Tuning Butterfly and Multitonic Guzheng

These are the really fun instruments! Let’s get into this.

Butterfly

From HKZhengArt. Used Under Fair Use.

From HKZhengArt. Used Under Fair Use.

The Butterfly guzheng is setup with separate sides, 25 on the left and 24 on the right. The left side has 21 long strings and 4 short, the right side has 20 long strings and 4 short strings. We’ll follow the same counting convention of 1 is high, 25 is low. Keep in mind this means the list shows highest pitch at the top, while the diagram shows lowest at the top.

Tuning is taken from Kwok 1987.

Left Side

  1. D6

  2. (short) C#6

  3. B5

  4. A5

  5. F#5

  6. E5

  7. D5

  8. (short)C#5

  9. B4

  10. A4

  11. F#4

  12. E4

  13. D4

  14. (short) C#4

  15. B3

  16. A3

  17. F#3

  18. E3

  19. D3

  20. (short) C#3

  21. B2

  22. A2

  23. F#2

  24. E2

  25. D2

Butterfly guzheng tuning diagram from Kwok 1987 in Helmholtz notation. I’ve converted to Scientific notation as D2, D3, D4 is clearer than D, d, d1.

Butterfly guzheng tuning diagram from Kwok 1987 in Helmholtz notation. I’ve converted to Scientific notation as D2, D3, D4 is clearer than D, d, d1.

Right Side

  1. C6

  2. A#5

  3. (short) G#5

  4. G5

  5. F5

  6. D#5

  7. C5

  8. A#4

  9. (short) G#4

  10. G4

  11. F4

  12. D#4

  13. C4

  14. A#3

  15. (short) G#3

  16. G3

  17. F3

  18. D#3

  19. C3

  20. A#2

  21. (short) G#2

  22. G2

  23. F2

  24. D#2


Multi Tonic

Taken from  stmusic.com.tw

Taken from stmusic.com.tw

The multitonic is essentially two guzheng in one: a 16-string pentatonic covering 3 octaves and a 21-string diatonic covering … 3 octaves. The 16 string can be tuned from D3 to D6, in the key of D and the other side is tuned A2 to B5, diatonic, still key of D. It adds an extra low A as the last bass string.

Left side, 16 strings, Pentatonic

  1. D6

  2. B5

  3. A5

  4. F#5

  5. E5

  6. D5

  7. B4

  8. A4

  9. F#4

  10. E4

  11. D4

  12. B3

  13. A3

  14. F#3

  15. E3

  16. D3

Right side, 21 strings, Diatonic

  1. B5

  2. A5

  3. G5

  4. F#5

  5. E5

  6. D5

  7. C#5

  8. B4

  9. A4

  10. G4

  11. F#4

  12. E4

  13. D4

  14. C#4

  15. B3

  16. A3

  17. G3

  18. F#3

  19. E3

  20. D3

  21. A2

Taken from stmusic.com.tw in Helmholtz notation. Converted to Scientific notation at left.


Comparison with 16-26 string instruments, key of G for ease of writing:

16 String Guzheng

1. D6 (1174.7 Hz)

2. B5 (987.77 Hz)

3. A5 (880 Hz)

4. G5 (784 Hz)

5. E5 (659.25 Hz)

6. D5 (587.33 Hz)

7. B4 (493.88 Hz)

8. A4 (440 Hz)

9. G4 (392 Hz)

10. E4 (329.63 Hz)

11. D4 (293.66 Hz)

12. B3 (246.94 Hz)

13. A3 (220 Hz)

14. G3 (196 Hz)

15. E3 (164.81 Hz)

16. D3 (146.83 Hz)

18 String Guzheng

1. D6 (1174.7 Hz)

2. B5 (987.77 Hz)

3. A5 (880 Hz)

4. G5 (784 Hz)

5. E5 (659.25 Hz)

6. D5 (587.33 Hz)

7. B4 (493.88 Hz)

8. A4 (440 Hz)

9. G4 (392 Hz)

10. E4 (329.63 Hz)

11. D4 (293.66 Hz)

12. B3 (246.94 Hz)

13. A3 (220 Hz)

14. G3 (196 Hz)

15. E3 (164.81 Hz)

16. D3 (146.83 Hz)

17. B2 (123.47 Hz)

18. A2 (110 Hz)

21 String Guzheng

1. D6 (1174.7 Hz)

2. B5 (987.77 Hz)

3. A5 (880 Hz)

4. G5 (784 Hz)

5. E5 (659.25 Hz)

6. D5 (587.33 Hz)

7. B4 (493.88 Hz)

8. A4 (440 Hz)

9. G4 (392 Hz)

10. E4 (329.63 Hz)

11. D4 (293.66 Hz)

12. B3 (246.94 Hz)

13. A3 (220 Hz)

14. G3 (196 Hz)

15. E3 (164.81 Hz)

16. D3 (146.83 Hz)

17. B2 (123.47 Hz)

18. A2 (110 Hz)

19. G2 (98 Hz)

20. E2 (82.4 Hz)

21. D2 (73.416 Hz)

23 String Guzheng

1. E6 (1318.5 Hz)

2. D6 (1174.7 Hz)

3. B5 (987.77 Hz)

4. A5 (880 Hz)

5. G5 (784 Hz)

6. E5 (659.25 Hz)

7. D5 (587.33 Hz)

8. B4 (493.88 Hz)

9. A4 (440 Hz)

10. G4 (392 Hz)

11. E4 (329.63 Hz)

12. D4 (293.66 Hz)

13. B3 (246.94 Hz)

14. A3 (220 Hz)

15. G3 (196 Hz)

16. E3 (164.81 Hz)

17. D3 (146.83 Hz)

18. B2 (123.47 Hz)

19. A2 (110 Hz)

20. G2 (98 Hz)

21. E2 (82.4 Hz)

22. D2 (73.416 Hz)

23. B1 (61.735 Hz)

26 String Guzheng

1. G6 (1568 Hz)

2. E6 (1318.5 Hz)

3. D6 (1174.7 Hz)

4. B5 (987.77 Hz)

5. A5 (880 Hz)

6. G5 (784 Hz)

7. E5 (659.25 Hz)

8. D5 (587.33 Hz)

9. B4 (493.88 Hz)

10. A4 (440 Hz)

11. G4 (392 Hz)

12. E4 (329.63 Hz)

13. D4 (293.66 Hz)

14. B3 (246.94 Hz)

15. A3 (220 Hz)

16. G3 (196 Hz)

17. E3 (164.81 Hz)

18. D3 (146.83 Hz)

19. B2 (123.47 Hz)

20. A2 (110 Hz)

21. G2 (98 Hz)

22. E2 (82.4 Hz)

23. D2 (73.416 Hz)

24. B1 (61.735 Hz)

25. A1 (55 Hz)

26. G1 (49 Hz)