|IPA||[tɕʰǐn], [kùtɕʰǐn] or [tɕʰíɕiɛ̂ntɕʰǐn]|
|Plain||"chin", "goo-chin" or "chi-shien-chin"|
|Chinese||琴, 古琴, 七絃琴|
|Hanyu Pinyin||qín, gǔqín, qīxiànqín|
|Wade-Giles||ch'in2, ku3-ch'in2, ch'i1-hsien2-ch'in2|
|Ancient names||瑤琴 (yáoqín), 玉琴 (yùqín)|
|Ancient variants||琹, 珡, etc|
|Other names||國樂之父 (guóyuè zhī fù)|
聖人之噐 (shèngrén zhī qì)
|Hiragana||きん, こきん, しちげんきん|
|Hepburn||kin, kokin, shichigenkin|
|Hangul||금 (친), 고금 (구친), 칠현금|
|McCune-Reischauer||kŭm (ch'in), kogŭm (kuch'in), ch'ilhyŏn'gŭm|
|Revised Romanization||geum (chin), gogeum (guchin), chilhyeon-geum|
|Variant names||徽琴 (hwigŭm / hwigeum)|
|Usual spellings||qin, guqin|
|Unusual spellings||Gu Qin, GuQin, Gu-qin, Gu qin, Gu Qing, etc. Traditional Chinese musical instruments comprise a wide range of string wind and percussion instruments Traditional Chinese musical instruments comprise a wide range of string wind and percussion instruments A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified for the purpose of making Music. A string instrument (or stringed instrument) is a Musical instrument that produces Sound by means of Vibrating strings In the Hornbostel-Sachs Plucked string instruments are a subcategory of String instruments that are played by plucking the strings Plucking is a way of pulling and releasing the string in A Chinese character, also known as a Han character ( is a Logogram used in writing Chinese (hanzi Japanese ( Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use Wade-Giles (ˌweɪdˈʤaɪlz) sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization system (phonetic notation and Transcription) for the Mandarin is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities is a Japanese Syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system, along with Katakana and Kanji; the Latin alphabet The is named after James Curtis Hepburn, who used it to transcribe the sounds of the Japanese language into the Latin alphabet in the third edition of his Japanese–English This article is mainly about the spoken Korean language See Hangul for details on the native Korean writing system McCune-Reischauer romanization is one of the two most widely used Korean language Romanization systems along with the Revised Romanization of Korean, which The Revised Romanization of Korean is the official Korean language Romanization system in South Korea. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States . .|
|Organologically correct name||(Fretless) Seven-stringed Zither|
|Other (incorrect) variants used||Lute, Harp, Table-harp|
The 古琴; pinyin: gǔqín; Wades-Giles ku-ch'in; IPA: [kùtɕʰǐn]; literally "ancient stringed instrument") is the modern name for a plucked seven-string Chinese musical instrument of the zither family. Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use Wade-Giles (ˌweɪdˈʤaɪlz) sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization system (phonetic notation and Transcription) for the Mandarin Traditional Chinese musical instruments comprise a wide range of string wind and percussion instruments The zither is a musical String instrument, most commonly found in Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, the southern regions of Germany, alpine It has been played since ancient times, and has traditionally been favored by scholars and literati as an instrument of great subtlety and refinement, as highlighted by the quote "a gentleman does not part with his qin or se without good reason," as well as being associated with the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius. Scholarly method &mdash or as it is more commonly called scholarship &mdash is the body of principles and practices used by scholars to make their claims about the world as The se ( is an ancient Chinese plucked Zither ( String instrument) Confucius ( lit " Master Kung " September 28, 551 BC - 479 BC) was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher It is sometimes referred to by the Chinese as "the father of Chinese music" or "the instrument of the sages".(simplified/traditional:
Traditionally the instrument was called simply qin (Wade-Giles ch'in) but by the twentieth century the term had come to be applied to many other musical instruments as well: the yangqin hammered dulcimer, the huqin family of bowed string instruments, and the Western piano are examples of this usage. The trapezoidal yangqin ( is a Chinese Hammered dulcimer originally from the Middle East ( Persia (modern-day Iran) Huqin ( 胡琴; Pinyin: húqín are a family of bowed String instruments used in Chinese music. The piano is a Musical instrument played by means of a keyboard that produces sound by striking steel strings with Felt covered hammers The prefix "gu-", "ancient") was later added for clarification. It can also be called qixianqin (lit. "seven-stringed instrument"). The guqin is not to be confused with the guzheng, another Chinese long zither also without frets, but with moveable bridges under each string. The guzheng, also spelled gu zheng or gu-zheng ( or zheng (箏 ( gu-, 古 means "ancient" A fret is a raised portion on the neck of a Stringed instrument, that extends generally across the full width of the neck A bridge is a device for supporting the strings on a Stringed instrument and transmitting the Vibration of those strings to some other structural component Because Robert Hans van Gulik's famous book about the qin is called The Lore of the Chinese Lute, the guqin is sometimes inaccurately called a lute. Robert Hans van Gulik (髙羅佩 ( August 9, 1910, Zutphen - September 24, 1967, The Hague) was a highly educated Lute can refer generally to any plucked string instrument with a neck (either Fretted or unfretted and a deep round back or more specifically to an instrument from  Other incorrect classifications, mainly from music compact discs, include "harp" or "table-harp". The harp is a Stringed instrument which has the plane of its strings positioned perpendicular to the soundboard.
