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Arts
Traditional Chinese Instruments

Traditional Chinese Instruments

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The classic Chinese Orchestra has four sections: the bowed strings, the plucked strings, the winds, and the percussion.

BOWED STRING INSTRUMENTS

Erhu
The Erhu has a small body and a long neck. There are two strings, with the bow inserted between them. With a range of around three octaves, it"s sound is rather like the violin, but with a thinner tone due to the smaller resonating chamber. In the orchestra they are usually divided into 1st and 2nd parts.

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Banhu
This instrument is a variety of the huqin. This is so because it uses a wooden sounding board in the sound box. Also known as the bonghu (clapper huqin) because it was heard in the Bangzi or "clapper operas" of the 17th century.

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Gaohu and Zhonghu
These are common doubles for Erhu players. The Gaohu is higher-pitched, while the Zhonghu is the alto version. The Zhonghu has a beautiful tone, similar to the cello.

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Gehu
This is a mixture of the cello and the hu, using four strings, and similar playing technique. As the instrument uses a banjo-like membrane as the sounding board, the resulting sound is unlike the cello, however.


Bass Gehu
Very similar in technique and usage as the double bass, with a different sound due to the variance in construction.

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