave me a taishogoto, a Japanese instrument I once admired in a shop in Tokyo. Now I have to figure out how to play it and whether or not it can be used in the Western songs I already know.

The taishogoto is about 2 feet long and looks a little like a keyed mountain dulcimer. Mine is black with a gold design painted on the top. There are six strings, two that act as drones and four that are keyed. The strings appear to ALL be tuned to the same note, the larger strings an octave down from the smaller strings. There are twenty-five keys, fourteen white and eleven black, all numbered. The black keys are labeled with a sharp sign (#) but my chromatic tuner seems to indicate that those keys are playing natural notes and the white keys are the sharps.

I don't have a clue how to tune it or if I can change the tuning to fit better into a Western music style. Somehow I don't think it would be a good idea to change the tuning but I will need to play with it some more. It might sound good as a back up to the Yangtse River Shanty, Charley. It has that Asian sound, the high twangy almost off-key sound we associate with the background music in bad movies that feature Asian settings.

So, any ideas? Any websites that I couldn't find? Any experience out there? Masato, do you have any words of wisdom?


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Subject: RE: PLAYING THE TAISHOGOTO
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 20 Jun 05 - 12:27 AM

Taishôgoto describes it as a "little old ladies'" instrument, in terms a bit like the "zithers" that were a craze in the US in the late '40s. A brief description of how it's played(?). It's described as working "like an autoharp" but appears to be more on the order of a mountain dulcimer with keys, as you described it. Not really a "traditional" instrument, but it's apparently been popular in Japan since the 1920s.

"Japan has its equivalent of the German Wandervogellaute from the beginning of the 20th century. It was created with the same combination of nostalgia and lack of historical accuracy. Around 1920 in Nagoya, Morita Gorô created a new version of the 19th century nigenkin or yakumogoto, a two-stringed koto, on which one pushes down numbered buttons above its metal strings like on a Western autoharp. It was named taishôgoto, and became a populair amateur pastime in the provinces. This is still the case today, as all over Japan groups of mainly middle aged women play Japanese as well as Western popular songs on their often electrically amplified taishôgotos. The right wrist rests on the instrument and the strings are plucked with a plectrum. Nowadays the usual size instrument has six strings, though the melody is played on just one set of strings tuned in unisons or octaves. There are at least two sizes, in different pitches. Tremolo is used a lot, and this gives a group of taishôgoto a sound resembling that of a mandolin orchestra. I have personally had the pleasure of playing lute with such a group in renderings of Yesterday by The Beatles and the Japanese tear jerker Kageo Shitaite."

Posted by a "David van Ooijen," with a nice picture of David (on lute) playing with a couple of old ladies, and a picture of one style of the instrument.

Numerous Google hits all seem to be in Japanese and/or German. A Yamaha(?) page in Japanese appears to offer several models, but I couldn't read enough to be sure if that's what it was about.

Chrysanthemum, at No. 16 on the page, has a sound clip. Sakura: Japanese popular song. Performed my Madre Magdalena Kanno (taishogoto) in rehearsal. Santa Cruz, Bolivia. March 29, 2001. 2.87 MB MP3. Unfortunately the taishogoto is somewhat overwhelmed by the accompanying whistle. The "rehearsal" quality is apparent.

A surprising number of German articles, but they seem to be mostly announcements of concerts.

Perhaps a helpful Yamaha rep would be your best bet for getting translated playing help?

John


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Subject: RE: PLAYING THE TAISHOGOTO
From: masato sakurai
Date: 20 Jun 05 - 12:43 AM

Listen to the taisho-goto, or taisho-koto, at Taisho-goto mp3. The first one is Bach's "Air for the G String."


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Subject: RE: PLAYING THE TAISHOGOTO
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 20 Jun 05 - 02:04 AM

masato -

Your link appears to be good, but must require character capabilities I don't have installed. I get mostly a blank page. There are links, when I wave the mouse around; but nothing to say what they're linked to. Any suggestions on what's needed to display it?

(It's just curiosity for me, but others may be interested too.)

