The gentle sound of the qin zither is familiar from Chinese classical music, and the instrument itself has an extremely long and storied history. This lavishly illustrated volume focuses attention on the seven important qin zithers, which date from the period between the late Middle Ages and modern times, featured in the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art. Yang Yuanzheng, one of the leading experts on qins in the world, traces the history of qin instruments, which are currently understood to originate in the Bronze Age, and describes three eras in the development of the qin zither and its cultural environment. He carefully analyzes the construction of the instruments and questions earlier assumptions about their age and origins. Yang’s insights, the cultural significance of the qin zithers and the unique nature of the instruments in the Freer and Sackler make this volume essential reading for art historians and music archaeologists, as well as lovers of this instrument itself.
About the Author
Yang Yuanzheng is professor in the Department of Music at the University of Hong Kong.