My Moon Lute

x Top x Back x Under .

.

Tuned g~C~E~A

月琴, Yeuqin (Moon Lute)

I originally thought this was a Ruan but further investigation tells me that this is a Yeuqin, not a Ruan. Now they both come from the same root chordophone, but there are significant differences between them. The Yeuqin doesn't have a bridge or sound holes and the Ruan has both. Another difference is the Yeuqin should have 4 strings in 2 courses whereas the Ruan would have 3 single courses. Clearly the previous custodian was trying to play it as a Ruan hence the 3 strings, (and the 5 holes in the bridge) 

As you can tell from the photo the two instruments came as a single lot in an auction. I bid mainly for the Ruan, though the auction house had no idea what it was and listed it as a "Lute Instrument". No cracks ,(apparently?), but the "frets" are all there, the tuners look ok and I just have to hope that if it needs a bridge it has one. I have also no clue on the strings, if it has them all and if they need replacing and if they do where to get them. I don't know a lot about Ruans but I guess I will know a lot more when it gets here.

 it does need new strings but from the nut it should only have 3, (so why the fourth tuner? a spare?) There are no cracks but there is the 5th fret, where the neck meets the body, missing and it does need a damn good clean. OK so it is a little plain after some of the ones I have seen, but its certainly interesting and I do love those big fat tuning pegs.