The Chinese Zither is a plucked-string musical instrument with over 2400 years of history. Ancient Chinese literati considered the Zither as a prerequisite for their cultivation. The beautiful melodies helped to maintain peace and balance of the mind.
The measurement line of Chinese Zither is 3 feet 65 inches representing the 365 days in a year. The top part is round which represents the sky. The bottom part is flat, representing the earth. The whole body of the Chinese Zither is like the body of phoenix which is a bird of wonder. It also looks like the human body, with head, neck, shoulder, waist and feet etc.
You can find a lot of symbols about Chinese history around this instrument. There are 7 strings in the Chinese Zither initially. The first 5 strings represent 5 elements: metal, wood, water, fire and the earth. The 6th string was added by King Wen when his son was died. So the 6th string is sorrowful. The 7th string was added by King Wu when he encouraged his soldiers to participate in the war. So the 7th string is very strong. There are 3 category sounds produced by the Chinese Zither. Harmonics represents the sound from the heaven. Open strings represents the sound from the earth. Stopped strings represents the human beings.
Atmosphere is an important aspect in playing the Chinese Zither. Playing the Chinese Zither in snow was a favorite pastime for ancient artists, which could be fitter than playing it midst white snow A moonlit night was also considered ideal for playing the Zither.
The Chinese Zither has always been considered as the first place among the four Chinese high culture activities(Chinese Zither, chess, calligraphy and painting).It is more of an individual instrument for solace and personal appreciation.