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Ancient China
Music
Pipa



Pipa
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.93

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    biwa, frets, lute, pear-shaped, pipa, pitches, soundboard, unchanged, xiang, laps, originally, pluck, tighten, debut, onto, loosen


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Pipa
By Vickie Chao
  

1     The pipa first appeared in China about 2,000 years ago. Since its debut, it has been very popular.
 
2     As a lute, the pipa (called "biwa" in Japan) is a musical instrument with four strings. It has a long neck and a pear-shaped soundboard. There are four tuning handles, called pegs, near the top of the neck. Musicians use pegs to tighten or loosen the four strings, so they can tune the instrument. The pipa has many frets along its neck and down onto its soundboard. The Chinese have two different names for those frets. Those on the instrument's neck are called "xiang." Those on its soundboard are called "ping." No matter what names they have, frets are used for altering pitches.

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