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According to the historical texts, there was an instrument named “Santur” which was very popular in the ancient Middle East like Persia before the Middle Ages. With friendly exchanges between West Asia and China by sea, “Santur” was introduced firstly into Guangdong area during the Ming Dynasty (1368~1644) and then everywhere. Later, Chinese folk artists did some reform work and made Santur” into today’s Yangqin. In the late Qing Dynasty, yangqin was joined in some local operas as accompany instrument, such as Yue opera(粤剧), Chao Opera,Min opera, Yue opera (越剧)and Hu opera.
The above is a common opinion about the origin of yangqin. But some experts, like Zhou Qingbao, state that yangqin is spread into China by the Silk Road earlier than by sea and Uygur people are the heirs of this instrument.