The guqin is a very quiet instrument, with a range of about four octaves, and its open strings are tuned in the bass register. In Music, an octave ( is the the use of which is "common in most musical systems Its lowest pitch is about two octaves below middle C, or the lowest note on the cello. C or Do is the first Note of the fixed-Do Solfege. In Western Music, the expression " Middle C " refers to the note The violoncello (abbreviated to cello, or 'cello, plural cellos or celli —the c is tʃ Sounds are produced by plucking open strings, stopped strings, and harmonics. In Acoustics and Telecommunication, the harmonic of a Wave is a component Frequency of the signal that is an Integer The use of glissando—sliding tones—gives it a sound reminiscent of a pizzicato cello, fretless double bass or a slide guitar. " Glissando " (plural glissandi abbreviated gliss is a glide from one pitch to another Pizzicato (ˌpɪtsɪˈkɑːtoʊ is a playing technique that involves plucking the strings of a String instrument. The double bass is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed String instrument used in the modern symphony orchestra. Slide guitar or bottleneck guitar is a particular method or technique for playing the Guitar. the qin is also capable of over 119 harmonics, of which 91 are most commonly used. By tradition the qin originally had five strings, but ancient qin-like instruments with 10 or more strings have been found. The modern form has been standardized for about two millennia. A millennium (pl millennia) is a period of Time equal to one thousand Years (from Latin la mille, thousand and la annum A number of players and listeners have commented that qin music sounds similar to blues music in one way or another, but it should be noted that there are also many differences. The Blues is a vocal and instrumental form of Music based on the use of the Blue notes It emerged as an accessible form of self-expression
Legend has it that the qin, the most revered of all Chinese musical instruments, has a history of about 5,000 years. The Tang Dynasty ( Middle Chinese: dhɑng (June 18 618&ndashJune 4 907 was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by The history of the Guqin, an ancient Chinese Musical instrument, is a long one that spans 3000 years This legend states that the legendary figures of China's pre-history — Fuxi, Shennong and Huang Di, the "Yellow Emperor" — were involved in its creation. Stone Age Paleolithic See also Paleolithic, Recent African Origin, Early Homo sapiens, Early human migrations "Paleolithic" In Chinese mythology Fu Xi or Fu Hsi ( aka Paoxi ( mid 2800s BCE was the first of the mythical Three Sovereigns (三皇 sānhuáng of ancient China Shennong ( also known as the Yan Emperor (炎帝 or the Emperor of the Five Grains ( is a Legendary ruler of China and Culture hero Huangdi, or the Yellow Emperor, is a Legendary Chinese sovereign and cultural hero who is considered in Chinese mythology to be the Huangdi, or the Yellow Emperor, is a Legendary Chinese sovereign and cultural hero who is considered in Chinese mythology to be the Nearly almost all qin books and tablature collections published prior to the twentieth century state this as the factual origins of the qin, although this is now presently viewed as mythology. The word mythology (from the Greek grc μυθολογία mythología, meaning "a story-telling a legendary lore" It is mentioned in Chinese writings dating back nearly 3,000 years, and related instruments have been found in tombs from about 2,500 years ago. For the New York prison see The Tombs. A Tomb is a repository for the remains of the dead. The exact origins of the qin is still a very much continuing subject of debate over the past few decades. Debate ( American English) or debating ( British English) is a formal method of interactive and position representational Argument. A decade is a period of 10 Years (since 1594 a factor of 10 difference between two numbers, or sometimes a set or a group of ten (since 1451
In 1977, a recording of "Flowing Water" (Liu Shui, as performed by Guan Pinghu, one of the best qin players of the 20th century) was chosen to be included in the Voyager Golden Record, a gold-plated LP recording containing music from around the world, which was sent into outer space by NASA on the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecrafts. Guan Pinghu (1897-1967 was a Chinese player of the Guqin (古琴 a Chinese 7-string bridgeless zither The Voyager Golden Record is a Phonograph record included in the two Voyager Spacecraft launched in 1977 The National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA, ˈnæsə is an agency of the United States government, responsible for the nation's public space program The Voyager 1 spacecraft is a 722-kilogram robotic Space probe of the outer Solar system and beyond launched September 5, Voyager 2 is an unmanned Interplanetary Spacecraft launched on August 20, 1977. It is the longest excerpt included on the disc. In 2003, guqin music was proclaimed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. The Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity is a list maintained by UNESCO with pieces of Intangible culture considered relevant by that United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established on November 16 
There are a number of ancient sources that discuss qin lore, qin theory and general qin literature. This is a list of literature for the Guqin. Qin literature should be distinguished from qinpu which contains music tablature of some sort Some of these books are available inserted into certain qinpu (qin tablature collections). The basic contents of qin literature is mainly essays discussing and describing the nature of qin music, the theory behind the notes and tones, the method of correct play, the history of qin music, lists of mentions in literature, etc. The detail can be very concise to extremely detailed and thorough. Some are mostly philosophical or artistic musings, others are scientific and technical.
As with any other musical tradition, there are differences in ideals and interaction between different people. Therefore, there exists different schools and societies which transmit these different ideas and artistic traditions.
Because of the difference in geography in China, many qin schools known as qin pai developed over the centuries. A qin school (琴派 qin pai in Chinese is a school of Guqin players that play in a style that is different from other styles Such schools generally formed around areas where qin activity was greatest.
Some schools have come and gone, some have off-shoots (such as the off-shot of Zhucheng school, the Mei'an school). Often, the school is originated from a single person, such as the Wu school which is named after the late Wu Zhaoji. Wu Zhaoji (吳兆基 also known as Xiangquan was born in Hunan in 1908 China The style can vary considerably between schools; some are very similar, yet others are very distinct. The differences are often in interpretation of the music. Northern schools tends to be more vigorous in technique than Southern schools. But in modern terms, the distinction between schools and styles is often blurred because a single player may learn from many different players from different schools and absorb each of their styles. This is especially so for conservatory trained players. People from the same school trained under the same master may have different individual styles (such as Zhang Ziqian and Liu Shaochun of the Guangling school).
