Temasek Secondary School
The history of music in China and Chinese musical instruments can date back about 4,000 years. Traditionally, Chinese musical instruments were classified by the material of which they were made: skin, gourd, bamboo, wood, silk, earth/clay, metal and stone.
A Chinese instrument is used as well as a solo instrument
or in ensemble with other Chinese instruments to form a Chinese orchestra.
A Chinese orchestra is an amalgam of many cultural traditions. Similar to
a western philharmonic orchestra, a full Chinese orchestra is made up of four
sections: Bowed-strings, Plucked-strings, Woodwind, Percussion. The four sections
combine together to produce the finest tune for the audience. In addition,
a few western instruments have also been incorporated into the orchestra,
like the cello and double bass, as an alternative to their Chinese version
(Gehu), to provide lower notes which are necessary for a better instrumental
blend. Chinese musical instruments can therefore categorized by the method
of their sound production. Thus, woodwind instruments are blown, plucking
instruments are plucked, string instruments are bowed and percussion instruments