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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Chinese Folk Instruments

As an important element of Chinese traditional culture, Chinese folk instruments (中国民乐) have a long and profound history which can be evidenced by those unearthed cultural relics. As early as the pre-Qin period, there were a variety of instruments. The bone whistle founded in Hemudu was produced in Neolithic Age. Jiahu bone flute unearthed in Wuyang county, Henan province is viewed as the earliest one-about 8,000 years before the president. Chime bell, hanging drum, Sheng, panpipe, etc were discovered in Zenghou Yi tomb which was buried B.C 433 years ago. These ancient instruments show the Chinese nation’s wisdom and creativity.

According to incomplete statistics, China now has more than 600 varieties of national musical instruments after days and months multiplying. These instruments are generally divided into four categories according to its sound and playing methods: wind instruments, bowed instruments, plucked strings instruments and percussion instruments.

Chinese wind instruments
Wind Instruments make sound by airflow through air column, reed or coupling vibrations. Common wind instruments include Dizi (笛子), Sheng (笙), Suona (唢呐), Xiao (萧), Lusheng (芦笙),etc.

Dizi (笛子), a kind of Chinese transverse flute, is the most representative wind instrument with distinctive Chinese national features. The majority of Dizi are made from bamboo on account of the more preferable sound effects and the lower cost, though it is also possible to find Dizi made traced back to Neolithic Age. Nowadays Dizi are frequently put to use in folk music, Chinese opera, national music ensemble or western symphony orchestra.

Chinese bowed instruments
As the name suggests, bow and string comprises the bowed instruments which makes sounds through the friction between the bow and string. Common bowed instruments cover Erhu (二胡), Gaohu (高胡), Jinghu (京胡), Banhu (板胡), Matouqin (马头琴) and so on.

Erhu (二胡) with a history of more than 2,000 years is one of the main bowed instruments. It consists of a head, axis, rod, qianjin, qinma, sound box, strings and bow. The timbre of Erhu takes on strong ethnic flavor. It is suitable for playing soft and meticulous lyrical music.

Chinese plucked strings instruments
Plucked strings instruments are a general term for musical instruments using fingers or bamboo to strike the string to makes sounds including Guqin (古琴), Se (瑟), Guzheng (古筝), Konghou (箜篌), Pipa (琵琶), Sanxian (三弦), Ruan (阮), Liuqin (柳琴), Yueqin (月琴), Duxianqin (独弦琴), etc.

Guqin (古琴) is a traditional plucked strings instrument with a history more than 3,000 years, which has been listed as “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Mankind”. Usually the body of Guqin is elongated and hollow in the center. It is 120-125 centimeters long and has seven strings. The sound of Guqin is softer and the timbre is low and a little bit oppressive.

Chinese percussion instruments
Percussion instruments are maybe the most ancient instrument, making sounds by striking the body of the instrument itself. Most of percussions have certain sound such drum, Bo (钹), Luo (锣), Qing (磬), Pengling (碰铃), Yinqing 引磬), Laba (喇叭), Fangxiang (方响), Bianzhong(编钟) and so on.

Bianzhong (编钟),an percussion instrument of important in ancient time, emerged in Western Zhou, about more than 3,000 years ago. It is composed of a set of bronze bells, hung in a wooden frame in succession. It produces different tones when struck with a mallet.


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