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Protection and Maintenance of Chinese Music Instruments

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Types of Chinese Music Instruments
Four main types
Wind: Dizi, Sheng, Suona, Guan etc

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Types of Chinese Music Instruments
Four main types
String: Erhu, Zhonghu, Gaohu, Banhu, Jinghu etc

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Types of Chinese Music Instruments
Four main types
Plucking: Yangqin, Pipa, Zhongruan, Guzheng, Liuqin

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Types of Chinese Music Instruments
Four main types
Percussion: Drum, Cymbal, Gongs etc

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Types of Chinese Music Instruments
Main materials used in Chinese Music Instruments
Wood, Snakeskin, Cowhide, Bamboo, Bronze etc

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Basics of Maintenance of Instruments

“Place them carefully, avoid hot and humid areas”

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Maintenance and Prevention
For Orchestras Have a designated storage area Have cupboards and cabinets of different sizes for different kinds of instruments in storage area Place them neatly if there are no cupboards or cabinets Avoid direct sunlight and rain Place humidifier in the storage area Make sure there is air circulation In basement storage areas, place instruments on higher ground to prevent damage in case of flooding. It is also less humid on higher grounds.

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Maintenance and Prevention
For Individuals Usage After usage, wipe with a cloth, keep instrument in the instrument case and do not leave them lying around Attitude Treasure and take care of school instruments like if its your own

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Maintenance of Wind Instruments
Dizi Made of Bamboo, easy to dry up and crack After using, wipe saliva with cloth and keep Dizi in the bag or case to prevent dust from entering Maintain cleanliness of Dizi Wipe with damp cloth every 3 months For personal hygiene, use individually Use special glue (Er Jiao) to affix the Dizi membrane. Do not use saliva
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Maintenance of Wind Instruments
Sheng - the instrument most prone to problems Problems Instrument out of tune Sound comes out without covering fingerholes Different pitch when exhaling and inhaling

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Maintenance of Wind Instruments
Sheng Protection Do not grab the reeds or flutes of the Sheng when taking out of the case Put back in the case after using After using, wash and disinfect the mouth piece and Sheng base. Dab a little sewing machine oil onto the screws on the Sheng A Sheng player should be equipped with the basic knowledge of the mechanisms of Sheng

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Maintenance of String Instruments
After playing Erhu Move the bridge to the top of the soundbox or support the strings with a short pencil at the top of the soundbox. This can reduce the pressure on the snakeskin and prevent the snakeskin from collapsing Place the instrument back in its case or bag after using to prevent damage due to humidity If you see signs of the snakeskin on the soundbox softening, place the instrument in an area with good air circulation on a good weather day to regain the tautness of the snakeskin. Do not place in direct sunlight

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Maintenance of String Instruments
Slipping of Erhu Pegs If you find that the pegs have a tendency to slip, rub a little rosin power on the contact point between the peg and the neck. Else, use violin peg compound. Unwanted noise Move the cloth dampener that is placed between the strings and snakeskin towards or away from the bridge to reduce noise Placement of Erhu The head of Erhu is usually curved and made up of 2 parts glued together. Place the Erhu carefully as the head breaks easily upon impact

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Maintenance of String Instruments
Changing of Strings Change one string at a time to prevent the nylon strings (Qianjin) from messing up Maintenance of Erhu Maintain the cleanliness and hygiene of the soundbox by wiping away the rosin powder before it builds up Do not use water or oil to clean the snakeskin. Do not use hard objects to scrape the dirt off the snakeskin Repair of Erhu In case of broken heads, use white glue to attach the parts together and stabilise with sticky tape. After the glue dries, use sand paper to sand the connecting parts and apply a layer of varnish. Do not use superglue.
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Maintenance of String Instruments
Maintenance of Erhu Bow Keep away from oil and sweat Loosen the bow after use Clean away the rosin on the bow if not using for a long time

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Maintenance of Plucking Instruments
Zhongruan, Pipa, Liuqin, Xiaoruan, Gaoruan After using Use a clean cloth to wipe the instrument Store the instrument in its case or bag and place it in a dry area If you need to place the instrument on a table, place it facing upwards. Do not place it standing up against the wall or pillar or chair. If need to place it standing up, place it against the corner of a wall

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Maintenance of Plucking Instruments
Zhongruan, Pipa, Liuqin, Xiaoruan, Gaoruan Instrument Maintenace The head and neck of plucking instruments usually are two parts joined together which is easily prone to breaking. Hence avoid dropping, impacting or stressing the instrument. If it really breaks, keep the broken parts carefully so that it can be attached back. The small accessories like the bridge or frets can be quite easily replaced if lost or damaged though. Once the bridge of Liuqin, Zhongruan, Gaoruan is fixed, do not move its position. Use a pencil to mark its position on the instruments. The bridge is calibrated by the luthier so that the interval between each fret is a semitone. Moving the bridge may affect the pitching between frets.

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Maintenance of Plucking Instruments
Cello and Double bass Like other instruments, place it facing up when not in use There is a wooden pole inside the instrument called the soundpost lodged between the back plate and top plate of the instrument. It can be fixed back if dislodged. Do not throw it away The string on the tailpiece cannot be too long or it will stress the bridge and cause it to bend. Pay special attention to the bridge and prevent it from bending towards the fingerboard The instrument can be repaired if cracked or broken

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Maintenance of Plucking Instruments
Double bass rack

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Maintenance of Plucking Instruments
Cello rack

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Maintenance of Plucking Instruments
Guzheng Place in cool dry place Do not expose to direct sunlight or high temperature to prevent cracking, seam splits or warping After using, use a dry cloth to wipe the body, bridge and strings of the zheng
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Maintenance of Plucking Instruments
Yangqin Maintan the cleanliness of the top of Yangqin. Clean regularly with a feather duster After playing, cover with a soft cloth to keep dust away Do not place any objects on top of the instrument. It may damage the bridges of the Yangqin or affect its pitching Place the instrument back into its case if not in use for long periods.

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Maintenance of Plucking Instruments
Yangqin Rust on strings can be removed using sandpaper followed by applying a layer of Johnson Baby Oil/ WD40 on the strings If the nylon wound strings turn black in color, it is time to change the strings to maintain the clarity of the tone When placing the Yangqin on the Yangqin stand, maintain a slight incline. Do not place the instrument under direct sunlight or humid areas The bamboo beaters should be kept in a case when not in use to avoid breaking it. The rubber on the bamboo beaters can be replaced

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Maintenance of Percussive Instruments
Protection of the drum skin
Keep it dry. Do not place anything on the drum skin

Paigu and Stand
Move them around carefully. Inspect Paigu regularly for loose screws. Keep the screws properly if it comes off.

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“Place them carefully, avoid hot and humid areas”

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Contact Details:
Address: Tel: Fax: Email: Contact: Website: Blogsite: 1 rochor road #02-612 (S)180001 6294 7522 6296 2707 enquiries@eason.com.sg Tan Chin Siong, Tan Sung Wah www.eason.com.sg http://tansungwah.blogspot.com

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