The structure and material of the lyre

180 views · Organized by 小埋 on 2022-02-14

The shape, structure and materials of the Tianqin are all unique. What is particularly special is that the headstock and the stem are made of three pieces of wood, without a single nail or a little glue.

Lyra structure
The lyre is composed of a barrel, a headstock, a stem, a peg, a bridge, and strings. The qin barrel is in the shape of a flat cone, the barrel cavity is made of gourd shell or Tianma bamboo, the barrel is 8 cm to 8.5 cm long, the maximum diameter of the middle part is 14 cm, and the diameter of the front mouth of the barrel is 12 cm (about 1/4 of the maximum circumference of the barrel cavity). ), the diameter of the rear opening of the cylinder is 3 cm (1/4 of the diameter of the front opening). This production specification has been passed down from generation to generation, so the size is mostly the same. There are square holes for inserting the piano rod at the top and bottom of the cylinder cavity. The front of the cylinder is covered with light and elastic thin boards or bamboo shoot shells such as paulownia, pine and fir. Longzhou is mostly made of local pond wood with a thickness of 0.2 cm to 0.5 cm, there is a sound window or opening at the rear of the barrel.

Headstock and stem

It is made of wood with hard texture and dense structure such as ironwood or firewood produced locally. The length is the full length of the piano body. It is divided into three upper and lower sections. It is more than 30 centimeters long, and it is connected by in-line insertion method without gluing. Due to the scientific design of the socket, it is very stable after inserting the wedge, and there can be no shaking in the front, back, left and right. The headstock is narrow and flat at the front and back, wide and flat on both sides, and the upper part is mostly a flat square column. The front and rear surfaces are trimmed into a symmetrical wave shape. The left and right sides are carved with dragons, phoenixes, characters or patterns for decoration. Carved into a dragon head, a crested head, a fish shape, a handsome seal, a sun or a crescent moon, the lines are rough and unrestrained, with the meaning of warding off evil, illuminating the demon, bright and auspicious. The front of the lower part of the headstock is provided with a rectangular through-bottom string groove, and two hardwood pegs (one on each left and right) are arranged on both sides. The piano bar is thin and long, flat at the front and round at the back, narrow at the top and wide at the bottom, in the shape of a semi-circular cylinder. The groove, as the positioning mark of the left thumb, is used to accompany the different high and low doors respectively. The end of the lower section of the piano rod is inserted into the square hole of the piano barrel. The bridge is made of bamboo or wood, in the shape of a bridge, and is placed in the middle and upper part of the panel. Two silk or nylon strings.

A piece of sheet metal is attached to the strings, and the strings are either tethered directly to the tail post. Between the string groove and the tail post, there is a silk strap. Some Tianqin also has a gallbladder in the barrel, that is, two or three small wire springs with a length of 5 cm and a diameter of 0.8 cm are installed; under the bridge on the panel, there is a small circular hole with a diameter of 0.4 cm. The decoration of the lyre is distinctive. The carvings on both sides of the headstock are all filled with bright colors, the surface is painted with transparent paint, the panel is decorated with colorful stripes, and the surface of the piano bar is unpainted. After long-term use, the surface is shiny bronze. The neck of the piano above the string groove is often decorated with a bunch of colorful floating ears, and some are decorated with a red silk streamer. Since the piano body can be disassembled and assembled, it is easy to carry. The traditional lyre is larger in size, with a body length of nearly 120 cm, a barrel length of 13 cm and a maximum diameter of over 20 cm; the modern lyre is smaller in size, with a body length of only 90 cm and a flat headstock. There is no decoration on the top, the barrel is made of Tianma bamboo or iron, the barrel is 8 cm long and 10 cm in diameter, the front of the barrel is covered with python skin or snake skin, and the back of the barrel is open.
Reference materials and contributors

Involving musical instruments

Tianqin (pinyin: tiān qín) is a plucked stringed musical instrument used by the Zhuang people (Bubian and Budai branch). It is popular in Dongzhong, Ningming and Longzhou on the Sino-Vietnamese border in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

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Organized by 亦寒 on 2022-02-14
When playing the lyre, you can take two postures, sitting or standing. When playing in a sitting position, place the piano bar diagonally in front of the chest, place the piano barrel on or outside the right leg, and tilt the headstock to the upper left, forming a 45° angle; when playing in a standing position, hang the strap on the neck, and the piano bar is inclined. In front of the chest, the qin barrel is placed in front of the right abdomen, and the head of the qin is inclined to the upper left.
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