Koto Sound Dictionary


Gakujoshi (gaku-choshi, or "Gagaku (court music) tuning") was introduced to solo koto performance technique during the 19th century for accompanying folksongs and other popular songs. Gakujoshi consists of the pentatonic scale: D, E, G, A, C. The tuning contrasts with the standard solo koto tuning, hirajoshi, since it does not contain any half-step intervals between any adjacent strings. Gakujoshi is similar in character to the tuning nogijoshi which also uses only wholetones.

Here are the pitches to which the strings of the koto are tuned in gakujoshi when the tonic of the scale is D:

    string:   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
    Gaku-choshi   D4 G3 A3 C4 D4 E4 G4 A4 C5 D5 E5 G5 A5