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23 March 2009 @ 11:35 am
It's my journal and I can poll if I want to: more koto  
I'm still hung up on the koto harp. Since koto-man let me down and didn't come back to Boston before he sold it after a month of playing with me, I have to now consider my other options. The chinese version, which is clearly not Japanese and has many more strings, is much cheaper. The authentic Japanese versions are sort of more than I should be spending on yet another instrument that I won't actually master. However, my hope would be to get good enough to perform it as a filler between set changes at an ONE show, so authenticity is worth something to me. Plus the Japanese ones are just prettier looking.

Harping on the issue...

get the cheaper chinese version and see how far you get with learning the style.
Get the Japanese version because maybe even if it's not useful to you, someone else in ONE can use it if it's completely authentic and it's not like the instrument looses value, though it might be very hard to sell, given the small market.
I'm clicking this, even though I know when you get obessed with something, it doesn't matter how many people tell you, "don't buy that," but really, don't buy yet another instrument. Go practice one you already own!

Chinese harp

Japanese harp (not the best picture)
clio callisto athenejencallisto on March 23rd, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
I actually think the Chinese ones are much, much prettier, but I'm obviously biased and my opinion of their relative aesthetics really doesn't matter in this decision anyway. They're clearly different instruments and I really think that if the Japanese one is the one you want, that's the one you should get.
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on March 23rd, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
In those pictures, I'd have to agree but I think there are two things to consider. I'm looking at the really low end chinese ones, which are likely not where near as pretty as ones even at the same price as the koto I'm looking at. And I think that the japanese koto look better in person, because the natural wood grain is hard to capture. I also kind of like the simplicity of the lines.

I might have to agree the Chinese ones are prettier. Though I really enjoy the japanese koto simplicity asthetic.

Do you happen to play Gu Zheng?
clio callisto athenejencallisto on March 23rd, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
Well, my parents own a fairly low-end one because there was a point at which I thought I might want to learn to play, and it's very pretty. Plus I almost took a class at Stanford and theirs were presumably also low-end/student ones and were also quite nice. Though I totally agree that the simplicity of the Japanese koto has its own appeal and is also lovely, I just find the Chinese ones beautiful in a way that feels very familiar and comforting and elegant to me. I never really learned to play, though I'd still like to. I've played one once or twice doing only really basic stuff, but it was really fun.
Binkbinkbink on March 24th, 2009 06:48 am (UTC)
Maybe borrow one to learn on? Learn American lap harp first?
Save your money for the tough times to come?
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on March 24th, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC)
No clue where to borrow one. American lap harps are completely different.

As for money, depends on how bleak an outlook you have. If we switch to a barter system because money is worthless paper. ;)
Fashionable, but unable to tell fact from fictiontesting4l on March 24th, 2009 09:09 am (UTC)
If I could have, I would have clicked the "Are there other Japanese instruments that draw your obsessiveness in equal or larger scale?"
Binkbinkbink on March 24th, 2009 04:16 pm (UTC)
Here's another thought entirely
Add fun to your life, and save money (though it will also add one more to-do to your already tight schedule) by making one? It looks like the hardest part is the curved sounding board. I have a nice cherry here waiting to be loved. Maybe I could make that for you.
Then again, do I need more to-dos in my life, too?
Binkbinkbink on March 24th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Here's another thought entirely
Or ask RWex to make sculpt it for you. http://www.kotonokoto.org/features/wittersheim.html