Type: Bowed > Chordophones.
Family: 胡琴 Huqin.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Pa-Yin: Silk 絲 Si.
Region: Far East Asia.
Description: The zhonghu [in Chinese; 中胡, pinyin: zhōnghú] is a low-pitched Chinese bowed string instrument. Together with the erhu and gaohu, it is a member of the huqin family. It was developed in the 1940’s as the alto member of the huqin family; similar in range to the European viola. This instrument is used to increase the pitch range of Chinese Classical Orchestras who feature the Huqin such as the erhu in this format.
A hexagonal body with membrane from python skin is stretched over it completing the body. A shaft is inserted into the body from the top completing the basic profile of the instrument. Two tuning pegs are inserted in the left and right side near the head stalk. Snake skin covers the front of the body. A bridge is inserted under the strings. A bow is inserted between the strings, again same approach with the erhu.
Tuning: The instrument has two strings, which are generally tuned to the interval of a fifth, to A and E or to G and D [this latter tuning equivalent to the violin’s lowest two strings].
Citations: Tsui Yingfang [archived from 14 May 2014]. The Concise Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Volume 2. Routledge. p. 1119. ISBN 9781136095948