The Erhu (barbarian’s fiddle) Introduction

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Perhaps no musical instrument is more evocative of China than the erhu (二胡), but its origins are in central Asia: The erhu is one of several instruments including gaohu, zhuihu and jinghu that were historically known as “huqin” (barbarian’s fiddle) or “xiqin”.

The erhu became a common accompaniment to opera in the Ming and Qing dynasties. In the early 20th Century, compositions for erhu by Hua Yanjun (1893-1950) and Liu Tianhua (1895-1932) gave the instrument a respectable solo repertoire.

In this video, Liu Hong (刘虹) introduces the erhu and plays the classic folk tune "Running River" (江河水).