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The pipa (also sometimes written p'i p'a) is 4-stringed Chinese lute with a pear-shaped body. There are six inverted frets on the neck and up to 24 bamboo frets on the body. The usual tuning of the 4 strings is A-D-E-A.

There are two styles of traditional pipa music. The Wen style is lyrical and and expressive, while the Wu style is martial in character and tends to be more forceful and dynamic.

Min Xiao-Fen is contemporary pipa virtuoso, playing both the classical pipa styles along with new music, including free improvisation with well known avant garde musicians such as George Lewis and John Zorn.

Pi*pa (?), n.; pl. Pipas (). Zool.

The Surinam toad (Pipa Americana), noted for its peculiar breeding habits.

⇒ The male places the eggs on the back of the female, where they soon become inclosed in capsules formed by the thickening of the skin. The incubation of the eggs takes place in the capsules, and the young, when hatched, come forth with well developed legs.


© Webster 1913.

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