The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

July 26, 2013

Qinqin (best)

the Chinese qinqin uses a heptatonic - seven-note -
scale, with equidistant pitch intervals (the
traditional Western scale uses a twelve-note scale
with the same). because of this, its relationship to
either the Western or Chinese pentatonic scales is
problematic; on the other hand, it relates strongly
to Cambodian and other musics. I'd wanted to play a
qinqin for a long time, in order to explore what
seemed from an aural distance as an unknown terrain
- the result is the above, which I find quite lovely.
it takes a while to get into the differences - and a
while for me to create a smooth flow between them -
but it happens. my instrument, by the way, has three
strings tuned in fifths.

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