Home > Events, Music > Master Koto Player Fuyuki Enokido Plays Manchester 18th August

Master Koto Player Fuyuki Enokido Plays Manchester 18th August

Come and see a top class koto player from Japan!

As part of her European tour, master koto player Fuyuki Enokido will be giving a mesmerising performance at the Manchester Metropolitan University Business School on Saturday, 18th August at 14:00 until 15:00. The event is totally FREE and will be held in room G35 (ground floor) of the beautiful new university building behind the All Saints Library (off Oxford Road: MAP)

Enokido is an outstanding performer, graduate of the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and 2007 Winner of the first rank prize at the Yatsuhashi Kengyo Japan Art contest.

You can get a taste of Enokido’s skill as a musician by watching a selection of her videos on her website.  But to truly appreciate her brilliance you must see her perform live.

No doubt you would want to take home a souvenir of your enjoyable experience of hearing this professional koto players from Japan, so CDs of Enokido’s recordings will be available to purchase.

(Photo: ©Fuyuki Enokido All rights reserved)

About Koto

The koto is a string instrument that originated in China and came to Japan in the 7th-8th century. The Japanese koto is a large instrument, about six feet long, consisting of a hollow body made from Paulownia wood (kiri).

The koto player sits at the top end of the instrument and plucks the strings in the area just to the left of the top bridge. The strings are plucked with three picks, called plectrums, which are attached to the thumb and first two fingers.

Because of its long history, koto music has seen many changes. During the Heian period (794-1185) the koto was apparently played as a solo instrument in the court. As court life disappeared in subsequent times, koto music remained in the world of priests and noblemen. For a time, it was an official occupation for blind men, and was apparently limited to this group.

Vocal accompanyment to meditative music began to appear in the late 16th century, but its performance was limited to temples. Yatsuhashi Kengyo (1614-1685) began to play koto music outside of its formerly restricted audience. He invented new tunings for the koto and composed many new pieces. In fact, he is considered to be one of the greatest composers of koto music. After Yatsuhashi Kengyo, the koto was open not only to blind male professional musicians, but also became of interest to female members of well-to-do families.

Ikuta Kengyo (1666-1716) (Kengyo was the name once taken by prominent koto players) merged koto music with the tradition of the more popular, more widespread, and livelier shamisen (a lute-style instrument popular at the time in the entertainment districts of Japan). The Ikuta school (Ikuta ryu) stresses koto and shamisen ensemble music.

Koto music has evolved for centuries, and continues to change to this day.

(Text source: Koto no Koto)

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