What are the tunings for a yueqin? (yueh-ch’in) – and is there anywhere to learn in London?

he yue qin is a traditional Chinese instrument, it has four strings, sometimes called the Moon Guitar.

I am not very musical so the Wikipedia explanation: “four strings tuned in courses of two (each pair of strings is tuned to a single pitch), generally tuned to the interval of a perfect fifth.” does not help me.


Also if anyone knows of lessons in London or a basic instructional text much appreciated.


  1. quicker says:

    Tuning varies according to how many strings the instrument has. If just two, then they should be tuned a fifth apart – usually DA or GD.
    On a four-stringed yueqin, the lower two strings are both tuned to the same note, and so are the upper two e.g. DDAA

    However, there are other traditions of tuning, depending on the region, and also whether it is to be played with plectrum or fingered.

    Most of the above I got from putting the Chinese website below through Babelfish. This is always entertaining – and on this occasion produced:
    “Yukin timbre delightful, interesting to listen to, the treble clear, the tenor bright, the bass is plentiful.”

    Thirty years ago I wrote a theatre score which imitated the sound of one, using an upturned banjo with gut strings.

    As to finding a teacher in London, try calling the Royal College of Music, or the Royal Academy of Music, and asking their advice. They should be able to at least point you in the right direction.

    Enjoy your plentiful bass (as they come swimming towards your boat, singing plaintive song)