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The leiqin (雷琴 or 擂琴, literally "thunderous instrument"; also called leihu) is a Chinese bowed string musical instrument.


It has a metal soundbox covered with snakeskin and a long fretless fingerboard. The two strings pass over a small bridge that is placed on the snakeskin, near the top edge.

Playing technique[edit]

The leiqin is played while the player is seated in a chair, with the instrument's body resting in his or her lap and held in a vertical or near-vertical position. Unlike the erhu and other instruments in the huqin family, the strings are pressed against the fingerboard in the manner of a sanxian.


The leiqin was adapted from an earlier traditional instrument called zhuihu in the 1920s.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  • Leiqin MP3s (click on headphones to listen to individual tracks)