Name: Huluhu.
Types: Chordophones > Composite > Lutes > Spiked > Huqins.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Country: China.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The Huluhu or “Ran Bu” in the Zhuang Language. It is a member of the huqin family, who is played by the Zhuang People. It is often used for instrumental ensemble or theatre accompaniment. It is an accompaniment of Zhuang nationality’s “eight-tone” band ensemble, North Road Zhuang drama, Buyi opera and eight-tone sit-and-play. It is also used for solo entertainment.

Often used in national festivals or folk festive occasions. The huluhu does not have a special song card, most of the music played are Zhuang drama song cards, called Tongma Bone Hu. He is good at playing euphemistic and smooth tunes. It is used in instrumental ensembles or accompaniment to vocals in opera and buyi plays.

Origins: The Huluhu which originated from the ancient Hanqin, was first used in the early form of the Zhuang folk instrumental ensemble “Eight Sounds” and the accompaniment of the Zhuang opera. It appeared around the Qianlong period of Qing Dynasty [1736-1795] has a history of more than 200 years.

Construction: The structure is similar to that of erhu, but the appearance differs greatly. The body or resonance chamber is made from a gourd. It is made of two natural gourd shells. The gourd at the end of the thick section is bottomed. The old bamboo shell or paulownia wood is covered at the cutout.

The end of the gourd is carved with ethnic patterns or plum-shaped sound holes. Piano wood or bamboo, mostly made of red twig or hard mixed wood, with a total length of 70 cm to 80 cm, the top of the piano head is cylindrically curved backwards, and there are two shafts underneath.

The bobbin is made of boxwood or hard wood, the shaft is 13 cm length. The shaft is conical or spindle-shaped, and the surface is engraved with stripes. The piano rod is a cylinder, with upper and lower thicknesses and a wire jack in the middle.

The lower end is put into the piano barrel and exposed. In the centre of the panel is a bamboo or wooden bridge, with two silk strings or nylon wrapped steel strings. And a thin bamboo tethered horsetail is a bow with a bow length of about 60 cm.

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