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OT: Chinese zither

From:Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>
Date:Wednesday, September 17, 2003, 21:20
> Yes! One interestin' musical notational system that has some striking >similarities to Korean _hangul_ is the logograms used in composing and/or >transcribing Chinese _qin_/_ch'in_ (fretless, bridgeless long-board >zither) music. >The notation "describes" the string-length/pitch, tone-colouration/timbre and >how to finger and pluck the sounding string(s). > The guitarist Henry Kaiser writes: "The chin (a bridgeless zither), one >of the most ancient stringed instruments in the world, is also one of my very >favorite instruments. >Sometimes it can sound kind of like a drunken slide guitar player playing >together in a trio with a virtuoso fretless bass player and a harp player >on an >acid trip...."
How difficult is it to make an instrument like this? (Just because the instrument is ancient doesn't mean that it doesn't take a lot of technichal finesse to manufature it. I saw the exhibit China: 7000 Years of Discovery as a child, and have been aware ever since the the Chinese were technologically advanced at an early date.) The reason that I am asking is that I would like to give one of my concultures stringed instruments, but don't know what is involved in their manufacture (except for modern concert violins, etc., and that takes an insane amount technical expertise.) The culture that I would like to have strings is a pretty technologically unadvanced one. They do not have metalurgy. (Which means that they make excellent stone weapons.) They don't manufacture metal items themselves, but they do buy steel knives, iron nails, and other metal items from the people who live to the south of them. For musical instruments, I already know that they have flutes and drums. What is the minimum amount of technology needed to make stringed instruments of any sort, plucked or bowed, with or without resonators? What sort of stringed instrument(s) would be likely in a culure like this? (And what does anyone here happen to know anything about primative bowed strings? My other two cocultures might have those.) Out of curiosity, how loud is a chin? Isidora


Costentin Cornomorus <elemtilas@...>
Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>
Peter Bleackley <peter.bleackley@...>