Gu Qin – Chinese Zither
Gu Qin 古琴 [gǔ qín], it is a plucked seven-string Chinese musical instrument of the zither family with a history of more than 3000 years. The prefix “gu-” (meaning “ancient”) was later added for clarification. It can also be called qixianqin (lit. “seven-stringed instrument”). Guqin had been favored by ancient scholars and literatus as an instrument of great subtleties and refinements, as a prerequisite for their cultivationas and as the most popular of four Chinese cultural activities such as Guqin, chess, calligraphy and painting. Its beautiful melodies helped to maintain peace and balance of mind.
Guqin is 3 feet 65 inches representing the 365 days in a year. A round top part represents the sky, a flat bottom represents the earth. The whole body of Guqin corresponds a phoenix, also looks like a human body, with head, neck, shoulder, waist and feet etc. Markers are called “Hui” (emblem) to indicate note positions and normally filled with shell or gold, silver, jade, pearl. 13 Hui represent 12 months of Chinese lunar year, the middle bigger Hui seven is a leap month.There are 7 strings in of Guqin. The first 5 in pentatonic scale representing 5 elements Metal, wood, water, fire and the earth. The 6 string was added by King Wen when his son was died. So the 6 string is sorrowful. The 7 string was added by King Wu when he encourage his soldiers go to the war. So the 7 string is very strong.
The Guqin produce the most diligent and subtle tones. There are 3 category sounds produced by the Guqin. Harmonics is representing the sound from the Heaven. Open Strings is representing the sound from the earth. Stopped string is representing the Human Beings.