It should be noted that there is a difference between qin schools and qin societies. This is a list of currently existing qin societies, of which some are Learned societies. The former concerns itself with transmission of a style, the latter concerns itself with performance. The qin society will encourage meetings with fellow qin players in order to play music and maybe discuss the nature of the qin. Gatherings like this are called yajis, or "elegant gatherings", which take place once every month or two. A yaji ( 雅[[wiktionary 集|集]] is a special term meaning "elegant gathering" Sometimes, societies may go on excursions to places of natural beauty to play qin, or attend conferences. They may also participate in competitions or research. Competition is a rivalry between individuals groups nations or animals for territory or resources Research is defined as Human activity based on Intellectual application in the investigation of Matter. Of course, societies do not have to have a strict structure to adhere to; it could mostly be on a leisurely basis. The main purpose of qin societies is to promote and play qin music. It is often a good opportunity to network and learn to play the instrument, to ask questions and to receive answers. A social network is a Social structure made of nodes (which are generally individuals or organizations that are tied by one or more specific types of interdependency such as
Many artists down through the ages have played the instrument, and the instrument was a favourite of scholars. Certain melodies are also associated with famous figures, such as Confucius and Qu Yuan. Some emperors of China also had a liking to the qin, including the Song dynasty emperor, Huizong, as clearly seen in his own painting of himself playing the qin in "Ting Qin Tu" . The Song Dynasty ( Wade-Giles: Sung Ch'ao was a ruling dynasty in China between 960&ndash1279 CE it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms 
The classical collections such as Qin Shi, Qinshi Bu and Qinshi Xu include biographies of hundreds more players. A biography (from the Greek words bíos (βίος meaning "life" and gráphein (γράφειν meaning "to write" is an account 
Contemporary qin players extend from the early twentieth century to the present. This is a list of contemporary players of the Guqin of the 20th and 21st centuries More so than in the past, such players tend to have many different pursuits and occupations other than qin playing. The term profession is applied to those persons who have specialized and technical skill or knowledge which they apply for a fee to certain tasks that ordinary and unqualified people cannot There are only a few players who are paid to exclusively play and research the guqin professionally and nothing else. Qin players can also be well-versed in other cultural pursuits, such as the arts. Or they can do independent research on music subjects. Often, players may play other instruments (not necessary Chinese) and give recitals or talks.
In the performance and playing of the qin, the player will use a variety of techniques to use the full potential of the instrument. They would read the specialist and unique tablature that was developed over the centuries and amass a repertoire of popular and ancient tunes for the qin.
The music of the qin can be categorised as three distinctively different "sounds. The playing techniques of the Guqin Chinese zither is sometimes called fingerings. " The first is san yin 〔散音〕, which means "scattered sounds. " This is produced by plucking the required string to sound an open note . The second is fan yin 〔泛音〕, or "floating sounds. " These are harmonics, in which the player lightly touches the string with one or more fingers of the left hand at a position indicated by the hui dots, pluck and lift, creating a crisp and clear sound . In Acoustics and Telecommunication, the harmonic of a Wave is a component Frequency of the signal that is an Integer The third is an yin 〔按音 / 案音 / 實音 / 走音〕, or "stopped sounds. " This forms the bulk of most qin pieces and requires the player to press on a string with a finger or thumb of the left hand until it connects with the surface board, then pluck. Afterwards, the musician's hand often slides up and down, thereby modifying the pitch. This technique is similar to that of playing a slide guitar across the player's lap, however, the technique of the qin is very varied and utilises the whole hand, whilst a slide guitar only has around 3 or 4 main techniques . Slide guitar or bottleneck guitar is a particular method or technique for playing the Guitar.
According to the book, Cunjian Guqin Zhifa Puzi Jilan, there are around 1,070 different finger techniques used for the qin, with or without names. It is therefore, the instrument with the most finger techniques in either Chinese or Western music.  Most are obsolete, but around 50 or so are sufficient to know in modern practice.
Written qin music did not directly tell what notes were played; instead, it was written in a tablature detailing tuning, finger positions, and stroke technique, thus comprising a step by step method and description of how to play a piece. The Notation of the Guqin is a unique form of Tablature for the Chinese Musical instrument, with a history of over 1500 years still in use Qinpu 「琴譜」 are tablature score collections for the Chinese musical instrument the Guqin. Tablature (or Tabulature) is a form of Musical notation, which tells players where to place their fingers on a particular instrument Some tablatures do indicate notes using the gongche system, or indicate rhythm using dots. Gongche notation or gongchepu is a traditional Musical notation method once popular in ancient China. Rhythm (from Greek ῥυθμός - rhythmos, "any measured flow or movement symmetry" is the variation of the length and accentuation of The earliest example of the modern shorthand tablature survives from around the twelfth century CE. An earlier form of music notation from the Tang era survives in just one manuscript, dated to the seventh century CE, called Jieshi Diao Youlan  (Solitary Orchid in Stone Tablet Mode). Jieshi Diao Youlan (碣石調幽蘭 means "Solitary Orchid in the Stone Tablet Mode" or just "Solitary Orchid" ("Secluded Orchid" or "Elegant Orchid" It is written in a longhand form called wenzi pu 〔文字譜〕 (literally "written notation"), said to have been created by Yong Menzhou  during the Warring States Period, which gives all the details using ordinary written Chinese characters. For the indie rock band see Cursive (band. Cursive is any style of handwriting that is designed for writing down notes and The Warring States Period ( also known as the Era of Warring States covers the period from some time in the 5th century BC to the unification of China by the A Chinese character, also known as a Han character ( is a Logogram used in writing Chinese (hanzi Japanese ( Later in the Tang dynasty Cao Rou  and others simplified the notation, using only the important elements of the characters (like string number, plucking technique, hui number and which finger to stop the string) and combined them into one character notation. The Tang Dynasty ( Middle Chinese: dhɑng (June 18 618&ndashJune 4 907 was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by This meant that instead of having two lines of written text to describe a few notes, a single character could represent one note, or sometimes as many as nine. In Music, the term note has two primary meanings 1 a sign used in Musical notation to represent the relative duration and pitch of a Sound; This notation form was called jianzi pu 〔減字譜〕 (literally "reduced notation") and it was a great leap forward for recording qin pieces. It was so successful that from the Ming dynasty onwards, a great many qinpu 〔琴譜〕 (qin tablature collections) appeared, the most famous and useful being "Shenqi Mipu" (The Mysterious and Marvellous Tablature) compiled by Zhu Quan, the 17th son of the founder of the Ming dynasty. The Ming Dynasty ( or Empire of the Great Ming ( was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol -led Zhu Quan (朱权 / 朱權 The Prince of Ning (宁王 (1378 &ndash 1448 was the 17th son of Ming Emperor Hongwu Zhu Yuanzhang; a military commander historian  In the 1960s, Zha Fuxi discovered more than 130 qinpu that contain well over 3360 pieces of written music. Sadly, many qinpu compiled before the Ming dynasty are now lost, and many pieces have remained unplayed for hundreds of years. 
