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date: 27 January 2020


  • Catherine Ingram
  •  and Wu Zhicheng


Lute of the Kam (Dong) minority people of southwest China. Names vary with dialect and instrument size; examples from Sanlong region, Southeast Guizhou province, are beeba ning (‘small beeba’; c68 to 92 cm long, c11 to 20 cm wide at the soundbox) and beeba lao (‘large beeba’; more than 114 cm long, 25 cm wide at the soundbox). The name beeba might be a loanword of the Han Chinese pipa. The pegbox, neck, and thick oval- or heart-shaped soundbox bowl are carved from one piece of fir or other locally available wood. Five or more soundholes pierce the thin wooden soundtable. The instrument is sometimes painted and/or decorated. The Sanlong beeba has four strings (commonly banhu strings) attached to lateral wooden tuning pegs and hitched to the tail by looped wires. Nut and bridge are about 5 mm tall. The fingerboard is fretted with two or three inset lengths of wire. ...

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