Show me the commodity: Qin in the Toronto marketplace

Previously we have discussed what kind of mental dedication and budget one needs to start a guqin curriculum in Toronto, but what about where do we get started? While the issue of lessons has an obvious solution (you ARE reading the qin society’s website, now!), procuring the instrument and supplies locally, is a different issue.

In Toronto, two famous stores that carry world musical instruments carry the qin – and both are located along Spadina Avenue.


Musideum is an elegant space where one can leisurely browse in the cozy-lighted, refined shop/performance space of Donald Quan, music composer and renowned musician. From hurdy-gurdy’s to clavichords to theremin, you can find it all here. Needless to say, they have some qins for sale, as well as various handbooks for it, including the Standards of the Guqin. You can also find metal-nylon strings on sale here.

The other place is Kensington Melody, located on Baldwin Street, just steps past Augusta Avenue after getting off of the streetcar stop for Kensington Market. Owned and operated by an energetic old Chinese man who co-authored a Romanian translation of Lao Tzu’s Daode Jing and an avid collector of Tibetan and Uighur instruments, furniture, and paraphernalia. Aside from a sizable stock of qins at a reasonable price range (just ask – they’re in the back), do spend time to examine the various trinkets, religious symbols, drums, and electric instruments that spill over into the cramped walkways. Metal-nylon and silk strings are available on sale here, as well as some qin scores and the Standards book. However, do bear with the somewhat dusty and cramped environment – bring a wiping rag if you want to try the qins out, just in case.

March Break: TQS welcomes Dr. YIP Mingmei to Toronto!

Dr. YIP Mingmei (PhD, Sorbonnes).

Facebook Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/events/288594354541344/

Date: Friday, March 16, 2012;
Time: 1600~1800h (4-6PM) yaji, followed by group dinner
Location: Quantum 2 North Tower, 2191 Yonge Street ,Toronto M4S 3H8 (Yonge/Eglinton Subway)
Cost: gathering FREE, dinner shared-pay
NOTE ON PUNCTUALITY: Please ensure all the participants should arrive not later than 15:45h (3:45PM) in the lobby and I will be there to meet all and head to the place at 3rd floor cuz only residents have access to use elevator so please ON TIME. –Jason Ye, venue

Toronto Guqin Society welcomes Dr. Mingmei Yip, reknowned guqin player and author on Chinese scholarly aesthetics. Her Chinese work “Guqin Yinyue Yishu” (Commercial Press, 1991) is a cornerstone reader for students and players alike in understanding the background and development of qin history and cultural values, and its links with the other scholarly arts.

Dr. Yip will be in Toronto during the March Break pre-weekend March 15-17, and we look forward to enjoying time with her, sharing music (of all kinds) and insights, followed by a dinner reception at a nearby restaurant.

Please RSVP via the Facebook event page or by response here by Saturday, March 10, 2012. Aside from guqins, we also welcome other chamber music instruments from all origins to join in the fun!

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