Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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China Song Instrument Introduction:Guqin

Welcome to China song instrument introduction again.We have learned more China music instrument in the past few days, like the bamboo flute,Chinese zither,cucurbit flute and erhu.If you never read those articles before,we will recommend you to find the more interesting thing from them.And today we will introduce the other famous instrument in China.That’s the guqin.

The Guqin is a Chinese musical instrument, otherwise known as a seven-stringed zither and the most ancient Chinese instrument with over 3000 years of history.It is literally called Qin (Chinese language) yet frequently known as "guqin" (, where "gu" stands for ancient), whereas the qin has become a general name for all string instruments today. Chinese music has a long history, and its importance is best expressed on the guqin. In majestic China, a well knowledgeable scholar(ancient time) was expected to be skilled in 4 arts as follow:

· Qin (the guqin)
· Shu (calligraphy,writing is an art in China because the Chinese word have the specific shape )
· Hua (painting,Sometime we called Chinese painting)
· Qi (the game of Go,Chinese chess )

Over the thousand years, the guqin has been viewed as a sign of Chinese high culture and the instrument most communicative of the essence of Chinese music.That’s why there are a lot of literatures around guqin, and the information about the guqin is plenty.More than 100 harmonics can be played on the guqin, which likely is the biggest number of harmonics of any instrument. You can’t find other instruments have this achievement in Chinese music history.The guqin has its own notational system, which itself has a background of at least 3000 years. There are over 150 guqin hand books in existence, which contain in excess of 3,000 pieces of music as well as essays on the theoretic aspects of the guqin and its music.

Construction about Guqin

The guqin is a very peaceful instrument, with a range of about four octaves, and its open strings are tuned in the bass register. Its lowest pitch is about two octaves below middle C, or the lowest note on the cello. Sounds are generated by plucking open strings, stopped strings, and harmonics. The use of glissando—sliding tones—gives it a sound reminiscent of a pizzicato cello, fretless double bass or a slide guitar.

Guqin has 7 strings, from farthest to nearest, from the thickest one to the thinnest one, this notation is symbolized by numbers from one to seven:One,Two,Three,Four,Five,Six,SevenAnd have three kind types of sound: Fan Yin, An Yin and San Yin.

Fan Yin (Harmonics) -left fingertips slightly touch the strings to stop the vibration played by the right hand. The sound hears gentle and vibrant.A Yin (fundamental tone) -left fingers push down the strings and the right hand plays. The sound is sturdy.

San Yin (Open String) -without touching or press down the strings and the right hand plays. The sound is the natural sound (natural harmonics) of the whole strings.

Story about the instrument

We like to share one story about guqin to end up in the article today.

One legend shows a story about a famous guqin maker Lei Wei who was skilled at making guqin with the high technology.Sometimes he would go to the deep mountains and forests and wanted to find the great wood for making the great guqin.Finally he found a great wood and made the famous guqin:”Spring Lei ”.After hundreds of years, a king got this guqin and made a beautiful stage to save it.Unfortunately he was killed by the other king.The other king buried the guqin with himself after he was dead.That’s Chinese custom which people like to die with their favorite thing in the ancient time.

This story shows us that how people like the guqin!

Unfortunately only few number of people in China could play the instrument, because classical music education of this kind has never really reached basic public. The circumstance for today has not been enhanced much until recently. Due to this reason,we want to introduce this instrument to more people and attract more guys can be a learner.We will try our best to show you more video about it.Hope you have fun time with China song !

Before you read this post we recommend you have the basic knowledge about Chinese then you can understand well the meaning of Chinese songs.You can take  a Basic Chinese Course for 6 days for Free to get the basement about Chinese.

Jack Smith
Jack Smith
I am a Chinese music lover, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my passion for Chinese music with you. Through my love for Chinese music, I hope to connect with fellow enthusiasts and explore the beauty and depth of this incredible art form.


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