Qin pieces are usually around three to eight minutes in length, with the longest being "Guangling San" , which is 22 minutes long. Other famous pieces include "Liu Shui"  (Flowing Water), "Yangguan San Die"  (Three Refrains on the Yang Pass Theme), "Meihua San Nong"  (Three Variations on the Plum Blossom Theme), "Xiao Xiang Shui Yun"  (Mist and Clouds over the Xiao and Xiang Rivers), and "Pingsha Luo Yan"  (Wild Geese Descending on the Sandbank). The average player will generally have a repertoire of around ten pieces which they will aim to play very well, learning new pieces as and when they feel like it or if the opportunity arises. Players mainly learn popular well transcribed versions, often using a recording as a reference. In addition to learning to play established or ancient pieces very well, highly skilled qin players may also compose or improvise, although the player must be very good and extremely familiar with the instrument to pull off successfully. Musical composition is an original piece of Music the structure of a musical piece the process of creating a new Improvisation (also called extemporization) is the practice of acting singing talking and reacting of making and creating in the moment and in response to the stimulus of A number of qin melodies are program music depicting the natural world. Programme music is a form of Art music intended to evoke extra-musical ideas images in the mind of the listener by musically representing a scene image or mood
Dapu 〔打譜〕 is the transcribing of old tablature into a playable form. This article is about music For other uses see Transcription disambiguation page In Music, transcription is the act of notating Since qin tablature does not indicate note value, tempo or rhythm, the player must work it out for him/herself. In Music notation, a note value indicates the relative Duration of a note, using the color or shape of the Note head, the presence 2266-Tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl or TEMPO is the Chemical compound with the formula (CH23(CMe22NO Rhythm (from Greek ῥυθμός - rhythmos, "any measured flow or movement symmetry" is the variation of the length and accentuation of Normally, qin players will learn the rhythm of a piece through a teacher or master. They sit facing one another, with the student copying the master. The tablature will only be consulted if the teacher is not sure of how to play a certain part. Because of this, traditional qinpu do not indicate them (though near the end of the Qing dynasty, a handful of qinpu had started to employ various rhythm indicating devices, such as dots). If one did not have a teacher, then one had to work out the rhythm by themselves. But it would be a mistake to assume that qin music is devoid of rhythm and melody. By the 20th century, there had been attempts to try to replace the "jianzi pu" notation, but so far, it has been unsuccessful; since the 20th century, qin music is generally printed with staff notation above the qin tablature. In standard Western Musical notation, the staff ( AmE) or stave Because qin tablature is so useful, logical, easy, and the fastest way (once the performer knows how to read the notation) of learning a piece, it is invaluable to the qin player and cannot totally be replaced (just as staff notation cannot be replaced for Western instruments, because they developed a notation system that suited the instruments well).
There is a saying that goes "a short piece requires three months [of dapu to complete], and a long piece requires three years". In actual practice, it needn't be that long to dapu a piece, but suggests that the player will have not only memorised the piece off by heart, but also have their fingering, rhythm and timing corrected. And afterwards, the emotion must be put into the piece. Therefore, it could be said that it really does require three months or years to finish dapu of a piece in order for them to play it to a very high standard.
It has already been discussed that qin music has a rhythm, and that it is only vaguely indicated in the tablature.  Though there is an amount of guesswork involved, the tablature has clues to indicate rhythm, such as repeating motifs, indication of phrases or how the notation is arranged. Throughout the history of the qinpu, we see many attempts to indicate this rhythm more explicitly, involving devices like dots to make beats. Probably, one of the major projects to regulate the rhythm to a large scale was the compilers of the Qinxue Congshu tablature collection of 1910s to 1930s. The construction of the written tablature was divided into two columns. The first was further divided into about three lines of a grid, each line indicating a varied combination of lyrics, gongche tablature, se tablature, pitch, and/or beats depending on the score used. The second column was devoted to qin tablature.
Western composers have noticed that the rhythm in a piece of qin music can change; once they seem to have got a beat, the beats change. This is due to the fact that qin players may use some free rhythm in their playing. Whatever beat they use will depend on the emotion or the feeling of the player, and how he interprets the piece. However, some melodies have sections of fixed rhythm which is played the same way generally. The main theme of Meihua Sannong, for example, uses this. Some sections of certain melodies require the player to play faster with force to express the emotion of the piece. Examples include the middle sections of Guangling San and Xiaoxiang Shuiyun. Other pieces, such as Jiu Kuang has a fixed rhythm throughout the entire piece.
