Category Archives: Huqins

huqins

Niutuiqin

Name: Niutuiqin.
Type: Chordophones > Spike > Fiddles > Huqins > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Country: China.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The niubaqin [牛腿琴] or niutuiqin [牛巴腿] is a traditional Chinese bowed string instrument. It is a two-stringed fiddle and is used by the Yi and Dong people of Guizhou. Its current physical appearance is not all that dissimilar to the European rebec. They are not related to one another. It is held as if it were cradled in the left arm for support and bowed with the right hand.

The niutuiqin named for its slender shape resembling a cow’s thigh. The proverb is called “Guiji”. also known as “Niuba Leg”, which is mainly used for sang folk songs and accompaniment. Popular in Guizhou Province, Southeast Guizhou Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture. Among the Yi people the niutuiqin plays an important role. The Dai song and the narrative song are inseparable from the ox leg. The niutuiqin is a musical instrument specially used by unmarried young people for courtship.

When young men and women first love, the young man will climb the wooden staircase in the middle of the night, climb to the attic. Courtship melodies performed on this instrument and it is also performed during weddings. The ensemble of the ox leg and the pipa can convey a warm and festive atmosphere.

Construction: The niutuiqin is traditionally carved from the leg of an ox, the body is made of a single piece of wood. A peg box, two tuning pegs stretched out on either side. They are inserted into the peg box. The back of the niutuiqin carved from the end of the half of the log. It is dug out of the long scoop-shaped abdominal cavity, and the thin plate is formed on the surface to form a resonance box. The total length is usually between 50 cm and 85 cm.

The preferred wood is Chinese fir with texture and straight knots. It is also made of paulownia, pine, eucalyptus and poplar. The preferred wood is Chinese fir with texture and straight knots. It is also made of paulownia, pine, eucalyptus and poplar. In addition, there is a small version of the niutuiqin the body is only 18 cm ~ 20 cm in length, popular in the Leli area of ​​Qijiang County, Guizhou Province.

The head is in the shape of a square column and the flat top is not decorated; each side of the string groove is provided with a hardwood peg or the right side. The front of the neck is flat and round. The body, neck and head box are then connected. 2/3rds below the panel is provided with a bamboo or wooden bridge-shaped bridge and the lower end is provided. Strings are traditionally from gut.

Citations: Bibliography: Websites: qinyixue.com / Niutuiqin [Translated; by Google translate];

Jing Erhu

Name: Jing Erhu.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes > Spike > Fiddles > Huqins.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Country: China.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The Jing Erhu [in Chinese: 京二胡; in pinyin: jīng’èrhú] is a Chinese two-stringed bowed musical instrument in the huqin family of instruments. Similar to the erhu. It is so named because it is used in jing xi or Beijing opera. It is lower in pitch than the jinghu, which is the leading melodic instrument in the Beijing opera orchestra, and is considered a supporting instrument to the jinghu.

The jing erhu has a wooden body and neck. It is played vertically, with the body resting on the player’s left thigh and the horsehair of the bow passing between the two strings. It previously used silk strings, but since the 1960s has more commonly used steel strings.

The jing erhu was popularized in the 1920s by Wang Shaoqing [王少卿], a musician in the troupe of Mei Lanfang.

Citations: Bibliography: Websites:

Zhuihu

Name: Zhuihu.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes > Spike > Fiddles > Huqins > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Bayin: 絲 Silk.
Country: China.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The zhuihu [in Chinese: 坠胡, pinyin: zhùihú] also called zhuiqin or zhuizixian, Zhuiqin or Zhuizi. It is altered from Sanxian, a three-stringed musical instrument. The zhuihu spread in the Henan, began to be used as a solo instrument during the 1950s. Since Zhuihu have a wide and longer body than the erhu in comparison.

It The scale range of zhuihu is similar to the two stringed huqin, zhonghu. They possess a soft sound and relatively high sound volume. This allows for performers to imitate the voice of human and animals. The zhuihu is rarely played today.

Origins: There is one legend attributed to the origin of Zhuihu. During the Qing Dynasty [1644-1911] Emperor Kangxi forbade all the opera performances in the Forbidden City and artists had to earn a living on the street. One day, an artist’s Sanxian was bitten by mice and the covering leather of the sound box got a hole in it.

In order not to miss the performance, the artist had to use a thin wooden piece to replace the leather and used a bow from Huqin [two stringed upright bowed spike lute] to play the Sanxian. This musical instrument, that can not only play music but also imitate human voice, was later called Zhuihu.

