Organology

Quaint and useless fact:

Indigenous and ancient Chinese musical instruments usually consist of one single character, like

qin zither
sheng mouth-organ
zheng zither
di flute.

Whereas those imported from outside China (generally Central Asia) tend to have two characters, like

pipa lute
erhu fiddle
suona shawm
yangqin dulcimer.

“Not a lot of people know that”. Perhaps we can think of some exceptions?

By the way, the pipa was held horizontally in medieval times, the angle getting higher over the course of a thousand years until attaining its present vertical position—surely the longest and most gradual erection known to mankind.

2 thoughts on “Organology

  1. Pingback: More organology | Stephen Jones: a blog

  2. Pingback: Learning: Hu Zhihou | Stephen Jones: a blog

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