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The ruan is a round-bodied lute native to China. It is one of a family of round bodied lutes, often erroneously called moon guitars, found in both Chinese classical and folk music. The is at least two thousand years old, and there are many 7th Century depictions of the ruan in court orchestras painted on the walls of caves in DunHuang.

The ruan is found in three sizes: the small xiao-ruan, the middle sized ruan and the bass da-ruan. Common tunings are gdae or adad for the ruan and bfcg, cgda, or cgcg for the da-ruan.

The ruan has a beautiful mellow tone that is very similar to that of the guitar.

Country: China
Region: Asia
Type: lute
Ruan - Chinese moon guitar
©  R. Raine-Reusch, May 2002