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Music & Artists

Close-up of a blue and white patchwork Pojagi cloth

© DAVID O'CONNOR

A Journey in Color
This pojagi cloth was made by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) students, using traditional techniques of dying cloth in vats of indigo and hand-sewing it in particular patterns. The Silk Road Ensemble developed a musical work based on the worldwide migration of the dye indigo while in residence at RISD.


 


Ruan

orig. China  The ruan is a short-necked fretted lute with a circular body and four strings. Plucked with a plectrum, it produces a mellow tone. Like the pipa, the ruan’s strings were traditionally made of silk, but are now typically made of steel.

This moon-shaped lute dates back to the third century C.E., its name a shortened form of Ruan Xian, who was a master of the instrument during the Six Dynasties period.

Five sizes of ruans range from contrabass to soprano. They are commonly used in Chinese opera and orchestra, in ensembles or as accompaniment.


Ruan players
Liu Lin


Other string instruments
Cello
Contrabass
Erhu
Harp
Kamancheh
Kayagum
Morin khuur
Oud
Piano
Pipa
Santur
Tar
Viola
Violin


Other Chinese instruments
Bawu
Erhu
Pipa
Sheng