Dunhuang brand guzheng was founded by Shanghai National Musical Instrument No. 1 Factory, and is now the largest national musical instrument manufacturer with the strongest technology and comprehensive strength in China. When it comes to Dunhuang guzheng, we must mention Mr. Xu Zhengao, known as the “father of guzheng”, and the prosperity and development of Dunhuang guzheng and even the entire guzheng industry today are inseparable from him.
Mr. Xu Zhengao entered Shanghai National Musical Instrument No. 1 Factory in 1958, and then successfully developed 16/18/19 string guzheng. Subsequently, he and Master Miao Jinlin jointly developed the S-shaped Yueshan 21-string Dunhuang guzheng, which not only expanded the range of sound, but also beautified the style of the guzheng. In 1963, he created four woodcut patterns such as “Double Crane Rising Sun”, and “Double Crane Rising Sun” has also become a classic of modern guzheng.
It has successively improved the strings and codes of Dunhuang guzheng, and at the same time introduced the assembly process into the production of Dunhuang guzheng, which greatly increased the output of Dunhuang guzheng, and Dunhuang guzheng has truly become the industry leader, leading the development of the industry. Shanghai National Musical Instrument No. 1 Factory has a long reputation in the field of Chinese national musical instruments for the production of “Dunhuang” brand guzheng.
Materials for Dunhuang guzheng
(1) Dunhuang guzheng panel
The sound quality of a guzheng depends on the panel and strings, the panel is the middle section of the yang side is the best, the yang side means that the whole paulownia tree is placed in the water, the exposed side is the yang side, the head and tail are cut for the middle section, generally 9-12 years old paulownia wood is the best, especially the paulownia wood in Lankao, Henan is the best, sandy land, loose wood, conducive to the conduction of sound quality.
The panel of professional playing guzheng is the best through grain, the texture spacing of the midrange area is 5-9 cm, the spacing between the treble and the low area is 1.5-2.5 cm is the best, the thickness of the panel is generally 9mm, 11mm, 10mm, and most of the panels currently use the string cutting process.
The Dunhuang guzheng panels are all made of Henan Lankao paulownia wood, which is divided into second-class, first-class, special grade and top level according to the different levels of guzheng.
The level of the panel, the kite making process and the ability of the master determine the sound quality of the Dunhuang guzheng. The various grades of Dunhuang are made by masters of different levels.
(2) Dunhuang guzheng strings
Early strings to horsetail, deer tendon as raw materials, to the recent nylon steel string as the mainstream, increased the volume, but also improved the charm, the strings are mainly imported steel wire from Germany, uniform carbon content, long life, good feeling, to five-tone incomplete brand, Baoquan brand, Dunhuang brand as a representative, more popular with professionals.
The strings of the Dunhuang guzheng have a larger tension and a harder feel.
(3) Dunhuang guzheng code
Generally speaking, mahogany zither supporting mahogany kite, nanmu guzheng supporting wenge zither code, rosewood zither supporting rosewood kite, there are also sayings that colored wood is the best material for the kite, but it has not yet been concluded, the zither code requires the texture to be the best vertically downward, the upper ox bone, and the string groove is generally the best 1/3 depth of the corresponding string.
(4) Dunhuang guzheng material
The materials are mainly made of imitation sour wood, non-sandalwood, Ter’s Guyi wood, Chantenai, walnut, and broadleaf Dalbergia. These precious woods plus decorative craftsmanship have no effect on the sound quality of the guzheng, but it not only makes the guzheng more beautiful and charming, but also gives the guzheng a high collection value.
Dunhuang guzheng sound quality and timbre characteristics
The sound quality of the guzheng is the embodiment of the entire zither process technology level, the panel plays a key role in the quality of the sound, and the strings and the zither code will affect the sound transmission and transmission.
The Dunhuang guzheng panel is thin, the strings are slightly hard and tense, and the timbre performance is very good, the treble is clear and transparent, the middle is round and full, and the bass is strong and powerful. Dunhuang guzheng is more suitable for modern repertoire and can perfectly interpret the fast pace of modern repertoire.