Thursday, October 13, 2011

Do You Erhu?

I was discussing music, particularly bass playing, with my cube neighbor, Jane, when she happened to mention that she played the erhu. Huh?

The erhu is known as the "Chinese violin," although it has a hexagon-shaped box for a sound body and only two strings. These strings are tuned in a fifth, and are the same as the two middle strings of the violin. Unlike a violin, there's no fingerboard--the player presses the string between his or her fingers.

We went to YouTube to see an example of erhu playing. We saw a dignified older gentleman playing and then found something really exciting. An eight-year-old girl played an astounding "horse racing" piece that was completely riveting. I'll bet she's been practicing hours a day since she was old enough to hold the bow.

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