The zhonghu (中胡, pinyin: zhōnghú) is a low-pitched Chinese bowed string instrument. Together with the erhu and gaohu, it is a member of the huqin family. It was developed in the 1940s as the alto member of the huqin family (similar in range to the European viola) to increase the pitch range of the instruments used in a Chinese orchestra.
The zhonghu is analogous with the erhu, but is slightly larger and lower pitched. Its body is covered on the playing end with snakeskin. The instrument has two strings, which are generally tuned to the interval of a fifth, to A and E or to G and D (this latter tuning equivalent to the violin's lowest two strings).
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