John


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Subject: RE: PLAYING THE TAISHOGOTO
From: Haruo
Date: 20 Jun 05 - 04:12 AM

This is the Bach link http://www15.tok2.com/home/miyabi3/g_sen_mp3_2.mp3 that Masato mentioned. I'm not sure what you mean by "mostly a blank page". When I look at it in IE (where I don't have Japanese character support installed) I see gobbledygook, not blank space. Anyhow, you want to scroll down to where the page is divided into three columns, the left column consisting of links. The first one is the Bach air already mentioned. The second is the Bach/Gounod "Ave Maria". The third is the Caccini (sp?) "Ave Maria". The fourth is Brahms, the fifth an Italian melody of the 16th century, etc., etc. Dvořak... all basically classical stuff. If you scroll down past an olive-green bar, the next series of links are ostensibly Japanese tunes. (Though one appears to be "Katyushka" and another's title mentions "gondola"... so I would take their putative indigenosity with a grain of shio.) The third section purports to be tunes from around the world (and Katyusha reappears here). The fourth section is "Miyabi originals", and I don't know what the "43x" stuff introduced by the pink bar is...

Until Masato gets back to us, hopefully this will help a little.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: PLAYING THE TAISHOGOTO
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 20 Jun 05 - 06:44 AM

Haruo -

Appreciate the comment. I do have Microsoft's "basic" japanese support installed for IE, but essentially anything in characters was just blank, down to about where the "Katyushka" appeared. There were only 4 or 5 places where I saw recognizable words (i.e. western characters). There obviously were links all over the page, but I get nervous clicking on something I can't identify.

The small sample I linked just before Masato's post is probably sufficient to satisfy my curiosity - at least for now.

John


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Subject: RE: PLAYING THE TAISHOGOTO
From: Naemanson
Date: 20 Jun 05 - 06:56 PM

I've been messing around with the thing, I certainly wouldn't call it "playing" around. The strings, when all tuned to G provide the proper notes for the C major scale. There are not enough keys for the sharps to provide all the sharps you need between the naturals. I managed to bang out a passable "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" which sounded strange with an Asian sound.

Thanks for looking, gang. If there is anything more out there I hope someone can stumble across it. The instrument is too bulky to carry on The Big Trip but I will bring it along on future trips if I can tame it and make it sound good.


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Subject: RE: PLAYING THE TAISHOGOTO
From: Haruo
Date: 21 Jun 05 - 03:51 AM

Isn't "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" originally Korean? ;-)

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: GUEST,vicki@worldtell.com
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 04:57 AM

Hi, I actually play this instrument myself and I keep it tuned to whichever piano I am near when I play it. I have never had any problems playing any western songs with the thought that "1" is middle C. So the best thing is to strum each string by itself and tune it to the middle G on a piano or guitar with no fingers pressing any of the keys down. Then tune the other two strings that sound exactly like it to that one. And the larger string an octave below it. The 5th string that you can not tune I have removed for all it does is add that strange tonal Asean sound. Does that help? I have played classical (simple arrangements of course) piano solos and violin solo music on it; Japanese songs and western songs of all sorts. I have also played duets with organ, guitar, mandolin and violin and everyone enjoyed it. Have fun. Once you get the tremolo down it can really go! Sorry this is so much later than your original questions but I just 'found' your question by trying to see if taishogoto were sold in the USA but haven't been able to find anything so assume not.


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Kaleea
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 06:19 PM

I did a search on dogpile (a search engine I use alot) which pulled up a retailer called "enjoy music" on ebay which offers 3 items for "taisho goto harp," a video, a book of melodies, & a set of strings.
Looks like an interesting instrument! I don't have it, didn't know about it, therefore it peaks my curiosity making me wish I could get my hands on one. Good luck!


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Naemanson
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 12:31 AM

Thanks for you input. Still haven't picked it up. Too busy with other projects. But it sits there calling to me so one of these days...


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: GUEST,thiruvasakan paramasivan
Date: 19 Aug 06 - 10:06 PM

can anyone help me get a taishogoto in dallas, US??


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Naemanson
Date: 19 Aug 06 - 11:10 PM

I can put you in touch with my brother-in-law in Tokyo. He can get one from just about anywhere.


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 04:14 AM

I'm interested too - roughly how much?

JiK

when I visited the page above, I did get a page full of japanese looking gibberish, then it offered to 'load Japanese language support' 2+ Mb - it then told me that the url was unobtainable - probably my 98SE MSIE 6.0 system...


It also spawned other unreadable popups - each of which tried to do the 'download language support' thing, and failed...


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 04:16 AM

BTW, tee direct mp3 link won't behave for me...


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Naemanson
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 07:38 AM

If you can find your original Windows installation disk you can load support for Japanese language on to it. Unfortunately you still need someone to translate the page for you. I married my translator.

