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Yangqin

From Academic Kids

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Yangqin.jpg
A yangqin and player with a flutist in the background

The trapezoidal Yangqin (洋琴, also 杨琴, pinyin yngqn) is a Chinese hammered dulcimer originally from Persia (modern-day Iran). "Yang" (洋) means foreign in Chinese. This instrument, or models similar to it, is now very popular not only in China, but also Eastern Europe, the Middle East, India and Pakistan. The instrument is also sometimes known by the names "santur" and "cymbalom."

The yangqin was traditionally fitted with bronze strings, which gave the instrument a soft timbre. This form of instrument is still occasionally heard today in the hudie ("butterfly") qin played in traditional silk and bamboo genre music from the Shanghai region, During the last fifty years, however, steel alloy have been used, in order to give the instrument a brighter, and louder tone. Copper strings have also being used for better bass. The modern yangqin can have as many as five courses of bridges and may be arranged chromatically. Traditional instruments, with three or more courses of bridges, are also still widely in use. Strings are struck with two lightweight bamboo beaters with rubber tips. A professional musician often carries several sets of beaters, each of which draw a slightly different tone from the instrument, much like the drum sticks of western percussionists.

The yangqin is performed both as a solo instrument and in ensembles, where it is lauded as the quintessential Chinese accompaniment instrument.Template:Musical-instrument-stub zh:扬琴

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