Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bridges Over Troubled Snakeskin

I did an interesting experiment with different types of bridges to test how different bridges affect the tone of the Erhu.

The Erhu used in this experiment is a Shanghai Dunhuang aged Rosewood Erhu.

All other factors remained the same, although I would prefer to vary the thickness of the felt dampener according to the height of the bridge, because the tension of the dampener on the snakeskin affects the sound. But to compensate for that, I try to choose bridges with the same height as much as possible.

Click on the individual bridges to hear the sound clips:

Ebony * Rosewood * Whitewood

Violet Sandalwood * Young Sandalwood * Ebony Sandalwood

Violet Sandalwood * Small Leaf Sandalwood * Mystery Bridge

Clearly there are some subtle differences in the tone. Some high notes ring out more, some have more volume, some sound more hollow and some sound cleaner.

Would love to hear some comments from you.


  1. I actually think that the 'mystery bridge" sounds a little hollow compared to the sandlewoods. But there is not much of difference between the A shape smallleaf sandlewood and A shape violet. I also feel that the higher reigesters on the sandlewood bridges sounded pretty clear. Or is the the erhu?

  2. The sandalwood bridges does seem to have more body. Its the Erhu and the bridge. The erhu with a right bridge makes all the difference. But what fits this Erhu might not fit yours.