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