5 Most Popular Chinese Instruments

Music in Ancient Chinese society

Music was always a part of chinese culture. It was used in many things such as dance, ceremonies, banquets, rituals, entertainment, and more. Music along with other things was molded into ancient society. Today, many people still play these instruments and dedicate their lives to study them.

1. Pipa 琵琶

5 Most Popular Chinese Instruments

5 Most Popular Chinese Instruments

The pipa (琵琶) is one of the most played Chinese instruments today. It is commonly described as a four stringed plucked lute shaped like a pear and played vertically. It is named by how it is played; pi (琵) meaning played forward, and pa (琶) meaning played backward. A lute that looked like the pipa was seen in the Indian Kusana scriptures in the first century ad. That is why it is likely that the pipa may have been introduced to China from India or Central Asia. The pipa has more than 2000 years of history in China.

Because of its beauty, the pipa is used in many wuxia dramas and hanfu photo shoots. One of the historical four beauties of China is always drawn with a pipa.

5 Most Popular Chinese Instruments

The pipa became known in China by the second century ad.
Pipa is usually made of rosewood or paulownia wood.

2. Guqin 古琴

5 Most Popular Chinese Instruments

5 Most Popular Chinese Instruments

The guqin (古琴) is considered to be one of the most ancient and Classical Chinese instruments in Chinese history. The guqin is a seven stringed zither like instrument. Many people often name it the Chinese zither. The guqin has over 3000 years of history. It is commonly played on a table and is portable.

This instrument was invented around the Zhou dynasty in 1046 BC. Guqin like the pipa, has an unspoken beauty in sound and physical beauty so, it is also played and used in hanfu photo shoots. When one sees the guqin, they get a very calm feeling. It is sometimes referred to as the father of Chinese music.
Chinese people also believe that a tribe leader in the mythological period named Fuxi, invented the guqin. In ancient times, the guqin was just named qin. Gu meaning ancient was added for clarification.

Guqin is typically made of 桐 or Chinese paulownia. It's strings can be made of silk, nylon, or metal.

3. Xiao 箫

5 Most Popular Chinese Instruments
The Xiao (箫) is the ancient Chinese flute. It is one of the oldest instruments from China but is relatively played less and is less popular than the guqin and pipa. The xiao flute is commonly made of bamboo. Another very similar Chinese flute instrument is the dizi. Their only difference is that the xiao is pitched lower than the dizi.

The xiao flute first emerged in the Han dynasty and was possibly imported from the Qiang people from present day north western China.

4. Guzheng 古筝

5 Most Popular Chinese Instruments

5 Most Popular Chinese Instruments

Guzheng (古筝) is the modern version of guqin but is played more nowadays. Videos of people playing guzheng in public have become popular.
The oldest guzheng model had 13 strings and was possibly from the warring states period (475-221 BC).

The guzheng emerged and thrived in the qin dynasty.

Some classical songs include The butterfly lovers (梁山伯与祝英台), Jasmine (茉莉花), Fisherman's song at dusk, and others.






Creative License: The article is the author original, udner (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) Copyright License. Share & Quote this post or content, please Add Link to this Post URL in your page. Respect the original work is the best support for the creator, thank you!
3 Comment(s) A文章作者 M管理员
  1. LiangYuZuan

    Has anyone tried playing all the videos about the same time? It sounds like an orchestra together. 😍😊😎

    • Marie

      The symphony of traditional instruments😂

  2. Stephanie

    nice video series