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16:42 Dec 15 2008

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Instruments of Tibetan Opera
16:51, December 11, 2008  

Zhanianqin (A plucking stringed instrument)

Zhanianqin, also called six-stringed fiddle, is one of the ancient plucking stringed instruments in Tibet and one of the main musical instruments in today's professional Tibetan Opera Trouple. Old-fashioned zhanianqin has three groups of sounds, each group having two strings. Alto and high-pitched zhanianqin used in Tibetan opera today derived from it, which was transformed from double strings to a single string. High-pitched zhanianqin has four strings, Alto zhanianqin having five strings.

Picture 1: Teqin



Teqin comes from the Han nationality, similar to the Han nationality's erhu (two-stringed fiddle) in shape, but the sound being louder, more high-pitched. It usually has a bamboo sound box, Mongolian goat's skin, and a hard bow. Teqin is used as a musical accompaniment in folk dances like Nang Ma and Dui Xie. Now, the accompaniment with teqin has developed into a new set of skills with Tibetan characteristics, and it's deeply loved by Tibetan people.

The name teqin is the transliteration of Chinese low-pitched fiddle.

Tibetan jinghu  

It derives from the Han people's jinghu, but its bowings and fingerings are greatly different. Tibetan jinghu is the main musical instrument in the folk dances like Nang Ma and Dui Xie. Its shape is similar to Jinghu, but it has a larger sounding box and a high-pitched tone with a little thickness.Tibetan people love it very much.

Picture 2: Tibetan drum



Different Tibetan operas use the same round wooden drum with two sides and a long handle. The size of the drum varies in different operas. The accompaniment drum in Tibetan opera has its special tone, whose sound is deep, loud, and strong.

Tibetan cymbal

Tibetan cymbal, made of copper, has two bubble shape plates and the two plates strike each other to produce sound. Different striking produces different tones. This instrument is widely used in Tibetan operas, folk dances and religion dances.

Jialin (Tibetan Suona) 

Jialin, made of wood, is embroidered delicately with gold and silver and jewels.It used to be an important religious musical instrument in monasteries, and later entered in Tibetan operas. It is the main accompaniment in De Ge Tibetan opera.

Source:China Tibet Tourism Bureau

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