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Zheng 206 BC ancient Chinese Koto 21 String pear inlay
Zheng 206 BC ancient Chinese Koto 21 String pear inlay
Zheng 206 BC ancient Chinese Koto 21 String pear inlay
Item#: zheng-206-bc-ancient-chinese-koto-21-string-pear-20621
Regular price: $1,200.00
Sale price: $699.00

Product Description

Zheng 206 BC ancient Chinese Koto 21 String pear inlay

Take advantage of our special The Zheng, commonly known as Guzheng, (pronounced "Goo-Zheng"), is a plucked string instrument that is part of the zither family. It is one of the most ancient Chinese musical instruments according to the documents written in the Qin dynasty (before 206 BC). Zheng is the forerunner of Japanese koto, Korean kayagum, Mongolian yatag, and Vietnamese dan tranh. Due to its long history, the zheng has been called guzheng or Gu-Zheng where "Gu" stands for "ancient" in Chinese. The guzheng has been a popular instrument since ancient times and is considered as one of the main chamber as well as solo instruments of Chinese traditional music. Since the mid-19th century, guzheng solo repertoire has been growing and evolving towards an increasing technical complexity.
The Chinese character for "zheng" composed of two parts: the upper part means "bamboo" and the lower part is "argue" (see the above character). According to a legend, there was a master of se, 25-stringed zither, who had two talented daughters who love playing the instrument. Now there came a time that the master became too old, and wanted to pass his instrument over to one of them. However, both daughters wanted to have it. The master felt miserable and finally, out of desperate, he decided to split the instrument into two - one got 12 strings, and the other 13. To his amazement, the new instrument sounds mellow and even more beautiful than its original. The happy master gave the new instrument a new name "zheng" by making up the character with the symbolisms representing "bamboo" and "argue". The word "zheng", the name of this instrument, pronounces the same as the word "zheng" which means "argue" or "dispute". The origin of the Chinese character representing this instrument seems to indicate that the early version of the instrument was made of bamboo, which is different from that of today. However, this legendary story, though it might be true according to the origin of the Chinese character for this instrument, should not be taken too seriously.

Zheng (Guzheng) is build with a special wooden sound body with strings arched across movable bridges along the length of the instrument for the purpose of tuning. In the early times the zheng had 5 string; later on developed into 12 to 13 strings in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907AD) and 16 strings in the Song and Ming dynasty (from the 10th to 15th century). The present day zheng usually has 21-25 strings.