The pipa is a powerful four string Chinese teardrop lute sometimes referred to as the "Flamenco guitar of China". Versions of the pipa have been popular in China since the 7th Century. The modern pipa is believed to be a combination of the Persian oud and a native Chinese lute. The first six frets of the pipa are made from ox horn or jade, and often have more than 20 additional bamboo frets to increase its range. The pipa has traveled throughout eastern Asia, and versions are found in Korea, Vietnam and Japan.
|© R. Raine-Reusch, May 2002|