During my last trip to Beijing I was walking the back streets of the city in search of something more authentic than Chinese students wanting me to buy their artwork. Walking the twisted lane ways I ran into a gentleman playing this plucking instrument which looked like an oversize bass but sounded a little like a Banjo. With my wee bit of Chinese I conversed with him a little and he showed me inside his house and was keen to show off the instruments he could play. From what I could understand from the conversation his Baba (father) was a performer and he learnt the ways of the musical force from an early age.
After the trip I did a bit of Googling and found out the instrument is called a Sanxian(三弦). I won’t bore you with the details on this blog because that’s what Wikipedia is for.
So, without further ado, here is the first of 3 videos I took with my point and shoot camera. It’s not the best quality but worth sharing: