Erhu, the “Chinese Violin”
Maybe the first thing that comes into your head when you read the title was “Erhu? What’s erhu?” Many people have no clue about it. When somebody asked me what I liked to do in my free time, I said that I liked to play erhu. Not surprisingly, the person wanted me to elaborate on that hobby. Since, the erhu is still unknown to many, I shall therefore use this post to introduce you to this exotic and ancient Chinese instrument.
The erhu, pronounced as “are-hoo”, is a traditional Chinese stringed instrument. It is usually known in the Western world as the ‘Chinese Violin”, perhaps because the erhu and the Western violin have many similarities. They’re both stringed instruments. And just like the violin, the erhu takes centre stage in an orchestra, although the orchestra is a Chinese one. Like the Western orchestra, the Chinese orchestra has more members playing stringed instruments than any other kind. However, the violin and the erhu has differences as well. Unlike the violin, the erhu is played vertically, laid on the player’s left lap. The erhu also has only 2 strings! Amazing isn’t it, that such an instrument could be so simple? The other difference is that unlike the violin, the erhu can imitate human voice and other natural sounds such as chirping birds and neighing horses. When the erhu is played for melancholic songs, it can move emotions, probably because it has such a raw and human-like sound!This is a picture of a lady playing an erhu.
In my school, we have a Chinese orchestra which features the erhu, guzheng (also known as the Eastern Piano), dizi (Chinese flute), yang qin (Chinese hammered dulcimer) and pipa (the Chinese lute), so students get to know not only Western instruments, but also Chinese ones. I think it’s wonderful! It’s good education for us to know about instruments in different parts of the world! I hope through this post, you have known one more instrument :D
Well, are you interested in Erhu now? Because, I do! Maybe we can ask Ovellia to teach us!
Thanks for the amazing post Ovellia!!