the brief introduction of Chinese musical instruments

 Chinese traditional musical instruments Description:

Wind instrument

The origin of a very ancient wind instrument in China, according to legend in the four thousand years ago Yu's time, there is a presentation made of reed wind instrument called YUE

In 1930s, Wanquan County  of SHANXI province Jing  village discover three  Xun of new stone age,"Book of Songs" has xiao, pipe, keys, Xun, Sheng musical records. Later, the rise of military music, also known as drum, horizontal wind, riding winds and so on, are ranked Xiao Jia, horn, flute as the main instruments, often playing in the army when marching, but also as a guard of honor, or at the banquet, concert and other entertainment use. The emergence of the suona about the beginning has been recorded in the Ming Dynasty. So far, the civil weddings, funerals, celebrations and folk festivals, the wind instrument is the main instrument Ju.

China's wind instrument according to pronounce different methods can be divided into three categories:

1. Breath blowing through the hole, causing the air column vibration sounds, such as the flute
, xiao, xun, pai xiao and so on.
2. Breath through the whistle, causing the air column vibration sounds, such as the suo Na, tubes, etc..
3. Breath through the reed, causing the air column vibration sounds, such as the
Sheng, Lusheng, Bawu

The following describes the current Chinese Orchestra wind instrument commonly used:

Flute Dizi

Also known as Cross-blown flute,  According to legend, when the Han Dynasty,ater Zhang Qian come out to the Western Regions  it was imported to Chang'an. DIZI became an important instrument accompaniment of opera.

The traditional flute, bamboo, there are six according to Sound hole, a blow hole, and a membrane hole. Playing, by the bamboo air column vibration sound. Their usual range of two octaves, Diyin crisp, high-pitched, transparent and smooth, solo, ensemble have a distinctive, rich and expressive, so loved by the people.

Many types of flute, the most common is the drum sound (Zuidi Yin) for a '(the actual sound) and d2 (real tone) flute. Because the two kinds of flute, respectively, and Kun Opera Night with the main accompaniment instrument, it is customarily called  bangdi  or Qudi .


About 4500 years ago, a man named LINGGUAN invented the original xiao, blowing from the other side of the straight , which is the predecessor of xiao. By Han ago, Jing Fang plus a post-hole, the five-hole, introduced to Japan during the Tang dynasty, called the Shakuhachi (shakuhachi). By WEI addition of opening a hole, do no much change in the future.


In ancient times called, Yu Tai-Sheng 』, small-sheng called, and』. Yan Dai fifteenth century BC Oracle and 』『 already on the record. The sixth century BC, China's poems are also often been referred to this instrument.
Traditional sheng is generally 13 spring and 14 spring after improvements are 21, 24, 26, 32, 34, 36 spring and so on.

Sheng is used as accompaniment instrument, because it sounds clear and translucent, a wide range, can also be used solo. Sheng is a vibrating reed sounds, blowing smoke Jieke performance, and sound while blowing two or more, they can be playing and sound.


Suona was originally Persia (now Iran), Arab musical instruments. Suona a transliteration of the word for the Persian SURNA. In China since the Ming Dynasty on the suona documented. So far in civil weddings, as well as folk festivals, it is the main musical instrument. Spread throughout the suona large, there are small, there is rough, there are soft, variety many, performance full of vitality. Almost all wind techniques can be performed, it can mimic singing, with possession of body, whistle, trumpet playing apart, each simulation of different roles, such as the Rou-Sei Rim, Huadan so. Their usual range of two octaves, now commonly used in Chinese orchestras, suona is a drum sound for the g 'sound of the D to increase the suona.

Plucked Instruments

Plucked Instruments is a finger or a plectrum plucked, and hit with bamboo strings and piano sounds of instruments collectively. Plucked Instruments has a long history, types, shapes of the many, is a class of highly distinctive stringed instruments. As far away as three thousand years before the Zhou Dynasty, there were "violin", "se" and other musical instruments, followed by successively produced or entered the building during the Warring States Period over the weekend, Zheng, Qin strings Soy, Han Konghou, Ruan, Sui and Tang dynasties The pipa, the Yuan Dynasty sanxian, Ming Yang Qin and so on.

According to shape musical instruments, performance and performance differences between methods, plucked string instruments can be divided into three categories:

The first category to lyre represented, including the piano, zither and other instruments. Such instruments have a rectangular wooden box as a piano, Zhang strings, flat-lying play. In addition to Lyre can take Anxian sound, the rest only with its empty string sounds.

