Taiwan: traditional musical instruments | Ready culture

Many common musical instruments in the United States are also used in Taiwan, however, traditional instruments in the country help form a fusion of musical genres. Taiwan’s music scene is not only influenced by Chinese historical culture, but is also shaped by the various aboriginal tribes of the island. Here are some traditional musical instruments you may not have heard of before.

Lubuw (mouth harp)

Particularly popular among the Atayal, Amis and Bunun tribes, the mouth harp is classified as an aerophone, a musical instrument that makes sounds by vibrating a body of air, without the use of strings or membranes. It is made with splinters of bamboo, sometimes copper, and a piece of string. Players place one side in their mouth as they use their hand to pull the string, using breath control and mouth movements to create different notes.


More easily comparable to a violin, the Erhu is hexagonal in shape, has only two strings and held upright when played. Previously, it was traditional to use a python skin as the front cover of the instrument; however, this is no longer the case. The Erhu is said to produce both melancholy and upbeat music with great expression.


Instrument chosen by Confucius, the Guqin is often referred to as the instrument of the sages: the elite of Chinese society once considered it one of the four arts that all educated people must master. As such, it has been unattainable to the general public for many generations, but is now used in various modern cultural events. The Guqin is a seven-stringed zither, which means that its strings are the same length as its soundboard.


More comparable in appearance to a harp, the Konghou first appeared in written texts around 600 BC Its popularity has waned for some time and it took a lot of research and experimentation to reproduce it accurately. However, it has since regained popularity as its soft and elegant tones are a perfect match for traditional Chinese music.

To know more: https://theculturetrip.com/asia/taiwan/articles/10-taiwanese-musical-instruments/