What is a Guzheng?
The gǔzhēng (古筝) is a shockingly beautiful long zither from China. The name is Mandarin Chinese for "ancient zither". "Gu" is pronounced close to "goo" and "zheng" similar to "jung". So many parts come together to create this wondrous fusion of new and old. Performers sit by the rectangular head of the instrument and pluck the strings in front of them. By pressing and vibrating the strings to the left of the movable bridges, that array of supports that curve down the center of the instrument, the player can change the pitch with subtleties rarely found in the repertoire of the West.
Get up to speed with a 90-second summary. Relax with some excellent guzheng music. Explore the many related instruments, like the Japanese Koto, Korean Gayageum, and Mongolian Yatga. If you’re ready for a long read, dive into the deep history of the guzheng. Explore to your heart’s content!
What is Guzheng Alive?
Guzheng Alive is an English-language resource for students, teachers, and the general public. It aims to provide information about the instrument and its music to all who want to know, and to create a place where people can discover its rich history. Feel free to send in questions through the email form at the bottom of every page. Answers will be quick!
This is an educational, non-commercial website. Great efforts have been made to provide information that is accurate and helpful. To avoid bias there are no financial ties between Guzheng Alive and any stores, brands, or other parties. There is no advertising on this site. All advice and recommendations are offered from a combination of personal experience and cited sources. Guzheng Alive is intended to provide visitors the context they need to further their own enjoyment.
"The guzheng sings to my soul. Layers of art move through and across. No lines are parallel. The soundboards curve in two directions, the strings lift up in a sweeping array of lines, and even the underside is curved upwards. Every note provides an anchor from which to explore."
Join the Community
The world of the guzheng is filled with wonderful people with fantastic stories. Checkout the Artists and Experts pages for bios of some of the faces in the English-speaking guzheng community. Run into someone you’d like to mention? Send them in through the form below!