Generally, qin melodies sound better with a rhythm and the composers had that in mind when creating pieces.
Whilst the qin followed a certain grammar of acoustic in its construction, its external form could and did take on a huge amount of variation, whether it be from the embellishments or even the basic structure of the instrument. Acoustic music refers to music that solely or primarily uses instruments which produce sound through entirely acoustic means as opposed to Electronic means Qin tablatures from the Song era onwards have catalogued a plethora of qin forms. The Song Dynasty ( Wade-Giles: Sung Ch'ao was a ruling dynasty in China between 960&ndash1279 CE it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms All, however, obey very basic rules of acoustics and symbolism of form. "Symbolic" redirects here For other uses see Symbolism (disambiguation and Symbolic (disambiguation. The qin uses strings of silk or metal-nylon and is tuned in accordance to traditional principles. Silk is a natural Protein Fiber, some forms of which can be woven into Textiles The best-known type of silk is obtained from cocoons The M acro E xpansion T emplate A ttribute L anguage complements TAL, providing macros which allow the reuse of code across Overview Nylon is a Thermoplastic silky material first used commercially in a nylon- Bristled Toothbrush (1938 followed more famously by
According to tradition, the qin originally had five strings, representing the five elements of metal, wood, water, fire and earth. The construction of the Guqin Chinese zither is a complex process like any other musical instrument Later, in the Zhou dynasty, Zhou Wen Wang added a sixth string to mourn his son, Bo Yihou. King Wen ( (1099–1050 BC was the founder of the Zhou Dynasty. His successor, Zhou Wu Wang, added a seventh string to motivate his troops into battle with the Shang. King Wu of Zhou ( or King Wu of Chou was the first sovereign or ruler of the Chinese Zhou Dynasty. The thirteen hui  on the surface represent the 13 months of the year (the extra 13th is the 'leap month' in the lunar calendar). A lunar calendar is a Calendar that is based on cycles of the Moon phase. The surface board is round to represent Heaven and the bottom board flat to represent earth. The entire length of the qin (in Chinese measurements) is 3 chi, 6 cun and 5 fen ; representing the 365 days of the year (though this is just a standard since qins can be shorter or longer depending on the period's measurement standard or the maker's preference). Chinese units of measurement ( are the customary and traditional units of measure used in the People's Republic of China. Each part of the qin has meaning, some more obvious, like "dragon pool"  and "phoenix pond" .
Until the Cultural Revolution, the guqin's strings were always made of various thicknesses of twisted silk, but since then most players use modern nylon-flatwound steel strings. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in the People’s Republic of China was a struggle for power within the Communist Party of China that manifested into Silk is a natural Protein Fiber, some forms of which can be woven into Textiles The best-known type of silk is obtained from cocoons Steel is an Alloy consisting mostly of Iron, with a Carbon content between 0 This was partly due to the scarcity of high quality silk strings and partly due to the newer strings' greater durability and louder tone.
Silk strings are made by gathering a prescribed number of strands of silk thread, then twisting them tightly together. The twisted cord of strings is then wrapped around a frame and immersed in a vat of liquid composed of a special mixture of natural glue that binds the strands together. Glue or adhesive is a compound that adheres or bonds two items together The strings is taken out and left to dry, before being cut into the appropriate length. The top thicker strings (i. e. strings one to four) are further wrapped in a thin silk thread, coiled around the core to make it smoother. According to ancient manuals, there are three distinctive gauges of thickness that one can make the strings. The first is taigu  [Great Antiquity] which is the standard gauge, the zhongqing  [Middle Clarity] is thinner, whilst the jiazhong  [Added Thickness] is thicker. According to the Yugu Zhai Qinpu, zhongqing is the best.
Although most contemporary players use nylon-wrapped metal strings, some argue that nylon-wrapped metal strings cannot replace silk strings for their refinement of tone. Further, it is the case that nylon-wrapped metal strings can cause damage to the wood of old qins. Many traditionalists feel that the sound of the fingers of the left hand sliding on the strings to be a distinctive feature of qin music. The modern nylon-wrapped metal strings were very smooth in the past, but are now slightly modified in order to capture these sliding sounds.
Traditionally, the strings were wrapped around the goose feet , but there has been a device that has been invented, which is a block of wood attached to the goose feet, with pins similar to those used to tune the guzheng protruding out at the sides, so one can string and tune the qin using a tuning wrench. The guzheng, also spelled gu zheng or gu-zheng ( or zheng (箏 ( gu-, 古 means "ancient" A wrench or spanner is a Tool used to provide a Mechanical advantage in applying Torque to turn bolts, nuts or This is good for those who lack the physical strength to pull and add tension to the strings when wrapping the ends to the goose feet. However, the tuning device looks rather unsightly and thus many qin players prefer the traditional manner of tuning; many also feel that the strings should be firmly wrapped to the goose feet in order that the sound may be "grounded" into the qin.
