China’s oldest stringed instrument debuts at the CSU School of Music


Confucius Institute Assistant Director Todd Cornell, Assistant Professor of Music History Angela Christian, and Confucius Institute teacher Zoey Li

On November 17, the Chinese guqin made its debut at the CSU School of Music. Two representatives from the Confucius Institute gave a recital and presentation about the history and philosophy of the guqin – one of the oldest Chinese stringed instruments. The presentation was well received and music students were able to try out the instrument, giving them an opportunity to experience an instrument played during the times of Confucius. The guqin has a history of over 3,000 years and, as of 2008, has been inscribed by Unesco as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Guqin playing developed as an elite art form, practised by noblemen and scholars in intimate settings, and was therefore never intended for public performance. Furthermore, the guqin was one of the four arts – along with


Zoey Li with a music appreciation class student

calligraphy, painting and an ancient form of chess – that Chinese scholars were expected to master. (For more information click here.)

The Confucius Institute at CSU offers classes for the guqin. Please contact them at if you are interested in learning the guqin or finding out more about classes.