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Guzheng Intro 古箏簡介

Guzheng (Chinese: 古箏), also known as the Chinese zither, is a Chinese plucked string instrument with more than 2,500 years of history. It usually consists of 16 or more strings and movable bridges. The modern Guzheng usually has 21 strings, and is 64 inches long.

Guzheng players often wear finger nails (or picks), made from materials such as ivory, tortoiseshell, resin or hard plastic, on one or both hands. (Note: Enjoying music does not give anyone excuses to endanger animals’ lives. Many rare species of tortoise are facing extinction. It is better to find alternatives to tortoise shells to make guzheng picks.)

Guzheng has inspired other Asian zithers, such as the Japanese koto, the Korean gayageum and the Vietnamese đàn tranh. A Guzheng is not the same as a Guqin (another ancient Chinese zither without movable bridges).

An early Guzheng emerged during the “Chinese Seven Warring States” period. By the Tang Dynasty, Guzheng might have become the most commonly played instrument in China. The modern Guzheng differs from those made centuries ago due to local influences and the adoption of Western musical styles. Strings, once made of silk, are now almost always steel coated in nylon.

Guzheng is plucked with finger nails attached to four fingers of one or both hands. Traditional playing styles involve the use of the right hand to pluck notes and the left hand to change the pitch or produce vibrato by pressing the strings. Modern styles or advanced players often use both hands to strike notes.

古箏,又稱「箏」(簡體:筝) 或「秦箏」,是中國撥弦樂器。其音域甚廣,音色純美清麗。目前最常用的古箏是 21弦箏。


古箏的高音弦是最靠近彈奏者的,低音弦則在最外,由內至外稱1弦至21弦。21弦箏通常按照D大調五聲音階定弦,通常初學者都會由D大調開始學習。箏的中間有箏碼 (或稱雁柱,或俗稱「碼仔」)。左方如果放在箏碼的左面,可以按弦方得到其他音。

現今有很多古箏老師都會教導初學者戴上指甲 (即假甲),其實有些派別主張戴假甲,也有些派別主張不戴假甲,也有老師會按照不同的歌曲需要,教導學生彈奏某些曲目是只需要右手佩戴假甲。現今的古箏指甲通常由玳瑁、尼龍、牛角、塑膠等製成,由膠帶纏繞黏固定於第一手指關節。(注: 真的玳瑁是瀕臨絶種、被受保護的動物。因此,坊間普遍所售的玳瑁指甲,未必是正品。作為一個負責任的音樂愛好者,我們不應該因為要彈奏古箏而殺害無辜的動物。)