To string a qin, one traditionally had to tie a butterfly knot (shengtou jie ) at one end of the string, and slip the string through the twisted cord (rongkou ) which goes into holes at the head of the qin and then out the bottom through the tuning pegs (zhen ). There are many different tunings for the Guqin. Traditional tuning theory To string a qin one traditionally had to tie a butterfly knot ( shengtou jie A tuning peg is used to hold a string in the Pegbox of a stringed instrument. The string is dragged over the bridge (yueshan 『岳山』), across the surface board, over the nut (longyin  dragon gums) to the back of the qin, where the end is wrapped around one of two legs (fengzu  "phoenix feet" or yanzu  "geese feet"). Afterwards, the strings are fine tuned using the tuning pegs (sometimes, rosin is used on the part of the tuning peg that touches the qin body to stop it from slipping, especially if the qin is tuned to higher pitches). Rosin, formerly called colophony or Greek pitch ( Pix græca) is a solid form of Resin obtained from Pines and some other Plants The most common tuning, "zheng diao" 〈正調〉, is pentatonic: 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 (which can be also played as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2) in the traditional Chinese number system or jianpu  (i. A pentatonic scale is a musical scale with five pitches per Octave in contrast to an heptatonic (seven note scale such as the Major scale The numbered musical notation, better known as jianpu ( in Chinese, is a Musical notation system widely used among the Chinese people e. 1=do, 2=re, etc). Today this is generally interpreted to mean C D F G A c d, but this should be considered sol la do re mi sol la, since historically the qin was not tuned to absolute pitch. Other tunings are achieved by adjusting the tension of the strings using the tuning pegs at the head end. Thus manjiao diao  ("slackened third string") gives 1 2 3 5 6 1 2 and ruibin diao  ("raised fifth string") gives 1 2 4 5 7 1 2, which is transposed to 2 3 5 6 1 2 3.
The guqin is nearly always used a solo instrument, as its quietness of tone means that it cannot compete with the sounds of most other instruments or an ensemble. In Music, a solo (from the Italian solo, meaning alone) is a piece or a section of a piece played or sung by a single performer A musical ensemble is a group of two or more Musicians who perform instrumental or vocal Music. It can, however, be played together with a xiao (end-blown bamboo flute), with other qin, or played while singing. The xiao ( is a Chinese vertical End-blown flute. It is generally made of dark brown Bamboo (called "purple bamboo" in Chinese In old times, the se (a long zither with movable bridges and 25 strings, similar to the Japanese koto) was frequently used in duets with the qin. The se ( is an ancient Chinese plucked Zither ( String instrument) The koto ( 琴 or 箏) is a traditional Japanese stringed Musical instrument derived from the Chinese Zither ( Guzheng Sadly, the se has not survived into this century, though duet tablature scores for the instruments are preserved in a few qinpu, and the master qin player Wu Jinglüe was one of only a few in the twentieth century who knew how to play it together with qin in duet. Lately there has been a trend to use other instruments to accompany the qin, such as the xun (ceramic ocarina), pipa (four-stringed pear-shaped lute), dizi (transverse bamboo flute), and others for more experimental purposes. The xun (simplified 埙; traditional 塤; Pinyin: xūn is a Chinese vessel flute made of Clay or Ceramic The pipa ( is a plucked Chinese String instrument. Sometimes called the Chinese Lute, the instrument has a pear-shaped wooden body The dizi ( is a Chinese Transverse flute. It is also sometimes known as the di ( 笛) or hengdi ( 橫[[wiktionary
In order for an instrument to accompany the qin, its sound must be mellow and not overwhelm the qin. Thus, the xiao generally used for this purpose is one pitched in the key of F, known as qin xiao 「琴簫」, which is narrower than an ordinary xiao. In Music theory, the term key is used in many different and sometimes contradictory ways If one sings to qin songs (which is rare nowadays) then one should not sing in an operatic or folk style as is common in China, but rather in a very low pitched and deep way; and the range in which one should sing should not exceed one and a half octaves. Opera is an art form in which Singers and Musicians perform a Dramatic work (called an opera which combines a text (called a Libretto Folk music can have a number of different meanings including Traditional music: The original meaning of the term "folk music" was synonymous The style of singing is similar to that used to recite Tang poetry. Shi ( is the Chinese word for " Poetry " or "poem" To enjoy qin songs, one must learn to become accustomed to the eccentric style some players may sing their songs to, like in the case of Zha Fuxi.
Traditionally, the qin was played in a quiet studio or room by oneself, or with a few friends; or played outdoors in places of outstanding natural beauty. A studio is a Artist 's or worker's workroom or an artist and his or her Employees who work within that studio A room, in Architecture, is any distinguishable space within a structure Nowadays, many qin players perform at concerts in large concert halls, almost always, out of necessity, using electronic pickups or microphones to amplify the sound. A concert is a live Performance, usually of Music, before an Audience. Many qin players attend yajis, at which a number of qin players, music lovers, or anyone with an interest in Chinese culture can come along to discuss and play the qin. A yaji ( 雅[[wiktionary 集|集]] is a special term meaning "elegant gathering" The Culture of China (traditional Chinese 中國文化 simplified Chinese 中国文化 is home to one of the world's oldest and most complex Civilizations covering a history In fact, the yaji originated as a multi-media gathering involving the four arts: qin, chess, calligraphy, and painting. Multimedia is media and content that utilizes a combination of different content forms. The Four Arts of the Chinese Scholar, otherwise known as siyi ( 四[[wiktionary 艺|艺]] is a term used to describe four main requirements of the Chinese The art of Calligraphy is widely practiced and revered in the East Asian Civilizations that use or used Chinese characters. Chinese painting is one of the oldest continuous artistic traditions in the world
Being an instrument associated with scholars, the guqin was also played in a ritual context, especially in yayue in China, and aak in Korea. Yayue ( Chinese: 雅樂, literally "elegant music" is a form of Chinese classical music that was performed at imperial For other meanings see AAK. Aak (pronounced A'ak is a genre of Korean court music. The National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts continues to perform Munmyo jeryeak (Confucian ritual music), using the last two surviving aak melodies from the importation of yayue from the Song Dynasty emperor Huizong in 1116, including in the ensemble the seul (se) and geum (guqin). The National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts ( NCKTPA) located in Seoul, South Korea, is the primary institution of learning for Korean traditional Munmyo (also called Seonggyungwan Munmyo) is Korea 's primary Confucian shrine The Song Dynasty ( Wade-Giles: Sung Ch'ao was a ruling dynasty in China between 960&ndash1279 CE it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Emperor Huizong ( November 2, 1082 – June 4, 1135) was the eighth and one of the most famous emperors of the Song Dynasty of In China, the qin was still in use in ritual ceremonies of the imperial court, such can be seen in the court paintings of imperial sacrifices of the Qing court (e. g. The Yongzheng Emperor Offering Sacrifices at the Altar of the God of Agriculture , 1723–35).  The guqin was also used in the ritual music of Vietnam, where it was called cầm.
