Erhu, Pipa, and Gu Zheng, Oh My!

The Erhu is a two-stringed, bowed instrument, and can be traced back more than a thousand years ago. Also known as a spike fiddle, Chinese two-stringed fiddle, or a Chinese Violin, the Erhu consists of a long vertical stick-like neck, with two large tuning pegs, and  a small resonator body (sound box) at the bottom which is covered with python (snake) skin.

The Pipa is a four-stringed, plucked instrument, and is one of the most popular Chinese instruments having been played for almost two thousand years. Sometimes called the Chinese lute, the Pipa has a pear-shaped wooden body with a varying number of frets ranging from 12 to 26.

The Gu Zheng is a plucked zither which has 18-23 strings and movable bridges. Plucking is done mainly by the right hand with four plectra (picks) attached to the fingers. Advanced players may use picks attached to the fingers of both hands.

Which of these traditional Chinese instruments do you like the sound of the best?
Which one do you like the least?


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