Citations: Bibliography: Shen, Sin-yan 2001. Chinese music in the twentieth century – Chinese Music Society of North America. p. 30. ISBN 978-1-880464-04-5 ; Shen, Sin-yan 1991 Chinese music and orchestration: a primer on principles and practice Chinese Music Society of North America. p. 129. ISBN 978-1-880464-00-7 ; Website: web archive – chinaculture.org [Zhuihu Article] ; Zhuihu Demonstration Video presented by youtube channel HKCOHuqin2009 ;

Sihu

Name: Sihu.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes > Spike > Fiddles > Huqins > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Bayin: 絲 Silk.
Country: China, Inner-Mongolia.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The sihu [in Chinese: 四胡; in pinyin: sìhú] known as a ᠬᠤᠭᠤᠴᠢᠷ / Хуучир / Khuuchir in Mongolia, where this term define the whole hugin family. Is a Chinese bowed string instrument with four strings. The instrument’s name comes from the words sì 四, meaning “four” in Chinese, referring to the instrument’s number of strings. Hú 胡 is short for huqin, the family of instruments of which the sihu is a member.

Repertoire: The sihu is primarily associated with the Mongolian culture. It is played by Mongolians in Mongolia and those who reside in the Inner-Mongolia Autonomous Region of China. The Mongolians call it the Khuuchir. It is also used as a traditional instrument in the Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang provinces of China.

It is also used as an accompanying instrument in various Chinese narrative genres, including Beijing dagu, plum blossom dagu, xihe dagu, Tianjin new tunes, Shandong qin shu, Northeast dagu, Hubei song, Shaoxing lianhua luo, Shanxi er ren, Inner Mongolia er ren, northeast dance duet, lucky play, Beijing opera derived drama from ballads, Hebei Pi Ying [shadow theatre] and Henan erjiaxian traditional entertainment involving talking, singing, and drama.

Similar instruments include the Mongolian dörvön chikhtei khuur literally translates to “four eared fiddle” and the Tuvan byzaanchy. In China, dörbön chikhtei khuur [Chinese: 胡兀尔 or 都日奔齐和胡尔] is considered an alias of sihu.

Tunings: There are several sizes of sihu; this instrument is tuned fifths. From the smallest of the sizes tuned to D / D / A / A. The medium instrument is tuned too G / G / D / D and the lowest of these is generally tuned C / C / G / G ;

Sihu Tunings
Names Tunings
  D / D / A / A
Medium G / G / D / D
Lowest C / C / G / G

Construction: Its soundbox and neck are made from hardwood and the playing end of the soundbox is covered with python, cow, or sheep skin.

Citations:

Tihu

Name: Tihu.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes > Spike > Fiddles > Huqins > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Bayin: 絲 Silk.
Country: China.
Region: Far East-Asia.

Description: [in Chinese: 提胡 ; in Pinyin: tíhú] it is a two stringed vertical bowed instrument and as such it is a member of the huqin family a subgroup of the spike fiddles category. The tihu is played in Chaozhou xianshi music of the Chaozhou people. It is an adaptation of the gaohu used in Cantonese music.

It is used in the Chaozhou people’s original homeland of Chaozhou and Shantou, in eastern Guangdong, as well as in regions where Chaozhou people have immigrated, such as Thailand and Singapore.

Playing Techniques: The tihu is generally held with the resonator between the knees. It is considered a supporting instrument in the Chaozhou xianshi ensemble. It is tuned lower than the erxian and plays in a slower, more lyrical fashion.

Construction: It has a tubular hardwood body that is covered on the playing end with python skin.

Citations:

Zhonghu

Name: Zhonghu.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes > Spike > Fiddles > Huqins > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Bayin: Silk 絲.
Tuning: A E or G D.
Country: China.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The zhonghu [in Chinese; 中胡, pinyin: zhōnghú] is a low-pitched Chinese bowed string instrument. Together with the erhu and gaohu, it is a member of the huqin family. It was developed in the 1940s as the alto member of the huqin family [similar in range to the European viola] to increase the pitch range of the instruments used in a Chinese orchestra. The zhonghu is analogous with the erhu in shape and overall sound, but is slightly larger and lower pitched. Its body is covered on the playing end with snakeskin.

Tuning: The instrument has two strings, which are generally tuned to the interval of a fifth to A and E or to G and D this latter tuning equivalent to the violin’s lowest two strings.

