MATRIXSYNTH: Dianzi Qin (电子琴) Chinese synth from 1978


Friday, September 29, 2023

Dianzi Qin (电子琴) Chinese synth from 1978


video upload by Robotussin Vintage Synths

"Look at these strange synths produced by Cold War-era China. This is a Dianzi Qin (电子琴).

The synth came about following a cultural exchange in the early 1970s when composer Bernie Krause visited China to demonstrate a Moog modular system. It was part of Richard Nixon’s attempt to build up relations with China to counterbalance Soviet influence in the region – a program known as “Ping-pong diplomacy”.

Krause demo’ed his Moog to Communist officials who were apparently very impressed, after which the Party declared that electronic music 'had no cultural bias', meaning it was not intrinsically Western and decadent, and so there was no problem for Chinese people to explore it and incorporate it into their compositions.

This led inventor Tian Jin Qin to develop this instrument, as a modern, electronic synthesizer with Chinese characteristics – it’s loosely based on traditional Chinese string instruments such as the Erhu.

The Dian Zi Qin is controlled with four ribbons, which power an additive synth engine. There seem to have been two versions, one that looks like an upright stringed instrument, the other that looks more like a desktop synth but with a vertical neck sticking out of it with the ribbon controls to finger. The second type has additional touch controls on the main unit that have some ability to bend and accent the note.

I’ve read that very few were made and it didn’t get out of the prototype stage, but in this video I see at least three playing in concert, as well as what looks like a more conventional organs. I’ve uploaded the full film to my YouTube channel as it was not available anywhere on the Western internet."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Do not insult people. Do not ask if listings are still available. Click through auction links to check yourself. Posts and pics remain for historical purposes only. To reduce spam, comments for posts older than one week are not displayed until approved, usually same day.

PREVIOUS PAGE NEXT PAGE HOME



Switched On Make Synthesizer Evolution Vintage Synthesizers Creating Sound Fundlementals of Synthesizer Programming Kraftwerk

© Matrixsynth - All posts are presented here for informative, historical and educative purposes as applicable within fair use.
MATRIXSYNTH is supported by affiliate links that use cookies to track clickthroughs and sales. See the privacy policy for details.
MATRIXSYNTH - EVERYTHING SYNTH