If you Google the name for this two stringed instrument, you may find the same name is used for girls names and a railroad that runs between Beijing and Shanghai. Jing is for the capital and Hu for Shanghai.

Man playing Jing-Hu.

Since Chinese is a tonal language, each word is pronounced in a different tone.  The word is also written differently in Chinese when used for a girl’s name or the railroad.

girl to right of clock/table playing Jing-Hu

The Jing-Hu I’m writing about is a two stringed instrument often used with Beijing Opera. The Jing-Hu first appeared during the Qing Dynasty.  At that time, the strings were made of silk. Today, they are often made of steel or nylon. 

If you are interested in Chinese music, read about and listen to The Four Stringed Liuqin.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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5 Responses to Jing-Hu

  1. David B. says:

    Also, the fiddle played by the man in the photo at the top appears to be an erhu, not a jinghu.

  2. David B. says:

    The small fiddle to the right of the clock in the black-and-white photo is not a jinghu, it’s a closely related instrument used in Cantonese music called the erxian (pronounced “yiyin” in Cantonese). It’s not used as much now as in the past (aside from some Cantonese operas), at least since the invention of the Cantonese gaohu in the 1920s. You can tell it’s a Cantonese erxian because the tuning pegs are a bit more bulbous, plus its companion instrument, the bamboo-bodied zhu tiqin, was usually used along with it in Cantonese music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    • David,

      Thank you for the details about the differences between the jinghu and the Cantonese yiyin (erxian). I’ve never heard of the Yinyin before. Is the sound of the instrument and the style of music that much different? Thanks for the details and pointing out the differences.

  3. Jing Hu says:

    I’ve been looking up Er Hu music on the net and stumbled on your blog. Interesting blog. 🙂 I wish they had Er Hu or JIng Hu performances here in the States that would be nice.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lloyd Lofthouse. Lloyd Lofthouse said: Jing-Hu: http://wp.me/pN4pY-we […]

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