Koto Sound Dictionary


Hirajoshi, or hira-choshi (choshi = tuning and hira = even, level, tranquil, standard or regular) is the original solo koto tuning which was developed by Yatsuhashi Kengyoo in the seventeenth century and was adapted from Shamisen music. In the D-mode, hirajoshi consists of the pentatonic scale: D, E-flat, G, A, B-flat.

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

    string:   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
    Hira-choshi   D4 G3 A3 Bb3 D4 Eb4 G4 A4 Bb4 D5 Eb5 G5 A5

Sound Examples
            MP3 (973 KB)
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  Performed by Craig Sapp on an itame kurikou with hira-choshi.