The Arts of the Guqin
(the Craft of Qin Making)
The arts of the guqin include the techniques for making the qin (a seven-stringed plucked instrument). Qin making is a craft that starts with chopping and trimming a piece of wood, and involves nine steps, namely seeking, chopping, hollowing, fitting, assembling, cement priming, sanding, lacquering and stringing, until it reaches the final stage of becoming an instrument. Local craftsmanship of qin making can be traced back to Xu Wenjing, a master qin player of the Zhejiang pai (school). He taught the craft to Choi Chang-sau, whose family operated the Choi Fook Kee musical instrument shop, in the 1950s. In the 1990s, Choi Chang-sau began giving advanced qin making classes to teach the craft publicly to local qin players so that the craft can be passed on in Hong Kong. The arts of the guqin (the craft of qin making) was inscribed onto the fourth national list of ICH in 2014.