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Qin 琴


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#1 Sun Wukong

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:16 PM

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Qin is a plucking stringed instrument, known as qin or yaoqin in ancient times, guqin or qixianqin at present. Guqin is about 130 centimeters in length, about 20 centimeters in width and about 5 centimeters in height. The upper part of the sound box is usually made with wood from the phoenix tree and the wood of the bottom part from the Chinese catalpa tree. The whole thing is then polished with lacquer. At one end of the qin is a short wooden stand for supporting the strings of the instrument, under which are qinzhen (tuning knobs) for regulating the pitches of the strings. On the upper part of the instrument, there are thirteen hui (round-dotted marks) indicating the position of particular pitches. The seven strings of the guqin are set according to thickness with the thickest on the outside, mostly tuned according to the pentatonic scale. Since the Tang (618-960 AD) and Song (960-1368 AD) dynasties, there were authentic qin scores existing from all periods. Over a hundred collections were found between the Nanbei (Southern and Northern) (420-589 AD) and the Qing dynasties (1644-1911 AD), including six hundred qin scores, three thousand annotations, numerous documents on performers, theories, systems and art of qin, ranking it an instrument with the richest heritage. Because of its abundant cultural connotation and profound artistic base, it has become a culture of the Chinese scholars down through the ages. The cultural lineage inherited from great qin players such as Confucius, Sima Xiangru, Cai Yong, Ji Kang has never come to an end. From as early as the Sui (581-618 AD) and Tang (618-907) period, the art of guqin has been passed through China on to other countries of the Far East. The art of guqin was absorbed and furthered by the traditional culture of these counties. In like manner, as Chinese people have spread across the world in recent years, the guqin has become to the West an (artistic) symbol of Oriental culture.

Is there anyone who has ever mastered Qin or just played it before? If so please give your opinions on this ancient instrument. If you know any interesting history of it, please tell us what you know as well.

Here's a link for those who want to listen to the qin or never heard its melodies before.

http://resources.ed....ox/soundbox.htm

Edited by Li Feng, 27 May 2005 - 11:44 PM.

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#2 jwrevak

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 01:49 PM

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Qin is a plucking stringed instrument, known as qin or yaoqin in ancient times, guqin or qixianqin at present. Guqin is about 130 centimeters in length, about 20 centimeters in width and about 5 centimeters in height.

Robert Temple, in his book The Genius of China: 3,000 Years of Science, Discovery and Invention, discusses this instrument in modest detail.
JAMES W. REVAK
子張曰君子尊賢而容眾嘉善而矜不能
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common man, praises the virtuous and has compassion for the incapable.

#3 Gubook Janggoon

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 04:41 PM

:)

It sounds so wonderful!

I personally like the Erhu but the Qin is also very nice.
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#4 Sun Wukong

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 05:10 PM

Indeed it does, a relative of mine try to teach me how to play it, but it was too difficult to learn in a short period of time. He moved away and I didn't get to learn the basics. Anyhow, it's a great musical instrument that has been played for over a thousand year, a great instrument that has been known as a symbol for Chinese and Asian culture.
"那些不學習是僅僅牛在男人的衣服盛裝打扮。" ~ 孔子

#5 Mok

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 01:05 AM

I have a few recordings of the qin and it's indeed lovely, it has a sound of its own.

Personally I favour the dizi but all are just as nice! (erhu, etc.)
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#6 Yun

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 02:36 AM

Two websites by Western guqin-lovers that will be interesting to you:

http://www.cechinatr...uk/toc-qin.html

http://www.iohk.com/...on/Welcome.html

http://www.freewebs....sco/instru2.htm (this last was written by me)

The whole reason why the guqin is hardly played by Chinese today is because of the extensive literati culture and aesthetic associated with it, which is very hard to reproduce in modern China. Guqin music (unlike guzheng music) is not entertaining in the conventional sense, being subtle and very philosophical in orientation. Timbre is much more important than melody, as Robert Temple noted in his book, and hence guqin music sounds very "un-musical" to the Western ear and even to Chinese raised under the influence of Western music.

Indeed, Fritz Kuttner (a Western expert on the science and history of ancient Chinese music) has argued that from the Tang dynasty onwards, the qin became mostly a "show-off" item for scholars to display on their walls, rather than a serious musical instrument. Few bothered to learn how to play it properly, unlike earlier scholars like Cai Yong and Ji Kang who were keenly interested in exploring the musical possibilities of the qin. One could perhaps link this with the trend of 'popularisation' of music in the Tang and after, when foreign instruments like the pipa and xiqin (ancestor of the erhu) overtook the guqin at the grassroots level precisely because the music for these instruments had a mass (rather than elitist) appeal.
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#7 wuTao

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 02:47 AM

I think the guqin sounds awesome! Those tracks on the second website are a pleasure to listen to! :)

#8 Guest_Sawa_*

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 03:20 AM

Yeah! Sound great!

I found this page that got loads of Chinese music:

ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/multimedia/chin...ditional_Music/

But I have no idea which one plays the qin? Like 'Waves washing sands' or 'Fishing boats returning' I don't know what instrument is used at all, hmm must have strings in it...

#9 wuTao

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 03:31 AM

And I think it's cool that the music goes along with a story and pictures, like that one of "Marshbank Melody" that tells the story of Qu Yuan and the Fisherman, and how each picture is matched with a specific section of the song!

Something I've also noticed lately that I think is interesting is that many pictures of nobles from the Zhou dynasty (such as Confucius and Qu Yuan) depict them with a sword... Seems like nobility was much more martial in nature back then...

#10 Sun Wukong

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 09:54 AM

Those were great links Yun. It sounds awesome, the pictures show viewing while the music goes on. I personally like the "Melody of the Fisherman's Song".
"那些不學習是僅僅牛在男人的衣服盛裝打扮。" ~ 孔子

#11 Yun

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 10:26 AM

Thanks, I'm glad you liked it - I haven't listened to those tracks myself ;)

I should have pointed out that the newer address of John Thompson's site is http://www.silkqin.com/
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#12 wateacher

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 01:36 AM

The home website of the North American Guqin Association is www.guqin.com there are examples of audio and video performances of this fascinating instrument as well as other information about learning how to play it.
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#13 CARDINAL009

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 04:33 PM

Yeah! Sound great!

I found this page that got loads of Chinese music:

ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/multimedia/chin...ditional_Music/

But I have no idea which one plays the qin? Like 'Waves washing sands' or 'Fishing boats returning' I don't know what instrument is used at all, hmm must have strings in it...



Thks. Good find.
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#14 sissicai

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 04:27 AM

Yeah! Sound great!

I found this page that got loads of Chinese music:

ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/multimedia/chin...ditional_Music/

But I have no idea which one plays the qin? Like 'Waves washing sands' or 'Fishing boats returning' I don't know what instrument is used at all, hmm must have strings in it...
[/quote]


I heard these two .'Waves washing sands' is played by Pipa, 'Fishing boats returning' is played by Guzheng. Guzheng generally has 21 strings on it . :clapping:
and these are the pictures of the two instruments.

Attached File  20084757574625.jpg   38.37KB   0 downloads
Attached File  200611617555531905.jpg   8.68KB   0 downloads




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