Shamisen (三味線)

Shigemoto, Isohachi Japanese

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 681

This plucked instrument is often played with a large plectrum. The shamisen’s belly amplifies the sound of the strings and is sometimes struck with the plectrum when playing, creating a percussive sound. The shamisen can be heard in nagauta, narrative songs, Bunraku, Kabuki, and koto chamber music, where it is called sangen.

Shamisen (三味線), Shigemoto, Isohachi, Wood, cloth, skin, Japanese

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