For the last month, I’ve been practicing the guqin 古琴 a little more. In time for the Prunus mume that opened and faded, I finished learning 梅花三弄 (Three Variations on the Plum Blossom). Now, I’m working on 流水 (Flowing Water), which is significantly more difficult.
Anyways, I got inspired to make another guqin. The one I’m playing on was made ten years ago based off of 與古齋琴譜 (Abiding with Antiquity Guqin Manual, 1855, tr. Binkley). The main problem with it is that there is string buzz when playing the lower notes at the end of the soundboard due to a progressively smaller string-soundboard angle. To deal with that problem, I mathematically modeled the descriptions from the Guqin Manual with modifications, interpolated surface curvature, extrapolated the dimensions of the bridge, figured equal string spacing along the bridge curvature function, and added a compound radius to the length of the instrument to keep the angle constant in the tail end. And instead of cutting out the pattern in 1/16-inch increments, I am using 1/32-, 1/64-, and 1/128-inch depth changes depending on the location. Hopefully, this works out better.