Zhonghu Tunings
Name In Chinese Tunings
Zhonghu 士-工 A / E
Zhonghu 合-尺 G / D

Citations: Bibliography: Tsui Yingfang, archived from 14 May 2014 The Concise Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Volume 2. Routledge. p. 1119. ISBN 9781136095948 ;

Morin Khuur

Name: Morin Khuur.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes > Spike > Fiddles > Huqins > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Tuning: F / Bb
Specimens: 2 in collection.
Country: Mongolia & Inner Mongolia, China.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The name morin khuur [in Mongolian: Морин хуур or ‘moriny tolgoit khuur’] is used to denote a fiddle having a horse head often with a dragon’s head underneath. Heads of dragon, birds, sea monsters etc. This iconography also found on Tibetan lutes.

Construction: The morin khuur is built around a trapezoid frame. A recent practice from violin luthery has been adapted being the addition of a sound post. This is to allow the ease transmission of sound through the body and the rest of the instrument. A neck is mounted later in the assembly process.

Having two friction tuning pegs on either side at the top of the instrument located right where the horses head would be. F-holes as seen on the violin are sometimes carved in to Morin khuur [as seen on my specimen].

Citations: Bibliography: Marsh, Peter K. 2004 ; Horse-Head Fiddle and the Cosmopolitan Reimagination of Mongolia ISBN 0-415-97156-X ; Santaro, Mikhail 1999 Морин Хуур – Хялгасны эзэрхийгч, available in Cyrillic ; ISBN 99929-5-015-3 and classical Mongolian script ISBN 7-80506-802-X Luvsannorov, Erdenechimeg 2003 Морин Хуурын арга билгийн арванхоёр эгшиглэн, ISBN 99929-56-87-9 ; Pegg, Carole 2003 Mongolian Music, Dance, and Oral Narrative: Recovering Performance Traditions [with audio CD] ISBN 978-0-295-98112-3 ;

Jiaohu

Name: Jiaohu.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes > Spike > Fiddles > Huqins > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Bayin: 絲 Silk.
Country: China.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The jiaohu [角胡; pinyin: jiǎohú] it is a Chinese bowed stringed instrument of the huqin family. The name of the instrument derives from jiǎo [角] meaning “horn” and hú [胡] short for huqin. It is very similar in shape and its neck is length to the jinghu and erhu. Being a member of the huqin family, it is a bowed instrument, unlike the European violin the bow passes in between the strings. This approach to stringing the jiaohu is the same as the erhu. The Jiaohu is featured in Chinese operas, especially in Beijing.

Usage: As with many of the diverse instruments in China, many Huqin stringed instruments were used in feudal times to accentuate traditions, festivals, rituals and court life. Many woodwinds, drums, and stringed instruments including the Jiaohu were used in ensembles to give operas more emotional meaning. The jiaohu is used primarily by the Gelao people of the southern Chinese province of Guangxi.  

Construction: Its sound box is made from the horn of a cow. The open front end of the sound box is covered with snake skin. As with many of the diverse instruments in China.  

Citations: Bibliography: Websites:

Daguangxian

Name: Daguangxian.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes > Spike > Fiddles > Huqins > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Bayin: 絲 Silk.
Country: China & Taiwan.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The daguangxian [in simplified Chinese: 大广弦; traditional Chinese: 大廣弦 ; pinyin: dàguǎngxián; literally “great, broad string instrument”] is a Chinese bowed two-stringed musical instrument in the huqin family of instruments. It is used primarily in Taiwan and Fujian, among the Hakka and Min Nan peoples. It is also referred to as datongxian [大筒弦], guangxian [广弦] and daguanxian [大管弦].

Playing Techniques: The Daguangxian is held on the lap and played upright in a similar manner to the erhu.

Citations:

Diyingehu

Name: Diyingehu.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes > Spike > Fiddles > Huqins.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Inventor: Yang Yusen 杨 雨 森 [1926 – d. 1980].
Country: China.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The bass gehu [in Chinese 低音革胡; pinyin: dīyīngéhú, pronounced; tíín kɤ̌ xǔ]; also called digehu or beigehu 倍革胡, literally “bass gehu” is a Chinese bowed string instrument in the huqin family. It was developed by Yang Yusen along with the gehu in the 20th century. It has four strings and is the Chinese equivalent of the double bass.

Citations: Bibliography: Websites: