Duxianqin

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A duxianqin performer at Covent Garden, London

The duxianqin (, pinyin: dúxiánqín; lit. "lone string zither", pronounced [tǔ ɕi̯ɛ̌n tɕʰǐn]), also yixianqin (弦琴, lit. "one string zither"), is a Chinese plucked string instrument with only one string.

The duxianqin is nearly identical to the Vietnamese đàn bầu, from which it is likely to have been derived. Chinese sources describe đàn độc huyền as being an instrument of the Jing (also spelled Gin or Kinh) ethnic group of China, who are ethnic Vietnamese living in China[1] It is still sometimes played by these ethnic groups. Sometimes the body of the instrument is made from a large tube of bamboo rather than wood, which is more common in Vietnam.

Cultural Context[edit]

The duxianqin has been recognized by the Chinese government to be "a vehicle of 'intangible cultural heritage,' which can be defined as song, music, dance, drama, crafts and similar prized skills that can be recorded but not touched or interacted with".[2] As a traditional instrument for ethnic groups within China, the cultural significance of the instrument is often commonly accepted and enjoyed by locals. It is common for groups of duxianqin players to come together to play at large-scale and small-scale Chinese festivals.

How to Play the Duxianqin[edit]

The duxianqin is played using harmonics, with the string's tension varied by the use of a flexible rod manipulated with the left hand. After plucking thethe duxianqin's string with his right hand and simultaneously controls the pitch with his left hand by moving the instrument's spout to adjust the tension on the string.[3] Depending on the direction that the instrument's spout is turned, either toward or away from the player, it will bend the pitch of the string to higher and lower notes.[4]

External links[edit]

Video[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Duxianqin". Cultural China. Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Across China: Ethnic instrument playing preserved in S China". NewsBank. Xinhua News Agency Economic News (China). 30 July 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Across China: Ethnic instrument playing preserved in S China". NewsBank. Xinhua News Agency Economic News (China). 30 July 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Monochord Relatives to the One-String Diddley Bow". suite.io. Retrieved 19 September 2014.