Nagauta means “long song” and began as several short songs strung together. Because it developed the most within the Kabuki theater in Edo, it is often called “Edo Nagauta”. As the chief instrument used in kabuki, it is played in a wide range of modes, including very slow, regular songs, but can also be played quite rapidly, employing a variety of accenting techniques. Nagauta bachi are traditionally made from ivory, but are more commonly made from wood or plastic.