If you send me your email address (by PM) I will forward it to my brother-in-law and he will contact you about buying the taishogoto. As for cost I think you are looking at $200 and up but I'm not really sure about that. Mine is very pretty with a lacquer finish and some nice floral work. But the keys are cheap and the sound could be better. It was a gift though and it's the thought that counts. I love it.


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: masato sakurai
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 07:34 PM

The link above no longer works.

This is the new page ("Taishokoto mp3"). Links to two tunes are:
Bach's "Air for the G String" (mp3)

"Hoshi no Yo" ("What a Friend We Have in Jesus")> (mp3)


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: GUEST,Wilfried Ulrich
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 07:11 AM

Hello,

The Taishogoto was invented by Goro Morita after he had visited Germany in 1906 or 1908. You want to see the great grandfathers of the Taishogoto? Look at www.ulrich-instrumente.de

The language is german but the foros are international

W. Ulrich


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Naemanson
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 05:30 PM

I wish I could read that. It looks like an interesting site. Hmm, I wonder if I can marry another interpreter....


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: SharonA
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 03:58 PM

I just searched on Ebay for a taishogoto, out of curiosity. They don't have any for sale at present, but my search did bring up two entries for materials (one video and one DVD) on learning to play the taishogoto. Both of these entries use the alternate spelling "taisho-koto" or "taisho koto".

So I did a search on "taisho koto" and found one listing of an instrument for sale. For thiruvasakan's and Foolestroupe's information, the seller wants the bidding to start at $99.99 US dollars.

Looks kind of interesting, but I'd still rather get a Marxophone...

Sharon


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: GUEST,Thiruvasakan Paramasivan
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 11:19 PM

Is the instrument Taishogoto available in the US? I want to buy it and I am in Dallas. Can someone suggest how to get one? Thanks..


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: GUEST,Thiruvasakan Paramasivan
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 02:02 AM

Sharon, I tried searching in ebay, but couldnt get that. Can you provide me the link please? Thanks


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: GUEST,ferina, Indonesia
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 06:05 AM

hai,

i played taishogoto in university... playing taishogoto was really fun... i really enjoying playing it.. its benn 4 year i was playing taishogoto until now... but taishogoto belongs to university and its quite expensive for me to buy T-T ....

u can play all kind of song with tasihogoto.. i have tried it ... started from japanese songs indonesia songs and western.. but it will be better if once we play a song we use 3 or 4 taishogoto so that we can completre all kind voice at the song.

if someone want to buy taishogoto ucan search at yamaha web site ... but u have to set ur computer language to install the asian code... it simple to install it. u just need cd windows installer. u have to open regional language n setting at control panel and find asian code and install it ...

hope my information would help u to find taishogoto.. and im sorry if my english really bad ^_^ cause i cant speak english with well..

thank you...
sakura_taishogoto@yahoo.co.jp
-FE-


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Naemanson
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 06:20 PM

Ferina, don't worry about your English. You speak it better than my high school students can write it.

Actually it is all about practice. Get with a group and practice English. You have the basics. You just need to get used to using the language.


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 07:43 PM

For those who wish to explore Japanese instruments further, here is the site of the Washington Toho Koto Society (The Koto is larger than a Tashigoto)

This group has played at our (FSGWs) festival many times in the last 30 years.


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 11:19 PM

FE, thank you for posting the information. I agree with Naemanson, your English is good. It wish I knew more languages, like you.*smile*

BillD, thanks for the link. Beautiful music.


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Mr Happy
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 06:01 AM

More here:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xXPGpS8xg0A


BTW, I've a taishogoto but don't kno how to tune it, anyone help?


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Mr Happy
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 04:56 AM

Anyone?


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Mr Happy
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 11:44 AM

Hmmmmn, after web search, I find this instrument's also popular in India where its known as the Bulbul Tarang.


This site http://www.chandrakantha.com/articles/indian_music/bulbul.html gives some rudimentary tuning info.

Anyone got any other help?


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Mr Happy
Date: 02 Dec 07 - 06:20 AM

At last!

Found how to tune & play.

Aired it in public for 1st time last night at a fiend's party.

MCat Cindy played 'Stairway to Heaven' on it - fabuloso!!


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 08 - 06:04 PM

hello, hope there is still someone interested in this topic around...

I just bought a taisho koto out of ebay (sadly it will take 8 weeks for arrive here in Italy from Japan). Anyone could clearly explain how to tunes the thing?


