Education About Asia: Online Archives

Links to Internet Materials to accompany the feature article “The Qin: China’s Most Revered Musical Instrument”

Back to search results
Download PDF
painting of a person playing an instrument while three others listen. they sit under a tree. above them is chinese calligraphy
The famous painting Ting Qin Tu (Listening to the Qin) by the song emperor Huizong (1082–1135). source:


UNESCO‘s intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity site includes a short description of the Qin, photographs, and a brief video (just over four minutes) narrated in English. the music includes singing with the qin, and some strains of yang Guan san Die are heard in the background. Playing techniques and some of the symbolism involved in the Qin’s construction are also discussed. url:


Wang Fei and her sister Annie have created three short, seven-to-ten-minute, videos introducing the Qin in English, explaining its context and history, and offering several performances. For parts two and three, search “English Guqin presentation by Wang Fei.” url:


“Parting at Yang Guan

Many versions of Parting at Yang Guan are available on the Internet, some with other instruments added, some with singing, and some accompanied by static photographs. Here are three, selected from those that seem to be credible performances showing a solo performer at work:

An expert player performs “Parting at Yang Guan” in a concert-like setting. Captions in Chinese discuss Wang Wei’s poem. Good close-ups of hands; roughly five minutes long. URL:

Live video recording (by an amateur) of expert performer Wang Peng playing “Parting at yang Guan.” there is some extraneous noise, but the video also features good close-ups of hand positions. about seven and a half minutes; no narration. URL:

In this seven-minute video, the qin soloist plays and sings words of Wang Wei. URL:


”Flowing Waters“ a performance of ”Flowing Waters“ by qin master lui Pui-yuen, this sevenminute video demonstrates many guqin techniques and sounds, including san yin, an yin, and fan yin (no narration or captions). url:

“Evening song of a Drunken Fisherman” this is a four-minute performance of a famous qin work, “evening song of a Drunken Fisherman” by lui Pui-yuen (no narration or captions). URL:


To explore images of the qin in art, visit the website of New york’s Metropolitan Museum (, and search the collection for “qin (sevenstringed zither). “ you will find photos of qins as well as artwork portraying playing qin players. URL:

ARTstor, available only by subscription, contains numerous images of artworks showing qin players and qins. because “qin” is also the name of the famed first emperor of China, you will find much unrelated artwork as well. URL: