1. Rokudan 六段

From the recording Rokudan 六段

Attributed to Yatsuhashi Kengyo (1614-1685), “Rokudan” is one of the earliest and best-known works for koto. It is from a group of pieces known as danmono, which are made up of a number of sections, or dan. “Rokudan” literally means six sections. All of the sections have the same number of beats, but each section is played slightly faster than the previous one and the sections are played without pause. Although originally for solo koto, through the years a second more embellished koto part, as well as parts for the shamisen and shakuhachi, have been added. Nearly all of the traditional techniques used in playing koto can be found in this work.