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Mr Happy
Date: 13 May 08 - 05:15 AM

You tune all 4 strings to the same key.

Mine's tuned in G


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 May 08 - 06:06 AM

4 strings? My old Bulbul had eight... The one in the diagram here: http://chandrakantha.com/articles/indian_music/bulbul.html has six.

Waves of Nightingales? I have my doubts! This was one of the few instruments that I was actually glad to see the back of, although I've heard some astonishing Bulbul music since. Like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8So6q3bt8Q


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 May 08 - 06:08 AM

And this! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtMHYrvWBGg


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Mr Happy
Date: 13 May 08 - 06:12 AM

Yes 4 strings.

Mine's a Suzuki, it has 4 treble strings + a single drone string


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: GUEST
Date: 14 May 08 - 04:26 PM

thanks Mr Happy
the one I bought is a 80's suzuki piece
here are some pics
http://img165.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=96283_koto1_122_668lo.jpg
http://img169.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=96418_koto2_122_822lo.jpg


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: GUEST,Andem
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 01:16 AM

Hi! I was a student in UPI, indenesia. and we have 10 unit taishogoto. but lately the sting was broken and we got nowhere to buy it. I mean, it's indonesia huh? so the pont is is there any way we can buy the sting throug this site? please contact me as soon as posible. oer group need it for uor next show. oh yeah, dont forget to tell me about the price to for each string. thank you so much.


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: maldenny
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 06:27 AM

There's often a bulbul tarang playing at the Shroppie Fly in Audlem on a Monday night - it's sounds good for medieval tunes, cantigas etc.


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Mr Happy
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 06:30 AM

Yes & besides plucking & strumming, they can also be bowed with a fiddlestick bow!


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Mr Happy
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 06:11 AM

Here's a Japanese site which explains how to play: http://www.geocities.co.jp/MusicHall/3398/biginner.htm

It's in Japanese English, but you can figure out what's meant


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: GUEST,Abskii
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 10:45 AM

Hello, I came over from another thread.

I now have a Taishogoto - it seems very old and I may need to do some repairs, etc. It's very pretty :)

But my first issue is this:
It has no strings (arrived with one, which I quickly broke...oops)... I think it's a 5 string. What sort of strings do I need to buy?? And where from?
And is there a certain type of pic I need to use?

I'm happy to be creative with it as I'm just doing it for enjoyment.


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Mr Happy
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 11:01 AM

Mine also has 5 strings, 4 unison + a drone.

They all look like guitar strings

The drone string I think is equivalent to 5th A string of a guitar.

The other 4 are like the 1st E, 2nd B, 3rd G & 4th D of a guitar


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Mr Happy
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 11:13 AM

Here's a Japanese group playing


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXPGpS8xg0A


As regards pick/ plectrum, a guitar one's good enough for me, but I've also seen oriental people use a very large one, as is used for playing the Koto


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: Mr Happy
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 11:25 AM

The one in the piccie here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taish%C5%8Dgoto is like mine


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: masato sakurai
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 08:50 PM

Mozart's Symphony no. 40

Aloha Oe

Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik

The Ventures' Pipeline etc. by two electric Taishogotos.

Bizet's Les Pecheus de Perles

Tsugaru Jonkara


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: SharonA
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 12:28 AM

Oh, dear, I missed seeing Thiruvasakan Paramasivan's post back in 2007. Sorry about that! Well, Thiru, if you're still following this thread, I just took a peek at Ebay and, lo and behold, there is a taishogoto for sale right now! The listing includes several pictures, in case anyone wants to go look at them. Here's the URL:

http://cgi.ebay.com/JAPANESE-VINTAGE-PEACOCK-TAISHOGOTO-AUTOHARP-STRING-NR_W0QQitemZ290336393301QQcmdZViewItemQQptZAsian_Antiques?hash=item439965c855&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14


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Subject: RE: Playing the Taishogoto
From: GUEST,codrax
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 08:18 AM

I have just purchased a Taishogoto from Japan on EBay. May be the same noted by Sharon A. Glad to find this site and here those wonderful Japanese musicians playings some beautiful music (masato sakurai). Has anyone found a music source? I am assuming from all of the correspondence here that tuning all the keys to G is a great way to start and strings can be replaced with guitar strings. (I play mountain dulcimer) What size strings and are all the same size? Hope I get some replies. Thanks Merry Christmas


--------Closed due to persistent spamming (Apr. 2011). Contact Joe Offer if you need the thread reopened.----------------


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