Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Sihu

Date:
19th century
Geography:
China or Mongolia
Culture:
Chinese
Medium:
Redwood, snakeskin, bamboo, horsehair
Dimensions:
Total L: 79.5 cm (31-5/16 in.); Peg L: 16 cm (6-9/16 in.); Diam. of belly: 7 cm (2-3/4 in.); Body Depth (front to back): 13.3 cm (5-1/4 in.)see diagram; Original card has L. of bow: 71.1 cm (28 in.)
Classification:
Chordophone-Lute-bowed-unfretted
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
89.4.37 a, b
Not on view
Two stringed bowed lutes (huqin) were introduced to China by nomadic Mongols sometime during the Yuan dynasty (1280-1368). Bow hairs passing between the strings may reflect the Mongol's need to secure the bow to the instrument while on horseback. Huqin are played vertically on the knee, fingered with the left hand and bowed with the right. In earlier times there existed a greater variety of local fiddles, but today standard sizes, much like the European family of violins, are most common.
This four string fiddle appears occasionally in the opera but is more closely associated with drum songs, along with sanxian, pipa, and yangqin.
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown ; Rev. Gilbert Reid
Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Asia, Gallery 27. 2. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1903, vol. II, pg. 20.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Gallery 27. 1. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1901, vol. I, pg. 20.



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