Help on shamisen octave issue

Hi everyone!

I’m making Sakura Sakura on MuseScore as a trio for shakuhachi, shamisen, and koto (using the hirachōshi scale and using honchōshi for shamisen tuning). I’ve made sure all the tunings and notes are accurate, when I bumped into an issue - the shamisen part goes below middle C - down to A3, specifically, or the A below middle C. I was wondering, is honchōshi tuning C4-F4-C5? Or can I bring it down an octave and make it C3-F3-C4?

Thank you for reading this!

  • T. Suzuki
1 Like

The standard honchoushi puts the first two strings in the same octave and the third string an octave up. We usually use A = 442hz or A = 440hz as our base.

Feel free to tune as you like though, but anticipate that things may not behave as you expect them to.

So it’s possible to use A = 216 Hz?

What’s stopping you from trying?

Personally, I think you’ll struggle to play strings that are so slack, but perhaps you’re running heavier strings and taller koma than me ~!