RuanThe ruan is an indigenous Chinese plucked string instrument with over 2000 years of history. In the ancient time, ruan was also called qin pipa. The instrument received its present name after the famous player Ruan Xian. By the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD), ruan had become a popular instrument in both court music and folk music. The modern ruan family includes gaoyin ruan (sporano), xiao ruan (small), zhong ruan (medium), da ruan (large), and di ruan (bass). These instruments are constructed almost identically, but in different sizes. Zhong ruan and da ruan are the most common ones, and they are the instruments available in the Sound of Dragon Ensemble.

The ruan has four strings, which are numbered from high to low: 1, 2, 3, 4. The modern’s ruan‘s frets are set in equal temperament to allow the player to modulate to any key.

There are a few different tunings for each size of the ruan. The neighbouring strings are set to either a 4th or 5th apart.