Two strings and a bow
December 29, 2008 4:26 AM   Subscribe

Erhu: Water of Rivers (江河水)

Ready to try it for yourself?

How to Bow the Erhu
How to do rolling vibrato on the Erhu (Dig the talking metronome in use on this clip. Gotta get one of those!)
How to play the Erhu - Left Hand Position


Great! Now you're ready for the 二胡 Erhu Masterclass - 江河水 (Running River) by Song Fei 宋飞.
posted by flapjax at midnite (6 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
When I first moved to China my wife had my first week there off for May Day. When she went back to work on that first Monday back and I was all alone in my apartment in a teeming, bustling city of tens of millions where I couldn't read a sign or even say yes or no to anyone else. I decided I had to get out of the apartment so I went for a walk, that was going fine, then I got to the park and sat down for a rest. That's when the soldiers marched up and started doing "target practice" by dry firing their pistols over the river at other soldiers who were holding targets over their chests all in complete silence (save the click-clicking of their pistols). That's also when the old man on another bench started to play an erhu.

I felt very helpless in that moment.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:59 AM on December 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


Dig the talking metronome in use on this clip.

Having briefly studied the Erhu, I found that even before you can make music with it, you can make all kinds of sounds. With the fretless strings and the loose bow hairs it can make sounds with intonation and voicing that are recognizable as speech, so you can talk back to the metronome.

There is a lot of music for the Erhu that includes mimicry of birds and animals.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:03 AM on December 29, 2008


The talking metronome plus the robot faces of the mandolins in the background is making this sound like a modern day Rusty in Orchestraville.
posted by DU at 5:20 AM on December 29, 2008


Sublime. How two strings could be so evocative, so emotionally powerful is astonishing.

What an extraordinary contrast too, her beauty, all simply porcelain skin and roundness with the edgy, complex whine of the melody.
posted by nickyskye at 6:00 AM on December 29, 2008


Beautiful - Thank you!
posted by speug at 7:14 AM on December 29, 2008


Metafilter: the edgy, complex whine
posted by facetious at 7:27 AM on December 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


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