The piano's predecessor-the yangqin
Shi Yue, associate professor from Capital Normal University [Photo: from China plus]
The yangqin is a Chinese plucked string instrument with 144 strings stretched over a trapezoidal sound board, which has over four hundred years of history, tracing back to the Ming Dynasty.
Some people say the yangqin is the ancestor of the piano due to their similarity in sound production. To produce sounds, pianists must press down at least one key, which triggers the hammer to strike a specific string. When the hammer rebounds, the strings continue to vibrate. This process is very similar to the way in which the yangqin produces sounds.
Additionally, both of them can harmonize and be included in an ensemble with other instruments and can also suffice in solo music.
This instrument was once a foreign instrument but has rooted in China after significant development over the centuries.
Click the audio above to discover the charm of the yangqin with the yangqin princess, Shi Yue, on Chords of China.