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Pipa(Chinese Lute)

The pipa(琵琶,pí pá)or Chinese lute with a history of more than 2000 years is a traditional plucked string instrument in China. It is said that the earliest pipa appeared in the Qin Dynasty (221~206 BC). Later, the Chinese pipa was spread to other area in East Asia, like Japan, Korean and Vietnam.
Speaking of the Chinese name of this instrument, it is very interesting.Pipa used to be written into “批把” according to Liu Xi’s book Shiming•Shiyueqi ,kind of a dictionary for introducing Chinese instruments. In this text, pipa originated from the” Hu barbarians” and was called a drum on the horse. “Pi” and “Pa” are two skills the instrument is played----"Pí" is to strike with the right index finger from the backward to the forward, and "pá" is to pluck with right thumb in the opposite direction. Started from the Wei and Jin Dynasties, it was written like “琵琶” with the same pronunciations. 

Pipa----Chinese Lute


Pipa is respected as the king of folk instruments and is one of the most popular Chinese instruments. With the improvements by players, the modern pipa tends to unified ones, such as a four-stringed one.Pipa has a pear-shaped wooden body with a varying number of frets ranging from 12–26. The entire range of pipa is very broad and with various expressions. Playing techniques of pipa is not very easy. Players should use left hand to press strings in the related places, then pluck with right hand in fake nails.

playing pipa



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