Chinese, 19th century
The yue qin first appeared in the Han dynasty (206 BC—220 AD). It takes its name, “moon guitar” from its flat, circular body. Its four silk strings are grouped in two courses of two each, tuned a fifth apart. There are characteristically either ten or twelve wooden frets. Today yue qin is in wide use as an instrument to accompany song, and as a member of instrumental ensembles, most notably, the orchestras for Peking opera.
Overall length 59.0 cm; width of body 34.9 cm; depth of body 3.8 cm; vibrating length of strings 34.9 cm. A single wooden rib wraps around the back and table, also of wood. Ten wooden frets.
Gift of Helen Lohman
Accession No. 4553.1973