Chinese musical instruments: Guzheng(zheng instrument)

Chinese musical instruments: Guzheng
Chinese musical instruments: Guzheng

Continuing the theme of traditional Chinese musical instruments, let’s talk about Guzheng. The Guzheng instrument (Chin. 古筝) is a stringed plucked instrument that has been sounding in China for over two thousand years. To this day, it remains one of the most popular traditional instruments.

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Just like guqin, guzheng belongs to the zither family. Unlike its relative qixianqin, it has a larger number of strings and a different holder for them. On modern Guzhen, there are usually 21 strings, although at the dawn of its existence this instrument had 25 strings, later – 13, then the number increased to the present.

Chinese musical instruments: Guzheng 2
Chinese musical instruments: Guzheng 2

By itself, Chinese Guzheng has become popular since the Chunqiu era. Then this instrument was the basis for the performance of dance music.

According to the classification of instruments by the type of sound (or rather, the material that produced the sound), Guzheng refers to a silk instrument. However, today it is not silk, but metal strings that are more popular.

Chinese musical instruments: Guzheng 3
Chinese musical instruments: Guzheng 3

Visually, the Chinese instrument Guzheng is semicircular, although in ancient China it was rectangular, with special sills. These saddles are the hallmark of traditional Guzheng, as moving them can change the pitch of the instrument.

Chinese musical instruments: Guzheng 4
Chinese musical instruments: Guzheng 4

Playing Chinese traditional musical instruments requires skill and Guzheng is no exception. To play music on it, the Guzhen is placed either on their knees or on the table, holding the strings with their left hand, and the sound is produced by plucking with the right. Sometimes musicians use special picks for sound production.

Guzheng melodies are characterized by rich sound and pleasant timbre. In the video attached below you can listen to how the music sounds in Traditional Chinese Guzheng.

Chinese musical instruments: Guzheng 5
Chinese musical instruments: Guzheng 5
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