Type: Chordophones > Lutes > Spike > Fiddles > Huqins > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Bayin: 絲 Silk.
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 ;