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Uncovering the Historical Sketches of the Fuxi-Style Qin in the Rulan Chao Pian Collection

Uncovering the History of a Qin in the Rulan Chao Pian Collection


The Rulan Chao Pian Collection that Professor Rulan Chao Pian (1922–2013), Professor Emerita of Music and of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, donated to the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Library includes two qins.[1]  One of the two qins, which is in Fuxi style, has attracted much attention due to its historical standing.  After its arrival at the CUHK Library, it went through the process of repair, endoscopy, and computed tomography (CT) scanning.  With the endoscopy and CT scanning results, the Library uncovered a part of its history and its possible names.[2]  This report displays the process of this discovery as well as the findings.


[1] Qin, also named as guqin, is a seven-string Chinese zither instrument.  It is horizontally put on a qin desk when a qin player plays it.  It is a very quiet instrument that qin performances are usually held in small rooms, rather than large concert hall.  

[2] Due to the rarity of qins, every important qin is given a name by the qin constructor or the owner.