Chinese Instrument : Huqin (also called Erhu二胡)

Huqin (胡琴)/(二胡) [edit]

The huqin series of instruments in common usage consist of the erhu (二胡), zhonghu (中胡) and gaohu (高胡). The gaohu (highest-pitched of the series) and zhonghu (lowest-pitched huqin) are proportionately fewer in numbers in the Chinese orchestra. The erhu forms the bulk of this section and is divided into distinct sections, known as erhu I and erhu II. These two sub-sections play either similar or vastly different melodies simultaneously, which is akin to the first and second violins in a Western orchestra. Occasionally, the concertmaster will play the banhu (板胡) but it may not always be the concertmaster – an example is the piece Mang Chun (忙春), or jinghu (京胡), for instance in Zhao Ji Ping’s Festival Overture (庆典序曲), if there is a solo part for it. There are various ways to play an erhu, such as bowing or plucking the strings.

The uniqueness of the huqin series lies in how music can be produced from two fine metal strings less than 2 mm apart, without any frets or fingerboards. Well-known solo pieces for the erhu includes Sanmen Gorge Capriccio (三门峡畅想曲), Guang Ming Xing (光明行) as well as Lan Hua Hua (兰花花).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *