Qin Qin

Name: Qin Qin.
Type: Type > Chordophones.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.322.6
Pa Yin: Silk 絲.
Specimen: 1 in collection.
Country: China, Vietnam.
Region: Far East Asia & South East Asia.

Description: The qinqin [秦琴; pinyin: qínqín; Vietnamese: Dan-tru] is a plucked Chinese lute. This instrument is also referred to as meihuaqin [梅花琴, literally “plum blossom instrument”].

Usage: The qinqin is particularly popular in southern China: in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau. A similar instrument, the two-stringed đàn sến, has been adapted from the qinqin for use in the traditional music of southern Vietnam. The frets on all Chinese lutes are high so that the fingers never touch the actual body—distinctively different from western fretted instruments. This allows for a greater control over timbre and intonation than their western counterparts, but makes chordal playing more difficult.

Note: On my specimen the qin qin is fretted with brass frets as seen on western instruments. The difference is the fretting is done in a diatonic manner.

Construction: It was originally manufactured with a wooden body, a slender fretted neck, and three strings. Its body can be round, hexagonal with rounded sides, or octagonal. Often, only two strings were used, as in certain regional silk-and-bamboo ensembles. In its hexagonal form (with rounded sides).

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