Instruments

Guzheng

Guzheng

One of the numerous instruments believed to be indigenous to China, emerged during the Zhou Dynasty (c. 11th to 3rd centuries BCE). By the 8th century CE, it had 12 or 13 strings of silk, increasing to 16 (ultimately of copper or steel wire) and, from the mid-20th century, to 18 or 21. It's a popular multi-stringed zither, with pitch-defining movable bridge under each of its strings. The strings are tuned to a pentatonic scale without half-steps (usually so, la, do, re, mi) over a 3-plus octave range.

Pipa

Pipa

It was introduced into China from central Asia during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE) by way of the Silk Road (over 2000 years ago). It has become so thoroughly integrated into Chinese music that it is now thought to be traditional. The four-stringed, pear shaped, bent-neck Pipa became fashionable in court entertainment ensembles. Originally plucked with a large plectrum, but now a more difficult five finger plucking is employed.