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ErHu-The Chinese Violin
Erhu - The history
Erhu, the two-string bowed fiddle, is probably one of the best known and most popular representative Chinese musical instruments in the world today.
The Erhu is believe to be first appears and become popular in China about A.D. 960-1279 during the Song Dynasty. It was historically known as huqin, which indicating its northern association where Hu was a derogatory word for northern ethnic tribes. The term huqin was first mentioned in the Song dynasty.
It is not known that when and how the term erhu appeared. It most possibly originated in the early twentieth century when Liu Tianhua (1895 - 1932) made an exceptional contribution to the improvement of the erhu, and composed 10 erhu solo pieces. His effort left a significant impact on modern Chinese music history, and especially on erhu. In the twentieth century, equated to violin, erhu became a primary instrument for solo, and the leading instrument in both small regional ensembles and the modern Chinese instrumental orchestra.
This two-stringed instrument is played with the bow between the strings in a push-pull manner. The bow is which is made from reed and horsehair. The sound box which usually in hexagonal shape is covered by a python skin which gives the instrument its distinctive tone of color.
The Structure of Erhu
Erhu is somehow normally made from heavy hardwoods like red sandalwood. Red sandalwood is the most chosen woods. Other woods used to made Erhu include aged red wood, black wood and red wood.
Erhu's structure is very simple, it consists of a long vertical stick, with two large tuning pegs on top, and at the bottom is a small sound box or resonator body which is covered with python skin. Two strings are attached from the pegs to the base, and a small loop of string placed around the neck and acts as a nut pulls the strings towards the skin and holding a small wooden bridge on top of the python skin.
The bow normally made of bamboo and horsehair where the horsehair is securely placed between the two string unlike violin where the bow can be separated. The sound are produced from the friction between the horsehair and the string.
The Parts of Erhu
Erhu consists of 14 parts and all have their unique name
- (QÃn tou): head, top or tip of neck, usually a simple curve with a piece of bone or plastic on top, but is sometimes elaborately carved with a dragon's head.
- (QÃn gan): neck.
- (QÃn zhou): tuning pegs, traditional wooden, or metal machine gear pegs.
- (Qian jin): nut, made from string, or, less commonly, a metal hook.
- (NÃ¨i xiÃ¡n): inside or inner string, usually tuned to D4, nearest to player.
- (Wai xiÃ¡n): outside or outer string, usually tuned to A4.
- (QÃn tong): sound box or resonator body; it is hexagonal (liu jiao, southern), octagonal (ba jiao, northern), or, less commonly, round.
- (QÃn pÃ / She pÃ): skin, made from python. The python skin gives the erhu its characteristic sound.
- (QÃn ma): bridge, made from wood.
- (QÃn diÃ n): pad, a piece of sponge, felt, or cloth placed between the strings and skin below the bridge to improve its sound.
- (QÃn tuo): base, a piece of wood attached to the bottom of the qÃn tong to provide a smooth surface on which to rest on the leg.
- (Gong): bow, has screw device to vary bow hair tension.
- (Gong gan):bow stick, made from bamboo.
- (Gong mÃ¡o): bow hair, usually white horsehair.
How Erhu is played
Moon Reflection In The Er Quan
This music is also call Moon reflected on Second Spring and is composed by the famous blind talented street musician A-Bing.
Kiriko Sings "Studio Ghibli Films Music" With An Erhu. "Hare-Tane"
This album: Kiriko Sings "Studio Ghibli Films Music" With An Erhu. "Hare-Tane" is performed by the Japanese artist NAKANISHI KIRIKO
Studio Ghibli is the Japan famous animation films maker.
Erhu Solo - By Wei Xiao Dong
This is the Erhu solo performed by the Erhu player Wei Xiao Dong.
China Chen Jun: Erhu Classics
Chen Jun is an excellent erhu player from China.
This album consist of some outstanding pieces include "Shaking Red Candle Flame," and "Horse-Racing" which is, as I'm sure you can imagine, completely frantic in pace and energy.
Buy Erhu at Amazon
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