Type: Lute > Chordophone.
Region: China > Far East Asia.
Description: The yueqin or yue qin [Chinese 月 琴 p, yuéqín] or gekkin in Japanese. It is a short-necked plucked lute having a hollow wooden body which gives this instrument the nick name "moon guitar". Having a total of four strings tuned in courses of two. Each pair of strings tuned to a single pitch usually an interval of a perfect fifth. Occasionally the body of the yueqin maybe octagonal in shape. It is an important musical instrument in the Beijing Opera orchestra. Often the yueqin may take the lead role in lieu of the bowed stringed section.
|Three Stringed||D A|
|Four Stringed||A D a d|
|Four Stringed (Recent)||G D g d|
Early History: According to tradition the yueqin was invented in China during the 265-420 AD; 3rd - 5th Century Jin Dynasty. The ruan is the ancestor of the yueqin. The name yueqin once applied to all instruments with a moon-shaped soundboard including the ruan; however the term yueqin now applies to a separate category then the ruan family.