Certain asshats called Piers Morgan apparently don’t think that China has a musical tradition rich enough to rival that of England’s. And while we may not have the Beatles we’ve been playing music longer than England’s been around, so not only do I urge Piers Morgan to do some reading, I also present him with a golden invitation to go fuck himself.
That being said, the beautiful instrument up thataways is the erhu, a two-stringed spike fiddle. It’s one of the most popular instruments in China, used by many ethnic groups, and can be heard featured in a variety of different genres, both solo and in an ensemble. Wang Leehom plays it. Wang Leehom plays everything (including the guzheng). I am in awe of Wang Leehom.
二胡 can be traced back over a thousand years; it’s believed to have originated from the xiqin, which was a two-stringed lute perhaps originating from the Kumo Xi people (who later fully assimilated with the Khitans in the Liao Dynasty). Its name indicates that it has two strings (二) and is of non-Han origin (胡 for 胡琴).
The erhu is notable for having a range similar to that of the human voice, and is often compared to melancholy singing.