Musical instruments of the Silk Road Kayagum.

The kayagum is a plucked zither made from a single piece of wood with protrusions resembling ram horns carved into one end. The instrument has 12 twisted-silk strings that pass over 12 moveable bridges called “wild goose feet” in Korean. To play the kayagum, the player sits on the floor in front of the instrument and plucks the strings with the right hand while pressing down on the strings with the left.

The earliest known predecessors of the kayagum in Korea date from the 6th century C.E. The instrument is traditionally featured in country, aristocratic music and may be played on its own or used to carry the melody in ensembles.

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