Friday, October 31, 2008

Trade In Your Guzheng For Cash!

Do you have an unused Guzheng collecting dust in your storeroom or taking up space in your living room?

Have you or your kid decided that you're done with the Guzheng for the rest of your life?

Well, instead of throwing it away or wait for it to biodegrade, why not bring it down to our shop to exchange for some cash?

Because we are taking in used Guzhengs.

So if you have one which you would like to get rid of, please send an email to us at with the following information:

- Describe the physical condition of the Guzheng
- Tell us when you bought it
- Are there any bridges or stands missing?
- Send us some photos of it if possible.

Please note that we only take in Shanghai Dunhuang Guzhengs.

If you are do not own any Guzheng at the moment and are thinking of getting one, please take a look at our selections here:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Two Videos From Shanghai Music Fair 2008

Here are two of the few videos I took during the Shanghai Music Fair 2008.

The first is a dude from the Beijing Conservatory of Music. You might find him familiar because I previously posted a clip of him playing Jiang He Shui, also at a music fair sometime ago. Apparently he's doing some promotion for some erhu makers/manufacturers. He just puts his own bow on whatever erhu they give him and play!

This time I caught him playing the last part of Zigeunerweisen on the erhu.

Watch his fingers fly!


The second clip is a guy playing the MaTouQin. "Ma Tou" means "horse head" and "Qin" means instrument. So Voila! The instrument he played has a horse head for its headstock!

The instrument is has 2 strings and a bow is used to play. For more information about the matouqin you can go over to wiki here:

Notice he did not use his fingers to 'press' the strings like what you would do for normal string instruments. He uses his fingers to push the strings sideways instead.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gaining in Strength to Strength With Your Erhu

I was speaking to Dr Z yesterday about erhus.

We were talking about how the erhu will improve in sound when played by certain people, but will deteriorate in sound in the hands of another.

Certain people have the ability to 'grow' their erhus.

Part of it of course depends on the bowing technique (can be scientifically proven). With the bow pulling the strings at a correct angle, the vibrations created will give the snakeskin a good workout and have a positive effect on the tone.

The second part depends on each individual person's aura (not scientifically proven). It's like some jewelery looks sparkling on one person, but the same thing looks dull and jaded on another.

The last part depends on how you much you love your instrument (not scientifically proven again). The wood and snakeskin before they were cut down and up to make the erhu were living things before their demise. Part of them still lives within the instrument. So if you take care of them and nurture them with love, they will respond positively and the tone will improve.

One of my customers emailed me the other day: "I like my gaohu better the more I play it. I just wish there was more time and energy to spend on my fiddles. The more I practice on them the more they want."

Very true.

So do you find your erhu getting better each day or not as good as before? You could be the reason.....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Shanghai Music Fair 2008 / New Erhu Bow

It's been a while since I posted on blog. So how have all of you been?

The financial crisis is really getting to everyone. Today I was at a food centre and all the queues of the supposedly popular stores have vanished. More people are eating in instead of eating out. I think people will be more prudent with their spending, which means bad times for businesses.

Well, not all business are affected negatively. Pawnshops and second hand stores have reported brisk sales. Supermarkets have also seen an increase in people buying more groceries to cook at home instead of eating out.

So what's the direction going to be for Chinese musical instruments business? At the moment it seems the trend is down.

But I hope people realize that since they can't afford to change cars or houses so often, why not spend it on spiritually and culturally stimulating things like the erhu, pipa and dizi!

If you're thinking how are you going to learn to play the erhu, we have our online erhu lessons still going at an introductory price of US$480!

And for those who prefer a more in-your-face type of musical expression, you can consider our drums, gongs and cymbals! It is also a more economical stress reliever than St. Regis Monarch Resort. (Someone email my website address to the executives of AIG)

Anyway, one of the reasons I went MIA recently is because I went to the music fair in Shanghai. Yes it is the time of the year again. Not a lot of surprises this year it seems. The number of exhibitors has in fact decreased. I did not see quite a lot of previously seen names at the fair. One told me that there were too many makers and those that cannot make the cut died off naturally.

The buyer power of the Chinese still seems very strong. Buyers are still seen in droves, buying at prices that even my most affluent customers would deem very expensive. How about 20,000-30,000 RMB for 1 erhu?

Anyway here are some pictures of the Shanghai fair. I'll post more later when I have the time.

>>The entrance to the expo centre

>>Registration area inside the expo centre

>>Big banner inside the expo centre

>>Funny looking pianos

>>Funny looking piano again

>>With a brand name that strikes a chord with Singaporean ah bengs and ah lians

>>A piano made of porcelin

>>The player of the piano made of porcelin

More later.

I've recently listed another product on the website.

It is one of the most well made bows I have seen so far. Although the rod is not very thick, it is a rather stiff bow.

Read more about it here.