Satsuma Biwa (薩摩琵琶)


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 681

This lute came to Japan in the seventh century. Several types of biwa have been developed to suit different genres and performance styles. Unlike the modern Chinese pipa, the biwa is played with a triangular-shaped plectrum and is held more horizontally. Biwa music includes a repertoire derived from court narrative traditions and others from Buddhist sutra recitation.

Satsuma Biwa (薩摩琵琶), Wood, mother-of-pearl and ivory, Japanese

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