Zheng, also known as the Guzheng is an ancient Chinese instrument. Originally used by herdsmen, it was a small instrument made of bamboo. Its popularity dates as early as the Warring States period and the Qin Dynasty (255BC-206BC). The guzheng has a horizontal wooden box resonator with an arched surface. It is an elongated-trapezoidal with 13 to 21 strings stretched over individual bridges. Although metal strings are common today, silk strings were used in the ancient days. The guzheng rests on a two or three piece stand and is played with 3 to 4 finger picks. On the right side of the bridges, the strings are plucked while the left side allows the player to bend the strings, to change pitch or to provide embellishment. Its playing range spans three to four octaves. The guzheng is a distinguished solo instrument and an accompaniment instrument for ballad singing. In the Chinese orchestra, the guzheng is used for special effects, such as the descending strains of cascading water is required. Its attraction lies on a water-rippling sound produced when its strings are plucked by fingers in a sweeping manner from the highest note to the lowest note or vice versa.
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