Pipa (琵琶 )

Jiu-cheng Chinese

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 681

The term pipa has been known since the 3rd century B.C. It originally described the playing motion of the right hand: p'i, "to play forward" (left), and p'a, "to play backward" (right). In addition to its use in the opera and in story telling ensembles, the pipa has a solo repertoire of highly programmatic, virtuosic music.

#Demonstration of a modern pipa by Wu Man, 2016. "White Snow in Spring."

Pipa (琵琶 ), Jiu-cheng, Wood, ivory, bone, gut, 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.