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Beauty and diversity of Inner Mongolian music

Updated: 2017-04-19

An Inner Mongolian artist (right) plays sihu. [Photo/VCG]

Sihu music

The sihu, a bowed instrument, is named because of its four strings and is commonly found in Inner Mongolia, as well as in Northern China. The instrument can also be called siguzi or sixian, as its name varies from region to region.

The sihu was invented in Northern China, during the Warring States Period (475 – 221 BC), by the nomadic Donghu people. After the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the art of sihu spread and had a large influence on Han folk singing –Tongliao city is now the best place to find sihu.

The three types of sihu includethe alt, mediant and the bass. The alt sounds clean and neat, while the mediant sounds thick and full.