Type: Chordophones > Lutes > Spiked > Huqin >
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Region: Far East Asia.
Description: The zhuihu is a bowed stringed instrument, it is also called a Zhuiqin or Zhuizi. It is altered from the three stringed sanxian. The zhuihu can be used to perform solo and tutti. Since Zhuihu has a wide diapason, a soft sound and relatively high sound volume, performers can use it to imitate the voice of human and animals.
Legend: There is one legend about the origin of Zhuihu. In the Qing Dynasty [1644-1911], Emperor Kangxi forbad 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 to play the sanxian. This musical instrument, that cannot 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- Websites: china-culture.org / zhuihu ;