Guqin Lesson

learning to play guqin
learning to play guqin


For more pictures from my guqin lessons, see my previous photographic post here.

One of the highlights of my recent visit to United International College in Zhuhai, China was my introduction to guqin (aka guchin) music.   Our group of visitors was treated to a brief introductory lesson in playing this stringed instrument.  The guqin has been played for thousands of years in China, and it is considered a refined instrument for gentlemen and scholars.

I can understand why.  We only had time to listen to one song played by our teacher, but even that brief introduction induced a meditative, contemplative feeling in me.



This is not the kind of music that makes you want to dance!  For me, the experience seemed closer to a yoga class.  The instructor made sure we were sitting with our feet firmly placed on the ground.  Furthermore, she checked our posture to make sure our backs and shoulders were upright, but not tense.   My initial impression was that if I practiced the guqin regularly, I would feel more grounded, more disciplined, but also simultaneously more uplifted.

Check out some samples of guqin music here:

Have you listened to or played guqin music before?  What are your reactions to it?

Author: DebraB

I am a Professor of English at Concordia University-St. Paul. I have a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research interests include American literature, contemporary literature, Middle Eastern literature, African literature and feminist theory.

3 thoughts on “Guqin Lesson”

  1. Barbara: I’m impressed that you at least tried to learn. I think the mandolin and guqin have very different sounds. The guqin has a distinct BONG, BOING, BING reverberation that’s hard to explain.

  2. Everything you say about this music is true. Long ago and far away in a distant galaxy I bought a mandolin and hired a teacher to instruct me in Chinese chords. Because it was a mandolin, it didnt sound like the gugin, and the mandolin was sold. Happiness, peace, and joy reflect in your photos.

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