The historical origin of Erhu (place of origin, name)

804 views · Organized by Susan on 2022-01-24
Erhu began in the Tang Dynasty and has a history of more than 1,000 years. The Xi people living in northeastern China transformed the instrument from the Han people into the Xiqin.

Song Dynasty scholar Chen Yang recorded in the "Book of Music" "Xiqin Ben Hu Le also..." Tang Dynasty poet Cen Shen contained the verse of "The Chinese army buys wine and drinks to return guests. Huqin, pipa and Qiang flute", indicating that Huqin has begun in the Tang Dynasty. It is a general term for Chinese and Western stringed and plucked instruments.

In the Song Dynasty, the Huqin was named "Jiqin". Chen Yuanliang, a scholar in the late Song Dynasty, recorded this in "Shi Lin Guang Ji": Ji Qin was originally made by Ji Kang, hence the name "Ji Qin".


Shen Kuo, a great scholar in the Song Dynasty, recorded in "Talk about Complementary Bibliography and Music": "In Xining, at the palace banquet, Xu Yan, an actor from the Jiaofang, played the jiqin. Song." This shows that in the Northern Song Dynasty there was already a high level of performance. When Xu Yan played the "Jiqin" for the emperor's ministers, he broke one string and still used the other string to finish the song. It can't be done without skilled craftsmanship. Later, Shen Kuo recorded in "Mengxi Bi Tan", "The horse-tailed huqin follows the Eastern Han Dynasty, and the melody still complains to itself. The bow does not shoot the geese in the cloud, and the geese are not sent now." Huqin.

The Yuan Dynasty "Yuan Shi·Rite and Music Records" stated that "Huqin is made like fire, the head of the dragon is rolled, the second string is drawn with a bow, and the bow string is drawn with a horse's tail", which further elaborates the production principle of the huqin.

So far, the erhu (Xiqin) has begun to be used for solo or ensemble in banquets, and appears in military performances.

In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the huqin has spread all over the country, and it has become the main instrument for folk opera accompaniment and musical instrument ensembles.
Reference materials and contributors

Involving musical instruments

Erhu (Pinyin: Erhu) originated in the Tang Dynasty, called "Xiqin", and has a history of more than a thousand years. It is a traditional Chinese stringed instrument. Erhu, or Erxian Huqin, also known as "Nanhu" and "Omzi", is one of the main bowed and stringed instruments (wiping strings) in the Chinese national musical instrument family.

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