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Qin or guchin

The qin is one of the oldest and most sophisticated instruments of China. It is a seven string fretless zither often referred to in the West as "The Scholar's Lute", due to the high position the qin had among scholars.

The earliest recorded qin scores can be traced back to the Nan Dynasty (494 AD - 590 AD), and many of these ancient pieces are said to be written in the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) and possibly earlier. It is estimated that there are over three thousand qin pieces in existence, and many of these pieces are still played today on the qin.

Older qin are considered collectors items, with existing instruments dating back as far as the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD). Some of these qin can be heard on CDs recently released on Chinese, and Taiwanese record companies.

The basic tuning is: C D F G A c d

Country: China
Region: Asia
Type: zither

©  R. Raine-Reusch, May 2002