Guqin, 古琴 in Chinese, a seven-stringed plucked instrument (similar in some ways to the zither), was a common musical instrument during the Zhou Dynasty more than 3000 years ago, when it was often played along with the Se, another stringed plucked instrument.
Guqin features a narrow and long body made of wood, and there are 13 round marks on its surface to indicate the positions of overtones or where the fingers should be put. Generally speaking, the Guqin’s high pitches are clear and pleasant to the ear, its middle pitches loud and distinct, its low pitches subtle and mellow, and its overtones bright and charming.
With a strong expressiveness derived from a highly variant timbre and a good variety of techniques, the Guqin is often played in solos and ensembles or to provide accompaniment for singing. Today, 200 or so kinds of ancient Guqin scales are extant.