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Chinese Music
Chinese Instruments


Erhu, a two-stringed fiddle, is one of the best-known traditional Chinese musical instruments. Its music is usually very expressive and touching, especially when you feel down and blue.

Scroll down to enjoy some of the most famous Erhu melodies, and we begin with:
Teresa's Blues
Great collection and our personal favourite which is very worth listening to.
Classical playlist
We are not certain casual Westerners browsing will understand most of these tunes.
Erhu as an instrument
Finally we introduce the Erhu offering history and general information.

Teresa's Blues - Modern Erhu tracks by the world's leading performers
  • Tracks open in a playlist window, please allow pop-ups if there is no media player.
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Image: Album Cover - Click to Enlarge

忘记他 (3.17)
Forget him



胭脂泪 (2.58)
Yan Zhi Lei



漫步人生路 (3.45)
Walking Life



独上西楼 (2.13)
Independence on the West Wing



恰似你的温柔 (3.53)
Almost Just Like Your Tenderness



空港 (3.47)



何日君再来 (3.39)
Love You Forever



小村之恋 (3.47)
Love Little Village



爱人 (3.51)



但愿人长久 (3.49)
Wish the People Forever



夜来香 (3.54)
Evening Primrose



我只在乎你 (4.03)
I Only Care About You



原乡人 (3.35)
The Native



Play All Above



Classical Chinese Erhu Melodies - These may not suit Western ears?

Er Quan Ying Yue (6.16)
Er Quan Ying Yue means "second spring reflecting the moon." It was wriitten by Hua Yanjun (also known as A Bing), a blind artist living between 1893 and 1950. It is perhaps the most famous Erhu tune of all time. That stated, we do not recommend this piece for first-timers to this most expressive of instruments. It is better suited to musicians gaining knowledge about this most excellent musical instrument.



Bing Zhong Yin (9.05)
Moaning during sickness.



Liang Xiao (3.35)
Beautiful night



Han Gong Qiu Yue (6.58)
Autumn moon in the palace during the Han Dynasty

Also featured in Top 10 Classics with Pipa and Guzheng alternatives



Zhong Hua Liu Ban (4.03)
An ancient melody



Yu Hu Mai Chun (8.56)
Buying spring a with jade teapot



Xing Jie (5.31)
Walking the street



Liu Bo Qu (6.53)
Melody of running waves



Jiang He Shui (7.41)
Water in the rivers



Ting Song (3.25)
Listening to the pine



Yi Zhi Hua (7.44)
A flower

The flower referred to is probably a term used to describe a beautiful girl



Die Lian Hua (5.20)
Butterfly flying in the flowers



Qinqiang Opera theme song (6.59)

This the Erhu version of the tune. Qinqiang Opera is an ancient local opera in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

Listen to the Erhu and Pipa working completely in tandem, especially at the midpoint of this track - wonderful combination of instruments! Recommended Erhu version: Quite brilliant!

Here is the Banhu version of the same song (5.40).



Play All Above



Erhu: History and General Information
Image: ErHu
The erhu (Chinese: 二胡; pinyin: èrhú), also called nanhu (南胡, "southern fiddle"), and sometimes known in the West as the "Chinese violin" or "Chinese two-string fiddle," is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, used as a solo instrument as well as in small ensembles and large orchestras.

It is the most popular instrument in the huqin (胡琴) family of Chinese bowed string instruments, together with the zhonghu (中胡), gaohu (高胡), banhu (板胡), jinghu (京胡), sihu (四胡), and numerous others. Similarly, the bow passes between the two strings as is common with all Chinese Bowed instruments.

The erhu consists of a long vertical stick-like neck, at the top of which are two large tuning pegs, and at the bottom is a small resonator body (sound box) which is covered with python skin on the front (playing) end. Two strings are attached from the pegs to the base, and a small loop of string (qian jin) placed around the neck and strings acting as a nut pulls the strings towards the skin, holding a small wooden bridge in place.
Various dense and heavy hardwoods are used in making the erhu. According to Chinese references the woods include zi tan (紫檀 red sandalwood and other woods of the genus Pterocarpus such as padauk), lao hong mu (老红木 aged red wood), wu mu (乌木 black wood), and hong mu (红木 red wood). Particularly fine erhus are often made from pieces of old furniture.
Image: Erhu showing bow between strings - Click to Enlarge A typical erhu measures 81cm from top to bottom, the length of the bow also being 81cm.

The erhu is almost always tuned to the interval of a fifth. The inside string (nearest to player) is generally tuned to D4 and the outside string to A4. This is the same as the two middle strings of the violin.

The erhu is traditionally played sitting down placed on the top of the left thigh. However, many modern artists such as 12 Girls Band play it standing up.
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