When the qin is played, a number of aesthetic elements are involved. When the Guqin is played a number of Aesthetic elements are involved Aesthetics or esthetics ( also spelled æsthetics) is commonly known as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values sometimes called The first is musicality. Musicality refers to fitting a Dance to the Music being played with the goal of relating the dance to the music's Rhythm, Melody, and mood In the second section of "Pingsha Luoyan", for example, the initial few bars contain a nao vibrato followed by a phase of sliding up and down the string, even when the sound has already become inaudible . Vibrato is a musical effect produced in singing and on musical instruments by a regular pulsating change of pitch, and is used to add expression and vocal-like qualities to The average person trained in music may question whether this is really "music". Music is an Art form in which the medium is Sound organized in Time. Normally, some players would pluck the string very lightly to create a very quiet sound. For some players, this plucking isn't necessary. Instead of trying to force a sound out of the string one should allow the natural sounds emit from the strings. Some players say that the sliding on the string even when the sound has disappeared is a distinctive feature in qin music. It creates a "space" or "void" in a piece, playing without playing, sound without sound. In fact, when the viewer looks at the player sliding on the string without sounds, the viewer automatically "fills in the notes" with their minds. This creates a connection between player, instrument and listener. This, of course, cannot happen when listening to a recording, as one cannot see the performer. It can also be seen as impractical in recording, as the player would want to convey sound as much as possible towards a third audience. But in fact, there is sound, the sound coming from the fingers sliding on the string. With a really good qin, silk strings, and a perfectly quiet environment, all the tones can be sounded. And since the music is more player oriented than listener oriented, and the player knows the music, he/she can hear it even if the sound is not there. And with silk strings the sliding sound might be called the qi or "life force" of the music. In traditional Chinese culture, qi (zh [[wikt氣 氣]] Pinyin qì, Wade-Giles ch'i Jyutping The really empty sounds are the pauses between notes. However, if one cannot create a sound that can be heard when sliding on a string, it is generally acceptable to lightly pluck the string to create a very quiet sound. 
Being a symbol of high culture, the qin has inevitably been used as a prop in much of Chinese popular culture to varying degrees of accuracy. One can find references to the qin in a variety of media, most notably television serials and film. Television ( TV) is a widely used Telecommunication medium for sending ( Broadcasting) and receiving moving Images, either monochromatic Mostly, the actors may not know how to play the instrument and mime it to a recorded piece by a qin player who may have recorded it specifically for the project. An actor, actress, player or thespian (see terminology) is a person who Acts in a Dramatic production and who works At other times, the music that is mimed to is guzheng music, rather than qin music. The guzheng, also spelled gu zheng or gu-zheng ( or zheng (箏 ( gu-, 古 means "ancient" We also see the rather stereo-typical hybrids of qin and zheng pseudo-instruments of Kung Fu Hustle, to the more faithful and loving representation of the qin in the Zhang Yimou film Hero. Zhang Yimou (born November 14 1951 is an internationally acclaimed Chinese Filmmaker and former Cinematographer. Hero ( is a 2002 Chinese Martial arts film, directed by Zhang Yimou with music by Tan Dun. In the latter case, Xu Kuanghua plays an ancient version of the qin in the courtyard scene in which Nameless and Long Sky play the game of go. He in fact mimes it to the music composed which is actually played by Liu Li, formerly a professor at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. The Central Conservatory of Music ( is the national leading musical institution in Beijing, China.  It is suggested that Xu made the qin himself. 
The qin is also used in many classical Chinese novels, such as Cao Xueqin's Dream of the Red Chamber and various others. Cao Xueqin ( ca 1724? —1763? is the author of Dream of the Red Chamber, believed by many to be the greatest Novel written in the Chinese Dream of the Red Chamber (also Red Chamber Dream, Hung Lou Meng or A Dream of Red Mansions) ( originally The Story of the Stone
The Japanese ichigenkin, a monochord zither, is believed to be derived from the qin. An is a Japanese single-stringed Zither. Its Silk string is plucked with a pointed tubular Plectrum placed on the index finger of the right hand while the A monochord is an ancient musical and scientific Laboratory instrument. The qin handbook Lixing Yuanya (1618 ) includes some melodies for a one-string qin, and the Wuzhi Zhai Qinpu contains a picture and description of such an instrument.  The modern ichigenkin apparently first appeared in Japan just after that time. However, the honkyoku  (standard repertoire) of the ichigenkin today most closely resembles that of the shamisen. The shamisen or samisen ( Japanese: 三[[wiktionary 味|味]] 線, literally "three flavor strings" also called sangen (literally
The Korean geomungo may also be related, albeit distantly. The geomungo (also spelled komungo or kŏmun'go) or hyeongeum (also spelled ( hyongum or Korean literati wanted to play an instrument the way their Chinese counterparts played the qin. For some reason they never took to the qin itself, instead playing the geomungo, a long fretted zither plucked with a thin stick. The repertoire was largely the geomungo parts for melodies played by the court orchestra. It should be noted that another ancient Chinese zither, the zhu, was likely plucked with a stick, so the komungo may also be related to that instrument. The zhu ( 筑; pinyin zhú was an ancient Chinese String instrument.
