|The Erhu has two strings tuned in d1-a1.
First described in Song Dynasty (A.D. 420-479), the Erhu is an ancient
instrument which is extremely popular in China today as both traditional
and contemporary music. Consisting of a drum-like mahogany sound box covered
with a snake skin head, two steel strings stretched from the sound box
along a narrow bridge, sound is generated by a horse hair bamboo bow. The
Erhu’s musical range spans about four octaves, and while the sound is very
similar to a Western violin, it differs by being much more nasal in quality.
Because there is no fingerboard against which the player can press, finger
pressure is a critical part of Erhu technique. Assuming this aspect of
Erhu playing is mastered, the lack of a finger board actually allows
for a tremendous flexibility for the Erhu player in controlling the sound
and expressiveness of this instrument - a flexibility approaching that
of the human voice. (Description found at "George
Gao's Chinese Classical Music Site")