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Qin Tables
Qinzhuo or qin'an 1
also 琴案  
Qin played on a table2 (further images)      
Although traditional Chinese paintings and/or illustrations often show the qin played on a player's lap (example from 1539 but linked here), normally when played it is placed on a table, using mats (qin jian) to hold the qin in place. This table can have considerable influence on the sound. If the table is purposely built it may be called a "qin table", if the chair (which must be armless) is purposely built it may be called a "qin stool".3

The most important characteristic of such a table is that it be sturdy: a qin player pushes and slides quite firmly on the qin and it is important that the supporting table should not move or creak. For aesthetic reasons qin tables are usually long and narrow; a standard height is 26", but the important factor is for the table top to be about 8" higher than the chair height. For this purpose a long side table will often work, as long as there is room underneath for the player's legs.4

The table in the illustration at right is quite typical - wider than some but not as wide as others, in particular not as wide as tables designed to support two qins played by players facing each other, as in a teaching situation. there are further images below.5

On a separate page there are details for making a basic table.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Qin table (琴棹 qinzhuo or 琴案 qin'an)
21570.xxx for either.

2. Qin table (琴棹 qinzhuo or 琴案 qin'an)
This image was copied from Van Gulik, Lore, p. 5; the original is in the Qing dynasty qin handbook called Qin Xue Rumen (1864).

3. Qin table, mat and stool
See also the Japanese table below. The Chinese names are:

The common name for what the qin rests on is 琴枕 qinzhen (qin pillow); do not confuse this with 琴軫 qinzhen (qin pegs, a term that has now been borrowed to refer to frets as on a guitar).

4. Sturdiness and height
Folding tables are almost never sturdy enough. Desks often work well when staying in a hotel, or may work when lecturing in a classroom, but if they are large enough then they usually are not very portable. Also, if the body of the table is too high it might make it difficult to put one's legs underneath.

5. Images of other tables
These are identified individually underneath the images (select any image to enlarge it):

The above tables, from left to right, are as follows:

The images here, from left to right, are as follows:

On a separate page are illustrations showing how to make a basic table.

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