Chinese Musical Instruments - Instrument 6
Pipa - Plucked String Instrument
This instrument resembles the Spanish guitar in some ways, with long fingernails being cultivated to pluck the strings. The Pipa has a history of over 2,000 years spanned from the Han Dynasty to the Tang Dynasty. The most common pipa has a body with a short neck and a wooden belly. There are 19 to 26 bamboo frets called Xiang on the neck. The Xiang are either made of wood, jade, or elephant tusks. A pipa traditionally had 4 silk strings mostly with common tunes of A, D, E, and A. With the pipa held vertically in the lap, the player plays it using imitation fingers. This allows more freedom for the player to perform various techniques on the four strings. The range of techniques that can be used are the widest among all of the Chinese plucked-strings, making it the most expressive instrument in the plucked-string section. Some of the techniques include: fretted pitch-bends, tremolos, various double and triple, and a continuous strumming of the strings with four fingers. We bought ours in Zhengzhou in 1999. They come in different sizes. Ours is a smaller one.
|Pipa - Plucked String Instrument|
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