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[Chinese musical instrument history] Yangqin: Folk musical instrument

Instrument
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Yangqin is one of the traditional Chinese musical instruments. At first, it was a musical instrument that was popular all over Guangdong and was known only locally, but now it is famous as a musical instrument that is well known throughout China. Yangqin’s resonance box is made of wood, trapezoidal, hardwood, the body is made of drill wood, and the surface is covered with steel strings. This instrument is now a folk instrument that has been widely transmitted and played in the Asian continent from Central Asia to East Asia and Southeast Asia. It is one of the representative musical instruments in Asia.

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Location

This instrument was born in China.

History of Yangqin

Yangqin is a typical Chinese folk instrument and is a plucked string instrument of the zither genus. It is said that this instrument was known to China by land via the Silk Road during the Ming dynasty. On the other hand, there is a theory that this instrument spread from Guangzhou along the sea route. However, since it is an instrument with a very similar tone to Santoor in Iran, the theory that it spread to China via land is predominant. The origin of this instrument and Santoor is the dulcimer. At first, it was an instrument that was used only in the Cantonese area. However, after that, it gradually spread and became widely used in China such as Guangdong music, Chaozhou music, two-person singer song, and Yangzhou Kiyone. In modern times, it is a folk instrument that has been widely transmitted and played in the Asian continent from Central Asia to East Asia and Southeast Asia. Sometimes played like a magnificent orchestra, it is an instrument that has come to be used in multiple genres.

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Characteristics of Yangqin

Yangqin is a plucked string instrument with about 150 strings stretched over the sound box of a trapezoidal wooden box. Make a sound with a dedicated drumstick. The drumstick is 33 cm long and is made of bamboo. There are many types of Yangqin, which can produce 4-5 octave sounds. Modulation is also possible, and the tone is light and high. It is a very versatile tone and can be used in various situations such as solo, accompaniment, and ensemble. Yangqin has a long finish and a beautiful sound. Yangqin is troublesome because it is difficult to maintain. It’s basically an instrument that you have to tune every time. Due to the large number of strings, it takes a long time to tune before playing. Therefore, the performer needs to make enough time before playing.

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Yangqin song

Yangqin is very widely used not only in China but also in Mongolia and Central Asia. It is often used mainly in folk music.

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