The yangqin originated from Persia and Arabia, where it was called the psaltery. From Persia, the psaltery also spread to Europe. Thus, this instrument can be seen around the world, though under different names. The English Dulcimer, Hungarian Cimbalom, Greek Psallo, French Tympanon, Japanese Yankin, Korean Yanggum, Thai Kim and Mongolian Yoochin all originated from the psaltery. The yangqin was first introduced to the Guandong province during the Ming Dynasty (1367-1644) and soon spread throughout China. Its clear, bright timbre and wide range, makes it a popular solo instrument as well as a suitable accompaniment to other instruments, especially the erhu. The yangqin is played with 2 slender bamboo sticks. Originally, it had 2 sound bridges and its tones arranged in a pentatonic scale. Over 400 years of development and changes, the yangqin now has 5 sound bridges and is tuned with full semitones. Various techniques of playing the yangqin has been developed over the years, making it a very versatile instrument. Some famous compositions for the yangqin includes The General's Command, Dragon Boats and 'The Yellow River' Yangqin Concerto.
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