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The Instruments of Spring—Inspired by Cherry Blossoms

Piri (피리): This double-reed oboe-like instrument from Korea has a high-pitched sound with a bright tone. While often found in Korean court music and folk ensembles, the Piri is found prominently in outdoor performances during spring festivals.

Saengwhang (생황): This mouth organ consists of 17 bamboo pipes. It’s played by blowing into a mouthpiece that directs air into the chosen pipes. The Saenghwang’s sound can be described as gentle and ethereal. This beautiful and unique instrument is also found in Korean court music and religious ceremonies, especially during spring celebrations.

Guzheng (古箏): This long plucked zither is a found in a lot of Chinese music. It has 21 or more strings and is played by plucking the strings with picks worn on the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand. The Guzheng’s sound is clear and expressive. This instrument is used in a wide variety of genres, including orchestral works. Due to its ability to evoke the feeling of nature and rebirth, the guzheng is often found in Spring music from China.

Dizi (笛子): This is a Chinese flute made of bamboo. It has a bright sound and is a versatile instrument found in both traditional and contemporary Chinese music. The Dizi adds a lively touch to music played outdoors during spring festivals and celebrations.

Shakuhachi (尺八): This mellow Japanese instrument is an end-blown flute made from bamboo. Shakuhachi is known for its deep, mellow sound. It’s a traditional instrument used in Japanese shakuhachi music, which is a form of solo music with a long history. Shakuhachi music is often played outdoors in serene settings, and its meditative qualities are particularly appreciated during the spring season.

Koto (箏): Similar to the Chinese guzheng, this Japanese zither is a half-tube with 13 strings which is played with picks worn on three fingers of the right hand. The Koto’s sound is bright and clear. Which makes it perfect for a variety of Japanese music genres. Koto music is often featured in spring celebrations and festivals.

Sitar: This long, slender necked string instrument features anywhere from 18 to 23 strings, even though only a few are played at a time. Sitar players use blending and sliding to produce intricate but mellow melodies. The Sitar is often used in Hindustani classical music and various Indian music genres.

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