|Instrument Title||Gaku-Biwa |
|Instrument ID||12.00 |
|Hornbostel-Sachs class||321.321-6 |
|Keyword||Togaku; Gagaku; Kangen; Court Music; Lute |
|Description||Short-necked bowl lute, sounded with a wooden plectrum (bachi). Pear-shaped hollow body with rounded back and flat soundboard. There are 2 crescent-shaped sound holes on the soundboard. The neck tapers out of the body and has 4 wooden frets. The head piece is bent back at a right angle from the neck and has 4 lateral tuning pegs.|
Four yellow strings (which are not present), traditionally made of silk (possibly nylon on this instrument) stretch across the length of the body and attach to a bridgeplate near the bottom of the instrument. A wide strip of dark leather (bachimen) is glued across the soundboard and acts as a protective shield against the plectrum.
The instrument is wrapped in a red satin brocade bag. A wooden stand that holds the instrument upright can be found in the closet of Rm. 58. The stand is in two pieces with purple tasseled tie cords.
The gaku-biwa is used in the Togaku style of Gagaku court music. It plays short, fixed, arpeggiated patterns which function as part of the colotomic structure of the music. It is not a melody instrument.
There are 5 bachi, 4 of which are in poor condition. The instrument needs major attention: the top and back are each laminated (edge joined) to width. Two joints have completely failed (one top and one back). The top is loose in places. The bridge has been reglued, probably without proper clamping pressure, and is therefore loose. The back seam separation has caused a serious crack in the soundboard. (See diagrams in cardfile.)
Two of the four frets on this Biwa have come unglued.
Frets are graduated in size from 2 cm across
and 1.2 cm high at upper end,
to 3 cm x .9 cm high at
lower end of neck.
Total length of body 88 cm
of body 34 1/2 cm
Thickness of body 4 1/2
Length of head-piece
|Accessories||5 wooden plectra (bachi); red satin brocade bag; wooden stand in 2 pieces with purple tassled tie cords; extra strings: 4-#1, 5-#2, 6-#3, & 5-#4. |
|Condition||Poor; no strings; top & bridge loose; back seam separation; crack in soundboard; 2 failed joints; 4 bachi in poor condition; see card for details. |
|Digital Collection||Ethnomusicology Musical Instrument Archive |
|Image No.||xac_12a.jpg |
|Contact Info||For further information contact: Archivist, University of
Washington Ethnomusicology Division, School of Music Box
353450, Seattle, WA 98195; (206) 543-0974 |
|Copyright||This Musical Instrument database is intended for educational
and instructional use; if you cite or download images or
text, please acknowledge the University of Washington
Ethnomusicology Archives. |
|Repository||University of Washington Ethnomusicology Archives |
|Digital reproduction field||Photographed with digital camera (JPG image); processed
using Photoshop (resized to 550 pixels, quality level 5,
label added) |