A few weeks ago, friend, fellow author and fellow blogger Cedar Sanderson sent me a link to the video clip below. It features the guqin, an ancient Chinese zither-like instrument that defies precise comparison with Western instruments. It’s a lovely piece.
Wikipedia describes the guqin as follows:
The guqin is a plucked seven-string Chinese musical instrument of the zither family. It has been played since ancient times, and has traditionally been favoured by scholars and literati as an instrument of great subtlety and refinement, as highlighted by the quote “a gentleman does not part with his qin or se without good reason,” as well as being associated with the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius. It is sometimes referred to by the Chinese as “the father of Chinese music” or “the instrument of the sages”.
Intrigued, I looked for more information about the video clip above. It’s from the Zi de Guqin Studio, which offers more videos on their YouTube channel. Unfortunately they don’t have an English-language Web site, but they do have social media posts on Chinese web sites, which you’ll find linked beneath some of their videos on YouTube.
Here’s another video from the studio’s channel, giving a broader perspective on their work.
Finally, just for fun, here’s a short video from the studio, coupling a theme song with a few cats for good measure!
It looks like Chinese kittens are just as rambunctious as their Western counterparts . . .
This looks very similar to the Japanese koto, a beautiful instrument.
My nephew married a young lady who was born in China, and we traveled there for a reception and grand tour led by her father, who still lives there. Of all the amazing things we saw and did, perhaps the most modest was a visit to a small cultural center, where young kids were taught classic arts – this wasn't a place for tourists. They showed us a tea service, an incense ceremony, etc. Then, this older man came out and played his guqin. Our group was smiling and appreciative; I was transported. With a translator, I asked the man what he was playing, and he said, "ancient instrument." "But what is it called?" "Ancient instrument." I returned home and found "guqin," which can be translated as…yep. I now own one more stringed instrument which I play poorly. Fabulous instrument when played well, more relaxing and meditative than a night under the stars (on the beach…with a beer…).
The lady has lovely hands…
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The video with the cats is adorable! I'm tickled you found that and shared it. I really liked the sound of the instrument, and it is so different.