Qinqin - Plucked String Instrument - Instrument 32 Chinese Musical Instruments - Instrument 32
Qinqin - Plucked String Instrument

The qinqin is a plucked Chinese lute. It was originally manufactured with a wooden body, a slender fretted neck, and three strings Its body can be round, hexagonal (with rounded sides), or octagonal. Often, only two strings were used, as in certain regional silk-and-bamboo ensembles.

There are two varieties of qinqins in modern China: the "traditional" version, characterized having "tall" Chinese style frets, and the "modern" version, which uses fret wire instead. The modern version also closely resembles a banjo in that its body shape is usually round and includes a drum head made most often of sheep skin or python skin. The modern version also usually comes with three strings.

For Westerners, the unusual fret spacing and the corresponding notes used in the scale sound "off" or "bad" because they generally do not correspond to the notes of the 12-tone equal temperament system used on Western instruments like the guitar and the banjo. Many of the notes appear to be off (either sharp or flat) by about a quarter tone (half a semitone).

Qinqin - Plucked String Instrument
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