Single-sided Kotamo

Everything on one level

The Ko-ta-mo is a mixture of three different instruments: Koto, Tambura and Monochord. The monochord goes back to Pythagoras and is therefore of European origin, the tambura is an Indian accompanying instrument and the koto is a Japanese melodic instrument.

Playing this instrument is relatively simple. From the very first moment you can hear very beautiful sounds coming from the instrument.

Of course, you can also combine the Kotamo with classic instruments such as guitar or violin, which often creates completely new sound spaces and ideas.

The Single-sided Kotamo has nine koto strings and four tambura strings. The remaining 21 strings are in monochord tuning. On this instrument all strings are on one playing level.

Single-sided Kotamo - Manufaktur Meerklang
Single-sided Kotamo with stand


If you run your fingers over the string level of the monochord, which is tuned to one note, a very wide, overtone-rich and surprisingly profound sound develops. What is fascinating is that even though all the strings are tuned to the same tone, a whole spectrum of other tones (overtones) can be heard. On an acoustic level, the monochord sound allows you to experience that all the others are contained in one tone.

The tambura is tuned to the same tone as the monochord and also has a string in fifth tuning. The four strings run over a “snare bridge” that creates the typical whirring and mystical sound that is also known from the Indian sitar. The fourteen strings of the Koto can be tuned as desired using sliding wooden riders. This means you can experiment with very different scales and experience moods in the truest sense of the word. You can set diatonic, pentatonic, Indian or Japanese tunings, whatever you like. Or you can build the riders according to your own emotional state and find out what mood you are in at the moment.