Guqin - Chinese Plucked String Instrument
The guqin is made with two planks of wood with suitable thickness, carved to form a hollow sound chamber then glued together. It consists of seven twisted silk strings with differing thickness pulled across the top board, with 13 inlays indicating the finger positions. It is played using a combination of right hand and left hand techniques, mainly the 散 san (open string), 按 an (stopped string) and 泛 fan (harmonics).
With origins dating back about 3000 years ago, it was one of the four great arts that aristocratic Chinese scholars were expected to master, along with calligraphy, painting and chess. (四藝 - 琴棋書畫) It is mainly played in a solo chamber setting or outdoor setting to a small audience. Confuscius was one of the most notable Guqin player in Ancient China.
Scores of the Guqin differ from numeric notation and staff notation used in modern day music as the notation for Guqin dates back about 1500 years ago. With it being explored and developed by the scholars as an art form and a science on the manipulation and techniques, texts created remain largely unchanged till this day.