As one of the four art forms (namely guqin, penmanship, and painting ) in ancient China, guqin is a kind of plucked string instrument which is also known as yaoqin, yuqin and qixian qin. According to the Chinese history book Shih Chi, qin appeared no later than the Yao and Shun eras. In order to distinguish it from similar musical instruments of the West, it was called guqin.
The guqin’s design imitates the shape of a phoenix. People also named different parts of the guqin after the names of various body parts of the phoenix. This naming method reflects Confucius’ thoughts on music and the ideology of harmony that Chinese people value.