All about the musical instrument Erhu

All about the musical instrument Erhu

Erhu – this is exactly the so-called one of the types of Chinese violin. On the peculiarities of its structure and sound, as well as about the history of this musical instrument will be discussed in the article.


Erhu is an old Chinese violin, which belongs to the family of stringed bow musical instruments. It is considered a type of chinese instrument Huzin.

Erhu name has its own meaning. So, the first syllable “ER” is translated as “two”, and the second “Hu”, as “Bed”.

Call such a musical instrument with a full-fledged traditional violin, to which many are accustomed, difficult. It has a range within 3 octaves and only 2 strings, which are made from Silka and are tensioned by a musician in the process of playing with fingers. Its main parts include, in addition to strings, deck, a wood resonator, which can be hexagon or cylindrical, as well as a snake leather membrane.

In addition, it includes a tool neck. Earlier, the entire tool, including the neck, was in length about 60 centimeters. However, now he has increased slightly in size, since the length of the neck began to reach almost a whole meter, namely: 80 centimeters. Strings are connected to the neck with a metal bracket.

The body of the tool is made mainly from a dense tree, such as pink or ebony.

A curved bow, which makes a bamboo stem, is attached to the tool. With it and reproduced melody. The bow itself also has its own string, which is made of horsehair. It is usually fixed between the two main strings so that he with Herhu is one whole.

For the game, this bowbell is specifically rubbed in the rosin in order to increase friction. This stage musicians pay special attention.

If the bow is wrong, it is not good enough, the sound of the musical instrument will distort sharply, and instead of a charming gentle melody will be nasty, cutting rumor, rattling sound.

History of musical instrument

China has many traditional musical instruments that can be called compared to erhu, indeed, ancient. Herhu is pretty young, she is about a thousand years old.

Decompose on the shelves each of the stages of the formation of this musical instrument will be difficult. For a long time, he was considered a tool of nomads, respectively, very often changed his location together with the moor groups of people.

For the first time, Erhu declared itself in the northern regions of China. Because of its origin, the tool was considered barbaric.

However, he came to the peasants. They performed their folk chants on it, in which they described the usual everyday life, they said there and about such ordinary things like fishing and pastiba of livestock.

The truly popular erhu became only in the period when in China, the rules of the Tang Dynasty, that is, in the VII-X century already our era.

After a certain time, this musical instrument has become increasingly engaged in different ensembles and even in the Orchestra of the Beijing Opera. It became very common in China everywhere – both in rural and in urban areas.

Despite all this, respecting this tool did not take advantage of this, which happened again because of his “barbaric” origin. His sound as a solo tool to hear could be very rare.

Appreciated him only because of such a musician, like Liu Tianhua. It is thanks to him Erhu received the status of a full-fledged solo musical instrument. One of the most famous works is a melody titled “The second spring reflects the moon,” now it is a classic.

Erhu is even more popular after the demonstration in 2004 on TV Gala concert “New Dynasty Tan”, which was devoted to the New Year in China.

Pretty bright view, including music and a variety of dances, in which the real culture of the Chinese, produced a great positive impression on people.

So, in 2006, such concerts were organized in many major cities almost all over the globe. In 2008, concerts were again conducted, and the number of cities in which they were organized, increased, as, in fact, the number of people who visited the events.

Special delight of the viewers of concerts caused exactly the violin erhu. On the instrument performed musical compositions Famous musician, Mrs. Qi Siaochun, which he learned the game on Erhu Father. This girl is one of the most famous performers on Erhu.

Except her, Popularization of the tool contributed to such a master game on Erhu like George Gao.

At this time, hear the sound of erhu can not only on such concerts, but also in the Chinese opera and theater, namely: in dramatic productions. Besides, Erhu is actively used by different musical groups.

As it sounds

Erhu sound quite thin, as if shelkovoy. That is why this tool is most often used in the performance of smooth musical compositions. This tool with ease can simulate and cry, and sigh, as well as pass the atmosphere of personal conversations. In the hands of the master, she can imitate the sounds of nature, bird stump, horsepower, spring droplets, windy upwards and ridge, other sounds.

Technique game

In the subway study, the game on such a musical instrument, like Erhu, could be started only from 4 years.

In the process of the game, Erhu is located vertically, while relying it with her leg in his knee. The bow at the same time should be in the right hand of the artist, the other hand he should press on the strings.

It is worth noting that to search for the necessary notes, the tool strings are clamped so that they do not touch the griff.

The most common acceptance for playing Erhu is “transverse vibrato”. Its principle is that when execution, the musician puts on the string down, which somewhat changes the sound tool.

Hear the sound of erhu you can in the video below.

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