D.2 Revival of the Kong Hou - Continued

Figure D-5

During the 1980s, several musical instruments factories in China began to design and produce a new type of Kong Hou, combining the Guzheng, Qin, and Pipa into one instrument, utilizing the modern technology of the pedal harp

The modern Kong Hou, which Joy Yu Hoffman plays, was designed and built by Zhou Guang Yuen, professor at the Shenyang Conservatory of Music in China

This Kong Hou has a double row of strings. Each row has 36 strings, a total of 72 in all. Each string has a bridge which is set in the middle of the sound board. The strings on both sides cross the bridges and are tied to the back of the sound box.

The sound board is made of parasol or wu tong wood. The sound box is 1 inches to 3 inches thick, shaped larger than a half size of the pipa, designed vertically.

Figure D-6

The tuning system on both sides of the strings are the same. The two strings on each side of the same note are tied on two ends of an adjustable pin two to three inches long on the back of the instrument. The pin moves inside a hole, which is extremely sensitive.

The strings are made of silk twisted over steel, under tension. While a player plays one side of a string and presses the string of the same pitch on the other side multiple ornamentations and vibratos are produced. Joys Kong Hou has seven single action pedals, the same as a Western pedal harp, but not double action.

Figure D-7

The modern Kong Hou with a double row of strings, adjustable pins, vertical soundbox, and multiple bridges are engineered for one purpose: to retain and develop the traditional style of Chinese music with its own character and expression.