Guqin Tunings - Method of Tuning

Method of Tuning

The qin is one of a few instruments which changes the pitch tunings in order to change the key. The qin is tuned using the tuning pegs to adjust the pitch. The method of finding to right pitch to adjust to is straight forward. One way is to tune by ear, plucking the open strings and picking out the relation differences between the strings. This method way of tuning requires a very accurate sense of pitch. The next method is by comparing open and stopped notes, by playing an open string and pressing on another string at the correct position and adjust if they sound different. This has the advantage of only needing to adjust a string to match a reference note, but has the disadvantage of open and stopped notes sounding different in tone; it can only be used for pieces without harmonics. The generally preferred way is to tune by harmonics. This is the easiest method since it only requires that two sounded harmonics are in unison. Two harmonics are sounded on two strings and the pitch can be adjusted whilst they still sound.

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