Sanxian (三弦 )


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 681

There are two forms of the sanxian: a large one from the North, with a thin metal plate attached inside to enrich the sound, and a smaller version from the South. Like the pipa, the sanxian may accompany narrative song, changing its tuning to accommodate the singer. The bat decorating the finials of this instrument is a symbol of good fortune and appears on many Chinese objects.

Sanxian (三弦 ), Wood, various materials, Chinese

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.