<em>Stringed Instrument (Gayageum)</em>, early 20th century. Wood, cow bone, mother-of-pearl, cloth, 57 1/16 × 8 11/16 × 2 3/4 in. (145.0 × 22.0 × 7.0 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Carroll Family Collection, 2020.18.17 (Photo: Image courtesy of The Honorable Joseph P. Carroll and Professor Roberta L. Carroll, M.D., CUR.TL2020.25.15.jpg)

Stringed Instrument (Gayageum)

Medium: Wood, cow bone, mother-of-pearl, cloth

Dates:early 20th century

Dimensions: 57 1/16 × 8 11/16 × 2 3/4 in. (145.0 × 22.0 × 7.0 cm)


Accession Number: 2020.18.17

Image: CUR.TL2020.25.15.jpg,

Catalogue Description:
Twelve-string sanyo gayageum, a stringed instrument played flat like a zither or Chinese qin. Nearly flat and oblong body/sounding board with strings running lengthwise from a narrower end (the head, which sits on the player's knee) to the tuning cords at the opposite side (the tail, which rests on the ground). Each string runs over a bridge or riser arranged rouighly diagonally across the body of the instrument. The instrument is played with both hands plucking on either side of the bridges. This example is the more modern variant (developed in the 19th century) of the classical Korean gayageum, made smaller with strings closer together to facilitate faster playing. It has inlaid bone, wood, and mother of pearl at the head, forming a frame around a trigram. The tail is carved wood.

Brooklyn Museum