Music with Two Strings

October 18, 2016

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.

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.

for the musical instrument


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 (1644 – 1912).  In the 17th century the strings were made of silk. Today, they are often made of steel or nylon.  The Jing-Hu is the smallest of the Chinese fiddles and is related to the larger Erhu.

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