School of Music
Throughout Chinese history, music has been an integral part of the lives of the Chinese people. It was very symbolic; it was considered part of the universe. The entertainment value of music was secondary to its use for religious purposes and for the education of gentlemen. The instruments of China generally fall into one of two categories: metal and string. Among the major string instruments are the ‘pi-p’a (a four-stringed, lute-type instrument), the erhu (a two-stringed, bowed instrument), the sanxian (a three-stringed, banjo-like instrument), and the zither family. The two main Chinese zithers are the ch’in and the cheng. The ch’in, a classical instrument with seven strings, was a symbol of learning for the Chinese people. The cheng, which was more an instrument for entertainment, will be discussed in great detail in the pages to follow.
Stiegel, Jeanne E., "The history, usage, and technique of the Chinese cheng" (1983). Honors Capstones. 1193.
Northern Illinois University
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