Chinese Instrument sound of Guqin Fuxi-type7460935
- Model: Fuxi guqin / Sound of guqin
- Body Material: Fir
- Culture: Asia ( See more music instrument on our Asian shop )
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HISTORY OF GUQIN
The history of the Guqin, an ancient Chinese musical instrument, is a long one that spans 3,000 years. Although similar, it should not be confused with another Chinese zither instrument, the guzheng, which has bridges.
Legend has it that the qin, the most revered of all Chinese musical instruments, has a history of about 5,000 years. This legend states that the legendary figures of China's pre-history — Fuxi, Shennong and Yellow Emperor — were involved in its conception. Nearly almost all qin books and tablature collections published prior to the twentieth century state this as the actual origins of the qin, although this is now viewed as mythology.
It is mentioned in Chinese records dating back nearly 3,000 years, and examples have been found in tombs from about 2,500 years ago. Non-fretted zithers unearthed in tombs from the south show similar instruments that slowly became longer and had fewer strings, but they are not named in the tombs.
Chinese tradition says the qin originally had five strings, but then two were added about 1,000 BCE, making seven. Some recommend that larger zithers with many strings gradually got smaller with fewer and fewer strings to reach seven. Whether the southern instruments can be called "qin," or simply southern relatives of a northern instrument that has not survived, is questionable. The exact origins of the qin is still a very much continuing subject of debate over the past few decades.
The ancient form of the qin was shorter than that of today's and probably only played using open strings. This is because the surface of these early qins was not smooth like the modern qin, the strings were far away from the surface, had engravings on the surface (which would make sliding impossible) and did not mark the harmonic positions to be able to indicate to the player who would play them.