instrument de musique chine
China – Music and Instruments

China – Music and Instruments

The diversity of musical sounds is an endless source of inspiration for musicians. It’s worth taking a broader perspective: the world is like an infinite reservoir of tones, melodies, and rhythms waiting to be discovered. Here on the, we want to embark on this fascinating journey with you. 🌏🎵


Erhu from China

Embark on a journey as we delve into instruments from diverse cultural backgrounds, spanning the spectrum from string instruments to wind instruments and traditional percussion. There’s a musical treasure here for every musician and music enthusiast. 🙂

Beyond the realm of musical inspiration, a closer examination offers glimpses into the rich traditions and histories of the regions where these instruments find their roots. Rest assured, we won’t delve too deep into a history lesson, but we’ll keep our eyes open for those fascinating insights. 😉 Our exploration begins with China…

Chinas Instruments and Music

China takes the lead in our exploration, presenting one of the world’s oldest musical traditions. In Chinese culture, music, alongside poetry and dance, embodies a harmony between humanity and the universe, holding a pivotal role in traditional Chinese philosophy. The musical theory diverges slightly from our familiar norms: notes are denoted by numbers, and tones are characterized by terms drawn from nature and the cosmos. This connection and the historically positive association with music are also evident in the language. An interesting fact: did you know that the Chinese characters for “Joy” (快乐) and “Music” (音乐) bear a striking resemblance? A nugget of new knowledge for you! 🙂



Thomann Chinese GuZheng I-B

The Guzheng, a traditional Chinese arched zither, boasts a rich history and cultural significance. Across various regions and historical periods, Guzhengs were played with diverse techniques and string configurations. Today, the 21-stringed Guzheng, played with attached nails, has become prevalent. What adds to its allure is the non-fixed placement of the bridges, allowing them to be freely moved based on the desired mood and key. While tuning may initially appear intricate, it becomes more manageable with practice. Initially strung with silk strings, modern Guzhengs commonly feature steel strings as a popular alternative.

Thomann GuZheng Pro-Level Strings Set


Thomann GuZheng Brush Set Blue

The player’s left hand skillfully executes tonal modulations and introduces effects, contributing to the creation of the distinctive sound of the Guzheng. With its expansive tonal range and remarkable expressive capabilities, the Guzheng crafts soundscapes that resonate not only with the Chinese population but captivate audiences worldwide.

You can find Guzhengs and related accessories such as strings, stands, and cleaning tools by clicking HERE

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Artino Chinese HuLuSi Flute C

Artino Chinese HuLuSi Flute C

Enthusiasts of wind instruments will find a wealth of options in traditional Chinese music. In addition to the classical bamboo flutes Dizi and Dongxiao, the Hulusi presents a particularly intriguing choice. This free reed wind instrument, akin to a mouth organ, produces its distinctive sound through 1-2 drone pipes accompanying the main melody pipe, resulting in a resonance reminiscent of a bagpipe.

Artino Chinese HuLuSi Cucurbit Flute

Artino Chinese HuLuSi Cucurbit Flute

Crafted typically from a dried gourd, the Hulusi’s bamboo pipes are played akin to a flute. For musicians familiar with instruments such as the saxophone or clarinet, transitioning to the Hulusi is a seamless process. While the blowing technique might require some initial acclimatization, a few attempts will make playing the Hulusi feel like second nature. Yet, the instrument’s clear yet warm sound is something that all musicians can truly appreciate! Explore a range of beginner Hulusi options, each tuned differently, to embark on your initial journey with this fantastic instrument.



Artino Marco Polo Premium ErHu

Artino Marco Polo Premium ErHu

The Erhu stands out as perhaps the most renowned Chinese string instrument, playing a pivotal role in the National Opera. Its unique charm lies in the ability to produce tones that alternate between haunting screeches and soothing warmth, closely mimicking the nuances of the human voice. Often dubbed the “Chinese Violin,” the Erhu shares a commonality only in the use of the bow. However, when comparing it to Western string instruments and Huqin instruments—a classification of Chinese bowed string instruments—significant differences emerge. The Erhu’s bow is skillfully threaded between the strings, eschewing the resting-on-strings approach seen in classical violins.

Adding to its distinctiveness, the Erhu lacks a conventional fingerboard. Intonation proves to be a challenge, particularly for beginners, as the strings are skillfully pressed in the air. Yet, the dedication to practice yields rewarding results, especially for those enthralled by the historical resonance of the Erhu. For beginners seeking instruments and accessories, a curated selection is available at Thomann here.


Instruments at Thomann

👉 Click here to check World Instruments & Traditional Instruments.

👉 Browse all Chinese instruments here.

About the Author Sophie

Sophie joined the String and World Instruments department at Thomann in 2018. Originally working as a specialist advisor in the field of violins and string instruments, her interest quickly shifted to the diverse ethnic instruments of various countries. Today, her small apartment resembles more of a museum, filled with musical instruments from around the world. Sophie plays the violin, saxophone, bass, guitar, Guzheng, Hulusi, and Ruan, among countless other instruments.



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Simon's passion for music generated a long time ago, and led him to become a guitarist and self-produce his music with the band Onyria.

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