See also: gǔqín


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An antique guqin in the lianzhu form

Alternative formsEdit


From Mandarin 古琴 (gǔqín), made up of (, “ancient”) and (qín, “stringed instrument”).



guqin (plural guqin or guqins)

  1. (music) A plucked zither-like stringed instrument (chordophone), traditionally featuring seven unfretted strings, originating in ancient China.
    • 1982: The Times, 25 May 1982, p.10 col. C
      Among those who will be making the Otter valley resound to the strains of the guzheng and erhu is Wu Wenguang, who plays a piece of music 1,800 years old on the guqin, an instrument known to have existed 3,000 years ago.

Usage notesEdit

  • In the past, the guqin was referred to only as the qin, but it has the prefix gu- to distinguish it from other instruments which are also called qin. It can be referred to as qin after guqin is used in the first instance.
  • The organology of the qin fits that of a zither, but in the past, it has been incorrectly referred to as a lute or harp.
  • It is sometimes confused with the guzheng (古筝) which is a different stringed instrument.


See alsoEdit

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