The erhu is the grandfather of the violin clan. Its two strings resonate thick sad sounds, which often motivate tears and deep thoughts. It is still common to find real snake skin bases, but the cat-gut strings have been replaced with steel ones. The popular band, Tang Dynasty, has effectively integrated the erhu's classic sound into the modern rock sound.
The Dizi is a bamboo flute. It has been suggested that the instrument originated in Southern or Central Asia over 2000 years ago. It is a unique solo instrument and is also used extensively in ensembles and orchestras. These flutes have 6 open holes and a lovely bright sound.
The Pipa is a Chinese lute and goes back more than 2000 years. The pipa is the most popular of Chinese pluncked stringed instruments. Playing techniques vary widely. It is used commonly as a solo and orchestral instrument, both in China and abroad. Pipa players are almost always female.
Suona was introduced into China from Persia and Arabia in the third century, also called "Chinese trumpet", and further specialized into gaoyinsuona, the soprano trumpet, zhongyinsuona, the lower trumpet and diyinsuona, the bass trumpet.
The Sheng, also called the Chinese mouthorgan, is one of the most ancient Chinese instruments. The Sheng is the instrument that inspired the invention of the accordion and harmonica. It has a wonderful blowing sound. Bob Dylan really should strap one of these on and blow in the wind for a while.
Gongs are round percussion instruments made of brass. You hit them, then a wave of sound floats out. Big gongs are played with a hammer which is wrapped in cloth, whereas small gongs are played with bamboo or wooden sticks. The instrument is commonly used in traditional operas, folk music and yoga class. The waves of sound do wonders in helping people relax, especially after exercise. Try it!