Banhu - Chinese Traditional Musical Instruments
4. Banhu - (ban: flat board; hu: barbarian fiddle)
This instrument is a variety of the huqin. It 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. It appears during the Qing Dynasty.
The name Banhu comes from the wooden soundboard covering the half globular resonating chamber. Of its many other names the most prominent may be Banghu, referring to its historical use in the northern Bangzi opera in the mid-seventeenth century. From then on it came to accompany many other regional operas and popular narratives, spreading over northern China.
The two strings are generally tuned a fifth, or a fourth apart. Strident and bright in tone quality the Banhu is used as a solo instrument and as a group within the bowed strings in the modern Chinese orchestra.On to Instrument 5 Back to Chinese Musical Instruments Page 1