The Yangqin originated from Persia
and Arabia, where it was called the psaltery.From Persia, the
psaltery also spread to Europe. Thus, this instrument can be seen
around the world, though under different names. The English
Dulcimer, Hungarian Cimbalom, Greek Psallo, French Tympanon,
Japanese Yankin, Korean, Yanggum, Thai Kim and Mongolian Yoochin
all originated from the psaltery.
The Yangqin was introduced
during the Ming Dynasty (1367-1644) and first became in Guangdong
province, and was soon spread across the whole of China. Its
clear, bright timbre, with a wide range, makes it a popular solo
instrument as well as a suitable accompaniment to other
instruments, especially the Erhu.
The Yangqin is played by
using 2 slender bamboo sticks. Traditionally, the Yangqin has 2
sound bridges and its tones are arranged in pentatonic scales.
After 400 years of improvement, the Yangqin has developed to have
5 sound bridges and is tuned with full semitones. Various
techniques of playing the Yangqin has been developed over the
years, making it a very versatile instrument. The Yangqin plays
an important role in the Chinese Orchestra.
Famous compositions for the
Yangqin includes The General's Command, Dragon Boats and
'The Yellow River' Yangqin Concerto, which is by Xian
Xinghai and arranged by Qu Chunquan for his daughter, Qu
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