Learn more about the guqin with musician Jim Binkley. The guqin is a 7-string fretless Chinese zither that has existed unchanged for at least the last 2000 years. Much of the music can be quite old — possibly older than the early Ming dynasty. It has been an essential part of the cultural realm of the traditional Chinese literati and often appears in paintings.
Jim Binkley started playing the guqin around 1975 in Taiwan. His first teacher was named Wang Zhenhua who was from Shanghai and he later studied with Tao Zhusheng at the University of Washington. When Jim lived in Taipei he started studying making guqin with the painter Ye Shi-chiang. More recently Jim took a master class at the Royal Academy from Zeng Chengwei, a qin maker and master from Chengdu. Jim has played in various concerts including a concert in Beijing in 2002, and at Willamette University in 2010. He also has taken part in various guqin "yaji" (a meeting of players) including yaji in Beijing, San Francisco, and London.
Jim published a book "Abiding With Antiquity" which is a translation of a 19th century guqin handbook on qin making. Jim also makes guqin and is particularly interested in making guqin from woods found in the Pacific Northwest including western red cedar and redwood (Sequoia).
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