Instruments which are in essence simply a string or strings and a string bearer. These instruments may have a resonator box, but removing it should not render the instrument unplayable (although it may result in quite a different sound being produced). They include the piano therefore, as well as other kinds of zithers such as the koto, and musical bows.

31 – Simple chordophones or zithers

311 – Bar or stick zithers – The string bearer is bar shaped.
311.1 Musical Bows – The string bearer is flexible (and curved).
311.11 Idiochord Musical Bows – The string is cut from the bark of the cane, remaining attached at each end.
311.111 Mono-Idiochord Musical Bows – Containing one string only
311.112 Poly-Idiochord Musical Bows or harp-bows – Containing several strings that pass over some type of bridge.

311.12 Heterochord Musical Bows – The string is of separate material from the bearer.

311.121 Mono-heterochord musical bows – The bow has one heterochord string only.
311.121.1 Without resonator.
311.121.11 Without tuning noose.
311.121.12 With tuning noose.

311.121.2 With resonator.
311.121.21 With independent resonator.
311.121.22 With resonator attached.
311.121.221 Without tuning noose.
311.121.222 With tuning noose.

311.122 – Poly-heterochord musical bows – The bow has several heterochord strings.
311.122.1 Without tuning noose.
311.122.2 With tuning noose.
311.2 Stick zithers – With rigid resonator
311.21 Musical bow/stick – The string carrier has one rigid and one flexible end.

311.22 True stick zithers – NB Round sticks which happen to be hollow by chance do not belong on this account to the tube zithers, but are round-bar zithers; however, instruments in which a tubular cavity is employed as a true resonator, like the modern Mexican harpa, are tube zithers.

311.221 With one resonator gourd.
311.222 With several resonator gourds.

312 – Tube zithers – The string bearer is a vaulted surface.

312.1 Whole tube zithers – The string carrier is a complete tube
312.11 Idiochord tube zithers.
312.12 Heterochord tube zithers.
312.121 Without extra resonator.
312.122 With extra resonator.

312.2 Half-tube zithers – The strings are stretched along the convex surface of a gutter.
312.21 Idiochord half-tube zithers.
312.22 Heterochord half-tube zithers.

313 – Raft zithers – The string bearer is composed of canes tied together in the manner of a raft

313.1 Idiochord raft zithers.
313.2 Heterochord raft zithers.

314 Board zithers – The string bearer is a board

314.1 True board zithers.
314.11 Without resonator.
314.12 With resonator.
314.121 With resonator bowl.
314.122 With resonator box – the piano is part of this subdivision.

314.2 Board zither variations.
314.21 Ground zithers.
314.22 Harp zithers.

315 – Trough zithers – The strings are stretched across the mouth of a trough

315.1 Without resonator.
315.2 With resonator.

316 – Frame zithers – The strings are stretched across an open frame

316.1 Without resonator.
316.2 With resonator.


The huqin family [in Chinese: 胡琴; pinyin: húqín]: Huqins are a family bowed stringed instruments. More specifically played in Chinese music. These instruments consists of a body that maybe round, hexagonal or octagonal sound-box. The sound box is affixed to the bottom of the shaft creating the basic profile. These instruments usually have two tuning pegs attached on either side of the neck.

Varieties: Unusual configurations include three or four stringed versions of the huqin such as the sihu a four stringed bowed instrument. Such configurations include the zhuihu, a stringed huqin, the sihu a four stringed huqin of Mongolian origin and the sanhu a lesser known three-stringed huqin. The most common varieties of the huqin include the erhu, zhonghu a huqin tuned to a lower register and the gaohu tuned in a higher pitch. Over eighty types of huqin instruments have been documented.

Origins: Huqins are believed to have come from the nomadic Hu people, who lived on the extremities of the ancient Chinese Kingdoms. Possibly descending from an instrument called the Xiqin [奚琴] originally played by the Mongolic Xi tribe.Developments: In the 20th century, large bass huqin such as the dihu, gehu, and diyingehu were developed for use in modern Chinese orchestras.

Of these, the gehu and diyingehu would be analogous to Occidental cellos and double basses respectively, and were designed to have a timbre that would blend in with the sound of traditional huqin. These instruments generally have four strings and fingerboards, they are played in a similar manner to cellos and double basses, and are very different from the traditional huqin.


[322] Harps

322.1 Open harps – The harp has no pillar.
322.11 Arched harps.
322.12 Angular harps.

322.2 Frame harps – The harp has a pillar
322.21 Without tuning mechanism.
322.211 Diatonic frame harps.

322.212 Chromatic frame harps.
322.212.1 With all strings in one plane.
322.212.2 With strings in two planes crossing each other.

322.22 With tuning action.
322.221 With manual tuning action.
322.222 With pedal action.

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