Posts tagged Hong Kong
18 Strings, Steel

As the government pushed for traditional instruments to take on a new form in post-war China, instrument makers added strings to the then common 16. Different changes spread at different speeds through different makers, creating surprising fusions of new and old. Here is one example of such an instrument. Built in the 1980s in Hong Kong this Skylark-brand instrument takes some of the innovations of the preceding decades in their own direction.

First up is its size: at just around 58 inches or 147 cm long, it's about as long as the modern "Travel Sized" guzheng made today. It has 18 strings of steel, with the 4 bass strings wound in copper to emphasize their depth. This is typical of the time, as makers sought to expand the zheng's range and sound qualities. 

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ZhengJ BHong KongComment
18 Strings, Steel, Custom

As the government pushed for traditional instruments to take on a new form in post-war China, instrument makers added strings to the then common 16. Here is one example of such an instrument. Built in the 1980s in Hong Kong at the request of the current owner, this slightly miniaturized guzheng is a bit different from the 21-stringers you'll see today. First up is its size: at just 46 inches or 116cm long, it falls far shorter than the common ~63 inches (160cm) of the full size 21 stringers of today. That and the foreshortened head compartment were intentional, as the commissioner requested something that was easier to travel with. The tuning pins are enclosed in the head compartment, another modern touch.

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ZhengJ BHong KongComment