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The tiqin (Chinese : 提琴 ; pinyin :tíqín) is a name applied to several two-stringed Chinese bowed string musical instruments in the huqin family of instruments.



There are several types of tiqin:


The tiqin used in Cantonese music, also known as the zhutiqin (竹提琴) is a member of the "hard bow" (硬弓) ensemble in Cantonese opera. Its neck is made of hardwood, often suanzhi (酸枝, rosewood) or zitan (紫檀, red sandalwood). The zhutiqin's sound chamber is made of a very large section of bamboo (larger than that of the erxian , another bowed string instrument used in Cantonese music). Instead of snakeskin, the face is made of a piece of tong wood (, Firmiana simplex ) or palm wood (like the face of a yehu ). The back of the sound chamber is made of the natural joint in bamboo, with sound holes cut in it. The tiqin used today in Cantonese opera is tuned to 仜-士/mi-la/E-a (the opposite of the erxian , which is tuned A-e.)

The name also occasionally referred to what is now called the sihu.

Additionally, the term tiqin is used in Chinese as a generic term referring to Western bowed string instruments of the violin family:

See also

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Huqin is a family of bowed string instruments, more specifically, a spike fiddle popularly used in Chinese music. The instruments consist of a round, hexagonal, or octagonal sound box at the bottom with a neck attached that protrudes upwards. They also usually have two strings, and their soundboxes are typically covered with either snakeskin or thin wood. Huqin instruments usually have two tuning pegs, one peg for each string. The pegs are attached horizontally through holes drilled in the instrument's neck. Most huqin have the bow hair pass in between the strings. Exceptions to having two strings and pegs include variations of huqin with three, four, and sometimes even more than five. These include the zhuihu, a three stringed huqin, the sihu, a huqin of Mongolian origin, and the sanhu, a lesser-known three-stringed variation.


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Jinghu (instrument)

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Tro (instrument) Traditional bowed string instruments from Cambodia

The tro is Cambodia's traditional spike fiddles, bowed string instruments that are held and played vertically. Spike fiddles have a handle that passes through the resonator, often forming a spike, on the bottom side where it emerges. The family is similar or distantly related to the Chinese erhu or huqin. The instruments have a soundbox at the bottom of the stick, covered with leather or snake skin. Strings run from pegs at the top of the stick and secured at the bottom, running across the soundbox. The larger the soundbox, the lower the pitch range. Instruments in this family include the two-stringed tro outro sau thomtro sau toch and tro che, as well as the three-stringed tro Khmer spike fiddle. The two-stringed tros are tuned in a fifth, while the three-stringed tro Khmer is tuned in fourths. The tros, with the exception of the tro Khmer, are strung so that the bowstring is permanently placed between the two stings. When the musician plays, the placement of the bow causes the strings to be played at once, one from below and one from above. In contrast, western fiddles are played with the bow pushing on each string from the outside, as is also the case with the tro khmer.

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The jiaohu is a Chinese bowed string instrument in the huqin family of musical instruments. Although very similar to the Jinghu and Ehru in physical structure, the Jiaohu is a traditional Chinese instrument. It is a small two-stringed fiddle-like instrument that requires a bow in order to produce its sound. Its sound box is made from the horn of a cow. The open front end of the sound box is covered with snake skin. As with many of the diverse instruments in China, many Huqin stringed instruments were used in feudal times to accentuate traditions, festivals, rituals, and court life. Chinese operas, especially in Beijing, required the use of elegant music and instruments, thus many woodwinds, drums, and stringed instruments including the Jiaohu were used in ensembles to give operas more emotional meaning. It has two strings and its sound box is made from the horn of a cow. The open front end of the sound box is covered with snake skin. The instrument is used primarily by the Gelao people of the southern Chinese province of Guangxi. The instrument's name is derived from the Chinese words jiǎo and .

Traditional Korean musical instruments

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The yehu is a bowed string instrument in the huqin family of Chinese musical instruments. Ye means coconut and hu is short for huqin. It is used particularly in the southern coastal provinces of China and in Taiwan. The instrument's soundbox is made from a coconut shell, which is cut on the playing end and covered with a piece of coconut wood instead of the snakeskin commonly used on other huqin instruments such as the erhu or gaohu. As with most huqin the bow hair passes in between the two strings. Many players prefer to use silk strings rather than the more modern steel strings generally used for the erhu, giving the instrument a distinctly hollow, throaty timbre. The instrument comes in various sizes. In Chaozhou music it is a leading instrument, and is tuned quite high. In Cantonese music it can be quite large and is often tuned to a relatively low pitch, lower than the erhu. It is used as an accompaniment instrument in the local musics and operas of various areas, including Guangdong, Fujian, and Taiwan. It is an important instrument in the music of the Chaozhou and Hakka peoples. In Taiwan, a variety of yehu used in Taiwan opera is called kezaixian.

The xiqin was a bowed string musical instrument. It is perhaps the original member of the huqin family of Chinese and Mongolian bowed string instruments; thus, the Erhu and Morin khuur and all similar fiddle instruments may be said to be derived from the xiqin. The xiqin had two silk strings and was held vertically.

Tihu (instrument)

The tihu is a two-stringed bowed vertical fiddle in the huqin family, used in Chaozhou xianshi music of the Chaozhou people. It is an adaptation of the gaohu used in Cantonese music. It has a tubular hardwood body that is covered on the playing end with python skin. It is used in the Chaozhou people's original homeland of Chaozhou and Shantou, in eastern Guangdong, as well as in regions where Chaozhou people have immigrated, such as Thailand and Singapore.

Khuuchir Mongolian musical instument

The khuuchir is a bowed musical instrument of Mongolia. Formerly, the nomads mainly used the snake skin violin or horsetail violin. The Chinese call it "the Mongol instrument" or "huk'in or huqin". It is tuned in the interval of a fifth and is small or middle sized. The khuuchir has a small, cylindrical, square or cup-like resonator made of bamboo, wood or copper, covered with a snake skin and open at the bottom. The neck is inserted in the body of the instrument. It usually has four silk strings, of which the first and the third are accorded in unison, whereas the second and fourth are tuned in the upper fifth.