Guzheng, also called Chinese zither, is one of the oldest Chinese musical plucking instruments.The guzheng is plucked with plectra attached to four fingers of one or both hands. Modern styles or advanced players use both hands to strike notes.The guzheng is a fascinating mix of new and old.
The guzheng is a fascinating mix of new and old. The modern instrument is a product of the 1960s – but like the electric guitar it traces its origins to earlier instruments.
Unlike the electric guitar, its predecessors date from 6th century BCE in China or earlier. That’s 2600+ years of history to tell you!
The Guzheng was originally called simply Zheng, but as the instrument developed an extended and ancient history the prefix “Gu” was added.
The Guzheng has been a popular musical instrument in China since ancient times, and is considered one of the most important chamber as well as solo instruments of Chinese traditional music.
The modern Guzheng is a plucked, half-tube zither with 21 strings that rest on moveable bridges above a rectangular sound box. The sound box (or large resonating cavity), is made from wu-tong wood .
In the present, the Zheng has developed a wider range, depth, and versatility. New generations of the Zheng musicians are broadening the scope of the Zheng and take it to a higher level.
Musicians are constantly refining new playing techniques for the instrument .
Culture and Artistic Exchanges
Music Lovers Guzheng Soceity is a culture-art exchange and promotion association.
Learn to play the Guzheng,an ancient Chinese zither,and experience classic sounds of China.
We are holing Guzheng gathering activities for people who are interested.
The charm of national music blossoms!
'It's my love, it's my life'
Zithers of East Asia
On the evening of February 9, American East Coast Time, the concert of the 5th International Music Competition of American Golden Peony Festival sponsored by American Huaren Association was successfully held at Kauffman Theatre near Lincoln Center, New York. On that night, the sounds of Erhu, Guzheng, piano and other instruments were sounded. The East and the West met in the form of art.
Wei Fengqing (left), Executive Chairman of the Chinese-American Family Association, Félix W. Ortiz (middle), Vice-Speaker of the New York State House of Representatives, and Li Tao (right), President of Dr. Li Tao International Center for Music and Art.
Ms. Wei Fengqing, executive chairman of the Huaren Association of America, said that the American Golden Peony Festival is an international, authoritative and professional music event, which has been successfully held in Rose Hall and Alice Hall of Lincoln Center since 2013.
The American Golden Peony Festival aims to promote the development of music and art between China and the United States and promote the international exchange of music and culture. It includes Chinese national musical instruments, Western musical instruments and vocal music competitions. More than 20 performers from China, the United States and India have demonstrated their special musical talents in the festival. The judges of the competition are professors and professionals from Julia Conservatory of Music, New York University and Manhattan Conservatory of Music. The event was supported by the Bogan County Government of New Jersey and the Department of Multicultural Affairs of New York.
Audiz, Deputy Speaker of the New York State House of Representatives, Adams, President of Brooklyn, Zheng Qirong, President of American Calligraphy and Painting Art Research Association, Zhu Liye, President of Southeast Network of Fujian Daily, Wang Yanling, Director of Overseas Department, Chairman of Fujian Association, Zheng Deliang, Executive Vice-Chairman Guo Erqiang, President of Fujian Overseas Chinese Federation, Chairman of the World Federation of Calligraphers and Painters, Huang Qiuyuan, President of Fu Mingming, Secretary-General of the Asian American Women’s Federation, and Lin Wen, head of the American-American Cultural Post, were invited to attend.
As the saying goes: Music is the common language of mankind. This mysterious and unknown world needs to be explored constantly. Music culture is a huge treasure of human culture and a common spiritual wealth accumulated in the long course of human history.
In ancient times, Confucius elaborated on the importance of “ritual and music” in the course of the five thousand years of the Chinese nation, and produced many national musical instruments and well-known music, which brought us the enjoyment of beauty.
Music is one of the most wonderful arts in the world. Ethnic and Western instruments play the “world voice” of the combination of Chinese and Western music, which makes the moving Eastern and western music radiate new life and experience the beauty of the pluralistic national music culture together.
The performers made the audience deeply feel the emotional impact of the integration of Chinese and Western music in each track and note, and the audience reacted warmly to this form of cultural exchange.
Zheng, also known as Guzheng and Qinzheng, is an ancient traditional plucked instrument in China. Zheng was widely popular during the Warring States Period.
Guzheng has a wide range of sound, clear tone and rich expressive force. It has always been popular with the public. There are poems in Tang Dynasty, such as “Ming Zheng Jinsu Zhu, Su Hand Yufang”.
Guzheng has always been highly respected in China. Guzheng has always been regarded as a treasure of national musical instruments, a wonderful music appreciated by both elegance and vulgarity, the ancestor of group voice, and a master of music. Not only is the Chinese people fond of guzheng, but many countries in the world also appreciate it very much. They call it a mysterious instrument and the music it plays as magical music.
The music played by the zither is gentle and beautiful, beautiful and harmonious, and the sound of the music goes round and round for three days.
In the Eastern Han Dynasty, Guzheng was praised by scholars in the Three Kingdoms Period as “the master of group voice and the teacher of music”.
Having no wish in life, I would like to make music in Zheng.
Running to see peony and listening to Qin Zheng
Salute and inherit traditional national music. The overflowing emotion is real and touching. Listen attentively, feel the melodious beauty, and experience the beauty of national music together.
Jarrelle Barton plays the guzheng, or Chinese zither. Evan Frost | MPR News
The guzheng, also known as the Chinese zither, is a 21-string instrument that resembles a harp, if that harp was played on its side.
Jarrelle Barton first heard its sound at a public library when he was 13 years old. Soon after, he made his own guzheng using a wooden tea tray and some guitar strings, but eventually convinced his grandmother to buy him one.
But Barton isn’t the person you’d expect to find playing it: He’s a young black man.
“About, maybe the first year, I was completely self-taught,” Barton said, explaining that he had bought some tutorials online — but they were all in Mandarin.
Not to be deterred, Barton then started learning the language on his own.
“I made like name tags and I tagged everything in the house,” he said. “I don’t think it’s impossible to learn guzheng without knowing how to speak Mandarin, but I think it would be extremely difficult.”
The guzheng might seem new or unique to an American audience, but the instrument is commonplace in China. The thing that drew Barton to it as opposed to something like the guitar was “expression.”
“The way that you can bend a note and it can express a million different notes in just one string,” he said. “You can’t do that on piano, you can’t do that on guitar.”
Jarrelle Barton uses finger picks to play the guzheng, or Chinese zither in St. Paul, Minn. on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. Evan Frost | MPR News
While he’s received mostly positive responses to his music, Barton has also heard people tell him that because he’s not Chinese he should not be playing the guzheng. Those comments led Barton to consider his own identity.
“I felt distant from myself. I felt as if I were ignoring my own heritage, my own history,” he said. But after a lot of contemplation he concluded that “music is music,” and that he didn’t believe in sectioning it off, and resolved to ignore the negative comments.
“It’s my love, it’s my life. I’ve devoted so much time to it,” he said. “This passion I have for it, it goes beyond labels and borders and it’s completely free. And I think that is where true music is, it’s free.”
Greenwich High School in Connecticut hosted a Zithers of East Asia Guzheng Pipa Salon. We will present you with an audio-visual feast! Painstakingly polished zither, Pipa music, drunk your ears one by one…
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This website is intentionally built to serve as a window for people who are interested in GuZheng to have further understanding of this ancient Chinese musical instrument. Hopefully this website could become a bridge and facilitate the cultural exchange between the East and the West.