The erhu (Chinese: 二胡; pinyin: èrhú), also called nanhu (南胡, "southern fiddle"), and sometimes known in the West as the "Chinese violin" or "Chinese two-string fiddle," is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, used as a solo instrument as well as in small ensembles and large orchestras. It is the most popular instrument in the huqin family of Chinese bowed string instruments, together with the zhonghu, gaohu, banhu, jinghu, sihu, and numerous others. Used in both traditional and contemporary pieces, it is a versatile instrument.
Throughout its history, the Erhu has been constantly improved, so that its tone is now mellow and bright, similar to the violin, yet more soulful and expressive. Its lower tones sound forceful and lavish. The mid-tones are gentle and touching, while high tones turn clear and bright. This changeful character makes it possible for the Erhu to perform music with a variety of moods.
Played with a variety of techniques, it is now extremely popular for both solo and orchestral performances. In classical Chinese music the Erhu is melodic, haunting, ever changing, and alive. The traditional style of playing is rich in ornamentation, giving the music a deep, three-dimensional quality.
Put the middle and the ring finger between the bow and the bow string. Use the wrist to push and pull the bow to produce sound.