Saturday, September 6, 2008


Huqin are a family of bowed string instruments used in Chinese music. They consist of a round, hexagonal, or octagonal sound box at the bottom with a stick attached that protrudes upwards. Instruments in the ''huqin'' family have two strings and their soundboxes are typically covered with either snakeskin or thin wood. ''Huqin'' instruments have either two tuning pegs, one peg for each string. The pegs are attached horizontally through holes drilled in the stick. Most ''huqin'' have the bow hair pass in between the strings.

The most common huqin are the ''erhu'' , ''zhonghu'' , and ''gaohu'' Over thirty types of ''huqin'' instruments have been documented.

''Huqin'' instruments are believed to descend from an instrument called the ''xiqin'' , originally played by the , a nomadic people of Central Asia.

In the 20th century, large bass ''huqin'' such as the ''dihu'', ''gehu'', and ''diyingehu'' were developed for use in modern Chinese orchestras. Of these, the ''gehu'' and ''diyingehu'' are essentially versions of cellos and double basses designed to have a timbre that would blend in with the sound of traditional ''huqin''. These instruments generally have four strings and fingerboards, and are played in a similar manner to cellos and double basses, and are very different from the traditional ''huqin''.

Similar instruments are also used in neighboring countries, such as , , , , , , and .

List of Chinese huqin instruments

*Erhu ; also called ''nanhu''
*Gaohu ; also called ''yuehu''
*Jing erhu
*Niutuiqin or ''niubatui''

Related instruments in other Asian nations


**Tro che
**Tro Khmer
**Tro sau
**Tro u






*Morin khuur


**Saw duang
**Saw u
**Saw sam sai
**Saw peep or saw krapawng
**Saw bong







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