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7 Chinese Traditional Instruments You Should Know About

Each country has its traditions and pride to show off to the rest of the world. China, too, can boast of its varied traditional instruments, which have been used for thousands of years. Let’s take a look at the seven most famous and traditional Chinese instruments of all time to learn more about them.


The guqin, commonly known as “the father of Chinese music” or “the instrument of the sages,” is a plucked seven-string Chinese musical instrument. The guqin is similar to the guzheng in appearance. Despite its resemblance to another instrument, the guqin is a very sensitive and refined instrument.



One of the most well-known traditional Chinese musical instruments is the pipa, also known as the “Chinese lute.” This instrument is a plucked instrument and features a pear-shaped hardwood body with 12 to 31 frets.


The suona, also known as laba or haidi, is a Chinese double-reeded horn-like instrument. The instrument evolved in Iran and made its way to China in the third century. The high-pitched tone of the instrument is familiar in Chinese traditional music. It is notably essential in the provinces of Shandong and Henan, where it serves as northern China’s folk music.



One well-known instrument is the dizi, also known as the bamboo flute. The instrument is made of bamboo and is played horizontally with a cork-lined blow-hole. The dizi is most renowned for its wide expressiveness range and natural airy character. It offers the listener an uplifting, lively impression as though they are levitating when it is performed.


A musical instrument that produces sound when it is hit or scratched with a beater brushed or rubbed by hand or struck against another instrument. Percussion is thought to be among the earliest musical instruments.



The Guzheng or Zheng earlier was widely used in folk music when in the 20th century, it finally became a solo musical instrument. The soundboard is constructed of Paulownia wood and is big and sonorous. Guzheng strings used to be made of string, but now they are built of steel covered with nylon. Fingers or plectra are used to pluck these strings. Artists frequently embellish the instrument, resulting in distinct cultural and creative elements.


The erhu, often known as the Chinese violin, is one of the most well-known Chinese instruments, dating back millennia. The erhu is a stringed instrument that can be found in both old and new music. Despite the fact that it only has two strings, the erhu is an extremely expressive instrument that can emulate sounds from a wide range of birds and animals. It can represent a wide spectrum of emotions. It has a middle-high rhythmic range, and its melodies can be sweet or powerful. The lowest and middle levels of the erhu are extremely stirring and mournful, making it excellent for conveying China’s vast history and people’s feelings.

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