Sunday, May 13, 2012

To Make Music

I'm thinking of picking up an instrument. I've decided that it has to be a more traditional instrument, perhaps I'm getting in touch with my roots? So I've talked to mother and we've worked it down to the following three:

A while ago, we visited a family friend who had one of these. He offered to let me play around with it and I really liked its feel. I've also had an obsession with string instruments in general, playing them seems to be such a fluid movement. Any ways, after half an hour or so of fiddling around with it, I managed a passable major scale. Which is to say, I feel like this can be something that can be learned with practise. The Erhu is also extremely adorable and light weight, not to mention one looks beautifully elegant sitting down and playing it.

Of course, my mother had other ideas once I stated my intent of learning another instrument. Traditionally the Pipa is played by women only, and adds a very nice classy elegance to whoever holds it. I suppose in the Chinese tradition it is the instrument for pretty young girls. Which is great and all but my issue with it is that it A. looks like a giant paddle with strings and B. is plucked with pseudo-nails. The nails were the one reason the guzheng was completely out of the question for me. It seems like too much of a hassle to have to put those on every time I'd want to play. Still, I admit I really do like the look and tradition associated with the Pipa.

Chinese Flute
So it's not a string instrument this time. But I remember hearing its sound from a friend who played it a while back, and the wooden/bamboo flute has a beautifully rich tone to it. It feels like the wind you blow into it congregates together into a lovely pool of sounds. Also, I feel like with a flute I won't be too limited to traditional music as with the Erhu or Pipa. A flute is also much more portable and can easily be turned into a weapon. Only issue is that I initially wanted a strings, not wind, instrument. 

So sometime this summer my mother will be getting me one of these. Sometime by next year I'll hopefully be able to play extremely simple things on it. Now if only I could find a cheap keyboard to bring into the apartment...


  1. My grandma has an erhu and I've fiddled (ha!) around with it a bit. I vote erhu!

  2. Ehru, of the three. Flutes are cheap/easy to come by and other strings are quite alike (c.f. ouds).