The second category represented on the pipa, including Liuqin, yueqin, Nguyen, sanxian and other musical instruments, with four, three, or two strings, while the left Anxian right hand plucked-string, multi-leg on the performances.

The third category is dulcimer. Ping placed in a wooden frame, with bamboo Hammer taking piano sound, some in the Ming Dynasty by foreign imported.

Plucked Instruments numerous general category, the following, in turn introduced under the State Orchestra of the most commonly used instruments: pipa, qin, YANG Qin, and Zheng, Ruan, sanxian.

The first "Pipa" is a plucked string instrument known as a class. Far from the third century AD, the Chinese have long-handled, leather, round speaker of the pipa, the name "string drum." Han has 12 columns of the pipa appeared. About before and after the d 350, through India into China, a pipa, pear-shaped speakers, Qu neck, four strings, called "Qu Xiang pipa", which is the predecessor of the modern lute.

It absorbed the Qin and Han Pipa strengths transformation of development and by future generations continue to improve, by a six-phase phase-free goods to more than 20 items, range expansion. Playing method of playing the original wood dial, switch to the middle of the Tang Dynasty fingers, playing skills through long-term development, become increasingly complex. Rich expressive benefits. Now spread throughout the north and south China. In addition to a solo, trio, and played such a pure form of fun things, in the opera, opera, singing backing band is also widely used, is very important to our country as a plucked-string instrument.


Also known as Liuyeqin, magic legs, soil pipa, shaped like a small lute, the former Shandong Liuqin opera, Shaoxing, Luan Tan and other operas, Anhui Sizhou important accompaniment instrument, equipped with two or three strings, after the reform installation of four strings , range broad chromatic range, beautiful tone, was used as a solo and the National Orchestra of Plucked String Group treble voices.


Sanxian also known as "Xian Zi." From the Qin Dynasty's "string drum" developed from the name of the original three-stringed lute found in the Ming Dynasty in the literature. Such as the North's "drum book" (also known as storyteller), the South's "voiceless," "Extase" and so on, sanxian are one of the main accompaniment instrument, because of its sonorous, powerful voice in the band ensemble, the rhythm is often used to strengthen the effect of . In addition, three-stringed lute is also a very distinctive solo instrument.


Nguyen in the orchestra is very important plucked-string instrument. According to legend, when Jin Seven Sages of the Bamboo Ruanxian good repeat this instrument, it is also known as "Ruanxian." Nguyen improved, the existing large, medium and small, that is high, the sub-bass Nguyen. In the common folk opera and rap. In modern orchestras in the country, to participate in the accompaniment. The most commonly used for the Nguyen and Tai Nguyen.

Yang Qin

Hit strings around the vicinity of the Ming Dynasty was introduced to China from Persia. Initially popular in coastal areas in Guangdong Province, after gradually throughout the country. Dulcimer has a crisp sound, a broad range, but also at the same time to play a tune and the sound and rapid arpeggios in the ensemble is a very important instrument, solo is also very distinctive and performance.


Is an ancient musical instrument, as early as the Warring States period ago (BC 475 to the former 221), has been popular in Thailand. It was very popular, from the Lingnan to Inner Mongolia, a few times the whole of China. Particularly in Henan, Shandong, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Inner Mongolia and other places is more widely used for its known. Has now been improved so that 13, 16 strings ranging from the development to 21-25 strings, the performance was greatly enhanced, by popular and is used to solo, trio, ensemble and a variety of opera, opera and dance and other accompaniment.

Rub strings

Wipe stringed instrument is mounted on the bow of the cauda equina Xizhu friction strings, so that vibration of a class of musical instrument sounds. Common rub my stringed instruments including the erhu, Gao Hu, China Hu, leather, banhu, four-Hu and so on.

Huqin been there as early as the Tang Dynasty, scattered literature, when the fine-sounding name "Ji-Qin", when the Northern Song Dynasty, in the Department of North China XI are widely circulated, calling it "Haegeum." , Compiled by Chen Yi Song, "Music Book" (de 1099) Vol 128, said: "Haegeum, the Hu of fun, out string drum; while the shape is similar Yan, Xi is also the joy of the Department of appeal to their preferences. Cover the other, between the two strings to bamboo rolling of the so far non-governmental use Yan. "According to the text and the painting of the graphics, Haegeum huqin very similar to today's, but played a different method.

