is Chinese's oldest stringed instrument with a history longer
than 3000 years. In history Chinese Empire, this seven-stringed
zither, Guqin is one of four essence arts skill on educated scholar
person. And in recognition of its supreme importance to Chinese
culture, UNESCO in 2003 declared the art of the guqin a Masterpiece
of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity
the Guqin has been viewed as a symbol of Chinese high culture
and the most expressive instrument of the essence of Chinese music.
More than 100 harmonics can be played on the guqin, which probably
is the largest number of harmonics of any instrument. The guqin
has its own notation, which itself has a history at least 1500
years. There are over 150 guqin handbooks in existence, which
contain in excess of 3,000 pieces of music as well as essays on
the theoretical aspects of the guqin and its music.
is much symbology surrounding the instrument. For example, it
measures 3' 6.5" (Chinese feet and inches), to symbolise
the 365 days of the year; the upper surface is round, represents
the sky, the bottom is flat ,represents the earth. The five strings
of the earliest qins symbolize the five elements: Metal, Wood,
Water, Fire and Earth. When Bo Yikao, son of King Wen, the first
ruler of the Zhou Dynasty around the 11th century BC, died the
Emperor added a the sixth string to mourn his son; the sound of
the sixth string is sorrowful. The seventh string was added by
the second Zhou ruler, King Wu to inspire his soldiers when his
country went to war; the sound of this string is very strong.
Finally, the 13 mother-of-pearl inlays along the outer edge represent
the 13 months of the lunar year.