Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments describes the instrument as a ‘Four-string fiddle of the Han Chinese’. It has four strings and is played with a bow that has two bands of hair: one band bows strings 1 and 3, which are tuned in unison; the second band plays strings 2 and 4, also in unison, but tuned a fifth above strings 1 and 3. Consists of a tapered wooden neck (square section tapering to cylindrical section, with a stop at the tail end, ?bone plate at head end) and an octagonal body, one end of which is closed with a piece of ?snake skin; four conical and fluted pegs are inserted from the same side. Instrument stained with an ?iron oxide red pigment. The associated bow is made from a single piece of bamboo cane (the two strands plaited together at the tip of the bow and knotted at the heel).
Royal College of Music Museum
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- Measurements:Neck: overall length including stop 763mm, projecting length 680mm. Body: 127mm long, 64–75.5mm diameter. Associated bow length: 669mm.
- View the original record:http://museumcollections.rcm.ac.uk/collection/Details/collect/1332