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Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development

Exquisite 'jing hu' grace exhibition in Beijing


More than 50 jing hu (Chinese bowed two-stringed instrument) are being exhibited at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing starting from February 15. Some of them are more than 100 years old.

Jing hu, or hu qin, is primarily used in Peking Opera. Small in size yet very high in pitch, jing hu plays a leading role in the accompaniment of this Chinese performance.

The showpieces were private collections of Lou Zhuangdong, a Peking Opera instrument collector from Shanghai. The 50 instruments included jing hu used by famous musicians and opera performers, made by renowned instrument workshops and some made with special material.

One special jing hu was made with a bamboo smoking pipe once used by ethnic people. And there are two instruments called "Twins from North and South" that took two craftsmen over 20 years to make.

Weng Si, a Peking Opera scholar, praised the value of jing hu.

"Jing hu plays a key role along with its players in the development of Peking Opera. To some extent, it saw the opera's birth, growth and maturity," Weng said.The exhibition will run through March 15.

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