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The Zheng
The zither GuZheng is one of the biggest zithers in Asia. Other zithers like the vietnamese Tranh are smaller and do have smaller tonal ranges.
The biggest zither in Asia is the Japanese 
Koto. The most common actual form of the GuZheng knows 21 strings, tuned in the pentatonic scale.

* Sample (MP3, 107 KB) *
Of course, several other tunings have been tried out, for example the tuning used by artists like Mei Han, which function as a link to use the Zheng in modern ensembles and Jazz.
Today, the Zheng is treated equally to the western piano music with high demands for playing skills and techniques.
The chords get plucked with finger plecs (right hand) while the left hand changes and modulates the tone by pressing the chord, or playing accompagnato patterns to the melodie of the right hand. The perofrmed music reaches from traditional (Qin-)scores up to romantic and modern music.
The wooden pyramids attached under the chords are movable, thus providing a quick method to change the tuning in between two pieces. The actual appearance with 21 chords is only dating back to the 1960ies, before that several models ranging from 16 to 25 chords were known and are still used today. The Zheng is, besides the Pipa and Erhu, the most famous instrument in China today.

Please read my playing experinces for the Zheng here

Pictures (Click to expand):


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