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Chinese Music
Chinese Instruments

Erhu

Erhu, a two-stringed fiddle, is one of the best-known traditional Chinese musical instruments. Its music is usually very expressive and touching, especially when you feel down and blue.

Scroll down to enjoy some of the most famous Erhu melodies, and we begin with:
Teresa's Blues
Great collection and our personal favourite which is very worth listening to.
Classical playlist
We are not certain casual Westerners browsing will understand most of these tunes.
Erhu as an instrument
Finally we introduce the Erhu offering history and general information.

Teresa's Blues - Modern Erhu tracks by the world's leading performers
  • Tracks open in a playlist window, please allow pop-ups if there is no media player.
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Image: Album Cover - Click to Enlarge
 

忘记他 (3.17)
Forget him

 

 

胭脂泪 (2.58)
Yan Zhi Lei

 

 

漫步人生路 (3.45)
Walking Life

 

 

独上西楼 (2.13)
Independence on the West Wing

 

 

恰似你的温柔 (3.53)
Almost Just Like Your Tenderness

 

 

空港 (3.47)
Airport

 

 

何日君再来 (3.39)
Love You Forever

 

 

小村之恋 (3.47)
Love Little Village

 

 

爱人 (3.51)
Beloved

 

 

但愿人长久 (3.49)
Wish the People Forever

 

 

夜来香 (3.54)
Evening Primrose

 

 

我只在乎你 (4.03)
I Only Care About You

 

 

原乡人 (3.35)
The Native

 

 

Play All Above

 

 

 
Classical Chinese Erhu Melodies - These may not suit Western ears?
 

Er Quan Ying Yue (6.16)
Er Quan Ying Yue means "second spring reflecting the moon." It was wriitten by Hua Yanjun (also known as A Bing), a blind artist living between 1893 and 1950. It is perhaps the most famous Erhu tune of all time. That stated, we do not recommend this piece for first-timers to this most expressive of instruments. It is better suited to musicians gaining knowledge about this most excellent musical instrument.

 

 

Bing Zhong Yin (9.05)
Moaning during sickness.

 

 

Liang Xiao (3.35)
Beautiful night

 

 

Han Gong Qiu Yue (6.58)
Autumn moon in the palace during the Han Dynasty

Also featured in Top 10 Classics with Pipa and Guzheng alternatives

 

 

Zhong Hua Liu Ban (4.03)
An ancient melody

 

 

Yu Hu Mai Chun (8.56)
Buying spring a with jade teapot

 

 

Xing Jie (5.31)
Walking the street

 

 

Liu Bo Qu (6.53)
Melody of running waves

 

 

Jiang He Shui (7.41)
Water in the rivers

 

 

Ting Song (3.25)
Listening to the pine

 

 

Yi Zhi Hua (7.44)
A flower

The flower referred to is probably a term used to describe a beautiful girl

 

 

Die Lian Hua (5.20)
Butterfly flying in the flowers

 

 

Qinqiang Opera theme song (6.59)

This the Erhu version of the tune. Qinqiang Opera is an ancient local opera in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

Listen to the Erhu and Pipa working completely in tandem, especially at the midpoint of this track - wonderful combination of instruments! Recommended Erhu version: Quite brilliant!

Here is the Banhu version of the same song (5.40).

 

 

Play All Above

 

 

 
Erhu: History and General Information
Image: ErHu
The erhu (Chinese: 二胡; pinyin: èrhú), also called nanhu (南胡, "southern fiddle"), and sometimes known in the West as the "Chinese violin" or "Chinese two-string fiddle," is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, used as a solo instrument as well as in small ensembles and large orchestras.

It is the most popular instrument in the huqin (胡琴) family of Chinese bowed string instruments, together with the zhonghu (中胡), gaohu (高胡), banhu (板胡), jinghu (京胡), sihu (四胡), and numerous others. Similarly, the bow passes between the two strings as is common with all Chinese Bowed instruments.

The erhu consists of a long vertical stick-like neck, at the top of which are two large tuning pegs, and at the bottom is a small resonator body (sound box) which is covered with python skin on the front (playing) end. Two strings are attached from the pegs to the base, and a small loop of string (qian jin) placed around the neck and strings acting as a nut pulls the strings towards the skin, holding a small wooden bridge in place.
Various dense and heavy hardwoods are used in making the erhu. According to Chinese references the woods include zi tan (紫檀 red sandalwood and other woods of the genus Pterocarpus such as padauk), lao hong mu (老红木 aged red wood), wu mu (乌木 black wood), and hong mu (红木 red wood). Particularly fine erhus are often made from pieces of old furniture.
 
Image: Erhu showing bow between strings - Click to Enlarge A typical erhu measures 81cm from top to bottom, the length of the bow also being 81cm.

Tuning
The erhu is almost always tuned to the interval of a fifth. The inside string (nearest to player) is generally tuned to D4 and the outside string to A4. This is the same as the two middle strings of the violin.

Position
The erhu is traditionally played sitting down placed on the top of the left thigh. However, many modern artists such as 12 Girls Band play it standing up.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erhu
Extracts reproduced under Creative Commons 3 License

This information is as supplied by ourselves, and ably supported by our friends:

Wikipedia   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_traditional_Chinese_musical_instruments

Disclaimer:
As far as we are aware, all information and downloads are either reproduced here with expressed permission, or obtained from reliable free resources, and comply with International Property Rights.

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