Guzheng A guzheng is considered a heterochord half-tube zither in the chordophone category by Hornbostel-Sachs, an exhaustive system for classifying instruments.

A chordophone is any instrument that makes music with strings. A heterochord instrument uses one material for the soundboard and a different material for the strings. A zither is an instrument with strings stretched between two points. A half-tube zither has a soundboard that is curved. Put all that together and you get: heterochord half-tube zither, a type of chordophone.

The guzheng traces its roots to China before the 6th century BCE. The oldest zheng found so far dates to about 598 BCE. It was found in Guìxī county in Jiāngxī province in Southern China in 1979.