3-string lute made in South China, likely pre-1911 (indicated by the label on headstock). This came to us from the collection of an ethnomusicologist specializing in Chinese music. Very well-made. Snakeskin head. No case.
The sanxian is primarily used as an accompanying instrument, as well as in ensembles and orchestras of traditional Chinese instruments, though solo pieces and concertos also exist. The sanxian is used in nanguan and Jiangnan sizhu ensembles, as well as many other folk and classical ensembles.
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