|Jiu Kuang 《酒狂》 "Drunken Ecstasy"|
|From the Shenqi Mipu 【神竒秘譜】 (1425). Adapted and transcribed by Charlie Huang in 4/4 rhythm.|
|Kongzi Duyi 《孔子讀易》 "Confucius Reads the Book of Changes"|
|From the Tianwen Ge Qinpu 【天聞閣琴譜】 (1876). Adapted and transmitted by Zeng Chengwei. Prof Zeng Chengwei (曾成偉 is a Chinese Musician of the Guqin, born in the Sichuan province of China.|
|Liu Shui 《流水》 "Flowing Water"|
|Shu school version from the Tianwen Ge Qinpu 【天聞閣琴譜】 (1876). Adapted and transmitted by Zeng Chengwei.|
|Pei Lan 《佩蘭》 "Admiring the Orchid"|
|From the Tianwen Ge Qinpu 【天聞閣琴譜】 (1876). Adapted and transcribed by Zeng Chengwei. Played on a qin with Taigu silk strings.|
|Pingsha Luoyan 《平沙落鴈》 "Wild Geese Descending on the Sandbank"|
|Guangling school version from the Jiao'an Qinpu 【蕉庵琴譜】 (1868). Adapted and transcribed by Charlie Huang.|
|Qiufeng Ci 《秋風詞》 "Ode of the Autumn Wind"|
|From the Mei'an Qinpu 【楳盦珡諩】 (1931). Adapted by Li Xiangting. Prof Li Xiangting is considered one of the master players of the Guqin.|
|Shenren Chang 《神人暢》 "Harmony Between Gods and Men"|
|From the Xilu Tang Qinting 【西麓堂琹統】 (1549). Adapted and transmitted by Gong Yi. Gong Yi ( 龔[[wikt 一|一]] is a Guqin master from Shanghai, presently one of the instrument's leading figures|
|Chun Feng 《春風》 "Spring Breeze"|
|1982 composition by Gong Yi and Xu Guohua.|
|Guguan Yu Shen 《孤舘遇神》 "Meeting Ghosts in an Isolated House"|
|From the Xilu Tang Qintong 【西麓堂琹統】 (1549). Adapted and transcribed by Charlie Huang.|
|Feng Qiu Huang 《鳳求凰》 "The Phoenix Seeks His Mate"|
|From the Mei'an Qinpu 【楳盦珡諩】 (1931) as preserved in the Guqin Quji 【古琴曲集】. Played on a qin with Taigu silk strings.|
|This article contains Chinese text. This is a list of contemporary players of the Guqin of the 20th and 21st centuries When the Guqin is played a number of Aesthetic elements are involved The construction of the Guqin Chinese zither is a complex process like any other musical instrument The history of the Guqin, an ancient Chinese Musical instrument, is a long one that spans 3000 years The Notation of the Guqin is a unique form of Tablature for the Chinese Musical instrument, with a history of over 1500 years still in use The playing techniques of the Guqin Chinese zither is sometimes called fingerings. A qin school (琴派 qin pai in Chinese is a school of Guqin players that play in a style that is different from other styles The strings of the Guqin Chinese zither are either made of silk or metal-nylon There are many different tunings for the Guqin. Traditional tuning theory To string a qin one traditionally had to tie a butterfly knot ( shengtou jie This is a list of literature for the Guqin. Qin literature should be distinguished from qinpu which contains music tablature of some sort This is a list of currently existing qin societies, of which some are Learned societies. Traditional Chinese musical instruments comprise a wide range of string wind and percussion instruments Qinpu 「琴譜」 are tablature score collections for the Chinese musical instrument the Guqin. The se ( is an ancient Chinese plucked Zither ( String instrument) A yaji ( 雅[[wiktionary 集|集]] is a special term meaning "elegant gathering" Yayue ( Chinese: 雅樂, literally "elegant music" is a form of Chinese classical music that was performed at imperial |
Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters. Mojibake is the happenstance of incorrect unreadable characters (garbage characters shown when Computer software fails to render a text correctly according to its associated A Chinese character, also known as a Han character ( is a Logogram used in writing Chinese (hanzi Japanese (
In the writing and research of this article, a variety of sources have been used, whether primary or secondary.
Chinese books on qin:
Journals, newsletters and periodicals:
English books on qin:
Non qin books (or books with a section on the qin):
More books are on the article's discussion page.
Qin society sites
General Qin sites
Sites dealing with qin notation and tablature
More links are on the article's discussion page.
|Aesthetics | Construction | Contemporary players | History | Literature | Notation | Playing technique | Popular culture | Qinpu | Schools|
Societies | Strings | Tuning | Yaji
|Ao Ai | Guangling San | Hujia Shiba-pai | Jieshi Diao Youlan | Liu Shui | Meihua Sannong | Pingsha Luoyan | Xiao Xiang Shuiyun | Yangguan Sandie|
|Guangling | Jiuyi | Lingnan | Mei'an | Pucheng | Shu | Yushan | Zhe | Zhucheng|
|London Youlan Qin Society | New York Qin Society | North American Guqin Association|
|Bo Ya | Cai Wenji | Cai Yong | Confucius | Guo Chuwang | Ruan Ji | Emperor Song Huizong | Xi Kang | Zhu Quan|
|Cheng Yu | Gong Yi | Guan Pinghu | Li Xiangting | Lin Youren | Wang Fei | Wu Jinglüe | Wu Zhaoji | Zeng Chengwei | Zha Fuxi | Zhang Ziqian|