Almost a thousand years, the erhu in China's civil widely circulated, whether in music or music showed a significant development, since production of the different materials and shapes, from the erhu in the parent type also derived jinghu, erhu, banhu and four HU, etc. , In order to meet the future needs of the country and the playing of the band, but also created out of the Hu, Tai Hu, a low HU, so that this type of music even richer. Currently, all the local and the various forms of drama classes huqin used musical instruments, no less than dozens, they are not only beautiful tone and a distinctive local flavor, and there is a high level of playing skills and a wealth of performance ability, especially the erhu, in the past dozens of years, even greater development. Has become an excellent solo instrument and an important band instruments.

Erhu (nanhu)

Erhu for our most widely circulated and most representative of a rub strings, it is widely circulating in the Great Wall and the river north and south, as well as the Pearl River Basin. Erhu this name, in the south is a specifically refers to solo with the band or in the country with a kind of northerners known as "Nago." Due to different customs throughout the country also known as "Erxian", "Om child" and "Jujuy", and the name are numerous, in fact the same instrument. Erhu sound beautiful, strong performance, both soft and smooth playing tunes, but also play a strong jumping melody instruments used in the interests not only solo, but also suitable for ensemble or accompanist, in the folk drama in a variety of forms of drama in both To the accompaniment of musical instruments.

Erhu widely used five-tuning method, the most commonly used word for an empty string set d'a '.


Country music, the percussion of the oldest, and occupies an important position. Traditionally, divided into drums, gongs, cymbals, bell boards and five categories, as contemplated by sub-manufacturing materials, can be divided into metal, bamboo and leather categories. Their skills and expressive playing extremely rich, distinctive sound, not only in strong rhythm instrument, and has a very deep appeal, in particular, has a strong ethnic color. Folk Music in the Shifanluogu, Chaozhou percussion, wind and percussion in southern Jiangsu, Hebei and Liaoning advocate blowing songs and so on, Ju Percussion is known for. In modern Chinese Orchestra in the rarely used bell class.

1. Drum type instruments:

Historical records, the percussion to drum the emergence of the earliest, the Yin Ruins Oracle of its own "drum" is used. Drum type musical instrument a wide range of different features, playing a different approach, there is a wealth of expression, except for the ensemble or accompanist, certain kinds of music are also used as a solo instrument.

Drum Dagu (large drum)

Drum Drum is also called the lobby for larger drums, drum heads in diameter, usually more than one Chiban. Wooden drums from the upper and lower end of Mongolia to the leather made the same two areas. Generally placed in the wooden legs on the play, playing time 2 mallet percussion drum heads and pronunciation. Tone low and thick.

Tuning cylinder drum Dingyin Ganggu

Tuning cylinder drum, to the sound of drums could be set, according to cylinder drum "flowerpot drum" improvements made. The band often with two or three as a group, both consisting mainly of a group of multi-tone and is scheduled to sound, the three groups increased by a subordinate tone, the tenor is sound, or under the other sounds

2. Gong class musical instruments

Gong is the most widely used in China as one of the percussion instrument, originally popular in Central Asia and Southeast Asia, in the early de sixth century into our country, was called "sand gong." With the drama and arts development, over a long period of circulation and make improvements so that the performance of gong into a rich musical instrument. Many different types of gongs, some of the gong with a fixed pitch, and some hit the gong sounds after the rise, and some hit the gong sounds after the reduction.

Gong is a body of vibration instruments, simple structure, gongs body rounded arc, usually surrounded by a border, using the central part of mallet percussion, vibration, sound.

Yunluo cloud gong gongs

Gongs to have a fixed pitch of the percussion instruments, folk called the nine gongs sound. General there are 10 small, gong gongs, hanging wooden frame, or between the wooden frame arrive at the table, the right hand with a small mallet percussion of, (large gongs, then with the wooden stand on stage) its upright arrangement different.

3. Plate instrument

Plate instrument used in the band, there sound board, Bangzi, Muyu -------- so.


Castanets known as finalized, because often sandalwood manufacturing, also known as Tan Ban, in the sixth century in the Tang dynasty has emerged, the number has six or nine, due to the use of different purposes inconsistent with the number plate is now commonly used three composed of plates. Because of the scope of application of the difference can be divided into tympanic plate, book plates, strike plate three kinds of sinkers, old-fashioned accompaniment for folk music ensemble and drama, as the main rhythm instrument, often used in conjunction with the drum for marking time, book board and fall plate are for the story-singing accompaniment.